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Parking relief offered to MUHA employees

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations
Starting this fall, MUHA employees will receive some relief for parking on campus.
W. Stuart Smith, vice president for clinical operations and executive director of the MUSC medical center, announced that starting in October, parking for MUHA employees who are enrolled in the MUSC Parking Management system will receive half off their monthly parking rate.
This parking benefit is offered as part of a good faith effort and in response to hospital employees’ needs and also in support of MUHA’s changing workforce and improving the current campus’ parking situation.
“Parking is one area that’s been continually addressed by employees as a recruitment and retention issue,” said Betts Ellis, administrator of MUHA Institutional Relations. “Stuart Smith has been committed to relieving the parking burden in some fashion.
“Employee satisfaction and creating a great working environment are two  of the medical center’s priorities,” said Ellis. “Stuart’s decision to fund the fee adjustment for medical center employees was to a great degree based on the highly competitive nature of the local health care market and our need to strike a good balance on benefits provided. While the medical center’s leave policy is not as generous as the university’s state leave policy, it is believed that a parking rate adjustment for medical center employees can help with progress toward our goal to decrease turnover, improve quality care by maintaining experienced staff, and control costs associated with recruitment and training of new hires.”
With the opening of ART on Feb. 5, the medical center has been busy recruiting and retaining staff for the new facility and filling jobs within other hospital areas. The medical center’s nursing staff is greatly affected by this expansion, especially when a nurse leaves the organization. For example, it’s estimated to cost between $70,000-80,000 to replace an experienced, full-time nurse.
“We do not have the capability to fully fix the parking situation on campus, but this is an effort to relieve some of the burden placed on hospital employees,” said Ellis.
Within the last few years, MUSC Parking Management has increased on-campus parking options for employees, students, patients and visitors through expanded lots, new garage facilities, a partnership with CARTA and carpooling, according to Melinda Anderson, MUSC Parking Management director.
MUSC acquired the Courtenay Drive Garage from Charleston County, which supports parking for employees, patients and visitors at ART. The new Bee Street Garage, set to open in October, will provide additional parking for employees and students. Earlier this month, MUSC and CARTA combined to provide free CARTA and CARTA Express services for employees and students living around the Tri-county.
“The cost for campus parking is low compared to driving an automobile to work every day. If employees and students can find a way not to drive at all and use the CARTA system or carpooling, then they’ll really save money. MUSC parking management is supportive to both of these programs,” said Anderson.
Parking Management is committed to finding solutions and providing good customer service, according to Anderson.
The MUHA parking fee adjustment will be effective in October at the same time as the Bee Street Garage opening. For information, visit

Friday, July 18, 2008
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