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Medical Center

‘Making a difference every day’

You Make A Difference

Featuring patient stories and letters that exemplify excellent service and care, “You Make a Difference” reminds us why we are in the health care business—to serve a purpose, have the opportunity for worthwhile work and to make a difference. Remember, never underestimate the difference you can make!

“Our experience was beyond positive!”
by Amy Williamson
My son, John Russ Williamson, was a patient on Unit 7B from July 15 through July 20.
Russ had surgery last summer and we had a negative experience to say the least. As a result, when we found out he needed surgery again this summer; we felt a tremendous amount of anxiety and concern. Much to our surprise, our experience this summer was beyond positive. From the residents, to the 7B nursing staff, to pharmacy, they treated us with courtesy and respect.
I want to mention some of the people who really stood out, and gave Russ exceptional care:

Jacqueline Kraveka, M.D. (Hematology/Oncology)
From the time Russ was admitted until he was discharged, Dr. Kraveka provided phenomenal care. She did everything in her power to help Russ heal, from staying on top of his factor levels and adjusting dosage when necessary, to checking on him several times a day on her own. One time, Russ was scheduled to have blood drawn and I suggested the blood should be drawn from his IV to avoid another stick. Dr. Kraveka had ordered the blood to come out of his other arm (not his IV), but she took the time to listen to my suggestion, and in the end she allowed his blood draws to come from his IV. For parents of a young hemophiliac, reducing needle sticks and preserving veins is a priority. We  appreciate Dr. Kraveka treating us like we were partners in his treatment and care.

Abigail Schuh, M.D. (Resident)
Abigail was our resident the entire time Russ was a patient. I can’t say enough good things about her! She went above and beyond, not only keeping us aware of every little thing, but also talking to Russ directly and making sure he felt comfortable and didn’t see her as just another doctor poking and prodding. She did what she said she was going to do, when she said she was going to do it. I appreciate that consistency. She was  the best resident we have ever dealt with at MUSC. I hope she stays in Hema-tology/Oncology so Russ can have her in Hemophilia Clinic.

Leighton Harbuck, R.N. (7B)
Leighton was the best nurse we’ve ever had. The quality of care that she provided Russ was second only to what we as his parents provide him. Her personality was bright and cheerful, even as she checked on Russ every hour through her night shift. One night, there was a minor complication with Russ’ surgical site and she was on top of things. She called surgeons and residents and went up the list until someone responded. Leighton is competent, professional and friendly.

Shelli Mugnaini, R.N., and Mallory Day, student technician (7B)
Shelli and Mallory were a wonderful team! They were consistent and thorough, and even took the time to mention to me that I probably needed to try and get some rest. They worked well together, and after awhile, I couldn’t tell who was the nurse and who was the trainee. They never made us feel as if Russ was just one of several patients; they made us feel like Russ was their only patient.

Dominic Ragucci, PharmD (Pharmacy)
Once Russ was admitted, Dominic not only took the time to come to our room to pick up our factor (we provided our own), but also to stay for a few minutes to go over the different vials and doses. Throughout our stay on 7B, Dominic stayed on top of how much factor we had remaining and estimated how much more he thought we would need (so we could bring more from home). One of the problems we had last summer was Russ’ factor not coming up from Pharmacy on time. I am so pleased to say that we did not have that problem this year. For a paranoid mother, having factor sent up on time so it could be given on time really alleviated a lot of my stress and anxiety.
Hopefully, having surgery will not be a new summer tradition for Russ. But, if it happens again, and there was a way I could request certain doctors, nurses and other staff, this is the dream team that I would request and be happy to pay for!

August Benefit of the Month
Have a health question? Access MUSC's specially trained registered nurses  by e-mailing a health-related question to or by calling 792-1414, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
MUSC nurses tap a variety of resources—including MUSC physicians—to answer questions and help determine the need to seek medical attention. 


Friday, Aug. 14, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.