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MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause


Currents Dec. 7

To Medical Center Employees:

On Dec. 3, our management team, including nearly all medical center leaders with responsibility for hiring and performance evaluations, took part in our 18th Leadership Development Institute (LDI). LDIs are intended to make our management team better leaders.

The focus of our LDI was Leading Change During Difficult Times. We discussed the health care reform challenges and the dismal Medicaid funding outlook for our state.

Our guest speaker was Bob Murphy, R.N., J.D., Studer Group Senior Leader and International Speaker. Murphy’s comments were tightly aligned with various medical center leaders’ presentations on cost savings and employee engagement. Murphy emphasized avoiding waste; aligning our Leader Evaluation Management tool with growth strategies; doing a better job of rounding (on patients, physicians, employees); pre-visit calls, post-visit and discharge calls and setting clear behavioral standards and performance expectations.

Slides from the LDI presentation can be accessed though the medical center MUSC Excellence intranet web site at

Studer Group's Bob Murphy, left, presents MUHA executive director Stuart Smith, with the Fire Starter of the Month Award at the LDI Dec. 3. The award is the highest honor The Studer Group awards to hospitals

At the LDI, Bob Murphy presented us with the Studer Group’s Health Care Organization of the Month. Murphy explained the Studer Group works with approximately 500 health care organizations and this award serves to recognize our accomplishments over the past five years. We should all be proud to be selected by The Studer Group for this award.

By relying on our MUSC Excellence best practices to achieve our goals, including our cost reduction initiatives, we will address the challenges before us.

Thanks to everyone for your dedicated service and compassionate care.

Have a happy and safe holiday season.

W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations
and Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Helena Bastian, MUHA HR director, presented the following topics:

2010 Payroll Year-end reminders & 2011 updates

  • Revisions to W-4 forms—Employees are reminded to file an amended W-4 form with MUHA Human Resources, if any of the following have changed: exempt status, filing status or exemption allowance. You must submit a new W-4 to change your withholding allowances. Original form must be completed and submitted to MUHA HR Office. Copies are not accepted
  • Address changes—Employees should review their address on their pay stubs and provide updates to MUHA HR for 2010 W-2 Income Tax Statements
  • Social Security Taxable wage raise (2011)—Remains at $106,800
  • Supplemental wage rate increase —2011 Supplemental Wage Rate will increase from 25 percent to 28 percent, barring that Congress extends this provision
  • 2010 Tuition reimbursement payments—Final deadline to Payroll is Friday, Dec. 17 (paid on Wednesday, Dec. 29 pay date)
  • 2010 Electronic W-2s—Payroll will send out notification and instructions for 2010 electronic W-2s on or around Dec. 15
Kronos deadlines for Christmas holiday
Kronos deadline for Christmas Processing Week will occur from 10 a.m., Dec. 20 with final Kronos deadline at 10 a.m., Dec. 21. Leaders should communicate this message to designated employees to complete leave slips and time entry forms by Friday, Dec. 17.

2010 PTO/ESL (per PTO Policy #18)
Cut off date for PTO/ESL carryover hours is pay period ending date, which includes Dec. 31 workday. For this year, the ending date is Jan. 1; Leave cut off will be reflected on Jan. 12 pay date.

2010 Christmas and New Year holidays will be observed on Friday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 31
  • Employees who will be taking Christmas and/or New Year’s holiday may use Paid Time Off (PTO) in accordance to MUHA HR PTO Policy (#18)
  • Non-exempt (hourly) employees who are required to work on holiday have option of cashing in PTO hours in an amount up to actual hours worked (within 24-hour holiday period). The number of hours to be cashed in cannot exceed the number of hours worked
  • Holiday differential rates, as previously announced, will be authorized for eligible nonexempt (hourly-paid) employees whose work shift begins during actual holiday (Saturday, Dec. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 1)
  • Holiday differential will be in addition to shift differential and will be paid for productive (worked hours) only;
  • Mail Services, Office of Parking Management and University Transportation Services will be closed for the holidays, Dec. 24 and Dec. 27-28
  • MUHA employees scheduled to work these three days are invited to park, at no charge, in employee-on-campus parking locations: Rutledge Tower Garage (Vanderhorst Street and Rutledge Avenue),President Street Garage (91 President St.), Bee Street Garage (Bee Street and Courtenay Drive)
  • Monday, Jan. 3, Parking Management and University Transportation Services will operate as usual. Buses will run, and all employees should park in their regular assigned parking locations;
  • Campus Mail Services will be closed on Jan. 3
2011 insurance premiums
Effective with Jan. 12 paycheck, all employees should review their pay stubs for correct insurance coverage and premiums. Employees are reminded to review 2011 “My Benefit” information using My Records to compare 2010 coverage to ensure all insurance levels of coverage have been updated correctly.

Education Assistance Program
  • Scheduled “sunset” of Education Assistance Program benefits under Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
  • Under this act, employers have been able to deduct up to $5,250 annually for qualifying education expenses paid for on behalf of an employee
  • Many of the education-related benefits, which were eligible for tax benefit, will not be available after Dec. 31
  • This provision of the act will “sunset” or end effective Dec. 31, barring that Congress extends this provision
  • Effective Jan. 1, employment tax withholdings will be applicable to Tuition Assistance payments as required by law
  • MUHA’s Tuition Assistance Program (HR Policy#17)—Under the “tax reporting” section (Section E.1), employees must determine their tax situation with respect to the benefit
  • It is the employee’s responsibility to seek advice regarding their personal situation
  • Additionally, Section E.2 of the policy will no longer be applicable with the sunset of the tax benefit
Quarterly new hire reception
Sponsored by MUHA administration, MUSC Excellence’s Employer of Choice and the Reward and Recognition teams from 1-2 p.m., Dec. 9, Ashley River Tower auditorium.

Benefit of the Month—December
  • Supplemental Medical Leave (SML)—Paid leave for personal or family member(s) and/or dependent(s) illnesses and/or doctor appointments.
  • To be eligible for transfer of accrued ESL to SML, employee must have 55 hours of accrued ESL, by close of last pay period of the calendar year
  • Eligible employees will automatically have up to 24 ESL hours transferred to SML
  • Request(s) for SML must be submitted on Request for Leave form
  • SML balance may not exceed 40 hours. SML balance is not paid out at the time of separation or transfer to an ineligible status
Growth—Growing to meet the needs of those we serve
Elizabeth S. Pilcher, DMD, assistant dean for institutional effectiveness, College of Dental Medicine and director of 2010-2015 MUSC Strategic Plan, was joined by David McNair, of the McNair Group, to give a briefing on the new plan.

Pilcher explained that the process began last fall following an academic vice president retreat involving MUSC leadership to evaluate the mission, vision and values that relate to the institution’s overall mission for

education, research and clinical service. A steering committee was formed, which includes Pilcher, McNair and Sabra Slaughter, Ph.D., MUSC Office of the President. Leaders identified four core themes of focus: Entrepreneurialism, Technology/Innovation, Globalization and Interprofessional/ Interdisciplinary.

According to Pilcher, each group has defined shared goals to help change the campus culture and enhance an appreciation of efforts for each of these themes. Next, organizers recruited faculty, staff and students to serve on the planning groups. Faculty came from the Trustees Leadership Academy, faculty senate, colleges and MUHA to establish work groups to determine each theme’s objectives and strategies.

Currently, the plan is working with an implementation and oversight committee to help execute and monitor the plan’s progress with the objectives and efforts from each theme’s operation teams. McNair noted that several MUHA leadership, Lisa Montgomery, Marilyn Schaffner and Casey Liddy, have already been involved in both the planning and operations team efforts. The plan is part of a long-term effort and vision to manage the institution’s economic situation and overall future goals. Implementation of the plan is set in proposed milestones set in six month, yearly, two to three years and four to five year increments.
Employees can learn more by visiting http://www.

The next Communications meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011.

Friday, Dec. 10, 2010

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