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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 Sept. 6

To Medical Center Employees

Last year we implemented the Influenza Vaccination policy (see on the medical center intranet), which involves free compulsory influenza vaccination. We consider the influenza vaccination essential for fitness for duty and necessary to fulfill public trust in MUSC as a health care provider.

The vaccination program was highly successful last year with a vaccination rate of 97 percent for hospital staff (MUHA) and 99 percent for medical staff. Other local hospitals have adopted similar policies. Vaccination policies of this nature are recommended by the Joint Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Carolina Hospital Association and other organizations.

Under our policy, personnel (as defined by the policy) are required to receive the influenza vaccine before reporting to active duty or during a designated time frame annually. Individuals who do not receive the vaccinations due to medical contraindication, religious or personal reasons will be required to wear a mask while on duty.

Individuals will be required to have the vaccine or sign a declination by Dec. 15. The flu season is expected to be from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2012, but is subject to change.

Plans are now being made to kick off the vaccination program this year. Influenza vaccination "tent dates" have been scheduled for Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 for university hospital from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and Sept. 27 from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. for Ashley River Tower. Additional clinic locations and details will be issued soon. Should anyone receive the vaccine elsewhere, then documentation needs to be given to Employee Health Services. Everyone's support and cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

On another matter, Wayne Brannan, director, University Risk Management, announced at the Sept. 6 communication meeting that for the 12th consecutive year the MUSC medical center (Hospital Authority) received the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce safety program award. Brannan explained the medical center's approximately 6,300 employees worked for more than 10 million hours and had a total of 17 lost time cases. Thanks to everyone for your efforts toward making the medical center a safe place to work.

The Heart Walk Hustle will be held in the Horseshoe on Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Heart Walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 17 at Liberty Square, next to the South Carolina Aquarium. For more information, visit the Heart Walk website at Everyone is encouraged to join a team and take part. For details, contact Lauren Allen, administrative resident, at 792-1073 or

Finally, medical center town hall meetings have been scheduled to take place from Sept. 21 - 30 at the times and locations listed below. Some large departments will also be scheduling department-based town hall meetings not indicated on the schedule below. The agenda will include a summary of our fiscal year (FY) 2011 goal accomplishments, an update on our FY 2012 goals, review of our employee partnership and culture of safety action plans and other topics.

Town Hall Meeting Schedule
Sept. 21, 2 p.m., 2 West Amphitheater; Sept. 22, 7 a.m., Storm Eye Auditorium, and 12 p.m., Institute of Psychiatry Auditorium; Sept. 23, 11 a.m., Ashley River Tower Auditorium; Sept. 26, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Storm Eye Auditorium; Sept. 27, 7 a.m., Ashley River Tower Auditorium, and 3 p.m., 2 West Amphitheater; Sept. 28, 7 a.m., 2 West Amphitheater, and 12 p.m. Ashley River Tower Auditorium; Sept. 29, 10 a.m., 2 West Amphitheater, and 2 p.m. Storm Eye Auditorium; Sept. 30, 10 a.m., 2 West Amphitheater

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

People–Fostering employee pride and loyalty

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

Performance evaluations
* Overall participation reported 94 percent employee compliance.
* 2012 planning forms should be signed by employees by Sept. 30.

HR Policy updates
* HR Policy #13 - Hazardous Weather and Emergencies (updated with new telephone numbers and terminology changes)
* HR Policy #14 - Emergency Disaster Staffing of Volunteer Practitioners (updated terminology)
* HR Policy #15 - Compensation: Holiday Shift Differential Clarification
1. Non-exempt employees in regular day positions (Monday-Friday) will not automatically be eligible for holiday shift differential
2. Eligible employees would be those who are required to work on the actual holiday
3. Time keepers will have to enter into Kronos
* HR Policy #4 - Employment Procedure (minor changes): Policy section:
1. Section A: Added "genetic information" (to comply with federal law)
2. Procedure Section: Section A.4 and A.5: deleted "working"
3. Section E: added "internal equity"
4. Section F: deleted "website"

PTO Policy #18 - Section F.2: Remove option for employees to request leave without pay for scheduled absences when accrued PTO hours are available. Exceptions: low census and military leave

Employment reminders
* Applications are to be signed for new hires as well as transfers. "Phone interview" on the signature line is not acceptable.
* During interview process, direct applicants to update applications when necessary. i.e. PCT who is now an R.N., but not reflected on application

2011 Annual Service Awards Ceremony
* The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m., Sept. 19 in the Basic Science Auditorium (Room 100).
* Employees who have completed 10, 20 and 30 years of service by June 30 will be honored.

New hire reception
* From 1 to 2 p.m. Sept. 7, College of Health Professions, Building A atrium
* Event opened to MUHA employees hired between April to June 2011 (celebrating 90 days working at MUSC)

Helping Hands
* New hires will have a small sticker placed on their badge clip to indicate to others that they may need a "helping hand."
* Stickers will be removed at the quarterly new hire reception marking their first 90 days of employment with MUHA or at their 90 day rounding session.

Benefit for the Month - September
MUSC's MoneyPlu$ program is MUHA's medical flexible spending account and health savings account. It allows eligible employees to pay for some of their or dependent's care's costs with pre-tax dollars (Federal, state and FICA). Employees decide how much to deduct from their paycheck. New employees may enroll in MoneyPlu$ and renewals may be conducted online. For information, visit the listing for other employee benefits in the MUHA HR web page.

Pharmacy patient safety, clinical awards
Heather Kokko, PharmD, director of Pharmacy Services, assisted Danielle Scheurer, M.D. medical director for quality & safety, Division of General and Internal Medicine, in thanking the MUSC Pharmacy staff for excellence in service to MUSC patients with the heparin monitoring program at both the university hospital pharmacy and ART pharmacy. Pharmacy staff participated with the hospital's anticoagulant subcommittee and other improvement initiatives. Kokko presented the MUSC's Patient Safety and Clinical Initiatives awards to clinical pharmacists Brad Easterly and Meredith Oliver, of both ART and the university hospital's inpatient pharmacies.

Service - Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence

Project Request System
Dan Furlong, OCIO, reviewed details with the new clinical project request submission process for projects requiring OCIO resources. This process is necessary for any project requiring two or more hours of work utilizing OCIO resources. To submit an OCIO request form or add a project request, visit the forms toolbox found in the MUHA intranet. Furlong urged applicants to provide as much details in the submission including project description, requestor, specific requirements, etc. Projects are evaluated and ranked by priority through a committee composed of leaders representing various medical center areas. He reminded users of a frequently asked questions page, which explains the project ranking system. For information, contact

Quality - Providing quality patient care in a safe environment

Wayne Brannan, University Risk Management director, shared news of a statewide award recognizing employee safety across the medical center. The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce recently presented MUHA with a Commendation Excellence Award as part of the 2010 Safety Recognition Program. It recognizes employee safety, including hours and days worked. The award recognizes the medical center's average of 6,246 faculty and employees, working more than 10 million and 17 lost-timed cases (injuries where time was lost). University employees also received the same Chamber safety award.

* Heart Walk Hustle will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 14 at the MUSC Horseshoe and portico. The MUSC community is invited to come out and support the event. Proceeds from food sales, silent auction and other fundraising will benefit the American Heart Association.

* Visiting nurse-lecturer Kathleen Bartholomew will present a free, 60-minute webcast seminar on nurse relationships and solutions for horizontal violence from 1-2 p.m., Oct. 4, 2West Amphitheater. Other locations to watch the seminar are being considered and will be announced.

* The next meeting is Sept. 20.



Friday, Sept. 9, 2011

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.