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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 April 3

To Medical Center Employees

On Saturday, March 24 at approximately 6 p.m. we unfortunately experienced a fire and smoke on the MUH 8th floor Center in a storage area. The fire was confined to mattresses and sheets. The City of Charleston Fire Marshall is conducting an investigation and to date no findings have been released.

The 8th floor Center was affected by smoke and water, the 9th floor was affected by smoke, 6 Center and 7 (PT and call rooms) were affected by water. Elevator D had significant water damage.

Nancy Tassin, R.N., Musculoskeletal Service Line administrator, served as the communications coordinator. Ms. Tassin reported that the response and teamwork by everyone involved was exceptional. Nursing and support staff followed the fire procedure for quick and safe relocation of 35 patients. The City Fire Department responded rapidly to the alarm and in an outstanding fashion. Internally, the response teams included: Facilities Management, Security, Emergency Management/Clinical Disaster Control, Risk Management, Environmental Services, Public Safety, Central Supply, Biomedical Engineering, Admit/Transfer Center (Bed Management), Disaster Control (contracted service), Public Relations, Hospital Supervisors and others. The affected floors were cleaned up in relatively short order and patients were returned to their respective rooms by 8 a.m. Sunday morning or sooner.

Elevator D is currently out of service. We have asked our elevator vendor to accelerate repairs by any means practical, but we anticipate it will take up to six weeks to complete. Temporary signage has been placed throughout the hospital to re-route patients and visitors to the most suitable elevators. For years our behavioral standards have been to "help lost guests find their way." At this time we need to be particularly focused on helping patients and visitors to the elevators most suited for their destinations.

I commend everyone for your dedicated service. While the overall response was exceptional, there are always learning opportunities from events. We will use our findings from an analysis of the event to make continued improvements.

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

People–Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Employee of the Month
Anabel Sanchez, Elena Rivera and Hazel Washington, Release of Information Birth Clerks/Paternity Team, were recognized for their improvement efforts. Working with the needs of the patients, they were able to achieve a No. 2 state rating by DHEC. (Elise Graham)

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

  • New Employee Commitment Survey – Survey dates: April 16 to April 27; Leader and Ambassador Orientation Program – Sign up via CATTS and training scheduled throughout April 5.
  • Administrative support orientation – HR has announced that Administrative Support Orientation documents are now available via the intranet: The documents are intended for employees who are new to a role of administrative support for a manager, director or administrator. For information, contact Kim Duncan, 792-1962, or Karen Rankine, 792-7690.
  • HR is now accepting faxed or scanned copies of W-4 forms in addition to original copies.
  • 2012 Hospital Week Kickoff Event – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 3; Event features a fun department or unit competition. Top three departments with the highest participation rate at the end of the event will win a pizza party. Participants can check in at the registration table and participate in any of the event games – obstacle course, field noodle hockey, tug-of-war, hula hoop race and much more.
  • MUSC Family Night at the Charleston RiverDogs – 5:05 p.m. game, May 6 (Tickets are $5 each); Ticket sales: April 5 and April 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Children's Hospital lobby; April 23, 24 and April 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., university hospital (near Starbucks); Ashley River Tower location date and time to be announced.

Finance – Providing the highest value to patients while ensuring financial stability
Patty Burn, Hospital Payroll manager, shared a win for the hospital. For the last six months, about 6,570 MUHA employees who are paid bi-weekly achieved 100 percent direct deposit or use of direct pay card. Burn recognized MUHA HR with their orientation efforts, hospital managers and Payroll staff Diana White, Kay Passailaigue and Susan Black for helping to achieve this goal.

Quality – Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Susan Johnson, Ph.D., Employee Wellness Program coordinator, unveiled the new MUSC Moves! Fitness Campaign as an initiative to transform MUSC into a physically active workplace. Organizers will be conducting a campuswide fitness survey, outfit department and hospital area break rooms with equipment to be a mini gym for staff; promote indoor and outdoor walking trails and other fitness events. For information, visit

The MUSC Urban Farm – Spring: pilot growing season; Summer: Pavilion construction; September: official launch event; Fall: full program implementation; also planned: work and learns, farm committees, etc.

Service – Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence

Heather Woolwine, Office of Public Relations Media Relations director, reviewed information and protocol associated with MUSC's patient condition report procedures. Woolwine reminded managers that the guidelines are in place to protect patients and families related to media inquiries about a patient's condition. Release of information without written consent is a violation of HIPAA. In the process, a PR representative will locate the patient's location and call the corresponding unit to verify the patient's current status of good, fair, serious or critical. No additional information beyond these words is needed or will be requested by Public Relations. For information, contact Woolwine, 792-7669.

SANE program
Deb Browning, R.N., Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program director, reminded managers that April is National Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness month. According to research, sexual assault occurs in 1:6 women and 1:33 men. Sexual assault is under reported both in S.C. and nationally. Browning helped establish MUSC's SANE team in 2010, which provides 24/7 service to the MUSC ED for survivors of sexual assault.
The team includes Kathy Gill-Hopple, Ph.D., R.N., program coordinator; Nancy Hall, R.N., staff education coordinator, Janet Ward, R.N., community outreach coordinator and eight team nurses. Their mission is to assist victims of sexual violence by providing an immediate, compassionate and comprehensive forensic evaluation and treatment. Since its establishment, the team have treated 98 patients (May to December 2010); 174 patients (2011) and 30 (January to March). So far the team has assisted in two cases that went to court trial with successful prosecutions. Throughout April, the group will be involved in events including Take Back the Night, April 12; Sex Signals Improv Group and a 5K Awareness Run at the Naval Weapons Station.

MUHA's Center for Clinical Effectiveness & Patient survey, which was initiated April 2, will continue until April 13.

MUSC Earth Day celebration will occur from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 12 in the horseshoe with a Bike to Work event from 6-9 a.m. at Clyburn Plaza. Event will feature live music, food vendors, eco-creafts, plants, test drive of electric vehicles, etc. Visit

Karen Driggers, R.N., is the new nurse manager in Women & Infant Services' 5East Postpartum area. Driggers was formerly the Family Medicine clinical manager since 2008.

The next meeting is scheduled April 17.



Friday, April 6, 2012

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.