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                          Studies Public Relations Research
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                          Happenings Campus
                          News Applause


Employee Wellness

Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and time for a cookout, weekend at the beach or outing on the water. A few precautions will help keep it a safe holiday weekend for friends and family.

Sun Safety — Long periods of time in the outdoors lead to risk of burns and heat-related illnesses. To minimize risk, follow these simple tips:

  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 to protect against harmful UVA and reapply often.
  • Wear sunglasses that absorb at least 90 percent of ultraviolet sunlight to protect the eyes from the sun's rays and glare coming off the water.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, fruit juice or sports beverages to replace salts and minerals lost during heavy sweating.

    Food Safety — Follow these easy tips to keep everyone safe from food-borne illness.
  • Wash hands and surfaces to avoid cross-contaminating raw meat with other foods.
  • Keep coolers at 40 F that contain perishable items such as meat. Keep drinks in a separate cooler, since it will be opened more often.
  • Take-out foods like fried chicken or barbecue should be eaten within two hours of purchase or thoroughly chilled before adding to the cooler and transporting.
  • To be sure bacteria are destroyed, cook hamburgers and ribs to 160 F or until the center is no longer pink and the juices are clear. Cook ground poultry to 165 F and poultry parts to 180 F.

    Boat and Beach Safety — Remember these tips when enjoying the beach and boating activities this weekend:
  • If caught in a rip current, stay calm, don't fight the current. Escape by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • Lightning can strike up to five miles away from the main storm cloud. If thunder is heard, leave the beach or return to shore if out on a boat.
  • Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat or the swimming ability of boaters; life jackets can reduce risk for weaker swimmers too.
  • Supervise children, swim with a buddy and avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating or participating in water sports.

    Employee Wellness events

  • Lunchtime Losers: The next class will be held from noon – 1 p.m., Sept. 6 at the Institute of Psychiatry. This is a 10-week lifestyle change weight loss class intended to teach behavior changes that will promote healthy eating, healthy exercise and weight loss. Email to enroll.
  • MUSC's Pitch the Pack Program: Free smoking cessation program offered to MUSC employees and students. Classes, counseling and a one-month supply of medications are available to eligible participants. Receive a complementary success kit at enrollment filled with gifts. Enroll at
  • Zumba at Harborview Office Tower: Join licensed Zumba instructor Felecia Curry for a weekly Wednesday night Zumba class held from 5 – 6 p.m. in Room 910, Harborview Office Tower. Zumba is a dance-based aerobic exercise class. Email or call 822-6136 for more information or to register.
  • Farmers market: Fresh fruits and vegetables are available from local farmers from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Friday in the Horseshoe and in the area next to Ashley River Tower.

Contact Susan Johnson, Ph.D., at for information on the Office of Health Promotion and Suzan Benenson Whelan at for information about Employee Wellness.


Friday, Aug. 31, 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.