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MUSC Health Blog

Date: Jan 2018

How many times have you heard or said: “New year, new you”? Probably too many times to count. About this time of year, many have started their New Year resolutions. But research shows that only 19 percent of people who make resolutions are successful. Since one of the most common resolutions involves exercising, I am here to give you a little insight into how we use resolutions in sports medicine.

In rehabilitation of injuries, the sports medicine team works with the patient to create goals for returning to function and activity. We never just say, “Your goal is to return to sport.” That is not specific. Likewise, you should never set nonspecific goals such as “I am going to exercise more” or “I am going to lose weight.” In rehabilitation, we use the SMART framework to formulate goals for our patients. It is an acronym for the following components of a goal:

Specific – Keep goals simple. They should clearly define what you plan to do.
Measurable – How are you going to determine progress? How are you going to determine if you achieved the goal?
Achievable – The goal is realistic given the timing, conditions, and environment.
Relevant – You actually care about the goal. It directly relates to your life and well-being.
Time-Bound – Set very specific timelines to meet your goal. Remember it is okay for those timelines to adapt and change. Focus on the progress.

An example of a SMART goal for an injured basketball player: Return to basketball with no limitations or restrictions within 6 months, so he is ready in time for varsity tryouts.

This goal is much more specific and measurable. It also sets us up to create hundreds of short-term goals along the way, such as “patient will gain 10 degrees of active range of motion of knee flexion within 2 weeks following surgery.” The SMART framework provides the athlete with actionable steps and enhanced motivation.

Here are a few additional points that are important when making goals for injured athletes. They're also applicable to your resolutions.

  1. Form a tribe.
    When our patients are recovering from injuries, they have a support team behind them here at MUSC. Find your support team and encourage it to keep you motivated.
     
  2. Don’t be restrictive.
    During rehabilitation, we focus on the abilities of the patient, rather than the disabilities. Focus on all the abilities you are creating for yourself with your new resolution. If you focus on the restrictions (“I can’t eat sweets,” “I can’t watch TV because I’m exercising”), you are setting yourself up for failure.
     
  3. Be passionate.
    Athletes are generally very motivated people. Why is that? It’s because they love what they do. If your resolution is to incorporate more cardio into your exercise routine, find a cardio-based activity that you love. Don’t spend hours on the treadmill, if it is not something that gets you fired up.

It’s not too late! If you have a resolution in this new year, stop what you are doing right now, and ask yourself: Is it a SMART goal? If not, get out your pen and paper and make a plan by writing down the S-M-A-R-T of your goal. Make sure you are truly passionate about this goal and go find your tribe. Like our athletes at MUSC Health do every day, you too, can accomplish your goals.

Rendering of the new comprehensive cardiology floor of the Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital
Rendering of the new comprehensive cardiology floor PCICU corridors and the courtyard waiting area

MUSC Children’s Heart Center has consistently been named one of the top pediatric heart centers in the country by U.S. News & World Report, with a ranking of #11 for 2017-2018. And our 99 percent, 30-day survival rate following complex cardiac surgery ranks us among the best centers in the world and in the top group of U.S. News-ranked elite centers.  

Looking down the road are new changes that will propel us to even greater heights. Two world-class facilities directly impacting cardiac services for patients are under construction now. The new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion is slated to open in fall 2019 in downtown Charleston with the entire third floor dedicated to comprehensive cardiac care.

No other center in the region can provide the scope or depth of care for children with heart problems Including open-heart surgeries, heart transplantation, ventricular-assist device implantation and more. The unit will feature up to 29 cardiac ICU and step-down beds and allows for maximum flexibility so that some beds may be converted from one use to another when needed.

The floor will include catheterization/electrophysiology suites and cardiac-specific operating suites. It also allows for hybrid procedures, combining surgical and catheterization procedures simultaneously for the advanced treatment of children born with congenital heart anomalies.

Inpatient services will be centralized in a single location allowing the medical team to respond more quickly and efficiently to a patient’s changing condition, and patients will benefit with less movement from unit to unit.

In addition to the new children’s hospital, also under construction is the new MUSC Children’s Health Ambulatory Campus in North Charleston. This 100,000-square-foot facility opens in early 2019 and will serve as a hub for outpatient services for cardiac patients in the tri-county area. Among its many amenities are a pediatric outpatient surgical facility and pediatric multispecialty medical office building that will include an urgent care clinic, imaging facility and infusion rooms.

Cardiac services at MUSC Children’s continue to expand and grow with the recent return of two MUSC former physicians. 

John Rhodes, M.D.
Dr. John Rhodes

Dr. John Rhodes, a pediatric and adult congenital invasive cardiologist, will serve as operations director for the Congenital Heart Center and as an invasive/interventional specialist for children and adults with congenital heart disease. Dr. Rhodes completed his residency in pediatrics at MUSC, and we are very happy about his return.

Prior to joining MUSC, Dr. Rhodes worked from 2003 to 2013 at Duke University Medical Center as chief of the Duke Children’s Heart Center, director of the Pediatric & Adult Congenital Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, and co-director of the Adult Congenital Heart Program. More recently, Dr. Rhodes worked from 2013-2017 at Nicklaus Children’s Health System in Miami as director of cardiology, director of adult congenital and director of the Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.

He has great enthusiasm about the new Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and says the future hospital and the opportunity to return to the academic and research settings were contributing factors to his return.

Dr. Rhodes clinical interests involve diagnostic and interventional catheterization procedures for children and adults with complex congenital heart disease. He has helped pioneer several techniques, including transcatheter atrial septal defect (ASD) closure with the CARDIOFORM Gore Helex™ Septal Occluder device, intracardiac echocardiographic imaging to guide catheter interventions, cutting balloon angioplasty of stenotic branch pulmonary arteries, and pulmonary vein stent angioplasty for pulmonary vein stenosis following radiofrequency ablation of atrial fibrillation.

He also served as the national principal investigator for the REDUCE trial for the management of patients for stroke-related patent foramen ovale device closure and is an investigator for trial including the Edwards Lifesciences transcatheter Sapien pulmonary stent valve, the MELODY pulmonary stent valve post approval study, the new CARDIOFORM Gore ASD Occluder device, and bare metal as well as covered stent angioplasty for coarctation of the aorta.

Dr. Heather Henderson
Dr. Heather Henderson

There is equal excitement about Dr. Heather Henderson’s return and her new role.  Dr. Henderson earned her medical degree from MUSC, and we are fortunate for her return. She is a board-certified pediatric cardiologist with expertise in pediatric cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and heart transplantation. Dr. Henderson will co-manage the heart failure/heart transplant program. She works part of the time in general cardiology but also works with transplant patients, those children who are waiting for a transplant and those who have had one, both in the patient’s home and at the hospital.

She graduated from the College of Charleston before earning her medical degree. She completed her pediatric internship and residency at the University of Alabama Birmingham, followed by a pediatric cardiology fellowship at Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Dr. Henderson completed an additional year of advanced training in pediatric heart failure and transplantation at Emory University. Her clinical interests include pediatric cardiomyopathies, especially those related to chemotherapy and neuromuscular disorders. She specializes in heart failure management from cardiomyopathy and congenital heart disease, including the use of mechanical circulatory support and ventricular assist devices when necessary, as well as the care of heart transplant recipients.

Asked about the new children’s hospital, she said, “I am ecstatic.” She looks forward to cardiology being located on one floor in the new hospital, eliminating the need for staff and patients to move between floors, which she knows will result in benefits for patients.

Dr. Clarice Clemmens“A Fan for All Seasons”

Where the Blue Ridge yawns its greatness or where the Ashley River meets the Cooper River – Clarice Clemmens, M.D., pediatric ENT at MUSC Children’s Health has embraced the many charms of South Carolina’s culture. The Idaho native, turned Clemson fan-fanatic cannot imagine a more perfect place to have a career as a pediatric ENT provider or raise her family.

Clarice first moved to South Carolina in 2001 when she accepted an academic scholarship to Clemson University and joined the soccer team. While her soccer career eventually faded, her love for the Clemson Tigers did not. “I had no connection to Clemson prior to my college experience,” she explains from her office decorated in orange, purple and tiger paws, “but my family and I are now dedicated Clemson fans. Our kids even named their Elf on the Shelf 'Dabo.'”

Clarice currently lives on James Island with her husband and three kids, ages 4, 2, and 4 months old. “Between working as a full-time surgeon and 3 kids under the age of 5, life is pretty busy,” continues Clarice. In the beginning of this journey, she instinctively knew she would pursue a career in medicine and most likely in pediatrics, but the decision to pursue a surgical field came as a surprise. “I fainted at the site of blood when I enrolled in medical school, and I could never quite imagine myself as a surgeon,” Clarice explains. “Fortunately, my father who is also a surgeon encouraged me to accompany him into the OR during my first year of medical school and the rest is history.”

Clarice completed medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina followed by an ENT residency at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania and a pediatric ENT fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She eventually found her way back to Charleston in 2015 when she joined the pediatric ENT team at MUSC Children’s Health.

 Beyond her skills as a surgeon, Dr. Clemmens is the only fellowship-trained female pediatric ENT specialist in the state of South Carolina, a differentiation in which she takes great pride. “I feel that I bring a unique perspective in my approach to patient care, and can appreciate the concerns of parents as both a physician and a mother,” explains Clemmens. “I understand how difficult it can be to watch your child suffer, and use this understanding in addition to my medical training to guide to my patients and families through their individual situations.”

Through the years, she has discovered there are many families who are huge fans of the Clemson Tigers, but what we also know is that here in the Lowcountry; there are also huge fans of Clarice Clemmens. MUSC is so grateful for her talents and dedication she brings to our team. Go team Clemmens!  

Special guests visit Health Sports Human Physiology, Psychology Classes

Alecia Good and Savior
Athletic trainer Alecia Good and Saviour

November 14 was, for Pinewood's Head Athletic Trainer Alecia Good, a member of the MUSC Health Sports Medicine Team, "a wonderful reminder" of why she is a teacher. Good scheduled her friend Maurice Johnson, CO, BOCO, C.Ped, a certified orthotist and certified pedorthist from Floyd Brace Company (and Pinewood parent), to guest lecture in her Human Physiology and Psychology classes. Johnson asked to bring a model to help explain what he does for a living. The model was Saviour, a 10-year old boy from Ghana, Africa, who was born with cerebral palsy.

In Saviour's tribe, if babies are born with an anomaly (birth defect, maternal death, disease, or even twins or triplets), these babies are considered "spirit children" and are thought to have evil spirits that will be bad for the rest of the tribe. The parents are forced to make a difficult decision of moving the entire family to a "witch camp," where food and water are scarce, or getting rid of the "spirit child" and poisoning the baby.

Saviour was rescued by a local nun, Sister Stan, who cares for 57 other spirit children. Saviour could not walk or talk and got around by dragging himself by his hands. The scars on his knuckles mark the daily struggle he endured.

Sister Stan, through her charity, reached out to a retired nurse, Joan Tucker, who traveled to Ghana and advocated for surgery for Saviour. A long and difficult process finally brought Saviour to Shriners Hospital in Greenville, where he underwent a major reconstructive surgery at the end of June. He worked with a physical therapist to help build his strength and mobility. The physical therapist then referred him to Johnson for ankle foot orthotics.

Johnson, his assistant, Tucker, and Saviour all visited Good's classes that day. "Saviour spoke few words, but his smile lit up the room," said Good. He donned traditional attire as worn by chiefs in his tribe. He also had specially made New Balance shoes that provided a lift for a shorter leg. He had some orthosis on, but Johnson wanted to mold him for a new pair.

During Physiology class, Johnson explained the process of fitting, fabricating, and molding orthoses. He made casts on the ever-smiling Saviour and explained how they would help him walk. Saviour demonstrated his ability to walk across the room with one crutch and assistance from Tucker.

During Psychology class Johnson talked about the ability to allow his patients to participate more fully in life. Through the orthosis and a crutch, Saviour would now be able to move around and will not have to be carried or crawl.

Saviour's smile got even bigger when Tucker spoke about how excited he was to show his brothers and sisters in the orphanage how he could walk. Saviour plans to head home to Ghana in January, and Tucker will stay with him for a month while he learns to transition back into his regular life.

During the visit, the class also discussed the challenges Saviour will face after returning home. He will continue to grow, which creates the need for new shoes, braces, and longer crutches. Saviour and his team are hopeful these needs will all be met in time.

Said Good of the experience, "I'm not sure who learned more yesterday, my students or me. I thought that I was bringing in a guest lecturer to talk about a healthcare profession, but it was so much more. Instead of being the model, Saviour became the teacher.

"His story moved many of us to tears. His smile spoke volumes. His faith that has been instilled in him through Sister Stan was unshakable. The few words that he did speak brought joy to all our hearts. Saviour's presence was more impactful than any textbook could ever describe, any guest lecturer could ever explain, or any lesson I could ever plan."

Anna King, '18, also reflected on the visit: "It was an eye-opening experience that I will never forget. It was awesome to see how the things we are learning right now can help so many people in need."

For more information about Sister Stan's work, visit www.sisterstanschildren.org.

 

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