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    No Boundaries

    2017 Year in Review

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    The miricle is this: the more we share, the more we have.

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    Not all classrooms have four walls

Year in Review for 2017 | No Boundaries

Collaboration is the new competition.

MUSC Health has evolved from a local medical center into a nationally respected health sciences center. Our role now is to deliver the best care to patients, not just in the local region, but to patients anywhere and everywhere our expertise is needed.

Instead of hoarding scientific breakthroughs, we share our knowledge through leadership of nationwide clinical trials. Instead of expecting patients to come to us in Charleston, we make advanced medical care accessible to rural and underserved communities through clinics distant from our epicenter and through a robust telehealth network that is the envy of health systems across the country. Instead of co-opting patients as our own, we prefer those patients be treated by physicians close to their home.

This MUSC Health Year in Review tells stories of successful interventions in the vast geography from Puerto Rico to Las Vegas and penetrate the mysteries of structures tiny as a chromosome. Translational research accelerating application of scientific discoveries made at the Medical University of South Carolina. Bringing to market incredible devices that improve outcomes, shorten recovery and reduce pain. Clos- ing the gaps of disparity to afford opportunity for a quality of life for all. Creating business partnerships and clinical collaborations, led by physicians, that deliver both effective- ness and efficiency.

No boundaries. That’s how we change what’s possible in health care.

Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MHM, FACHE
CEO, MUSC Health
Vice President for Health Affairs
Medical University of South Carolina



Led by Integrated Centers of Clinical Excellence (ICCE) Chiefs, MUSC Health is committed to care models that improve the patient experience achieve optimum outcomes.

MUSC Health leaders share thoughts on the future of health care

MUSC Health's clinical leadership is committed to care models that improve the patient experience and achieve optimal patient outcomes.

MUSC Health Baldrige award recognition on fast track

MUSC Health achieved bronze status at the state level this year. And did so after less than two years of preparation.

Chanita Hughes-Halbert elected into the National Academy of Medicine

Membership in the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service.

MUSC and SCSU team up to tackle health disparities

MUSC's Dr. Marvella Ford is leading the effort to establish the South Carolina Cancer Disparities Research Center, or SC CADRE, funded by a $12.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.



Rather than hoarding our knowledge, we work to disseminate breakthroughs in scientific discovery by MUSC scientists and assist others in developing the tools and procedures that improve outcomes and quality of life.

MUSC one of only two national Telehealth Centers of Excellence

MUSC provides a quarter million telehealth services to more than 200 sites in 27 counties, 28 hospitals, more than 100 community clinics, 50 schools, nursing facilities, prisons and patients’ homes.

MUSC leads nationwide study to balance embolism risk

The purpose of the study is to combine information about effectiveness in preventing blood clots in the lungs and legs with information about the safety of the most commonly employed blood thinners.

MUSC offers physicians advances in the battle against opioid addiction

Doctors receive little education about opioids or alternative ways of managing pain. MUSC physician scientists offer guidance and a new buprenorphine implant to manage opioid addiction.

Behind-the-scenes collaboration saves 30 lives in rural South Carolina ICU

Chief medical officer at rural hospital, trained at the Medical University of South Carolina, employs tele-ICU and saves 2,900 hospital days, 900 ICU days and saves $1.9 million for rural hospital.

Predicting adolescent alcohol consumption based on 34 factors

Kids who start drinking at 15 are four times more likely to develop an alcohol-use disorder. MUSC researchers have identified 34 factors that could be useful in predicting adolescent alcohol consumption.

Ambitious long-term study of brain development is the largest in the nation

MUSC is one of 21 research sites recruiting 11,500 children ages 9 to10. The children are followed into adulthood looking for biomarkers for high-risk behaviors including suicide, major medical illness and substance abuse.



Compassion is a core value of the Medical University of South Carolina. Putting patients and families first is always the driver of what we do.

Government calls on MUSC to address mass violence

MUSC’s National Crime Victims Research & Treatment Center hired to develop a Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center tending to survivors of Las Vegas shooting and other tragedies.

MUSC psychologists take trauma expertise to Puerto Rico

A team of MUSC psychologists planned to train about 600 teachers in Puerto Rico in how to help school children traumatized by the impact of Hurricane Maria. It ended up being thousands.

Effect of trauma on brain development

Seventy percent of children will experience some kind of traumatic event.  NIMH study at MUSC called CHARM follows 360 young victims of trauma to see long-term effects.



Advancing new knowledge and scientific discoveries is one of five strategic goals. We accept the challenge to accelerate our discoveries in basic science, to translation to bedside.

CAR-T immunotherapy offers hope to young patients with leukemia

MUSC is poised to become the only CTL019 center in South Carolina offering immunotherapy for patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia who have not responded to standard treatment or have had the cancer recur.

Options for lung cancer patients improving with TIL therapy

A multidisciplinary team of MUSC investigators is working at the interface of therapy and genetics to develop treatment options for patients with lung cancer called Tumor-Infiltrating T lymphocyte -- or TIL -- therapy.

Plaque brachytherapy is a sight for sore eyes

A procedure saves vision in some patients with ocular melanoma in which a gold disc studded with radioactive seeds is fitted in the back of the eye. It is effective in killing the tumor in 98 percent of cases.

Novel 10-trial approach accelerates cancer breakthroughs

Thirty researchers are collaborating the across academic and corporate borders to roll out 10 Stand Up to Cancer Catalyst clinical trials that combine cancer treatments from nine pharmaceutical companies.

Multilevel drug screen shows promise for treating familial hypercholesterolemia (FH)

Cardiac glycoside found in the foxglove plant could reduce LDL cholesterol differently than statins. Tests are being run on liver-like cells derived from stem cells out of skin fibroblasts from FH patient’s liver.

Gift of the Magi may be a treatment for cancer

Cancer surgeon and researcher Nancy Demore, M. D., is leading a clinical trial using frankincense to treat breast and colon cancer. Boswellic acid, the extract from Indian frankincense, is similar to other anti-inflammatory drugs.

MUSC developing fresh surgical approaches to stroke

MUSC Health’s Comprehensive Stroke Center doctors Turner, Spiotta and Lena were the first in the world to treat patients using to new devices for surgical treatment of hemorrhagic stroke.

MUSC neurosurgeon proves necessity is the mother of invention

Among other devices, Bruce Frankel, M. D., has developed a smart instrument that allows for the attachment of multiple surgical tools that can be visualized by ultrasound built into the handle.

Concussions identified in the blink of an eye

The Blink Reflexometer, developed at MUSC, has the potential to better identify concussions and help more than 400,000 children and teenagers who suffer sports-related concussions each year,

Robotic revolution – use of the da Vinci SI System in new procedures

Mitral valve repair and DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery were offered at MUSC in 2017. Over 90 percent of degenerative mitral valves are suitable for repair, rather than replacement.

HNCI-designated cancer center Hollings Cancer Center Clinical Trials

These include phase 1 and 2 trials for a sphingosine kinase inhibitor, two clinical trials on the effect of  advanced glycation end products and the first upfront pediatric precision medicine trial in neuroblastoma.



MUSC will foster a lifelong learning environment for students, staff, and faculty. Interprofessionalism, team building, and technology will serve as our foundation as we seek to enhance the value of our educational initiatives, which extend beyond our six colleges and training programs to our patients and the communities we serve.

MUSC collaborates on operating room design

MUSC is working with Spartanburg Regional Health System and Clemson University on modern architectural principles to create a focused, comprehensive and efficient design that enhances the patient care experience.

Work-family balance can tip wrong way for young doctors

An ongoing study looks at why women run greater risk for depression during internship years and later. An MUSC psychiatrist is exploring the use of mobile technology tools to prevent suicidal ideation and depression.

MUSC MyQuest a national model for continuing education

MyQuest was the bronze winner of the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award for Best Launch of a Corporate Learning University. MUSC launched more than 117,000 events in addition to annual requirements.

Residents’ reporting is key to safety improvements

MUSC Health’s chief quality officer developed an incentive program that rewards trainees for meeting goals aligned with institutional quality goals. Culture of safety scores continue to rise.

MUSC med students transform clinic for Spanish speakers

Once a month, the student-run Cares Clinic is staffed with students who speak Spanish and a certified Spanish interpreter to care for patients who only speak Spanish.