News and updates from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
September 29, 2022
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update
Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
Research in the Department
Ranked 11th in the nation among departments of psychiatry in total research funding from the National Institutes of Health, MUSC Psychiatry is the single largest research department in the College of Medicine.

The Survivors of Homicide Support Group held its 16th annual Day of Remembrance at the Charleston County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) this past Sunday. The event was part of National Day of Remembrance, a day to honor those lost to homicide.


The Survivors of Homicide Support Group, organized by the CCSO Victims' Assistance Program and the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, is a program for family survivors of homicide to give and receive support in a safe and confidential setting.


Numerous news organizations were on hand to document the Day of Remembrance event. Links to their coverage and stories are listed below:


ABC News 4

Live 5 News

News 2


A live-stream recording of the event from CCSO is also available here.

Do you know an employee who has gone the extra mile recently? Nominate them for the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences' MVP Award! This award will be given quarterly to an employee nominated by their peers for going above and beyond in the workplace. For more information or to nominate an employee, please visit our Employee Recognition Page on the Horseshoe.

All MUHA and MUSCP employees as well as clinical providers (physicians, residents, fellows, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, etc.) are required to have flu shots or have completed the declination by Dec. 2. University employees are also encouraged to get a flu shot. For additional information on the policy and where to upload documentation, please see the link below. 


Flu Vaccine Information

The College of Charleston will be hosting a research matchmaking session (connecting potential mentors and mentees) next week and MUSC faculty are invited to participate. This is a great opportunity for researchers in our department to connect with potential undergraduate student mentees and collaborators at CofC.


When: Tuesday, October 4 from 4:00-6:00 p.m.


Where: SSMB Atrium and Courtyard (202 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC)


What: Learn more at


How: Faculty registration is at
MUSC to help with psychological first aid in Puerto Rico in Fiona's aftermath

On Monday, psychologists from the Medical University of South Carolina will hold a training session at a university in Puerto Rico via Zoom. They’ll coach participants on how to offer psychological first aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona on an island still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria’s 2017 strike.


Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo, Ph.D., an associate professor in MUSC’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, grew up in Puerto Rico and will lead the training session. She knows firsthand what it’s like to recover from a big storm in the U.S. territory, which gets walloped every seven or eight years. She’s also getting reports about Fiona’s impact from family members on the island.


“My mom and my sister and my brother are all fine, physically. Their homes are intact. None of them have power, and water just returned today. But everyone there knows a direct family member or friend who had flooding damage or losses.”


Some of those people are still scarred by the effects of Hurricane Maria, the most catastrophic storm to hit Puerto Rico in decades. It led to around 3,000 deaths by some estimates and took out a lot of the island’s infrastructure, including the electrical system.


Monday’s training session is a continuation of MUSC’s involvement with Puerto Rico, a connection that began after Maria. In 2017, a friend in Puerto Rico told Orengo-Aguayo the education secretary was looking for people who could come up with a comprehensive plan to help teachers and students deal with Maria’s aftermath. Schools were closed, utilities were out and loved ones were leaving.


For Orengo-Aguayo, it was a no-brainer. “I think as professionals, we sometimes leave the personal out of the professional life. But in our team, we're the opposite. I’m Puerto Rican, so that will forever be my home.”

She and her colleagues used a grant they already had from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to train Puerto Rican teachers in how to take care of their own mental health while also caring for the kids who weathered the storm.
Since that team’s first visit in October of 2017, the MUSC psychologists have been back multiple times to continue their work. “In the last four years, we trained Puerto Rican providers to do trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy,” Orengo-Aguayo said.
Dr. Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo

D & I Research Interest Group

Contact: Rochelle F. Hanson, Ph.D., NCVC,

Meeting Dates, Topics and Presenters


The intent of this is group is to bring together researchers interested in learning more about implementation science. The group is open to those new to the field, as well as those who may already be engaged in implementation research. Below is a list of upcoming presentations and presenters. As you’ll see, we are fortunate to have an outstanding group, several of whom are outside of MUSC. Please email Rochelle Hanson ( if you are interested in participating. All meetings will be held via Zoom.


NOTE: Presentations will be at 1 p.m. EST, with the exception of 9/30.

Zoom Link:

Rochelle Hanson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 297 554 9831

Passcode: 380351

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Additional Topics:


Hybrid designs – Geoff Curran, Sara Landes

Other special topics: Sarah Helseth, Shannon Self-Brown

Open dates – journal club, sharing grant ideas
Join our Free NAMI Family to Family Program!
NAMI Family to Family Program
Join our free NAMI Family to Family Program, an 8-week educational course for family members and friends of those with a serious mental illness. The course is instructed by trained NAMI family members. 
Starting September 28th, join us Wednesdays from 6:00-8:30 p.m., ending November 16th 2022. 
The program is located at MUSC, Institute of Psychiatry, 5 North #526 Classroom, 67 President Street, in downtown Charleston, SC. 
You must pre-register. Spots are still open!
To register, contact Sharon Diamond, (843) 570-6109, or email
Benefitting MUSC CARES Clinic
Let's pig out at Lewis Barbecue while supporting the MUSC CARES Clinic, a student-run nonprofit medical clinic that provides free health care to the community and an invaluable educational experience for College of Medicine students. 
A $20 ticket will get you a plate of delicious barbecue. There will also be a cash bar and a silent auction. All auction proceeds and $9 from every ticket sold supports the clinic. 
Date and Time

Due to the threat of inclement weather, the CARES Clinic BBQ has been rescheduled for Thursday, November 3rd. Please make plans to join the fun on this new date!

6 to 9 p.m.
Lewis Barbecue
464 North Nassau St
Charleston, SC 29403
A call for nominations is underway for the MUSC ARROW Award for the Advancement of
Women Faculty. The purpose of the award is to recognize the MUSC faculty member who
best demonstrates excellence in his/her commitment to the advancement and promotion of women faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina.
The recipient of this annual award will be announced November 2022, and a reception
honoring the awardee will be scheduled in December 2022, social distancing measures
and University directives permitting. In addition to a commemorative plaque, the recipient
will receive a monetary award.

  • The nominee must be a full-time faculty member
  • The nominee must be currently employed with MUSC
Selection Criteria:

This award is given to an MUSC faculty member (male or female) for excellence in enhancing the careers of MUSC women faculty. The following criteria should guide your nomination:
  • Demonstrates personal commitment to the advancement and promotion of women faculty at MUSC
  • Actively mentors women faculty; encourages and supports their advancement
  • Serves as a role model for others
Required Application Materials:
  1. Completed nomination form (Self-nominations are accepted)
  2. A one-page letter of support from the person making the nomination
  3. Two additional supporting letters (maximum 2 pages each)
  4. Nominee’s bio-sketch that includes examples of their investment in faculty development
    efforts (e.g., publications, programs, activities and/or policies established or actively
    supported focused on faculty development)
  5. Nominee’s mentoring table (listing women mentees)
Submission of Application Materials:

Nomination packets should be submitted as one single PDF file to the ARROW
program coordinator at no later than 5:00 PM, October 7, 2022. The recipient will be formally announced no later than November 4, 2022.

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to the ARROW program
coordinator at
ARROW CDP Flyer Header
2023 Career Development Program:
Promotion & Tenure
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Register at by November 4, 2022
Applications are now being accepted for a half-day Career Development Program (CDP) entirely focused on promotion and tenure. This program will be held in person on Thursday, March 9th, 2023 from approximately 8:30am - 12:30 pm for faculty who are planning to submit their promotion or tenure application in the next two years. The program is open to both women and men faculty in all ranks and tracks (tenure and non-tenure track) and is sponsored by ARROW (Advancement, Recruitment, and Retention of Women). Early and mid-career faculty are highly encouraged to apply.

The goal of the 2023 program is to provide faculty with personalized feedback on key elements of their drafted promotion OR tenure package. Morning sessions will include a panel discussion with recently promoted faculty and general information sessions on the promotion and tenure process. Small group college-specific breakout sessions will follow, in which college-specific criteria will be discussed and attendees will receive personalized feedback on their drafted promotion or tenure materials. To participate, you will be required to submit an updated CV and drafted personal statement/summary/cover letter six weeks prior to the program for review by a faculty mentor.
Space is limited and faculty will be selected based on their CDP application. The deadline for applying to the CDP is Friday, November 4, 2022. Your division director, chair, or dean must agree that you will be released from all duties to attend the program. If you have already participated in the 2021 half-day CDP promotion program, you are not eligible for the 2023 program. Attendees will be selected and notified by November 23, 2022.
Contact Rachel Simmons at with any questions about the application or program
Do you have
and use CANNABIS?
If so, you may be eligible to participate in a confidential research study being conducted at MUSC. Compensation is available to those who qualify. If interested, call (843) 792-7500 or email
IRB Number: Pro00112593
Date Approved 7/8/2022
Project ECHO
DART seminar
Pain rehab flyer
The purpose of this research is to test out a new way of treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) with low intensity focused ultrasound pulsation (LIFUP). If the subject agrees to participate in the research study, the participation will last approximately 10.5 hours over seven (7) days. The visits are as follows: 1- consent and MRI, 2- and 3- focused ultrasound will be delivered outside of the MRI environment, 4- MRI plus focused ultrasound, 5- assessments 1 week post focused ultrasound, and 6- one month follow-up assessments. Research studies are voluntary and include only people who agree to take part.
MUSC Health Weight Management Center
IRB Approved at the Study Level
Sep 10, 2020
Weight Loss
Research Study
For Overweight Men and Women
Medical University of South Carolina
Weight Management Center

The MUSC Weight Management Center is conducting a clinical research study to determine the safety and effectiveness of an investigational capsule that may assist weight loss for people who are overweight and otherwise generally healthy. The study capsule must be taken twice daily via mouth throughout the study.
To qualify, you must be at least 18 years of age, overweight or obese, not have any other significant illness or disease (such as diabetes or heart disease), not be taking any medications for weight loss, and meet other criteria. Qualified participants will receive dietary and activity counseling sessions, as well as medical exams, lab work, and weight monitoring.

There is no charge for participation.
This study requires a twenty-eight week commitment.

To have more detailed information sent to you, please call 843-792-5428 or 843-792-CARE. You may also send an email to Mary Harley at or to the Weight Management Center at

The Medical University of South Carolina's values are the heart of the institution and each day these values are exhibited by employees who help to fulfill MUSC's vision statement, Leading Health Innovation for the Lives We Touch.


Each year, the President's Values in Action award program recognizes employees who demonstrate MUSC's five values: compassion, respect, innovation, collaboration and integrity.


Nominations are submitted to recognize an individual who has demonstrated one of the five institutional values within the course of the current calendar year between January and September. All award recipients will receive a certificate, a keepsake, an engraved brick in the Charleston Medical District Greenway and a monetary award.
The deadline for nominations is September 30, 2022.
NAMI Walks Flyer 1
NAMI Walks Flyer 2
Out of the darkness walk

It’s time for the 2022 Charleston Area AFSP Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk!


The MUSC Psychiatry Team will be walking this year in support of suicide prevention. Last year, the MUSC Psychiatry Team raised OVER $10,000 and was the Top Fundraising Team for the event! Let’s show our support again this year!

Walk Date: Sunday, 10/16/2022

Walk Time: Registration starts at 1:00pm; Ceremony Begins at 2:00pm

Walk Location: North Charleston Riverfront Park


For questions, email Meg Wallace at

Want to play a part in saving lives right here in the Lowcountry? Join hundreds of other riders November 5 for LOWVELO22. The annual event is back and better than ever this year! 100% of rider-raised money benefits lifesaving cancer research at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.
Registration is now open. Sign up today to help save lives and make a difference in the fight against cancer!

As part of the new MUSC Health and Wellness Institute that recently opened in Mount Pleasant, SC, a newly established Mindfulness Center will be offering a range of mindfulness and resiliency-based classes, workshops, individual sessions, and retreats.  These offerings are not considered mental health counseling, therefore will not be billed through any insurance or be diagnosis driven. However, they may be a useful complementary service for patients seen within Psychiatry, for trainees themselves, as well as for faculty and staff. 


Of note, we will be starting up a 4-week closed group series on Introduction to Mindfulness beginning the first week in March (5:30pm Monday March 7th) and will repeat monthly. This closed group is great for anyone wanting to learn more about the basic principles of mindfulness in a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment. 


In addition, we will be running an 8-week closed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) group beginning the first week in April (4:30pm Wednesday April 6th).


All services are currently virtual and do not require you to be in the state to participate!


Please see the attached brochure to learn more. 

Hollings Cancer T32 Fellow

Bio-behavioral Medicine


Social Worker (LISW) (MUSCP, Full-Time): Provide a wide variety of direct social worker services in a specialty psychiatric setting for a complex caseload of patients with comorbid medical and psychiatric illness including psychosocial assessment, active treatment and psychotherapy, discharge planning, case management, and related documentation in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary treatment team. The Licensed Social Worker (LISW) or Therapist reports to the Division Director. 


Community Clinic


Licensed Social Worker (LISW) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) (MUSCP, Full-Time): The LISW or LPC reports to the Division Director. The candidate will provide a wide variety of direct social worker services in an acute care psychiatric setting for a complex caseload of patients including psychosocial assessment, active treatment, discharge planning, case management, and related documentation in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary treatment team.


Psychiatry Administration


Open Rank & Research Director (UNIV, Full-Time): The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (DPBS) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is seeking a clinician-scientist with an MD and/or PhD degree(s) to serve as Research Director for the Eating Disorders Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The Research Director will direct eating disorders research for the Friedman Eating Disorders Center. The Friedman Eating Disorders Center provides state-of-the-art, evidence-informed treatments of eating disorders (primarily anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa) by a multi-disciplinary subspecialty team of pediatricians, internists, nutritionists, and mental health providers (psychologists and psychiatrists).


Psychiatry Hospitalist Division


Social Worker I (MSW) (MUHA, Full-Time): Under clinical practice guidance of the Social Work Manager, this position provides a wide variety of direct social worker services in an acute care psychiatric setting for a complex caseload of adult/pediatric patients including psychiatric consults, psychosocial assessment, discharge planning, case management, and related documentation in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary treatment team. This position identifies risk factors that the patient may experience after discharge and applies discharge interventions to lower the patient risk of an undesirable event post discharge. The Social Worker (MSW) bridges the discharge to outpatient provider with the patient to address issues and questions.


This position will work primarily in the Adult Psych ED (DPOD) but assist with cross coverage as needed in the Children's Hospital (SJCH ED).


Open Rank (UNIV, Part-Time): Candidate must be a psychiatrist with the ability to hold an unrestricted license to practice in South Carolina. Candidate will be a faculty member of the Psychiatry Hospitalists Division at a .5 FTE (50% effort or 20 hours per week) and provide inpatient care across all adult inpatient units for attendings on leave. Candidate may also be required to cover some night call and weekend coverage as part of their clinical effort.


Sleep and Anxiety Research and Treatment Program (SATRP)


Assistant Professor (UNIV, Full-Time): The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences is seeking an Assistant Professor/Clinical Psychologist to engage in clinical and research activities in the Sleep and Anxiety Research and Treatment Program (SATRP) at MUSC. The research areas may include ERPs (Event-Related Brain Potentials), fMRI, autonomic measures, psychophysiology of anxiety, or other areas as appropriate, towards a specific population of patients. If candidate will see patients or research participants in a clinical setting, the candidate must obtain a valid SC medical license or psychologist license beforehand. 


Licensed Social Worker (LISW)/LPC (MUSC, Part-Time): This clinician will provide evidence based mental health outpatient services for adults suffering from sleep or anxiety disorders with the Sleep and Anxiety Treatment and Research Program. The position includes both assessments and counseling via office based and remote work from home providing telehealth therapy. Experience with implementing cognitive behavioral therapy and treating sleep and anxiety disorders is recommended. Flexible weekday schedules are preferred to accommodate evening clinic. 

The CPCS office is currently taking referrals for youth and adults for outpatient therapy and/or medication management.

The CPCS office is located at 51 Bee Street and is seeing patients either virtually or in the office. All patients are self-pay at the time of the appointment and will be provided with the necessary paperwork to submit for reimbursement from their insurance companies. All department of psychiatry faculty members are eligible to see private patients in CPCS.


To make a referral or schedule an appointment, call 843-792-9396.


For more information about making a referral or joining the practice, feel free to contact Hilary Bernstein, LISW, DHA at


Check out our website:

Like our Facebook page: Comprehensive Psychiatric Care Specialists





The use of the powerful opiate drug, FENTANYL is on the rise, accounting for a large share of overdose deaths in SC, and the greater US.


Previously, urine drug testing at MUSC could not detect Fentanyl use. The Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory has recently completed an extensive validation of a qualitative (positive vs negative) urine test for the presence of Fentanyl which can be used to distinguish this drug from other commonly used/abused opiates such as oxycodone, buprenorphine and morphine. This test should aid clinicians in the evaluation of patients in multiple clinical settings, especially when illicit drug use is suspected.


Simply order: “Fentanyl, Urine, Qual (IOP LAB)” or “LAB9066”

Individuals needing to contact the MUSC COVID Vaccine Call Center can utilize the information below:
The COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force will be posting updates on the COVID-19 Vaccine intranet site, including information about the vaccine safety and efficacy, so our care team members can make an informed decision.

**Updated University Directives can be found here.** 



The following resource provides MUSC Health lab and testing options pertaining to COVID-19. Included on this page is information regarding drive-thru and “pop-up” mobile COVID testing locations, antibody or serology tests, drive-in lab and nurse visits, and original/classic lab testing.


MUSC Health Lab & Testing Options



Due to the activity of COVID-19 within the hospital and community, all employees, residents, fellows and students within all MUSC entities are directed to begin daily self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. This applies regardless of whether you have been working remotely on a full-time or intermittent basis. You need to continue daily self-monitoring, even if symptoms are not present.




In addition to updates provided by MUSC Enterprise, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will also provide updates through our employee intranet, The Horseshoe. Updates will be provided regularly as new information becomes available. For your convenience, direct links are provided below.

If you would like to submit content to include in next week's Chair Update, please submit to Dr. Jamie Fisher by 12:00 pm on Monday. Thank you.
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