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March 14, 2014


Vol. 32, No. 30

Bearded dragon star of MUSC show

BY DAWN BRAZELL Public Relations


my–Lee Bredlau pulls out her bearded dragon, Esmeralda, and gently strokes her as she talks about the importance of keeping clean hands. She demonstrates how to cough into her elbow versus her hands, the sudden noise causing the frightened lizard to clamp down harder onto her blouse. This is the problem filming with animals. They are unpredictable. So are children, though, and brain tumors — two of Bredlau’s specialties. The pediatric neuro-oncologist at MUSC knows the children at Goodwin Elementary School are likelier to hear her message if her menagerie of WATCH animals are part of the script. THE VIDEOS Bredlau, M.D., participates in the Docs–Adopt School Wellness Initiative. Doing a newscenter/2014/ video series called “Be Healthy adoptadoc.html with Dr. B” was the school’s request of how she could best help create a healthy atmosphere at the school. The videos include topics that range from hand washing to getting a good night’s rest. This is more than volunteer work for Bredlau, though, who serves as director of MUSC’s new Pediatric Brain Tumor Program. The children she sees at the hospital often are very sick. “Seeing healthy children is therapy for me. When I was a resident, I would take my child to the park and watch her play with other healthy kids, and it was so therapeutic for me. Now I go to the schools and interact with the healthy kids there. It’s food for the soul.” Janice Key, M.D., MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness director of school and community-


Women’s History Month

Medical student recognizes importance of giving back.

photos by Sarah Pack, Public Relations Dr. Amy–Lee Bredlau pets her bearded dragon Esmeralda, one of the stars in a series of wellness videos she’s doing to help elementary students get healthier. based programs, loves her role as cheerleader for a program that benefits schools and physicians, she said. “It not only feels good, it also really does work and is making a difference in the health of thousands of children. I love all of the wonderful work being done by our adopting doctors. They have gone far beyond what I planned to do with ideas that are even more far reaching than I ever envisioned.”


Currently, 146 schools in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties are actively involved in the program. Of these schools, 81 have been “adopted” by 99 doctors — 52 of those doctors work at MUSC, Key said. “Although pediatrics is the most common

Health Challenge

A family loses weight, gains confidence and friendships.


See STAR on page 6 2

DAISY winners


Meet Kelli



2 THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014

PICU nurse wins DAISY award

Nursing credentials matter

The January DAISY (disease attacking the immune system) award winner is Emily Warr, R.N., who works in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Warr was nominated by Erin O’Donnell, R.N., Department of Clinical Education. Below is her nomination: “Emily Warr, R.N., has gone above and beyond to ensure the safety and comfort of her patients and co-workers. In the last few weeks, she has spent countless hours in the PICU educating both nurses and patient families about ECMO. The ECMO circuit is complicated and intimidating to those unfamiliar with it, and Emily has helped ease the anxiety of staff and families. The PICU has had an unprecedented amount of patients on ECMO all at the same time, and Emily has led the team with a calm

and reassuring demeanor. Working well over her typical 40 hours, Emily has shown dedication and passion for her profession by either staying well into the night for a new line placement or just sitting with her Warr team and providing reassurance. Her co–workers count on her for support and the families respect her knowledge and expertise. Though Emily does not care for patients directly, she provides an invaluable service of relief to their families. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed and the PICU is incredibly grateful for her commitment.”

Digestive Disease Center nurse honored with DAISY award recognition photos provided

Top photo: Certified MICU nurses Sara LaBissoniere, from left, Suzie Ravenel, Tina Mundo, Jesse Caples gather to celebrate with other nurse colleagues. Bottom photo: STICU nurses Trish Haley, from left, Penny Perez, Alicia Hinz and nurse manager Cindy Little are recognized for their nursing certifications. On March 19, the MUSC medical center celebrates National Certified Nurses Day. Certified nurses have validated their knowledge, skills and competency in their areas of expertise. For information about nursing excellence, visit

Editorial of fice MUSC Office of Public Relations 135 Cannon Street, Suite 403C, Charleston, SC 29425. 843-792-4107 Fax: 843-792-6723 Interim editor: Cindy Abole Catalyst staff: Mikie Hayes,

The Catalyst is published once a week. Paid adver tisements, which do not represent an endorsement by MUSC or the State of South Carolina, are handled by Island Publications Inc., Moultrie News, 134 Columbus St., Charleston, S.C., 843-849-1778 or 843-958-7490. E-mail:

The February DAISY (disease attacking the immune system) award winner is Jennie Nguyen, R.N., who works in the Digestive Disease Center of ART 6 West. Nguyen was nominated by a family member via ART 6 East/West assistant nurse manager Richard Majuer. Below is her nomination: “During a phone conversation with Mrs. B., she shared that her husband, Mr. B. (J.), was a liver patient on ART 6 West. Mrs. B called to make sure that I recognized how outstanding our staff on ART 6 West truly was. “Jennie saved my husband’s life! J had given up he had actually told the doctors to take him off the transplant list, that he was tired of everything and was ready to die. J had lost all his faith in the doctors; Jennie is responsible for turning this around and saving his life by taking the time to listen to him and to talk to him. She made a huge impression on J and convinced him to continue to try and made him realize that he had more to live for. Jennie is the only reason that J agreed to stay on the transplant list for a liver and kidney. Without her, he would be dead right now. Jennie took the time to explain to J

that she had four years’ experience and that there was hope for J. By Jennie taking the time to listen to my husband, she restored his faith and hope. Jennie made him promise that he would not Nguyen give up. Jennie said all the right things that we needed to hear but did not provide any false hope. Not only did Jennie give J hope, but me as well. By taking the extra time to listen to J, she saved his life by providing him with some faith and hope. Jennie is the reason that my husband is alive today.” Each month, MUSC nurses are honored for their excellence with the DAISY Award. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program recognizing nurses for their daily contributions in their jobs. To nominate a nurse, visit medcenter/formsToolbox/DaisyAward/ form.htm.

THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014 3

Interim director of MUSC–Clemson bioengineering named Staff Report Hai Yao, Ph.D., associate chair and associate professor of bioengineering at Clemson University and associate professor in the Department of Oral Health Sciences at the MUSC College of Dental Medicine, has been named interim director of the Clemson University– MUSC Bioengineering Program. Yao succeeds Richard E. Swaja, Ph.D., who served as director from 2006 until his retirement in late December 2013. “I believe Hai Yao will provide important leadership to bioengineering on the MUSC campus as interim director while we conduct a national search for a permanent director,” said Mark Sothmann, Ph.D., MUSC interim president and provost. Yao’s primary research interests relate to the biomechanical function, degeneration and repair of cartilaginous tissues such as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc, knee cartilage, intervertebral disc, and cornea, with an emphasis on understanding the impact of mechanical loading on tissue nutrition and cell metabolism. His research contributed to the world’s first demonstration of a functional full synovial joint regeneration (Lancet, 2010), and his team also established a nationally recognized TMJ research program within the CU–MUSC Bioengineering Program. He currently leads the National Institutes

“Yao will provide important leadership to bioengineering on the MUSC campus as interim director.” Dr. Mark Sothmann of Health TMJ expert panel, which provides research recommendations to the scientific community, encouraging contemporary, multidisciplinary research on TMJ function in health and disease. Recently, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research awarded a planning grant to Yao for the establishment of a multi-institutional TMJ research network. Yao also serves on an engineering panel for the National Research Council of the National Academies. He received bachelor’s (1991) and doctoral (1996) degrees in mechanical engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and his doctoral

degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami (2004). He joined the faculty of Clemson Bioengineering in 2006 after postdoctoral training at Georgia Institute of Technology. The CU–MUSC Bioengineering program was established in 2003 and renewed in 2013 through an inter-institutional agreement made between Clemson and MUSC. The program’s mission is to bridge engineering and physical sciences with the life sciences disciplines to better understand fundamental biological and disease processes by: q Application of engineering and physical science principles to biological systems; q Advances in health care and biomedical technologies through multi–disciplinary and translational research; and q Education and preparation of students for careers in bioengineering and related fields. The collaborative program yields advances in health care and biomedical technologies that benefit the citizens of South Carolina and the U.S.; generates new sources of revenue for both CU and MUSC; and stimulates economic development through transfer and commercialization of these advances. Located in the Bioengineering Building on the MUSC campus, the overall institutional leadership of the program is charged to the MUSC and Clemson provosts.

4 THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014

Writing Center hosts national health humanities conference Staff Report “We would never graduate students from medical or nursing or physical therapy school who didn’t know their anatomy or their physiology. How can we graduate students who don’t know the first thing about how to deal with stories, which is nothing less profound than the entry point to understanding our fellow human beings?” Sayantani DasGupta, M.D. M.PH., asked this memorable question of attendees at The Narrative Bridge: Connecting through the Health Humanities conference recently hosted by MUSC’s Center for Academic Excellence/ The Writing Center. DasGupta is one of the leading voices in the national movement to improve health care education DasGupta and practice through the humanities. She is a pediatrician and a faculty member of both Sarah Lawrence College’s Health Advocacy program and the Master’s Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. As keynote speaker for the conference, she spoke of the need for health care students to receive training in listening effectively to patients, so they become “expert story elicitors, interpreters, and decoders” as a means to providing more empathetic, patient–centered, and socially–just care. Narrative medicine is part of a broader movement in medical or health humanities that provides training to make students and clinicians become more observant, analytical, reflective, and sensitive to cultural and social contexts that impact individuals and the way they give or receive health care. Research indicates that student

photos provided

Narrative Bridge speaker Jay Jacobs created sketches of several conference activities. Below left, One of Jacobs’ sketches featured physician and humanities scholar Dr. Sayantani DasGupta who was the event’s keynote speaker. Her presentation was about narrative humility. empathy erodes during the didactic and clinical years of training, but controversy humanities training provides students the means to preserve empathy, remain connected to their sense of purpose and avoid burn out. Although critics view these initiatives as “soft” and non–essential, a growing body of evidence indicates that patients who perceive their providers to be empathetic, communicative and non–judgmental have better outcomes. Columbia University is an established East Coast leader in this movement that recognizes the value of the patient story in improving patient outcomes. Having received positive student responses to the interprofessional humanities courses they teach to students in all six colleges of MUSC, faculty members of The Center for Academic Excellence/ Writing Center seek to explore the role humanities can play in fostering interprofessionalism, enhancing institutional culture and engaging the community. They developed The Narrative Bridge conference to bring together a diverse group of professionals and students from medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dental medicine, and physician assistant studies with professionals from humanities disciplines that include literature, rhetoric and composition, illustration and graphic communication. The participation of representatives from diverse areas was made possible with a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation that allowed the conference committee to sponsor patient advocates and community members. To ensure participants had the chance to

Narrative Bridge participants gathered Feb. 23-25 at the the Double Tree Hotel. “build bridges,” the conference was highly interactive and experiential; in addition to more traditional sessions, the design included 30–minute “outburst” sessions to engage participants in activities like writing, drawing and listening to music. Featured sessions included DasGupta’s keynote speech, readings by five nationally–known nurse–poets, and a lecture by MUSC’s Humanities Scholar–in–Residence, J. Herman Blake, Ph.D. All presentations underscored the crucial role of narrative in health care. The unique conference model was well–received, and a number of participants reported that The Narrative Bridge offered the best conference experience they’d had. “I felt no hierarchy was at work and many things were possible,” one participant shared.

See Bridge on page 9

THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014 5


Kelli A. Jenkins Department Education and Student Life How you are changing what’s possible at MUSC I work with the students in a childhood obesity program, Junior Doctors of Health, where I teach MUSC students how to inform youth about making healthy choices. It’s not just about teaching eating habits, but it is also about education. How long at MUSC Five years and four months Children and their names Janae, 7; Herbert II, 19 months; and baby Jenkins, due May 17 Meal you love to cook Pesto pasta and grilled chicken What food is a must in the fridge Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream Greatest moment in your life My husband proposing to me at church. Person you admire and why My grandmother, the late Ada Anderson. She taught me the value of family and being confident. She instilled this: Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.

6 THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014


Continued from Page One

specialty among adopting doctors, any type of physician can participate as this program does not involve any clinical responsibilities.” Adopting doctors serve as the health expert for school wellness committees, contributing to important policy and environmental changes (see list at right) being made. Some doctors also contribute in other ways, such as writing a wellness column for the school newsletter, Dr. Janice Key giving presentations at Parent Teacher Student Organization meetings or in the classroom or participating in school health fairs. Examples of what is happening at the schools are available at the website Key said the program has experienced great success and growth since the initial pilot work with schools in Charleston County seven years ago. In addition, this year the model is being used in school districts in Columbia and Greenville and many other communities statewide are considering implementing it next year. “We are currently working to extend the benefits of this program to schools across the state. This will include collaboration with the three other children’s hospitals in South Carolina, which are located in Greenville, Columbia and Florence. We also plan a targeted approach to reach communities with few resources but the greatest need, especially those along the I–95 corridor.”

Policy and Environmental Changes

Food service worker and school nurse training Nutrition analysis of school menu

Dr. Bredlau’s videos cover topics from handwashing to controlling germs to healthy food choices. The MUSC Heart and Vascular Center’s Marion Taylor, M.D., and Eric Powers, M.D., will be working with the program to serve several communities in this area of the state. Partnerships are being set up to serve specific communities. This includes potential programs in Orangeburg working with S.C. State and the Orangeburg–Calhoun regional Medical Center and in Clarendon County with the Furman University’s Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative with Dr. Katy Richardson. Key said the purpose of the Docs– Adopt School Wellness Initiative is to improve nutrition and increase physical activity in schools by making healthy, effective policy and environmental changes. Doctors serve as one member of a school’s wellness committee that selects and implements proven strategies that meet the needs of that individual school. The doctor serves as the health expert and resource for the committee whose other members include the school nurse, teachers and parents.

YES Family Fund accepting applications The MUSC Yes Family Fund, sponsored by the Yearly Employee Support Campaign, is accepting grant applications until March 31. The fund provides grants that impact MUSC’s mission for education, patient care and research. Employees may apply for a project grant up to $2,500. Established in 1999, the YES Family Fund is one of more than 1,300 funds within the MUSC Foundation that is supported by employee giving of the YES

District Wide

Campaign. Applications should include name, department phone, name of project and amount of funding requested. The application also should include a brief summary explaining the project or program and how the funding will benefit MUSC’s mission. For information, contact Whitney McLuen, 792-1973 or Visit development/help/yes_grant.html.

Healthier Nutrition

Recipe development Removal of deep fat fryers Salads offered daily All salad dressings are low-fat

Individual Schools Gardens Fruit and vegetable tasting days Snack and birthday party policies that prohibit high sugar foods Removal of sugar sweetened beverages Nutritional counseling with BMI analysis

All cereals are low sugar All breads are whole grain PE teachers and school nurse training

Before and after school activities

Measurement of Fitness gram (including BMI)

Classroom physical activity (Deskercise and Yoga Snacks)

Increased physical activity

After school walking and running clubs Exercise promotion in fundraising events (such as a walk/run rather than selling candy)

The team is needed to combat health issues facing children today. During the past thirty years the numbers of children and adolescents who are overweight or obese has increased dramatically, she said. In South Carolina, the seventh fattest state in the country, almost half of high school students have an unhealthy weight.

“Obesity is the epidemic of today. When so many children need help, we can no longer rely upon traditional health care where we see one patient at a time in our offices. Instead we have to use public health strategies to reach children where they are — in school,” said Key.

27th Annual Update in Psychiatry: Clinical Brain Stimulation

June 5–7, 2014 Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC This year’s event will focus on clinical applications of the four brain stimulation methods currently approved by the FDA. Topics include brain stimulation methods for treating anxiety disorders, neurobiology of depression, brain stimulation methods for treating epilepsy, therapies for stroke and rehabilitation and more. Sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Contact Caitlin Norfleet, 792-0175 or visit to register.

THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014 7

Medical student stands ready, committed to serve

BY AIMEE MURRAY Public Relations


o whom much is given, much is required. Luke 12:48 is the Bible verse by which Omici Uwagbai lives her life. The fourth–year medical student from Georgetown believes it is her responsibility to give back to the community. Uwagbai, the youngest of three children, always knew she wanted a career in health care. When she was 13 years old, she shadowed a nurse practitioner for a day and discussed the duties and responsibilities of the position. Ultimately, she decided to strive for medical school instead. After graduating from Claflin University in Orangeburg and completing a post- baccalaureate program at the University of South Carolina, Uwagbai was accepted into the MUSC College of Medicine. Due to the rigors of the program, the first year proved challenging and was quite an adjustment for her, but Uwagbai said things got better once she was able to balance her studies with her personal life. She came to understand she need only strive to be her personal best. “Being in medical school is competitive,” she said. “Everyone’s the cream of the crop. You have to let go of the competitive mindset of having to be better than everyone else. You have to come to the realization that instead of trying to compete with everyone, you have to be the best for yourself and for your future patients. To do that, you must put in time, be dedicated and be a good student so you Uwagbai can become a great physician.” Uwagbai’s second and third years were different as a result of her new approach to school. She got involved in student organizations and returned to her lifelong love: Community service. A member of the Multicultural Student Advisory Board, Uwagbai was the Student Government Association’s representative for the group. She also served on the Community Service Board and focused on community–based efforts. Uwagbai said, “We had many kinds of community service projects such as Make a Difference Day. One project involved a retired librarian who had worked at MUSC. She was going to be fined because she was unable to maintain the appearance of her home. “We cleaned everything up so she wouldn’t be fined. I enjoyed helping because she was a part of MUSC and worked for years to provide services for all of the students. It was nice giving back to her.” Because rotations took her away from the Charleston area during her fourth year, Uwagbai opted to serve the

Photo provided

Fourth–year medical student Omici Uwagbai helps out at Make a Difference Day creating garden plots at Stono Park Elementary School.

community in a different capacity. “I participate in the CARES Clinic, which is a student-run free clinic supervised by volunteer physicians in Mount Pleasant. We provide care to all kinds of patients who may not have insurance or be able to afford health care.” After finding balance, dispelling her irrational fears about competition in medical school and working tirelessly within the community, Uwagbai had to make the decision about what type of medicine she would practice. During the decision-making process, she thought about her passion for women’s care and working with veterans. She also was reminded of her desire to continue the work she started in middle school as a member of Teens Advocating Smart Choices, a task force that promoted teen pregnancy prevention. It was then Uwagbai knew what she wanted to do: Family practice. “Many times with family practice, people just think you go see your family doctor in a clinic, but family physicians have a multidisciplinary specialty. They deliver babies, complete minor procedures and provide care for infants, teens, adults and the elderly. I love the idea of getting to grow with your patients; caring for them from infancy to old age.” With graduation in May and the military match for medical residency early, Uwagbai and her husband are preparing to move to Virginia where she will begin her residency as a U.S. Army physician at Fort Belvoir. Uwagbai said she’s excited about what the future holds and appreciative of all of the opportunities she’s been afforded, not just during her time at MUSC, but

throughout her life. “Being an African–American woman living in the South and being at MUSC, I understand that someone else paved the way for me to be here. It was much more difficult for those who came before me to do what I’m doing now. I’m not going through a struggle compared to women who came before me going through the Civil Rights Movement, getting into medical school, fighting their way to the top and having to be the best. I appreciate that. So now I have to continue their work and try to help others succeed.” When asked if she had any advice for incoming first–year students, Uwagbai said it is important to have balance in your life. She also emphasized the importance of knowing you’re not alone. “You have to understand that you will get through. A lot of times students struggle, and they think they’re alone, but it’s important to realize that everyone struggles in medical school at some point and everyone’s struggle is different. Everyone’s trying to maintain balance and succeed.” Uwagbai also said talking with classmates and those with similar beliefs helped her successfully handle the issues she faced while in medical school. She said it’s critical to find people who are willing to help you and lift you up. When reflecting on this year’s National Women’s History Month theme, “celebrating women of character, courage and commitment,” Uwagbai credits her mother as the one who encourages her to be courageous, have exemplary character and stay committed. “My mom has always been there for me. She’s always been my cheerleader, telling me I could do it, even when I didn’t believe in myself,” she said. Rhonda Walters, administrative assistant in the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity, said Uwagbai’s character and work ethic make her stand out. Walters met Uwagbai three years ago and saw the results of her work with the Multicultural Student Advisory Board and the Student Government Association. Walters said, “Whenever asked to do a task, you can rest assured it will be done with the highest degree of quality. She is dependable, trustworthy, hardworking and unselfish with her time and talents. Omici has always set high goals, stayed focused and has been committed to her aspirations all while displaying an incredible spirit of determination. I have often told Omici that I look forward to reading and hearing great news about her and the work she’ll do serving our country as a health care officer in the United States Army.” Editor’s note: In honor of National Women’s History Month, The Catalyst will feature women who make a difference at MUSC.

8 THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014

The family that weighs together stays together BY MIKIE HAYES Public Relations


amela and Mike Murray want to be around a very long time for the sake of their teenage children. But with weight to lose and the prospect of turning 49 staring at both of them, they felt the need to adopt a healthier lifestyle and serve as better role models for Thomas, 16, and Marianna, 14. Major changes needed to take place at the Murray house, but they weren’t quite sure where to start. When family friends mentioned their recent participation in the Healthy Charleston Challenge, it got Pam thinking. Her motto has always been, “If mama doesn’t eat right, nobody eats right,” and she knew there was no way that any of them could make big changes unless they made them together, supporting each other along the way. She presented an idea to the kids. “Look,” she said, “Your dad has gained a lot of weight; he’s a heart attack waiting to happen. We’ve got to do something.” Knowing the entire family could benefit, she asked the kids if they would consider doing the program with her and Mike. They said yes, and for Christmas, Mike received a spot in the challenge as a present. That’s when the fun began.

when all I wanted to do is sit down with some comfort food and watch TV. Now I look forward to it.” Mike added, “Let’s face it, 6 p.m. is prime grazing time. Everyone thinks they have no time to exercise. It’s not true, it just has to be a priority. It’s a great time for a family like ours. We get to do something together for an hour six days a week.”


A gregarious, close–knit family, the Murrays laugh a lot, talk at the same time and frequently finish each other’s sentences. The parents work full time and volunteer frequently. The kids attend Wando High School and participate in numerous activities. To say their lives are full is an understatement. Their hectic schedules led to the type of bad eating habits that plague many American families. Their refrigerator and pantry were filled with easy to prepare, processed foods. Exhausted after a full day of work, school and activities, they either ate out, grabbed something on the way home or ordered Meat Lover’s stuffed crust pizza which racks up 500 calories and 27 fat grams per slice. “I started a new diet every single Monday,” Pam said. “Every Sunday night I’d say, ‘OK, we’re getting healthy this week’ and by Monday night we’d be eating pizza.” All four share a love of fun and food, which in many ways was synonymous for them. From the moment they registered for the challenge, until the day the program started, they went for the gusto. A family trip to Pennsylvania over the holidays presented just the opportunity to enjoy their favorite foods in a big way. “We ate doughnuts every morning,” said Marianna. “Literally every morning,” Thomas added. Pam shook her head

The Murrays are members of HCC’s TrySports team consisting of trainer Lauren Wilson, front row from left, Pam Murray and Thomas Murray. Back Row: Bob Walker, from left, Charlotte Walker, Marianna Murray, Mike Murray, Ches McCall and Curt McCall

photos provided

Mike and Pam Murray and their children, Marianna and Thomas, are starting 2014 healthier thanks to their efforts with the Healthy Charleston Challenge.

and said, “Obviously we ate everything we wanted over the holidays.” WALK AWAY FROM COMFORT FOODS But all that changed on Jan. 16 when they started the challenge. They dutifully cleared the unhealthy foods out their pantry and refrigerator and stocked them instead with vegetables, fruits and more nutritious choices. No more boxed pizza, candy or white bread on their shelves. Pam said tossing out food was a difficult but important exercise. “It was really hard to see flour, frozen dinners and cereal going in the trash, but it was necessary. This program has been such an eye opener,” she said. “I’ve learned that things I thought I was doing right, I was actually doing wrong.” As a family, they made a commitment to follow the program faithfully and hold each other accountable. Under the guidance of their trainer, Lauren Wilson, they work out with their team five days a week at 6 p.m. and once on their own for a total of six workouts a week. Pam said, “I literally started to cry when I heard 6 p.m. was our workout time. I teach all day, I’m bone–tired, I couldn’t even contemplate exercising

ALL DOGS CAN LEARN NEW TRICKS Until recently, Mike traveled and worked constantly. Even when he was home, he was either on the phone or just getting home as his family was going to bed. Now he works from his home office and while busy, he is around for the important things. Pam, a third–grade teacher, works all day and when she’s not at school functions, chauffeuring kids or attending their activities, she’s grading papers, correcting homework and planning lessons at night. Thomas is involved in numerous community initiatives and also plays nose guard on the Wando varsity football team. Even though the season is over, the team still conditions every day — now his day includes two demanding workouts. The program has allowed Thomas to gain muscle while losing fat which was what he had hoped to achieve. Color guard and winter guard keep Marianna busy. She practices after school nearly every day and travels on weekends competing. She also plays the flute in the Wando concert band. Even with onerous schedules, they’ve made the program work. And it’s been worth it. “I feel better about myself. Friends come up and ask me what I’ve done,” Marianna said. “I tell them, ‘I tried this thing called exercising.’ Before, I walked the hallways of Wando thinking that was enough of a workout to earn a piece of cake.” They’ve also learned so much about portion size and nutrition. Mike said, “For me, I didn’t realize

See Family on page 12

THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014 9


Continued from Page Four

“The interactive focus was essential,” said one of the presenters. Caroline DeLongchamps, who serves on the Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council, is the parent of a pediatric patient. DeLongchamps attended the conference as a Gold Foundation Scholar. “I was thrilled to learn that the work being done in narrative medicine is helping to create a patient and family centered–care culture in medicine. A health care provider that engages me long enough to hear my son’s story is a provider who has earned my trust,” she said. Narrative health care scholar Chris Osmond, Ph.D., said the conference “established MUSC as the ‘other’ East Coast center for the crucial work of understanding and disseminating methods and priorities that might make health care a more humane — and therefore truly ‘productive’ enterprise.”

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Employee Wellness the Tri–county area. Anyone can The Push–Up & Up compete in the competitive and Challenge is a Charleston open divisions, which only differ event developed to raise in judging strictness. awareness and money for As presenting sponsor, MUSC Communities in Schools Health’s role in the Push–Up dropout prevention. & Up Challenge isn’t just Sponsored by the monetary. Our role is to support Medical University of the mission to raise awareness South Carolina, the 3rd and money to support proven annual Push–Up & Up programs in dropout prevention. Challenge Charleston In 2014, our goal is to have as will be held on Saturday, many employee teams as possible! Susan Johnson May 17 at Marion To help with this effort — and Square in Downtown to help our employees train for the Charleston. The first pushups are big event May 17 — we are hosting a set to begin at 9:20 a.m. This fun, special pushup challenge for MUSC family–friendly event is a healthy employees. fundraiser like no other in town. The MUSC Push–Up & Up Teams of six from the Tri–county Challenge is a friendly competition community will battle to complete to get MUSC employees involved in as many pushups as possible in 30 the challenge to support dropout minutes. There are three divisions: prevention, while enjoying a fun and Competitive, Open and School. The healthy activity with their coworkers. school division will compete for 20 To join the MUSC Push–Up and minutes and includes middle and Up Challenge: high school students from any of q Start a team: Teams of 6 people the public and private schools in

Health at work

Mediterranean cuisine featured for Wellness Wednesday This week’s topic is Food Culture and Common Ingredients Used in Mediterranean– Style Cuisine. Wellness Wednesdays, located at the Main Hospital Lobby from 11a.m. to 1 p.m., will emphasize Mediterranean Cuisine. The Thursday Lunch and Learn, located at the MUSC Urban Farm from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m., will focus on the herbs and spices used in Mediterranean cooking along with the nutritional benefits. Ways to incorporate herbs and spices into your foods in a healthy manner will also be discussed. Organizers will feature restaurants

from the Charleston area. This week’s featured restaurant is Lana and a stoplight menu will be available to help customers choose the healthiest options while dining there. The featured Mediterranean recipe that will be available at World Cuisine in the Main and Ashley River Tower Hospital Cafeterias is Tuscan herb tilapia with Moroccan couscous. This week’s trivia question is: What time do most Mediterranean countries eat dinner? The trivia question answer can be found on the tri– fold display at Wellness Wednesday.

will sign up for the Push–Up & Up Challenge at www.pushupandup. org. The first person to sign up will create the team and be designated as Team Captain. Be sure “MUSC” is somewhere in the team name (This will qualify the team for the MUSC Push–Up & Up Challenge prizes). q Start Fundraising: Use the tools provided on the Push–Up & Up website to request donations from friends and family. Prizes will be awarded for the team with the most donations and all money raised goes to a great cause benefiting Lowcountry kids. q Start Training: The MUSC Push– Up & Up Challenge will start March 31, 6 weeks prior to the main event to allow for teams to follow the easy challenge training schedule (found at q Use Team Building: Hold team training sessions to help motivate participation, accomplish training goals and prepare for the big event. Take a picture of a team training session each week, email a photo (of either individuals or entire team training for the Push–Up Challenge)

and the number of pushups completed that week to johnsusa@ by 3 p.m. each Friday of the training challenge. q Win Prizes: Winners will be selected and announced the following Monday and each member of the weekly winning team will win a prize as well as receive recognition on MUSC Employee Wellness Facebook Pages and in The Catalyst. Prize sponsors include Sodexo, Halo, the Charleston RiverDogs, Charleston Battery, MUSC Office of Health Promotion and Life Chiropractic Center. Push–Up & Up is a nonprofit organization that raises money to support proven programs in dropout prevention. For more information on team sponsorships or to register for Push–Up & Up, visit www. To learn more about Communities in Schools, visit For information on MUSC wellness events, contact or Events, speakers, classes or any ideas are welcome. Visit them on Facebook.

THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014 11

N. Area Weight Management clinic open

Items for Sale Looking for ride share to & from work at MUSC, live in Mt Pleasant. Flex shifts. Work schedule is Mon-Fri 12-8P, 1-9P, or 2-10P. 843-267-8637

The MUSC Weight Management Center has opened a new satellite clinic in North Charleston and Summerville. The new clinic is located at 8471 Dochester Road (near the corner of Dorchester and Ashley Phosphate roads) in North Charleston. Schedule a free in– person consultation to help you decide which of their range of programs works best for you. For information, contact WMC@musc. edu or call 792-2273.

12 THE CATALYST, March 14, 2014


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how much I was eating. I was taking in double the calories I was supposed to. I exercised some, but not enough, and when I looked at the calories I was taking in, no wonder I was gaining a pound or half pound a week. This program has made a big difference.” Pam agrees and says she enjoys “eating the rainbow,” — incorporating brightly colored fruits and vegetables into their diets. “It makes me conscious at every single meal. Today, I saw an 80–year–old man running. I said to Marianna, ‘That’s who I want to be.’” THE FAMILY TEAM The Murrays believe if they can make these changes, anyone can. Now in their seventh week of the challenge, they will tell you the improvements they’ve seen physically, mentally and emotionally have been extraordinary. From weight loss, to more energy and an amazing boost in confidence, to an even tighter bond between them, they are thankful for this experience. Welling up with tears, Pam said, “I am already sad thinking that it’s going to

end. I’ve formed such a bond with my team. They’re all like family. Lauren’s been the best — she’s an angel.” Mike summed it up: “Lauren is a mature trainer and we’re not all kids, so we have to go at a reasonable pace. She doesn’t push us beyond what we can safely do.” They plan to continue working with Wilson after the challenge concludes to maintain their progress. In addition to the Murrays, two other families are also on Wilson’s team: The Murrays’ friends, father and son Curt and Ches McCall, and new friends, husband and wife Bob and Charlotte Walker. The Murrays have all experienced success. Pam has lost 11 pounds, discovered Zumba and given up her cherished coffee creamer. Mike has lost 28 pounds, shaved two minutes off his mile run and doubled the number of situps he can do. Thomas is down 25 pounds, cooks creative dinners for the family and skips Mountain Dews and sweet tea. Marianna has lost more than 10 pounds, can run a mile without stopping, increased from five to 27 pushups and gained control over her

CDAP recruiting bridge run volunteers MUSC Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs has been designated a Charity Connection and is seeking 100 volunteers to help during the 37th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run on April 5. Volunteers will assist with activities at the race start line from 5:30 to

10:30 a.m. on race day. Volunteers will receive a free CRBR T-shirt. Contact Paige Montgomery, to register. For CRBR information, visit http:// For information on MUSC’s CDAP visit http://www.

“We are showing our children something that will forever change their lives.”

Mike Murray

nemesis: Cheesecake. Marianna may be the most proud of how far she’s come. “I feel so much more confident,” she said. “It’s just amazing that I am able to do all this. I am able to get through my whole day I have so much energy. The only thing I miss is cheesecake. I have a serious problem with cheesecake. But that’s OK, I just feel so much better.” She keeps a slice in the refrigerator to remind her who’s in charge and has not had a single bite since she started the challenge. “I think I really just need it there,” she said and then offered a bit of philosophical perspective for anyone struggling with a food that typically derails their efforts: “If you just stay strong and don’t eat it, can you imagine all the other things you can do?”

When the family thinks of how far they’ve come and the changes they are making in their lives, gratitude doesn’t begin to describe what they feel. In addition to Wilson, they credit Janis Newton, director of the HCC, and Judith Herrin, nutritionist for the challenge, for putting them on the right track and helping them stay there. “We are showing our children something that will forever change their lives,” Mike said. “This program has created a situation where they are learning to eat healthy and how eating relates to exercise. Pam and I are trying our best, but if these two can learn these valuable lessons at 14 and 16 years old, that is a wonderful blessing.” Married 24 years, Pam and Mike are enjoying this special time with each other and the kids. “I cherish our rides coming here and going home. We love our time together,” Pam said. “This program has strengthened our family unit,” added Mike. "It is allowing us as parents to be here longer for our kids and for our kids to move forward with the knowledge not to make the poor eating and exercise decisions we made in the past.”

MUSC Catalyst 3-14-2014  
MUSC Catalyst 3-14-2014