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Vol. 30, No. 42


June 15, 2012

Man survives ‘flesh-eating disease’ By Dawn Brazell Public Relations


Barry W. Ginn enjoys being back out on the golf course after a harrowing bout with necrotizing fasciitis that required six operations. To watch a video, visit http://tinyurl. com/brzuo6q.

I was skating death and should have been dead by the time I got there.

Barry W. Ginn



The Referral Call Center gathers to honor a health resource nurse June 6.


ack out on the links, Hilton Head resident Barry W. Ginn ignores the pain in his left arm bearing his badge of honor, what he now calls his ‘work of art.’ Some may think it a strange name for the scars left behind from him having lost an estimated nine pounds of flesh and muscle from his arm in his brush with death. Ginn’s nightmare started in February when he contracted the ‘flesh-eating’ bacteria known in medical circles as necrotizing fasciitis. Gingerly holding up his arm that still gives him pain, Ginn doesn’t think calling his scarred arm a work of art is strange at all. He’s just grateful to be here – to still have an arm. Instead he focuses on the salty tang of the air, the sun warming the grass, the fact that he is able to swing a club when his story could have gone so differently. Ginn is one of several patients in South Carolina and Georgia who recently made headlines for having survived necrotizing fasciitis. Ginn’s case began with a sore shoulder where he thought he had reinjured a torn rotator cuff. He visited his doctor, but the site continued to get worse. Trying to ignore the pain and

tenderness, Ginn thought he just needed to tough it out. One reason he’s eager to tell his story is he wants others to avoid his mistakes. “I didn’t continue to ask questions, and I wasn’t honest with myself or my doctors. You’re so sick you can’t have a train of thought. Instead of telling him what I thought was wrong, I should have just told him I was sick.” The area became hot and very painful. Ginn, who lives alone, became disoriented and began falling down. He had bruises down his back. By the time he knew he was in serious trouble, he was too confused to call for help. “My mind was mush. I don’t think anyone has any concept of what this disease does to you. All this time I was getting progressively sicker, and I was sweating profusely.” Fortunately a friend stopped by to see him, took one look at him and picked up the phone to call 911. “He didn’t even ask me. That’s a good friend.” Ginn said he will forever be grateful for that visit. “I was skating death and should have been dead by the time I got there.” Ginn went to a local hospital and on Feb. 24 was transferred to MUSC, where trauma surgeon

See SurviveS on page 8

Patient SatiSfaCtion



The pediatric surgery team on 7East achieves high marks on the survey.


Meet Scot


PCTs, TAs celebrated


2 The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012

Professor receives 2012 Teacher of the Year award Jack Thomas has a claim to fame that not all teachers do. He’s a whiz at remembering names. That’s one reason physical therapist Jack Thomas, Ed.D., received the MUSC College of Health Professions Teacher of the Year for the 2012 academic year, an award he also landed in 2001. Associate Dean for Student Affairs Karen Wager, DBA, said Thomas is one of the most incredible teachers she has ever met. “He cares deeply for each and every one of his students, and manages to learn every student’s name by the second week of class. That’s impressive when you have 180 students in class. He takes a personal interest in each student’s career goals and aspirations. He has a reputation among students of actively engaging students in the learning process.” Samantha Kubinski, a College of Health Professions (CHP) physical therapy student, said Thomas is a one-of-a-kind professor who is easily approachable. “His passion for teaching is conveyed in every lecture. His desire to see his students succeed is reflected in every conversation I’ve had with him.” Thomas has received several awards including the MUSC board of trustees Master Teacher Award in 2006 and the Outstanding Didactic Instructor Award by the MUSC CHP Anesthesia for Nurses Program in the years 2006, 2009, and 2010. He also received the Dorthey E. Baethke-Eleanor J. Carlin Award

Editorial of fice MUSC Office of Public Relations 135 Cannon Street, Suite 403C, Charleston, SC 29425. 843-792-4107 Fax: 843-792-6723 Editor: Kim Draughn Catalyst staff: Cindy Abole, Dawn Brazell,

Applause Program The following employees received recognition through the Applause Program for going the extra mile: Medical Center

College of Health Professions Dean Dr. Lisa Saladin presents Dr. Jack Thomas with the 2012 Teacher of the Year award.

“His passion for teaching is conveyed in every lecture.” Samantha Kubinski for Excellence in Academic Teaching from the American Physical Therapy Association in 2011. Thomas said he is fortunate to have his profession and to work with many wonderful people and students. “I would not have any of these awards if it had not been for them. I give them all the credit.” 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:

Billie Brasfield, CNC; Melvena Nelson, Environmental Services; Florence Simmons, Clinical Effectiveness; John Griggs, Hospital Maintenance; Sally Shields, Women’s Services; Cassandra Matthews, Environmental Services; Karen Legare, ART Pre-Op Surgery; Geri Drawdy, ART Endoscopy; Cheryl Irwin, MedSurg ICU; Valerie Collins, Medical Records; Kendra Ostrander, Medical Records; Carlos Santiago, Hospital Maintenance; Britini Camarato, Meduflex Team; Betsy Shuford, DDC; Margarita Konikova, ART 6E; Terrie Hopkins, ART 6E; Christina Chapman, Meduflex Team; Carissa Sullivan, ART 6W; Karen Shire, ART 6W; Dawn Salem, ART 6W; Mona Murdaugh, ART 6W; Amanda Jordan-Chipley, ART 6W; Florence Davis, ART 6W; Lindsay Dangerfield, ART 6E; Sarah Fath, ART 6E; Jennie Curry, ART 6W; Vicki Shelton, ART 6W; Melanie Hines, ART 6E; Dolores Lands, ART 6W; Theresa Stephens, ART 6W; Meredith Frazier, ART 6W; Krystal Myers, ART 6W; Cyrus Edelson, ART 6W; Shanette Lewis, ART 6W; Dena Middleton, ART 6W; Rick Majure, ART 6W; Jennifer Weeks, ART 6W; Kim Poulakis, ART 6E; Anne Bromley, Revenue Cycle Operations; Kate Miccichi, Revenue Cycle Operations; Laura Krafsig, Revenue Cycle Operations; Pamela Polite, Revenue Cycle Operations; Elice Graham, Medical Records; Katie Privett, 8E; Deveat Anderson, Environmental Services; Kellyn Schroeder, 8E; Brittany Perry, 8E; Lois Jenkins, Family Medicine; Jennifer Griffin, Women’s Services; Deborah Jones, PAS; David Baker, Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine; Carolyn Harrison, PAS; Charles Wallace, Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine; Sheryl Champagne, Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine; Donna Gibson, Radiology; Lori McCall, Medical Records; Virginia Wright, Radiology; Vanessa Mitchell, Medical Records; Bobbie Pearson, Radiology; Mikia Green, Radiology; Shane Cox, Radiology; Michael Gage, Radiology; Deborah Oliver, Pediatrics Ambulatory Care; Deborah Cepeda, Revenue Cycle Operations; Angela Dempsey, OB/GYN; Talesha

Fisher, Central Supply; Deshanna Fields, Revenue Cycle Operations; Rebecca Oliver, Meduflex Team; Courtney Boyd, 5E; Amanda Hunsucker, Meduflex Team; Deanna Long, 5E; Cornelia Spitz, Surgical Services; Leroy Davis, Venipuncture; Lilyann Johnson, Revenue Cycle Operations; Erma Brown, Safety & Security; Linus Brown, Radiology; Bette Tezza, Women’s Services; Lauren Brown, Revenue Cycle Operations; Raymond Turner, Neurosciences; Megan Fulton, Neurosurgery; Polly Guffin, TCU; Danny Williams, Safety & Security; Richard Marchell, Dermatology; Sandra Fox, 2 JRU; Christine Walker, 2 JRU; Shannon Baskin, NSICU; Charity Hickman, Ambulatory Pharmacy; Roberta Campbell, Meduflex Team; Debra Capps, Radiology; Olivia Burgess, Surgery, Women & Infant Services; Herbert Jenkins, Volunteer & Guest Services; Terrence Walker, 6W; Robert Black, Ophthalmology; Linda Bryan, 6W; Ava Jones, 8E; Tara Kist, 6W; Julie Ross, 6W; Connie Vendrick, 6W; Denise Carneiro-Pla, Sugery; Joan Madriaga, 8E; Gwen Frazier, PeriAnesthesia Unit; Gwen Brown, Perinatal Services; Lisa Pinckney, Family Medicine; Adrienne Gregory, Revenue Cycle Operations; Gregory Dame, Patient Transport; Arni Nutting, Pediatric Cardiology; Dondra Rodd, Neurology; Aljoeson Walker, Neurology; Reggie Harney, Patient Transport; Diana Antonovich, Dermatology; George Inabinet, Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine; Brittany Bennett, Patient Transport; Rose Whitney, Pediatrics Ambulatory Care; Pamela Mayes, Children’s Services Registration; Kendra Ostrander, Medical Records, and Heather Gordon, 4E. University Melissa Behling, Dental Faculty Practice; Philip Blacklocke, Dental Faculty Practice; Michele Bureau, OB/GYN; Sarah Denham, Neurosurgery; Margie Myers, Gastro/Hepatology; Debra Nelson*, Radiology; Cameron Oswald, Infectious Diseases Division; Nancy Owens, Dental Faculty Practice; Jennifer Pearce Aldrich, Engineering & Facilities; Jim Pope, AC Shop; Gabriel Ross, College of Dental Medicine; Roxanna Seltzer, Dental Faculty Practice; and Alvinia Wilson, Dental Faculty Practice. *Received two nominations

The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012 3

an MUSC Hero

Health resource nurse praised for compassion, innovative spirit

By CinDy aBole Public Relations


s the British were celebrating Queen Elizabeth II and her diamond jubilee, miles away, staff from Business Development & Marketing Services gathered to honor one of their own. Unlike the pomp and majesty that was part of the five-day public celebration, this local event honored Referral Call Center’s Sandra DeAntonio, R.N., who celebrated 38 years in nursing service on June 6. To stay with the symbolic theme, coworkers adorned her with a homemade sash and decorated crown. A Charleston native, DeAntonio is coordinator for the call center. Before that, she cared for families and worked with resident physicians in the Department of Family Medicine. In 1981, DeAntonio accepted a job working with marketing’s Health Connection nurse services providing health care information with patients and supporting physician referrals. She completed her nursing degree in 1974 from the College of Nursing. DeAntonio stayed at MUSC, working closely with a team of health resource nurses who support the hospital’s discharge program by communicating with

Registered nurse Sandra DeAntonio is a ‘valuable resource’ in the Referral Call Center. patients and responding to specific care questions. Department director Chris Murray praised DeAntonio for her compassion and innovative spirit. “We knew we were hiring the right clinical leader to manage our call center’s clinical functions based on Sandra’s high standards for clinical practice at MUSC Family Medicine and her management experience with Carolina Family Care. Through her own personal

engagement or those by her clinical team, Sandra has helped thousands of people receive care or consultation regarding the next step for their health and well-being. That’s an incredible legacy for a nurse.” DeAntoino was among 10 finalists for the 2010 Nurse of the Year award and has been praised with applause awards and the department’s volunteer achiever award. She’s also the recipient of thank you letters and notes from grateful physicians and patients. Health resource nurse Kathy Kuhn has worked with DeAntoinio since 2010 and can’t say enough about her colleague and mentor. Kuhn and the other nurses in the call center helped organize and prepare the celebration working with coworkers who helped provide a lunch, cake, small gifts and a plaque presentation. “It’s amazing how much knowledge and experience Sandra possesses. She is great at establishing a close connection with others and deals directly with the needs of her patients. She’s a great mentor to me and a valuable resource for MUSC,” Kuhn said. Editor’s note: At MUSC, heroes abound. They exist in the form of caregivers, faculty, students and staff. The Catalyst’s MUSC Heroes is a column that offers employees the opportunity to recognize MUSC's everyday heroes.

4 The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012

Peds unit improves patient satisfaction, best practices By CinDy aBole Public Relations Surpassing goals to improve patient care while sharing best practice ideas was the objective of the 7East Pediatric Surgery team. Children’s Hospital’s Carla Pascoe, R.N., 7East Pediatric Surgery nurse manager, worked hard to lead her pediatric medical and surgical floor team in some transformative work that improved patient outcomes and overall ratings. In little more than a year, Pascoe and her team of nurses, patient care technicians, clinical unit leaders and specialists have made significant strides in achieving high patient satisfaction scores. They are working smarter with multidisciplinary teams, making improvements and instituting new initiatives to achieve a 99 percent Press Ganey hospital patient satisfaction score in six out of seven quarters since 2010. This achievement rated the unit among top-ranked pediatric hospital units in the country and 65 similar hospitals within a similar peer group. To celebrate, Pascoe and other Children’s Hospital support leaders joined 7East in a celebratory meal and

Children’s Hospital nurse manager Carla Pascoe, center, and 7East staff celebrate six out of seven quarter wins for achieving 99 percent patient satisfaction and MUSC Excellence scores. presentation to discuss their unit’s successes and look ahead to establish goals for the future. “Achieving this level of an outstanding care record is an important accomplishment for our unit. Lately, our score has been up and down as this reflects a busy time for us and we’re still short-staffed. Our staff has better,

positive synergy and I am very proud of everyone’s hard work.” Pascoe cites keys to their successes — amendments to the bedside shift reports, organization of unit-specific teams, improved communications and reporting to staff, collaboration with specialty services, rounding and engagement using handwritten thank you notes, sharing

best practices and lessons learned, as well as family feedback. More specifically, Pascoe’s management philosophy includes an amended version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where meeting one need may guide others to fulfill greater needs. Pascoe believes this can be applied to patient care. She identified 7East’s needs to be survival, infrastructure, relationships, achievement and peak performance. Survival includes meeting staff and physical needs as well as overall support. For relationships, the team focused on moral, team work, recognition and rounding. Pascoe also recognized high, middle and low performers. Kathy Kurowski, 7East nurse, is one of two clinical unit leaders who have worked hard to improve staff involvement. Earlier this year, she was nominated as a Medical University Hospital Authority employee of the month recognizing her for developing a theme-of-the-month party to build morale and encourage involvement. “Everything Kathy does for the patients, team and unit is remarkable. Kathy’s dedication and efforts not only affect the staff, but her enthusiasm permeates over to patients as well,” Pascoe said.

Many programs available to help employees get healthy W

hen it comes to preventable causes of death in the United States, obesity and smoking top the list. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 66 percent of adults in the United States are overweight, with more than Christie Gomez 35 percent categorized as MUSC Dietetic Intern obese. At this time, no state has met the nation’s Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15 percent. Instead, the exact opposite has happened. As of 2010, the number of states with an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or more grew to 12 states, one of which was South Carolina at 31.5 percent.

Nutrition matters

City of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., presented the Lowcountry with a challenge to address this issue March 26. It’s not an easy challenge, but it’s a challenge well worth accepting. Riley challenged Charleston to “lighten up” by losing 100,000 pounds during the next 365 days. Through this challenge, Charleston joins a growing number of cities taking steps to improve the health of its population by means of public health and promoting better lifestyles, most notably Oklahoma City whose residents lost more than 1 million pounds. The mission of this initiative is simple: To reduce obesity by focusing on five specific ways of getting healthier. q Fruits and vegetables–Eat five or more servings daily q Get moving–Increase your level of physical activity q Portion control–Manage portion sizes q Beverage Consumption–Replace high-calorie beverages with healthy drinks

q Keep track–Monitor your weight, activity, and intake Lighten Up Charleston has an interactive website, to help individuals find programs in our community to help them get healthy, track their progress, and learn about ways to lose weight. Once you create an account, you can track and report your weight loss, create a group and tell your story or seek help from the many community partners in this effort to get Charleston healthy. One community partner is here at MUSC. Patrick M. O’Neil, Ph.D., director of the MUSC Weight Management Center, is co-chair of the program and recommends teaming up with others for the best chance of success. To work out with MUSC team members, contact Susan Johnson, Ph.D., or Janis Newton at the MUSC Wellness Center for information. With more than 4,700 pounds already lost, there is no better time than now to join the challenge to Lighten Up Charleston.

The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012 5

Meet Scot

Scot P. Wetzig Department Public Safety How long at MUSC 21 years How are you changing what’s possible at MUSC By assisting those in need Military service I spent five years in the US Army. Dream job Computer crimes investigator Favorite summer memory My wife and I taking our daughter, Addison, swimming for the first time. How would you spend $1 million Donate a portion to cancer research. My father died from cancer. Cities or countries you have visited While in the military, I visited 34 countries and almost every city on the East Coast. Words of advice While you are at work, help at least one person before you go home. First thing you notice about a person Their body posture

6 The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012

PCTs, TAs celebrated for contributions to patient care T

Patient care technician Caroline Flowers, right, and Kara Bogue, R.N., review a chart. Flowers was recognized as 3W’s PCT of the Year.

he 35th annual National Nursing Assistants’ week is June 14 – 21. At MUSC nursing assistants, also known as therapeutic assistants (TAs) and patient care technicians (PCTs), provide handson care with patients and families. According to Michael Sawin, nurse manager, 10W Orthopaedics/Trauma and Cast Techs, the 35th annual National Nursing Assistants’ Week provides an opportunity to recognize and promote PCTs at MUSC and around the Tri-county community. PCTs and TAs work with physicians, nurses and health care teams to provide direct patient care in various health care environments. This may include assisting the patients with tasks they cannot do for themselves while in the hospital, rehabilitation clinics, nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Technicians also may assist patients with tasks such as eating, getting out of bed, taking a bath and brushing their teeth and hair. PCTs and TAs make a difference by seeking out and involving role models,

peers, supervisors, clients, families, community members and others in the community. Nursing Assistants Week provides a venue to bring caregivers together and create projects and programs that continue throughout the year. Marilyn Schaffner, Ph.D., R.N., Clinical Services administrator and chief nursing executive for the medical center, knows first-hand about PCTs and their impact on patient care. As a teenager, she worked as a PCT in an orthopaedic unit during a summer vacation. She can remember the praise she received from a nurse who thanked Schaffner for contributing in the care of patients during one particular day. It left a memorable impact on her understanding of the role of PCTs in hospitals. “PCTs and TAs are integral in the care of our patients, the healing of our patients and the comforting of the families. As we celebrate PCTs and TAs, I want every PCT and TA to know how

See TeChniCianS on page 7

The Catalyst, June 15, 2012 7

TeChniCianS Continued from Page Six much respect I have for them. What they do is hard work, but it is great work. Congratulations and enjoy our celebration of you.” Caroline Flowers is a part-time nursing student and PCT working in Ashley River Tower’s 3W interventional cardiology unit. “I love the care I provide to heart patients and working with a team of 44 dedicated and compassionate staff.” Flowers emphasized that teamwork between technicians, nurses, physicians and other staff is an essential part of the unit’s success. “Providing a nurturing, supportive and stress-free environment allows patients to feel better so that they’re able to leave the hospital in a shorter period of time,” Flowers said. Medical center leadership hospitalwide recognized technicians with cupcakes on June 14.

Institute of Psychiatry’s August Brown, a 4North senior therapeutic assistant, writes down details for an upcoming patient meeting for the Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs adult patients.

Unit winners for PCT of the Year Childrens Emergency Department: Wendy Austin; 7E: Megan Diminich; 7C: Emily Dorman; 7A: Shemika Champion Women’s Health 5E/5W: Chiquita Anderson Institute of Psychiatry Senior Care Units: Gwen President; 1 North: Michael Daffin; 2 North: Antawn Polite; 3 North: Jordan Lucas; 4 North: August Brown; Central Pool: Lasonya Wells; STAR North: Jena Barr; STAR Leeds: Nicole Cool; IMPACT Leeds: Silvie Counts; STAR Ladson: Tracy Burgess; Seasons Program: Steve Worley Ashley River Tower 5W: Kevin Douglas; 6W: Ashley Crosby; 6E: Jessica Weigel; 5E: Justyn Lamb; MSICU: Tiffany Labord and Jennifer Blackstock; Prep and Recovery: Pam Gillette; 3W: Caroline

Flowers; CTICU: Katie Dennison; 4E: Andrea Coulter; Chest Pain Center: Pat Wagner; CICU: Sonita Mom University Hospital 10W: Brett Mills and Fred Scruggs; NSICU: Jason Haan; 8E: Katie Pivett; TCU: Rowena Coultson; STICU: D.J. Tucker; Meduflex: Willie Brown and Brett Johnson; 9E: Charles Huger; MICU: Katherine Cline; 8W: Tolanda Henderson; 2JRU: Gwen Franklin and Fatima Bellinger; 9W: Mel Capers and Gail Brown; Pre-op Holding: Adrian Green; PACU: Laureen Johnson; 6W: Terrence Walker; 7W: Tamara Trainor; 6E: Margaret Sights; Ambulatory Operating Room: Eva Cuenca; Adult Emergency Department: Johann Zamoscianyk For information on the National Nursing Assistants initiative or the opportunities given to patient care technicians, visit

8 The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012

SurviveS Continued from Page One Stephanie Montgomery, M.D., took one look at him and scheduled him for surgery. Having few recollections of that time, Ginn said he hated his daughter had to sign paperwork giving the doctors permission to amputate his arm should it become necessary. Other painful decisions about cremation and where to scatter his ashes were made. Montgomery said they had to act quickly. “I took him almost immediately to the OR. With necrotizing fasciitis, the infected tissue easily is pushed away, almost as if it sloughs off, and it’s critical to get rid of all the infection, which is why these patients often have more than one surgery.”

To The reSCue Ginn was placed on multiple medications to keep his blood pressure up, as well as on a ventilator as they waited for powerful, broad spectrum antibiotics to kick in. “With all the necrotizing fasciitis patients, you’re just not sure,” said Montgomery. “I was at his bedside for most of the night, watching his wounds. He was touch and go for the first 24 to 48 hours. It can take a turn at a moment’s notice.” As it turned out, Montgomery had to take him back into the OR that same evening. “It’s not like you get it all the first time. Within six hours, it had spread some more. The infection can spread while you’re treating it.” MUSC has a team of seven trauma surgeons, boardcertified in both general surgery and critical care, who Montgomery jokes all eat, breathe and sleep emergency care. They all love the field and work closely as a team to treat patients. In Ginn’s case, the team had to decide whether to keep his arm. The infection involved the muscles in his left shoulder as well and an orthopedist was called in for a consult. “If you have to make a decision between life or limb, limb goes.” A consensus was reached to try to keep his arm and wait to see if the infection could be contained without having to do the amputation. “You don’t want to do a definitive operation like that unless you have to,” she said. “You make a judgment call. That’s where experience comes in. That’s why MUSC is the best place to have that done. We take care of this frequently.” Two other trauma surgeons, Stephen Fann, M.D., and Stuart Leon, M.D., would end up taking Ginn in for more surgeries, and then plastic surgeon Dennis Schimpf, M.D., took skin grafts to be able to cover the wound on his arm and shoulder. Finally on March 13, 19 days after coming to MUSC and six trips to the OR, Ginn was well enough to go home. Ginn, who has become friends with Montgomery, said he’s so thankful to have gotten the care he did.

Dr. Stephanie Montgomery was part of Barry Ginn’s treatment team.

Warning SignS q Trauma surgeon Stephanie Montgomery said it’s pointless to worry about getting necrotizing fasciitis. “You have bacteria all over your body right now that can cause this. It’s in the environment. Take care of yourself and wash your hands. If you have a wound that gets infected, go see somebody with experience in handling it.” q Pay attention to any wound that becomes red, starts growing, has blisters, changes colors, has red streaks that track away from the wound, is hot to the touch or develops intense, persistent pain. “I had doctors who weren’t afraid to make hard decisions.”

BaCk on Par Ginn, who’s undergoing physical therapy, still is working through the trauma of having had necrotizing fasciitis. Though there’s no way people can avoid getting what he had, they can seek treatment sooner. His one regret is that he ignored the persistent pain in his shoulder. The sooner the treatment, the better patients with necrotizing fasciitis fare. Montgomery said there needs to be more education in the medical community about symptoms, particularly given how often these cases occur. MUSC generally gets at least one case a month. There are more virulent bacteria because of the overuse of antibiotics, so there are more of the cases, she said. “The more awareness that is brought up, the more physicians who don’t deal with it on a regular

basis, will educate themselves,” she said, adding that MUSC takes transfers from every hospital in the region. “They should know we’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deal with this. It just takes one phone call – through Meduline. It’s a one call does it all. We have the resources to deal with these complicated cases.” The way media portrays the disease isn’t quite accurate. “It’s not a flesh eating bacteria or anything like that. It’s an infection that has been allowed to get bad or it’s a very bad organism that causes the infection and it tracks along the fascial planes inside of a patient’s subcutaneous tissues. It can happen not only on arms and legs, but on your torso, your back – anywhere. It can happen from any sort of trauma, a scratch or a bug bite.” Montgomery said there are patients who are more susceptible, such as diabetics or those with low immune systems. Normal, healthy people also can get it, though, because it can just be a ‘bad’ organism, such as staph, strep, MRSA or even multiorganisms in one. Treated early it’s not a problem, however, often patients will let the infection set in because they don’t realize how bad it is or they seek help from a physician who doesn’t recognize it for what it is. “It’s not as unusual as you think, which is the reason it’s important to choose a place that sees it often and knows how to take care of it well. These patients are extremely sick. Not only do you need a prompt surgical approach, but you also need a team who can take care of the aftermath of the operation.” The patients are in septic shock, which means their system is so overwhelmed by the infection that they are in danger of multi-system organ failure. Montgomery said she’s thankful for a well-trained nursing and ICU staff who know how to do the follow-up care these patients require. “We have wound-care specialists. We have a team of wound nurses who are amazing. They help the wound close faster and be more aesthetically pleasing. That’s important for these patients because sometimes you have take off quite a bit of the soft tissue to make sure the patient lives.” One of the best parts of her job is when a patient as sick as Ginn comes in and is able to leave. Montgomery said she developed a good relationship with the family and Ginn, whom she didn’t really get to know well until he began to recover. “He was feisty. However, I’m feisty, so that worked for us. He’s fun and witty, and I’m glad he’s still with us.” Ginn, of course, agrees. “There is life after necrotizing fasciitis,” he said. “Everything that happened to me was so bizarre, it was mind boggling. God has given me a second chance and the doctors have given me a life. That’s a miracle. They made me a whole person. I can feel and touch and see what a big miracle it is.”

The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012 9

Employees, staff get answers through Rumor Mill Associate degree nurses I’ve heard that MUSC will change to all nurses needing their bachelor’s degree by 2015 and that associate degree nurses at that time will be fired. What is the plan for nurses with associate degrees? MUSC recognizes all nurses, and values the role nursing has in providing quality health care and quality outcomes. As an academic medical center striving to become Magnet designated, the intent is to support nurses in pursuing a higher level of formal education. One organizational structural empowerment in place to support this effort is tuition reimbursement. Currently the plan for all nurses is to continue to promote the benefits of professional growth and development through supporting higher education, not terminating associate degree nurses. Recycling Is there a designated person that is supposed to empty the recycling bins in the nursing breakrooms? The one on 5E (postpartum) is overflowing. For locations in Storm Eye Institute and Hollings Cancer Center buildings, call 792-4119 to schedule a pick-up. For locations in university hospital, Children’s Hospital, Ashley River Tower and Rutledge Tower, call 792-5600. For other questions about the MUSC Recycling Program, contact the MUSC Office of Sustainability and Recycling at 792-4066. Rutledge Tower Cafeteria Is there any way possible to have some better food at RT? If funds are available, the Rutledge Tower Café is scheduled to be moved and renovated in the fall or early winter. The Pulse Will anyone be assuming the role for the “Pulse” newsletter editor for the Heart and Vascular Center? That was a great resource and fun to read. The “Pulse” was a newsletter originally published

by the Heart and Vascular Center (Cath, EP and Prep and Recovery areas) of the Heart and Vascular Service Line but was specific to those areas. It was replaced by the Service Line newsletter and will contain items of interest from that area as well as all of Heart and Vascular services in future publications. Jonathan Lucas parking garage I would like to know why a parking attendant asked me the name of the patient I was visiting, while coming to visit a family member. Isn’t this a HIPAA violation? I felt very uncomfortable revealing this information to a woman sitting in a parking garage. Allowing Parking Management cashiers to request patient names is not a HIPAA violation; it is a legitimate part of the operations of the facility. Family members of hospital inpatients who park in our lots overnight are entitled to a reduced parking rate. Obtaining the name of the patient the family member is visiting allows the cashiers to confirm that they are eligible for this rate. Flower beds I heard that the new beds next to the eaves of the Bioengineering Building aren’t cared for by MUSC folks. That they were contracted out. The beds are managed by the university landscaping division. Landscaping I want to say thanks to the grounds crew for all the beautiful flower beds around campus. It really lifts my spirit to see and smell all the flowers as I’m walking around campus. Thanks for your comments. You may wish to direct your comments to John Malmrose, director of Engineering and Facilities. Day care for employees’ children Are there any discussions or plans to offer day care

services for employees’ children again? The provost has authorized a workgroup chaired by Megan Moran-Santa Maria, Ph.D., to conduct a child care needs assessment using a child care industry consultant. The results of the assessment, which should be completed later this year, will be used to determine the required resources and cost benefit of an employer provided day care at MUSC. Should the assessment reveal that both need and support exist to make a day care center viable on campus, then that information will be provided to the appropriate officials to incorporate into the MUSC master plan. Smoking I thought MUSC was a smoke-free campus? I see many visitors and employees smoking right across the street in front of the MUSC College of Nursing. All the property owned or leased by MUSC and its affiliates are now tobacco-free. The sidewalks and roadways that surround MUSC are city property and are excluded from the initiative by definition. Bikes on sidewalks Why are bikes allowed to ride down sidewalks surrounding the hospital? It seems a little dangerous to have bikes sharing the sidewalk with the pedestrians. Charleston City Code 19-125 – Riding on Sidewalks, states that riding bicycles on sidewalks is prohibited in the City of Charleston except: where the adjacent highway has a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or more (Ashley Avenue), persons may ride a bicycle on the adjacent sidewalk unless there is a dedicated bicycle lane on the highway. Any person permitted to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk shall operate the bicycle with due care and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians using the sidewalks. A police officer (Public Safety officer) may operate a bicycle on the sidewalk while performing law enforcement duties. Editor’s note: The Rumor Mill may be accessed at http://

10 The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012

Employee Wellness challenge: Raise money, lose pounds MUSC kicks off the 2012 American Heart Association Heart Walk Campaign as team captains from various departments, units and divisions representing the entire organization gather to discuss the event Sept. 29. The Lowcountry Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s mission in action. This annual Susan Johnson celebration promotes physical activity and heart healthy living while raising awareness about heart disease and raising money for research that has yielded medical breakthroughs, with $1.6 million in grants funding MUSC researchers to date. This year as teams are formed and walkers are recruited, MUSC Employee Wellness would like to challenge each team captain to encourage their members to begin a walking program, either as a group or individually. To track their progress and create some friendly competition among MUSC teams as well as others in the community, captains are asked to register their teams on the Lighten Up Charleston website at www. Walkers will then be able to log their progress, which will show as a team total and will be able to combine this information with their fundraising efforts to support the goal to raise money and lose pounds through heart walk training and preparation. For more information on how to join a heart walk team or how to register a team or individual through the Lighten Up Charleston online tool, email johnusa@ or call 792-1245.

Health at work

Employee Wellness events q MUSC's Pitch the Pack Program: Free smoking cessation program offered to MUSC employees and students. Classes, counseling and a one-month supply of medications are available to eligible

participants. Receive a complementary success kit with enrollment. Enroll online at SCP/SCPRegistration.aspx. q MUSC Urban Farm: Work & Learn: Learn through working with the soil and seeds in the MUSC Urban Farm from 9–11 a.m. June 16 and noon–1 p.m. June 20. Bring a plastic bag and take home some fresh produce. Participants also should wear closed-toe shoes. Email q MUSC Employee Fitness Series: Join fitness expert Katie Blaylock for a free sprint intervals class from 4:15–4:45 p.m. June 20. Registration is required and space is limited. To sign up, send your name and email to: musc-empwell@ Visit the MUSC Wellness Center Membership Desk to sign in and receive directions to the classroom. q Wellness Wednesday: Employee Health Services will be administering tuberculin skin tests for employees from 11 a.m.–1 p.m., June 20 in the lobby of the Children’s Hospital. q Mammograms: The Hollings Cancer Center Mobile Van will be conducting digital mammograms from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. June 20. Call 792-0878 to schedule an appointment. Email to become involved in employee wellness at MUSC.

The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012 11

CLASSIFIED P AGE • Household Personal Items for MUSC employees are free.

All other classifieds are charged at rate below. Ads considered venture-making ads (puppy breeder, coffee business, home for sale, etc.) will be charged as PAID ADS •• PROOF OF ELIGIBILITY REQUIRED * NO MORE THAN 3 LINES * FREE ADS RUN 2 WEEKS ONLY!

PAID ADS are $3 per line ( 1 line = 35 characters) DEADLINE: TUESDAY – 10:00 AM * CLASSIFIED ADS CAN BE E-MAILED TO, OR MAILED (134 Columbus St., Charleston SC 29403) Please call 849-1778 with questions. *Must provide Badge No. and Department of Employment for employees and Student I.D. Number for MUSC Students. IP01-681634

Homes For Sale

Misc. Services Full-size Constantin Sereny Master violin Luthier Romania. Model 75, 2001 plus bow, case $ 1,300.

Rental Properties 4154 Jean Laffite, Hollywood SC 5BR, 2.5BA, 3511 sf. $449,000 Disher, Hamrick & Myers Helen Butler 843-343-2222

For rent in Hanahan $525. 1 BR, 1BA, clean, water included $300 dep., 714-0373


12 The CaTalyST, June 15, 2012

MUSC Catalyst  
MUSC Catalyst  

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