Thursday, November 20, 2014

USA Welcomes Dr. Melody Petty

Dr. Melody L. Petty recently was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as a pediatric hospitalist at USA Children's & Women's Hospital.

Dr. Petty earned her medical degree at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. She completed her residency in pediatrics at USA, where she was recognized as the Residency Core Curriculum Scholar.

Dr. Petty is a member of the USA Program Evaluation and USA Pediatric Residency committees. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dumas Wesley Toy Drive Underway at USA Medical Center

The University of South Alabama Medical Center will continue the holiday tradition of collecting toys, books and games for the Dumas Wesley Community Center holiday Toy Store.

The 2014 toy drive will run in the hospital until staff members deliver the toys to Dumas Wesley on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

The USA Medical Center has been committed to helping those in need during the holidays by donating new and unwrapped toys to Dumas Wesley for 13 years. Human Resources Manager Anita Shirah leads the annual tradition.

The donations help local families in need in two ways: First, toys are sold to pre-qualified Crichton area residents at reduced prices. Then, the purchasers of the toys are able to take pride in knowing that the money they paid for the toys will be used by Dumas Wesley to help other community members.

Dumas Wesley will use the funds to help people who have a range of emergency needs, including medical and prescription needs and electric bills.

Those who donate to the toy drive are actually giving twice, as their gift will help a child have a happier Christmas and help a member of the community stay warm in the winter or avoid an eviction notice.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

USA Medical Students Attend AMSA Leadership Conference

USA medical students, from left: William Harvey, Bliss Cook, Blake Tennant and Sean Carter
Several members of the University of South Alabama American Medical Student Association (AMSA) recently attended the organization's fall leadership conference - also known as the AMSA Training Ground - at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.

"We attended the conference to learn more and to make connections with other AMSA chapters to get ideas on how to grow our chapter and make it stronger," said Bliss Cook, treasurer of USA’s AMSA chapter and a second-year medical student at USA.

The conference was focused on encouraging student advocacy in public and global health with lectures on gender inequalities in health care, effective volunteerism in underserved areas, and the importance of research in global health initiatives.

"The speakers helped us realize the interconnectedness of health care throughout the world’s population and what we can do as students to improve the delivery and outcome of the global health system,” said Blake Tennant, president of USA’s AMSA chapter and a second-year medical student at USA. “We learned that in order to spark national or even international change in health practices, we must first start with effective advocacy at the local or community level,” he said.

One of the big things the students took away from the conference was the importance of taking action - no matter how big or small that action may be. “You have to start somewhere,” said Cook. “If you have a goal or a desire to bring about change in something, then make a plan and stick to that plan.”

The AMSA Conference is an intensive weekend conference designed to help students acquire, practice, and hone the knowledge and skills necessary for student-led action.

Monday, November 17, 2014

USA Mourns Loss of Dr. Frederick N. Meyer

Frederick N. Meyer, M.D., a native of Chicago, Ill., and a resident of Mobile, Ala., passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 14, 2014.

Dr. Meyer earned his undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry from Westminster College in Salt Lake City and his medical degree from State University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. He completed a surgical internship at Latter Day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake City and his residency in orthopaedic surgery at University of Utah in Salt Lake City. To further his training, Dr. Meyer completed a Joseph Boyes Hand Surgery Fellowship in Los Angeles.

At the time of his death, Dr. Meyer served as professor and chair of the University of South Alabama department of orthopaedic surgery.  He also served as program director for the orthopaedic surgery residency training program.  Prior to his tenure at USA Dr. Meyer held teaching and leadership positions in orthopaedic surgery residency and fellowship training programs in Denver, Colo. and Phoenix, Ariz.  He was well-known and highly respected by his peers for his skill as an orthopaedic hand surgeon.  He earned public recognition for his academic expertise and orthopaedic knowledge, as well as his surgical and teaching skills.  He also occupied leadership positions in many national orthopaedic academic societies and served as a reviewer for a variety of professional journals.

As a humanitarian, Dr. Meyer led by example.  During his mission travels to Ecuador, he and the resident who accompanied him provided orthopaedic care to hundreds of poor and disadvantaged patients over the years.  His desire to alleviate suffering and improve the quality of life for his fellow man was always at the forefront of his medical practice.

In addition to his other accomplishments, Dr. Meyer proudly served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy and was the recipient of the Naval Commendation Medal for Outstanding Service.  He held a very special place in his heart for the veteran and active duty patients he cared for from every branch of military service.

Dr. Meyer’s family would like to acknowledge each resident currently enrolled in the USA orthopaedic surgery residency training program at USA.  Please know that Dr. Meyer took a special interest and pride in the achievement of the goals you have set for yourselves and he expected no less than the best from each of you:  Russell Goode, M.D.; Aaron Mates, M.D.; John Tullos, M.D.;  Ryan Mitchell, M.D.; Brandon Taylor, M.D.; Grant Zarzour, MD;  Jess Mullins, M.D.; Brandon Scott, M.D.; Patrick Smith, M.D.; Stephen White, M.D.;  Nav Bajwa, M.D.; Patrick Barousse, M.D; Alexander McDonnell, M.D.;  Joseph Shung, M.D. and Stephanie Stopka, M.D.

Although Dr. Meyer experienced a busy professional life, he was an animal lover, a model train enthusiast and collector, and also greatly enjoyed movies and home theatre.  For those who knew Dr. Meyer best, it was universally accepted that his love and dedication to his work were his real hobby and he could not imagine his life apart from orthopaedic surgery.  His association with the USA department of orthopaedics and the residency training program was his passion and the success of both was truly his delight.  Dr. Meyer always took the time to learn as much about the orthopaedic surgery residents as he could. When residents graduated from his program,  they took with them Dr. Meyer’s dedication for the well-being of every patient along with the knowledge that he was only a phone call away for advice or support.  He will be sorely missed by current and former residents as well as colleagues and associates at every level.

Dr. Meyer was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Harriet Meyer, sister Catherine Meyer Condas and daughter Jennifer Meyer.  He is survived by his beloved wife, Dr. Melanie Landry Meyer; brothers Steven Meyer and Russell Meyer; sons Torrance Meyer, Jared Meyer, and Michael Perry; and daughter, Dana Marshall.  In addition, Dr. Meyer is survived by cherished family members in Louisiana who loved him dearly and his ashes will be interred in his adopted home state at a later date.

Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at Our Savior Catholic Church located at 1801 Cody Road, Mobile, Ala. at 10 a.m. on Nov. 24, 2014.  From 12 noon to 2 p.m. friends and family are invited for visitation at the University of South Alabama Globe Grand Lobby at the USA Mitchell Center, 5950 Old Shell Road, Mobile, Ala.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Orthopaedic Residents’ Fund, LLC, C/O Rhonda B. Smith, 3421 Medical Park Drive, Building #2, Mobile, Ala. 36693 or the Mobile SPCA, 620 Zeigler Circle, W., Mobile, Ala. 36608.

Grant Awarded For Forensic Medical Equipment To Diagnose Child Sexual Abuse

Pat Guyton, director of the Child Advocacy Center, speaks during a press conference Nov. 17, 2014. Representatives of the University of South Alabama Department of Pediatrics, the Child Advocacy Center and St. Paul's Episcopal Church held a press conference Monday to announce the awarding of a St. Francis Fund grant for the purchase of a state-of-the-art electronic colposcope and new examination table for the USA Department of Pediatrics Screening for Child Sexual Abuse Clinic.
Representatives of the Child Advocacy Center (CAC), the University of South Alabama Department of Pediatrics, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church held a news conference Nov. 17th to announce a grant of $11,717 to purchase a new state-of-the art electronic colposcope and a new examination table for the USA Department of Pediatrics Screening for Child Sexual Abuse Clinic, a joint project of the USA Department of Pediatrics and the CAC.

The new colposcope and new examination table will be used by USA pediatrician Dr. Jessica Kirk, the CAC’s Medical Director, to conduct forensic medical examinations in allegations involving child sexual abuse.

The funds are being donated by the St. Francis Fund of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dr. Michael Welsh to Give Charles M. Baugh Lecture

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Charles M. Baugh 2014 Endowed Lecture in Basic Medical Sciences will feature Dr. Michael Welsh, a Howard Hughes Investigator at the University of Iowa and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

His lecture, titled “The Origins of Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease,” will take place Nov. 20, 2014, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA’s main campus.

Dr. Welsh is also Roy J. Carver Biomedical Research Chair in Internal Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, professor of neurosurgery, and director of the University of Iowa Cystic Fibrosis Research Center. In addition, he serves as director of the University of Iowa Institute for Biomedical Discovery at the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine of the University of Iowa.

Dr. Welsh’s laboratory focuses on understanding the biology of cystic fibrosis, a common lethal genetic disease. Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in a gene that encodes the CFTR chloride channel. Dr. Welsh and his colleagues are learning how the CFTR chloride channel is regulated, how it forms a chloride pore in the cell membrane, and how mutations disrupt its function. His lab also focuses on the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis lung disease, learning how the loss of CFTR causes bacterial airway infections and how bacteria interact with the airway. In addition, Dr. Welsh and his colleagues are developing gene transfer methods to treat cystic fibrosis and other genetic diseases.

Dr. Welsh earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, where he completed his residency in internal medicine. He held clinical and research fellowships in pulmonary disease at the University of California, San Francisco, and did postgraduate research in physiology and cell biology at the University of Texas, Houston.

Dr. Welsh has served as president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and president of the Association of American Physicians. He has received numerous awards, including the Doris F. Tulcin Cystic Fibrosis Research Award, the Paul di Sant’Agnese Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Francis Blake Award from the Association of American Physicians, and the J. Burns Amberson Award from the American Thoracic Society.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Welsh.

The lecture is held in memory of Dr. Charles M. Baugh, who served twice as dean of the USA College of Medicine and as vice president for medical affairs. He began his career at USA in 1973 as a charter member of the medical school faculty and as professor and chair of biochemistry. In 1976, Dr. Baugh was named associate dean for basic medical sciences and served as dean from 1987-1992 and from 1999-2000. In addition, Dr. Baugh was involved in the creation of the USA Health Services Foundation, the South Alabama Medical Sciences Foundation, PrimeHealth, and in the development of USA's biomedical library which bears his name.

Past Baugh Lecturers Have Been:

Frank Maley, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research, Albany, N.Y.

Michael A. Marletta, Ph.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan

Stanley Cohen, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 1986, and Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University

Gail H.Cassell, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific Affairs and Distinguished Lilly Research Scholar for Infectious Diseases, Eli Lilly and Company and Laboratories

Max D. Cooper, M.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Microbiology and Pathology, University of Alabama College of Medicine at Birmingham

Sir Philip Cohen, Ph.D., Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences and Professor of Enzymology, Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit, University of Dundee, Scotland