Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Med School Café - Expert Advice for the Community

Dr. Alana Schilthuis, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and an internist with USA Physicians Group, presented the April Med School Cafe lecture, "Choose Healthy."

During the talk, Dr. Schilthuis discussed in detail the top five most important things people can do to significantly improve their health and quality of life. Her top five tips are: knowing your ideal weight, identifying your primary care provider, smoking cessation, appropriate preventative screenings based on age and sex, and proper vaccinations.

Watch the video below to view the lecture in its entirety.


Med School Cafe 4-14-15 from USA Health System on Vimeo.

The next lecture will feature Dr. Kenneth Rettig, professor emeritus of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and a pediatric endocrinologist with USA Physicians Group. His lecture, titled “Civil War Medicine,” will take place May 26, 2015, at the USA Faculty Club. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon. The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or e-mail kepartridge@health.southalabama.edu. 

USA Medical Center Holds Dedication Ceremony for Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center

The University of South Alabama Medical Center held the dedication ceremony for the Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

Dr. Luterman, retired Ripps-Meisler professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine and former director of the burn center, was recognized for his development of the regional burn center and for helping it grow into one of the busiest in the country.

“The Burn Center became involved in the development and testing of many new advances in burn care, which gained it a national and international reputation,” Dr. Luterman said.

When he arrived at USA there was a burn unit, but “there was a need to increase its level of service to that of a burn center,” Dr. Luterman said. The change required a joint effort by many departments, from the hospital’s administration to nutrition services.

The university’s board of trustees approved a resolution last year to name the facility the Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center. The new namesake of the USA Medical Center’s regional burn center is “flattered” to have the center named in his honor.

Dr. Luterman recently retired from the university after more than 30 years of service. He is nationally known as a burn care expert and a medical educator.

Click here to view more photos from the dedication. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chris Buckley Named Co-Director for Camp SKAMP

Chris Buckley, a recent graduate of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was named co-director for Camp SKAMP (Special Kids And Meaningful People) located in McDavid, Fla.

Buckley became a counselor and staff member with Camp SKAMP in 2004. During his time with the camp, he has worked diligently with both campers and volunteers to ensure that the camp is an enjoyable and safe experience. Each counselor is responsible for assisting the campers with feeding, dressing, bathing, attending classes and other activities. Staff members teach classes, supervise the waterfront, prepare a yearbook, serve meals, wash dishes and take care of administrative paperwork.

“It is such an honor and delight to have been selected as co-director for Camp SKAMP. This camp plays a tremendous role in the lives of these wonderful children, and the invaluable impact of this camp will live on for decades to come,” Buckley said. “My seven summers as a volunteer camp counselor at SKAMP is, without a doubt, the greatest privilege I ever had. I look forward to working with the incredible staff, ensuring that the best years of this camp are yet to come.”

In 2007, Buckley was awarded the Community Scholarship from Tulane University in New Orleans, recognizing his dedication to SKAMP during high school. Tulane is also where Buckley received his residency assignment this past March, matching in psychiatry.

Camp SKAMP was established in 1971, and the campers range from age six to 22. The camp provides mentally and physically disabled children and adults with an authentic, overnight summer camp experience at no financial cost to the campers.

Ann Sprague, vice president of Camp SKAMP Board of Directors, said Buckley’s medical knowledge is extremely valuable in caring for the children and adults who attend this camp. “His dependability, sense of humor, musical talents and his caring attitude make him a perfect choice for this position,” she said.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dr. Alexeyev Interviewed in Science Magazine

Dr. Mikhail Alexeyev, associate professor of physiology and cell biology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently was interviewed for an article in Science magazine about a technique aimed at reducing the amount of potentially harmful DNA in eggs and embryos.

Approximately one in 200 women carry defective mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and their children can develop serious or fatal diseases. "Back in 2008 we provided a proof of principle for the gene therapy approach when we were able to shift a balance between diseased and normal mtDNA in cells by targeting a restriction endonuclease - an enzyme that cuts DNA at a predetermined sequence - to mitochondria,"  Dr. Alexeyev said.

A group of researchers at the University of Miami led by Dr. Carlos Moraes adapted components of the system that pathogenic bacteria use to improve their “living conditions” inside plant cells to develop genetic tools for targeting diseased mtDNA in a broader range of mitochondrial diseases.

The article describes how a team led by developmental biologist Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego took Dr. Alexeyev's and Dr. Moraes' approach one step further.

Click here to view the full story.

May Med School Café – 'Civil War Medicine'

The May Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Kenneth Rettig, professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatric endocrinologist with USA Physicians Group.

His lecture, titled “Civil War Medicine,” will take place May 26, 2015, at the USA Faculty Club, located at 6348 Old Shell Road on USA’s main campus. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

During the talk, Dr. Rettig will explore how the Civil War helped to move American medicine from a poorly organized "cottage operation" to a more modern model. His lecture coincides with the opening of the Mobile Medical Museum’s new exhibit, War and Medicine, which will be on display through Oct. 2, 2015, in the Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery on the third floor of the USA Marx Library.

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or e-mail kepartridge@health.southalabama.edu.

Med School Café is a free community lecture series sponsored by the USA Physicians Group. Each month, faculty from the USA College of Medicine share their expertise on a specific medical condition, providing insight on the latest treatment available.

Dr Rettig May Med School Cafe Promo from USA Health System on Vimeo.

ASGE Updates Guidelines on Colonoscopy Prep

Dr. Brooks Cash, professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a gastroenterologist with USA Physicians Group, recently led the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) Standards of Practice Committee in their release of updated guidelines on bowel preparation before colonoscopy. Dr. Cash serves as the chair of the committee.

The new guidelines include recommendations to improve results of colonoscopies and overall patient care. Since the last guidelines on bowel preparations, there have been advances in prep quality, safety and patient tolerability.

Dr. Cash said the most notable change the committee recommended is the consideration of split-dosing of the bowel prep as a minimum standard of care. Split-dosing a bowel prep involves consuming a portion of the prep the evening before the procedure and then consuming a second, equal portion within three to eight hours of the procedure. While at first glance this may appear inconvenient, multiple studies have shown that this method delivers superior colonoscopy preparation and is actually preferred by patients compared to consuming the entire prep the evening before the test.

The new guidelines also emphasize the importance of documenting bowel preparation quality using one of several validated scoring systems.

The ASGE promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Click here for more information about the new guidelines.