Monday, July 24, 2017

Dr. Di Palma Marks 30 Years with USA College of Medicine

Dr. Jack Di Palma holds a red fish he caught offshore of Happy Jack, La.
“When I review fellowship applications, they always have a personal statement. Someone always says they’re here to save the world,” said USA gastroenterologist Dr. Jack Di Palma. “I have never said that, but I am passionate for medicine because it gives me the opportunity to perform a service that is a blessing.”

Dr. Di Palma, program director of the division of gastroenterology and professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently celebrated 30 years at USA as a medical educator and physician.

Dr. Di Palma joined the USA College of Medicine in 1987 after completing gastroenterology fellowship training at Wilford Hall USAG Medical Center in San Antonio, serving on faculty for four years as assistant chair of gastroenterology.

“When I started at USA, there was no formal gastroenterology program at the university. I was fortunate enough to recruit faculty and start a fellowship program to develop research in teaching and to develop our patient care programs,” Dr. Di Palma said.

Dr. Di Palma served as director of gastroenterology until October 2016, when Dr. Brooks Cash took over as director of gastroenterology. “Dr. Cash is an experienced clinician, administrator and educator who is well-poised to be the next generation’s leader in the gastroenterology division,” Dr. Di Palma said.

Dr. Di Palma is passionate about teaching students and fellows training in the gastroenterology program. “I always remind students to cherish the blessing of practicing medicine,” he said.

When he’s not busy mentoring and creating curricula for fellows in the gastroenterology department - during which time he recently welcomed the division’s 50th fellow - Dr. Di Palma looks forward to another kind of mentoring. He is the team faculty advisor for the USA Bass Fishing Club.

Dr. Di Palma said, “We could joke and say that I’m the designated grown-up for the team, but since my children are now 38 and 33, it’s been fun to be a mentor again to young adults.”

An avid outdoorsman for many years, Dr. Di Palma has enjoyed fishing in the many fresh and salt waters that are available to citizens in our region. When the advisor position for the USA Bass Fishing Club came up, he immediately jumped aboard.

“Programs like the USA Bass Fishing Club are important because we all need to be well-rounded individuals and move away from our jobs every now and then. It helps to expand ourselves, relax, reflect and be more productive,” he said.

Dr. Di Palma supports his team, who has qualified for and will be competing in a national tournament Oct. 10-11, 2017, on Lake Bemidji in Bemidji, Minn. “We are fortunate to have superb athletes on the USA Bass Fishing Team,” Dr. Di Palma said.

After 30 years of service at USA, Dr. Di Palma believes that the mentoring of medical students, fellows and members of the USA Bass Fishing Team are important parts of his career. “I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to mentor and teach medical students, athletes, and at least 50 young gastroenterologists who are scattered all over the country.”

As far as the future, Dr. Di Palma is excited to have recruited an excellent leader in Dr. Cash and looks forward to continuing what he calls a blessing - that of being an academic physician.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

USA Medical Student Lauren Nelson Attends American Academy of Pediatrics Meeting

Lauren Nelson, a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, attended the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) District III and District X meeting in Naples, Fla.

Nelson, who previously has served as an assistant district representative on the Medical Student Committee, recently was appointed district X student representative. “I feel like I have a bit more responsibility now as a district representative,” Nelson said.

Nelson stays busy on the committee by connecting with medical students in district X - which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico - and keeping them updated on things going on in the medical student committee. The goal of the medical student committee is to support and encourage medical students interested in pediatrics.

In addition, Nelson also serves as the mentorship work group chair for the committee. They are currently working on integrating PedsConnect, a forum where medical students can submit questions to pediatric faculty and resident experts with the AAP Mentorship Platform in order to encourage conversation between students and mentors. “It is a great opportunity to network and form relationships with mentors,” Nelson said.

During the conference, Nelson presented her experiences and work to district X leadership, including the district chair, state chapter presidents, vice presidents and executive directors and upcoming district leadership. She was excited to network within the conference. Nelson said a highlight of the conference was meeting AAP president-elect Colleen Kraft.

Nelson encourages other medical students interested in a career in pediatrics to get involved with the AAP. “The AAP is an organization full of mentors who are passionate about pediatrics and want to share their knowledge with you. Everyone I have met within the AAP wants to connect you to others and help you build a professional network,” she said.

Nelson also enjoys the relationships she has built with other medical students through the AAP. “I am so grateful that the AAP has connected me with other medical students across the country who are passionate about pediatrics and are at a similar stage in their training,” she said.

For more information about the AAP, click here.

Pediatrics Hosting Grand Rounds July 21

Dr. Lynn Batten, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama and director of the division of pediatric cardiology at USA, and Dr. Daniel Preud’Homme, professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and director of the USA Pediatric Healthy Life Center, will present “Hypertension: The (Blood) Pressure is On” for July’s pediatric grand rounds.

The event will take place Friday, July 21, at 8 a.m. in the conference room on the first floor of the Strada Patient Care Center.

Together, Dr. Batten and Dr. Preud’Homme will discuss the pathology of essential hypertension in pediatrics and review the risks and benefits associated with the routine use of drugs in hypertension. They will also discuss lifestyle modifications within the present guidelines and cover physician examination signs in pediatric hypertension.

The event is open to faculty, staff and students at USA. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages will be provided. For additional information, contact Katie Catlin at

The Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile.

Monday, July 17, 2017

USA Welcomes Dr. Meir Mizrahi

Dr. Meir Mizrahi recently was appointed assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as a gastroenterologist with USA Physicians Group.

Dr. Mizrahi previously served as a professor of internal medicine and academic instructor at the Hadassah School of Medicine at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.

Dr. Mizrahi earned his medical degree from the Bologna School of Medicine in Bologna, Italy. He completed his residency training and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel. He then completed a research and clinical fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, in the Center of Advanced Endoscopy in Boston.

Dr. Mizrahi is an accomplished researcher who has been published in many peer-reviewed journals, case reports and medical reviews. He also has presented research at many scientific conferences and lectures throughout the world.

Dr. Mizrahi is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the American Gastroenterology Association.

Dr. Mizrahi sees patients at the USA Digestive Center, located at 75 S. University Boulevard, Suite 6000-B. To make an appointment, call (251) 660-5555.

Friday, July 14, 2017

July Med School Café - ‘Managing Burn Injury: Past, Present and Future’

The July Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Steven Kahn, assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a burn, trauma and critical care surgeon with USA Health. Dr. Kahn also serves as director of the USA Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center at USA Medical Center. 

His lecture, titled “Managing Burn Injury: Past, Present and Future," will be held on July 28, 2017, at the USA Strada Patient Care Center Conference Room on the first floor. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Kahn will review the history of burn treatments and discuss the current treatments for managing burn injuries. He will also discuss advances in burn care and promising treatments underway for burn management.

Dr. Kahn earned his medical degree from East Tennessee State University, Quillen College of Medicine, located in Johnson City, Tenn. He completed a residency in general surgery, as well as a thermal injury research fellowship at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. He then completed a fellowship in surgical critical care, a fellowship in trauma/acute care surgery, and a burn fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center located in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Kahn is a member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the International Society for Burn Injuries, the American Burn Association, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the Surgical Infection Society.

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