Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Natalie Fox Appointed Manager of Clinical Operations for Pediatrics

Natalie Fox, pediatric nurse practitioner at the University of South Alabama Midtown Clinic, was recently appointed manager of clinical operations for pediatrics at USA Health.

Fox’s appointment follows Debbie Gilbert— who previously served as manager of clinical operations for pediatrics—retirement later this year.

“Debbie Gilbert announced her retirement after many years of loyal service to USA Health,” said Howard Holcomb, assistant administrator for pediatrics at USA Health. “We thank her for her many contributions and wish her well in her upcoming retirement.”

Holcomb said the general pediatric division at USA Health is moving toward patient centered medical home (PCMH) certification, a designation that rewards teamwork, quality improvement and patient satisfaction. Fox has been coordinating certification efforts and assisting the Stanton Road Clinic and Family Medicine Center as they also seek certification as part of a multi-site application process.

“We are excited to have Natalie join our management team,” Holcomb said. “Her combination of supervisory skills, clinical insight and expertise with PCMH is appreciated.”

Fox earned both her bachelor of science in nursing and master of science in nursing from USA.  She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

She will continue to see patients on a part-time basis.

College of Medicine Research Forum Set For Nov. 4

Graduate student Joseph Otto explains his project to Dr. Donna Cioffi, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the  University of South Alabama College of Medicine, during last year's research forum.
The 10th annual University of South Alabama College of Medicine Research Forum will be held Nov. 4, 2016, at the Medical Sciences Building on USA's main campus. The deadline for abstract submission is Oct. 7, 2016.

The Research Forum provides a venue for researchers from the College of Medicine and the Mitchell Cancer Center to present their work to the university’s biomedical community. “Since the Forum’s inception, we have seen many new ideas generated, as well as new collaborations develop among our community,” said Dr. Cioffi, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at USA.

The forum consists of two sessions - the morning session for oral presentations in the first floor auditorium, and the afternoon session for poster presentations in the second floor south hallway. Lunch will be served in the Joseph Bitzer Conference Room.

Participation is required for all basic medical science graduate students in their second year and beyond.

In addition to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, clinical fellows, residents and junior faculty are encouraged to participate.

Travel awards will be given for the two overall best presentations: one for graduate students and one for postdoctoral fellows. These awards are to be used for travel to national or international meetings.

The event is co-sponsored by the USA College of Medicine and the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute.

For more information and to view abstract forms, click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

USA Welcomes Dr. John Hunter

Dr. John Hunter recently was appointed assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and will serve as a surgeon with USA Physicians Group.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Hunter served as assistant professor of acute care and trauma surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and as a general surgeon at the VA Hospital in Birmingham, Ala.

Dr. Hunter earned his medical degree from UAB, where he also completed his residency training in general surgery. He then completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at UAB and a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at the University of Texas Houston Colon and Rectal Clinic.

Dr. Hunter is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery.

To make an appointment with Dr. Hunter, call (251) 445-8282.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Free Football Tickets, Tailgate for USA Health Employees

USA Health is providing complimentary tickets for every USA Health employee and a guest to attend the USA Jaguars vs. Troy University football game on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Each employee is eligible for two tickets. Each employee and a guest also can attend a free tailgating barbecue dinner catered by Sonny's BBQ before the game. Food will be served from 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Please register for tickets by clicking here anytime between now and Oct. 12. You must pre-register for tickets by Oct. 12.

We've designed a special USA Health Game Day T-shirt for the event, and we hope you will join us in wearing one at the game. These long-sleeve shirts cost $10 and will be sold at USA Medical Center on Oct. 4, USA Children's & Women's Hospital on Oct. 5, Springhill Avenue Campus on Oct. 6 and the Medical Sciences Building on Oct. 7.

Get details about tickets, tailgating, T-shirts and parking here. View photos from last year's event below.

USA Health System Game Day 2015 from USA Health on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

USA Sickle Cell Center Hosts Grand Opening of Learning Resource and Development Center


The University of South Alabama Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center held a grand opening for its Learning Resource and Development Center on Sept. 12, 2016.

At the event, pediatric patients had the opportunity to learn about the new center and its resources, as well as meet medical staff, including new adult nurse practitioner Jessica King.

The Learning Development and Resource Center (LRDC) is part of the Sickle Cell Center’s Pediatric to Adult Care Transition Program (PACT), which bridges the gap between pediatric and adult health care for patients with sickle cell disease. PACT currently serves 47 clients. Dr. Johnson Haynes, director of USA’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, said that patients in the program are “prepared when they transition from the pediatric world of nurturing to what the world expects them to be, independent and effective in their own right.”

“There has always been a very strong group of pediatric professionals, but there has been a shortage, not just locally, but nationally, in terms of doctors and allied health professionals who have been willing to care for sickle cell patients.” said Dr. Haynes, who is professor of internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine. He wants clients in transition from pediatric to adult care to understand the complexities of adult health care and the insurance industry so that they have the best tools to create confidence as adult patients.

The LRDC will give PACT clients tools to empower them to succeed not just in their health, but also in the work force. “We will facilitate resources for their academic development and expose them to things such as college prep or vocational services that may provide support in their career paths,” Dr. Haynes said. “For many, it will be a matter of providing them something that we take for granted, and that’s access to computers to do schoolwork, apply to colleges, or submit job applications. We want to be a resource and facilitate individuals with sickle cell disease to become whole adults in terms of being prepared to deal with their adult lives.”

The resources available from PACT and the LRDC complement services provided by the community-based sickle cell organization, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America- Mobile Chapter.

Dr. Haynes is grateful for community support. “I’d just like to say thanks to the community, because the LRDC would not exist without their emotional and financial support.”

For more information about PACT, contact coordinator Tshemika Perryman at 251-470-5893. Click here to learn more about USA’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center.

View more photos from the grand opening here.