Friday, January 27, 2012

Mark Your Calendars - Upcoming Events

Weight Loss Surgery Seminar- January 26, 6 p.m., Mastin building Room 203, Call 471-7413 for more information

Weight Loss Surgery Seminar - January 30, 5 p.m., USA Main Campus,

USA Medical Center Auxiliary Book Fair - February 2-3, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., USA Medical Center Lobby

Greater Gulf Coast Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Symposium - March 22-23, Five Rivers Delta Resource Center

Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Traumatology and Surgical Care - March 22, 6:30 p.m., Five Rivers Delta Resource Center

4th Annual Gumbo Chili Showdown - March 24, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ladd-Peebles Stadium before the USA Jaguars Spring Game,

21st Annual OB/GYN Continuing Education Conference - April 12 & 13, Daphne Civic Center

1st Annual University Lions Club Golf Tournament - May 19, Azalea City Golf Course, Registration at 11 a.m. Shotgun start at 1 p.m. Funds raised will support outreach to Ronald McDonald House residents, Christmas Party for the sensory impaired, vision projects in the community, and a camp for children with diabetes. For more information, click here.

*Be sure to check back soon for more event details and updates.

USA Children's & Women's Hospital Hosts Community Luncheon

The University of South Alabama's Children's & Women's Hospital held its monthly Community Luncheon for community leaders on Jan. 26, 2012. Luncheons are designed to help raise community awareness of the hospital's mission and the postive impact on the quality of life in our region.

The event provided an opportunity for guests to tour areas of the hospital. Photos from the event are shown below.

Community leaders tour the NICU during the monthly Community Luncheon. From left: Lori Hutchinson, community volunteer; Danny Patterson, South Alabama Community Foundation; Scott Hutchinson, Hutchinson Moore Rauch, LLC Engineering Firm; and Jewel Barbour, RN.

From left to right: Mary Todd, RN; Renee Rogers, Nurse Manager, NICU; Mark Foley, President, The University of Mobile; Dean Parker, Callis Communications; Owen Bailey, Administrator

Attendees view the computed tomography (CT) scanner. Shown above are Tim Rosson (front center), BBVA Compass Bank; Jennifer Bitner (right), March of Dimes; and Reverend O'Neil Wiley, Sr., (back), State Street AME Zion Church.

USA Surgery to Host Greater Gulf Coast Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Symposium

The University of South Alabama Department of Surgery will host the 3rd annual Greater Gulf Coast Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Symposium on March 22-23, 2012, at Five Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, Ala.

The symposium will provide physicians, surgeons, nurses and technicians with current evidence-based concepts and techniques of resuscitation, diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic intervention.

Objectives of the symposium are to identify and demonstrate the standard of care and leading edge techniques for diagnosing and managing thoracic, abdominal and pelvic trauma; to interpret and demonstrate improved surgical skills in diagnosing and managing thermal injuries, intestinal hemorrhage, pancreatitis and pulmonary insufficiency; to summarize emergent endoscopic and radiographic interventions for the critically ill or injured patient; and to explain information concerning health care reform and trauma system funding.

The 5th annual William A. L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care will be held in conjunction with the seminar. This year’s lecture will feature Dr. Donald D. Trunkey, professor and chair emeritus of surgery at Oregon Health & Science University. It will take place on March 22, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at Five Rivers Delta Resource Center.

Dr. Trunkey will also lecture during the two-day seminar. Guest lecturers include: Dr. Sherry M. Melton, associate professor of surgery and medical director of trauma at UAB Medical Center; and Dr. John M. Porter, professor of surgery and chief of trauma, critical care, and acute surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

USA faculty lecturers include: Dr. Jorge E. Alonso, professor of orthopaedic surgery; Dr. Sidney B. Brevard, associate professor of surgery, division of trauma services; Dr. Amin M. Frotan, assistant professor of surgery, division of trauma services; Dr. Mark N. Gillespie, professor and chair of pharmacology; Dr. Richard P. Gonzalez, professor of surgery and director of trauma services; Dr. Silvio W. de Melo Jr., assistant professor of internal medicine, division of gastroenterology; Dr. Paul F. Rider, assistant professor of surgery; Dr. Charles B. Rodning, professor of surgery; Dr. Jon D. Simmons, assistant professor of surgery, division of trauma services; Dr. Brad A. Steffler, associate professor of radiology and director of interventional radiology; and Dr. Dan Taylor, adjunct professor of surgery.

Educational credits are available for the two-day seminar. For more information, contact Cindy Pritchett at (251) 471-7496.

Renowned Surgeon to Speak at William A. L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship

This year’s William A. L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Traumatology and Surgical Care will feature Dr. Donald D. Trunkey, professor and chair emeritus of surgery at Oregon Health & Science University.

The lecture, “Healthcare Reform in the 21st Century,” will take place on March 22, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at Five Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, Ala. A welcome reception will be held at 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Trunkey's special areas of interest are trauma and vascular surgery. His research is primarily directed toward the study of shock, particularly cellular pathophysiology and immune deficiencies.

Dr. Trunkey earned his medical degree in 1963 from the University of Washington School of Medicine. He completed a residency in surgery at the University of California San Francisco and a fellowship in traumatology at the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine.

Leaders in healthcare, such as Dr. Trunkey, are invited to lecture to university and community physicians with the intent of improving patient care.

The lecture is presented annually in memory of Mitchell, who succumbed in 2005 from severe traumatic injuries sustained in a car crash. In appreciation for the care he received at the USA Trauma Center, his family established the endowed lecture series to memorialize their son and brother and to improve trauma patient care in our region through education. He was a senior at UMS-Wright Preparatory School at the time of his demise.

The USA Trauma Center is this region’s only Level I Trauma Center, serving as a community resource for citizens throughout the central Gulf Coast region. The center provides the highest level of care for critically ill and/or injured patients.

For more information about these lectures or the USA Trauma Center, please call (251) 471-7496.

Reminder: COM Faculty Assembly Meeting

The next University of South Alabama College of Medicine Faculty Assembly Meeting has been scheduled for Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA's main campus.

Click here to view the meeting's agenda.

For more information, contact Dr. John Benjamin at

Get Smart with Stroke

Dr. Steve M. Cordina, assistant professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and medical director for the USA Stroke Center, said it is very important to take immediate action at the first sign of stroke.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.

According to Dr. Cordina, there are two common types of stroke. “An ischemic stroke results when there is a blockage in the blood vessels to the brain,” he said, “and a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by spontaneous leaking blood vessels in the brain.”

In a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or “mini stroke,” stroke symptoms last less than 24 hours and usually do not lead to damage. “A TIA is a warning sign that a stroke could occur soon,” Dr. Cordina said. “Five percent will have a stroke within the next two days, while 10-20 percent will have a stroke within the next 90 days.”

Dr. Cordina said everyone should be aware of risk factors for stroke. Modifiable risks of stroke include hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, diabetes, smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise, heart disease, and carotid and vertebral artery disease.

Non-modifiable risks of stroke include age, race, sex, previous stroke or TIA, or family history of stroke.

“It is important not to ignore risk factors,” Dr. Cordina said. “Even though they may not bother you for a long time, they can lead to a major stroke.”

Patients may be eligible to undergo endovascular treatment of an ischemic stroke “blockage” – the most common type of stroke. If given within four and a half hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may reduce long-term disability.

Dr. Cordina urges everyone to learn the warning signs and call 9-1-1 at the first sign of stroke.

“Every minute, millions of neurons die in the stroke patients,” he said. “Time is brain. The faster you get to the hospital, the higher chances of recovery.”        

What are the stroke warning signs? •sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
 •sudden confusion
 •trouble speaking or understanding
 •sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
 •sudden trouble walking
 •dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
 •sudden, severe headache with no known cause

How do I know to call 911?
Use the FAST test (facial, arm, speech test)
 •Facial - Look for facial droop. Normally, both sides of the face should move equally. It is abnormal for one side of the face to not move at all.
 •Arm drift – Normally, both arms move equally or not at all. It is abnormal for one arm to drift.
 •Speech – Look for abnormal speech. If they are unable to speak or understand, it could be a stroke. Ask the person to repeat a sentence.
Dr. Cordina recently gave an overview of stroke at the December Med School Café lecture. To view the lecture in its entirety, click here.