Thursday, February 2, 2012

Go Red for Women Symposium to Feature Three USA Physicians

Three physicians at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will be speaking during a series of break-out sessions at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women symposium.

The event, which is partially sponsored by the USA Health System, will take place Feb. 14, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel in downtown Mobile.

The physicians are: Dr. Steve Cordina, assistant professor of neurology and medical director for the USA Stroke Center; Dr. David Lewis, professor and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology; and Dr. Clara Massey, professor of internal medicine and director of the division of cardiology.

As part of the "Go Red for Women" campaign against heart disease, the day is set aside for special events to educate and inspire women to take action against the number one killer of women in the United States. In addition to the presentations, the event will include health screenings, educational literature and a luncheon.

At the event, Dr. Massey will discuss heart disease in women and provide statistics for the nation and the state of Alabama.

Dr. Cordina’s talk will explain how to recognize signs of an impending stroke, and Dr. Lewis will provide new information on high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy and how it serves as a predictor of cardiovascular disease with aging.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease claims the life of almost one woman every minute. This event strives to educate women about the importance of maintaining a healthy heart to reduce sudden stroke and heart attacks.

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The Courage to Change

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Click here to learn more about USA bariatric surgery patients and their weight loss journey.

USA Medical Student Benefits from Research Opportunities

It was Luke Wiggins’ initial exposure to research during a medical student summer research program at the University of South Alabama – supported in part by an American Heart Association Grant Fellowship – that spurred his interest in research and led him to pursue the M.D. with research honors program at the USA College of Medicine.

Wiggins, now a fourth-year medical student, continues to conduct cardiovascular research in the lab of his mentor Dr. Petra Rocic, assistant professor of biochemistry at USA.

He said the American Heart Association provides research opportunities for medical students and encourages young physicians to consider careers as physician-scientists.

“My experience in research supported by the AHA served as an introduction to the basics of medical research,” said Wiggins, who will graduate from the medical school in May with research honors.

“Time in the lab allowed the acquisition of skills required to carry out basic science research and gave me the opportunity to analyze and present findings.”

The research Wiggins has conducted throughout his time in medical school has led to subsequent research awards, including the 2011 Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship presented by Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

“My experience in research thus far has enhanced my medical education by improving my understanding of how research is conducted,” Wiggins said. “I have come to find that time spent in research during medical school has not taken away from my clinical experience, but has added to it.”

Following his AHA research experience, Wiggins has applied to residency programs in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery and is interested in training to become an academic cardiothoracic surgeon.

“These research experiences have equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue future opportunities in research during residency training,” he said, “and have guided my interest for a career in academic surgery."

Reminder - Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society

Members of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will have their next meeting on Feb. 15, 2012.

The meeting will take place at noon in Room 218 of the Mastin Building at 2451 Fillingim Street.

Senior Bowl Players Visit Patients at USA Children's & Women's Hospital

Patients at the University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital received a surprise visit from Senior Bowl players on Jan. 27, one day before the game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Snapshots from the visit are shown below.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

USA Autism Interest Group to Host Autism Grand Rounds

The University of South Alabama's Autism Interest Group is hosting Autism Grand Rounds on Feb. 10, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the College of Education, Room 3212, at University Commons.

As part of this year's professional conference, Dr. Elisa Kennedy, assistant professor of physical therapy, will present "Parent and Staff Perceptions of Family Centered Care Provided by a Multidisciplinary Autism Diagnostic Clinic."

In addition, the conference will include a presentation titled "Emotion Affects Audiovisual Speech Perception in Children with Autism & Controls." The talk will be presented by John Shelley-Tremblay, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and Sarah Bauman, MS, department of psychology.

This event is open to USA faculty, staff, and students. The meetings are designed to provide a forum for discussion of research and service provision within the University community related to autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities.

The conference does not provide CEUs, but a certificate of attendance will be available.

For additional information, contact Amy Mitchell at