Friday, June 15, 2012

June Med School Café - "Nonsurgical Treatment for Dupuytren's Contracture"

The June Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Frederick N. Meyer, professor and chair of orthopaedics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

His lecture, titled “Nonsurgical Treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture,’” will take place June 25, 2012, at the Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center in Mobile. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Meyer will lecture on Dupuytren’s disease, a relatively common syndrome that causes the tissues under the skin on the palm of the hand to thicken and shorten so that the fingers cannot straighten.

The disease primarily affects men rather than women, as well as people of Scandinavian or Northern European ancestry or those with a family history. Dupuytren’s disease is also more often associated with conditions such as diabetes and seizure disorders.

In February 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an injectable treatment for Dupuytren’s disease, and Dr. Meyer is the only physician in the area to offer the novel treatment.

During his talk, Dr. Meyer will explain the causes of Dupuytren’s disease, outline the signs and symptoms, and identify the newest nonsurgical treatment option to help cure the disease.

The Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center is located at 1717 Dauphin St. in Mobile.

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

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.

Department of Internal Medicine to Host Endowed Lecture

The University of South Alabama Department of Internal Medicine is hosting an endowed lecture on June 21, 2012, at 8 a.m. in the Richards Room at the USA Medical Center.

The lecture is held annually in honor of the late Dr. Loran Francis Parmley, who served as professor emeritus and founder of the USA Division of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Training Program.

The lecture will feature Dr. Glenn Whitman, associate professor of surgery and director of the cardiovascular surgical intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. During his talk, he will discuss system based management of post-coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery patients in the critical care setting.

Prior to his appointment at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Whitman served as professor of surgery at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He has also served in the surgery departments at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, The Medical College of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Temple University School of Medicine.

Dr. Whitman has served as chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, chief of cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland, and director of the surgical cardiac care unit at Jefferson Medical College.

The lecture was established to honor Dr. Parmley, who was appointed professor of medicine at USA in 1975 and director of the USA Division of Cardiology in 1981.

Previously, Dr. Parmley served in the European Theatre in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II and remained in the army to become chief of the Department of Medicine and Cardiology at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco and also at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. He served as army medical attache to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, and as a medical consultant in internal medicine and cardiology to the U.S. Army in Europe.

While chief of the department of medicine at Walter Reed, Dr. Parmley was on the medical team that cared for Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, former president of the United States.

In 1968, Parmley retired from the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a colonel to become assistant dean and professor of medicine at Univeristy of South Carolina Medical School and director of medical education at Spartanburg General Hospital in Spartanburg, S.C.

The event will provide CEU's. For additional information, contact Donna Gregory at (251) 471-7919.

Dr. Hanes Swingle Speaks at USA Board of Trustees Meeting

Dr. Hanes M. Swingle, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, spoke at the USA Board of Trustees Meeting on June 8, 2012.

At the meeting, Dr. Swingle provided information on autism spectrum disorders, a group of complex developmental disorders including autism, Asperger’s syndrome and Pervasive Development Disorders – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

He also gave an overview of how the University is addressing autism through interdisciplinary efforts involving the College of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Allied Health, and the College of Education.

Dr. Swingle established the Autism Diagnostic Clinic at USA in 2007. The clinic, located near the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, is one of two in the state of Alabama that provides interdisciplinary evaluations, which include examinations by physicians who are developmental-behavioral pediatricians.

Reminder: AOA Visiting Professorship Lectures

Dr. Molly Cooke, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, will be presenting two Alpha Omega Alpha Visiting Professorship lectures at the University of South Alabama. All USA College of Medicine faculty members are welcome to attend.

The first lecture, titled "The Physicians of 2030: We Are Training Them Now, Are We Doing It Right?” will be held June 18, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The second lecture, titled "The New Professionalism," will be held the same day from noon to 1 p.m. Both lectures will take place at the USA Medical Center Richards Room.

To read more about the lectures, click here.

Patient Care Network Program Being Implemented for Mobile, Washington Counties

Laura O'Connor
Last year, the Alabama Medicaid Agency created the Patient Care Networks program, which consists of independent, nonprofit patient-centered health networks that provide coordinated care to Medicaid recipients.

Initially piloted in three areas – East Alabama, West Alabama, and North Alabama – the program has demonstrated a 7.7 percent decrease in the total cost of providing care to Medicaid patients in these areas. A statewide rollout of the networks has begun, and beginning July 1, 2012, Mobile and Washington counties will be associated with the Gulf Coast Patient Care Network, Inc.

Laura O’Connor, executive director of the new Gulf Coast Patient Care Network (GCPCN), said the network provides a system of care coordination, including care management and pharmacy services, to serve Medicaid patients in our area with chronic disease and/or mental illness.

“We are developing a patient-centered network that facilitates access to and coordination of the full array of community-based health care services in partnership with local providers,” said O’Connor, who is responsible for overall operations of the network and serves as liaison between the network and the Alabama Medicaid agency.

With this network, members of the health care team work together to provide a high level of coordinated care that accomplishes the simultaneous goals of higher quality, greater patient access and lower costs.

“In a time of tightening budgets and a push at both the state and national level to control costs, this project is invaluable because it identifies areas where we can reduce costs while maintaining or improving care,” O’Connor said. “At the same time, we’re providing enhanced services to the neediest patients, and it ensures that each individual patient is getting the appropriate resources.”

The new network is based on an existing patient-centered medical home initiative within the Alabama Medicaid program known as Patient 1st, which gives Medicaid beneficiaries access to medical homes. Patients either choose a primary care practice to be their medical home or Medicaid officials assign them to one.

GCPCN will partner with all Patient 1st providers in Mobile and Washington Counties, including the University of South Alabama Health System, the Bayou La Batre Health Development Board, Franklin Primary Health Center, the Family Oriented Primary Health Care, and private practice physicians. GCPCN will also provide case management services in support of these partners.

According to Becky Tate, chief executive officer of the USA Health Services Foundation and president of the board of directors for GCPCN, the USA Health System is excited to be part of this innovative program.

“We look forward to working with our network partners in improving the health of our community,” Tate said.

According to O’Connor, the USA Center for Strategic Health Innovation will provide medical informatics services to Medicaid for use in this program. “All providers will participate in quarterly medical management committee meetings.” O’Connor said. “They will review trends and patterns of care delivery to identify best practices, as well as areas needing follow-up.”

USA Chairs Honored by Via Center

USA Family Medicine Chair Dr. Allen Perkins, USA Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work Chair Dr. Roma Hanks and USA Trustee Arlene Mitchell at the recent Via awards ceremony.
Dr. Allen Perkins, professor and chair of family medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently received a leadership award at the Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center's annual awards luncheon in Mobile.

Dr. Perkins has worked to secure HRSA Title VII grant funding for improving the geriatrics education of family medicine residents at USA. The project is a 5-year, $700,000 grant that began last year.

According to Dr. Perkins, residents participate in activities to enhance social-behavioral and community-based service issues in gerontology/geriatric care and care evaluation in partnership with the Center for Generational Studies. "This will allow them to experience team-based activity as a team member as well as a team leader," Dr. Perkins said.

In conjunction with this training, the family medicine department has been able to deliver care on-site at the Central Plaza Towers and provides on-site health education and screening services at Via.

"The residents spend half a day per week at Central Plaza Towers and half a day per week at Via in two one month blocks and longitudinally during the third year of training," Dr. Perkins said. "Seeing folks in community settings such as this allows the residents to better understand the aging process and to see aging as natural and not a disease to be treated.”

In addition to Dr. Perkins' award, Dr. Roma Hanks, chair of sociology, anthropology and social work, was named the 2012 recipient of the Arlene F. Mitchell Award by Via at the luncheon. Dr. Hanks is also the community engagement core co-director for the USA Center for Healthy Communities-Center of Excellence.

According to the organization, the award is “given each year in recognition of exceptional support and generosity by those who share Mrs. Mitchell’s spirit and dedication to older adults and the success of the Via Center.”

Mitchell, a USA trustee, also has been a long-time board member of Via Center.

Dr. Hanks also leads the USA Center for Generational Studies, which is headquartered at Via Center and works in partnership with the group.