Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dr. Arnold Luterman Receives Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Arnold Luterman, the Ripps-Meisler professor of surgery and vice-chair of academic development and education, has been selected to receive the 2013 Distinguished Service Award sponsored by the University of South Alabama Medical Alumni Association.

This honor recognizes a faculty member who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to advancing medical education and who has provided outstanding leadership to the USA College of Medicine.

“Dr. Luterman has played a significant leadership role in the department of surgery, their residency program and in the medical curriculum on multiple levels,” said Dr. Samuel Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine. “His input has been invaluable to our growth both in curriculum and clinical responsibilities.”

Dr. Luterman has served diligently, promoting the advancement of the USA College of Medicine and his department on national, state and community levels. He exemplifies the ideals of professionalism and has been an inspiration and mentor for College of Medicine graduates and residents in trauma services.

Dr. Luterman joined the USA faculty in 1981 and served as chair of the department of surgery from 1994 to 2001. For 31 years, Dr. Luterman served as the medical director of the USA Regional Burn and Wound Center. His academic awards are numerous, and he has provided a wide range of editorial and consulting functions. USA medical students have honored him 20 times with a Red Sash Faculty Award, given to faculty members who had the most meaningful impact on their medical education.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

USA Center for Women’s Health Offers New Technology

The University of South Alabama recently announced the addition of a new bone density machine to its Center for Women’s Health, allowing physicians to provide the best technology available for bone density assessment.

According to Dr. Peter Rizk, a reproductive endocrinologist with the USA Physicians Group, about 20 million women in the U.S. suffer from low bone density, known as osteopenia or osteoporosis, and the numbers are growing.

“Osteoporosis is a silent disease,” said Dr. Rizk, who is also a professor in the OB-GYN department at the USA College of Medicine. “It may not cause any symptoms until an acute fracture in the femur or vertebra occurs.”

Dr. Rizk stresses the importance of a bone density evaluation before symptoms, like fractures, begin occurring. He also notes that women with specific hormonal concerns may even need a bone density scan before the onset of menopause.

The benefits of the new bone density machine are available to a wide array of referring USA physicians and span beyond the diagnosis and monitoring of osteoporosis. Endocrinologists and internists are just a couple of the disciplines that have benefitted from utilizing the machine at the Center for Women’s Health.

“With the new technology, we can now send an image of the particular lumbar fractured vertebrae to the treating physicians,” said Dr. Rizk. “This imaging is particularly helpful in situations where three of four vertebrae are normal and one is fractured.”

According to Danny Rickert, practice director for the USA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, patients benefit by having easy access to this new technology. “We’ve increased availability in order to meet the demands of any referring doctors and to provide next day service for patients.”

For more information on bone density testing, talk with your primary care physician.

Lisa Simon Recognized for Customer Service

Lisa Simon, charge entry coder supervisor for HSF Reimbursement & Compliance, was recently presented an Employee Recognition Award for her outstanding customer service skills.

“In May 2012 our department started using a new computer system, Next Gen. Lisa was very helpful to those in our office who did not understand it. The system has been very challenging for us to learn, and Lisa has been very helpful in teaching us and helping us understand it. I am so blessed that she understands Next Gen and has helped me so much.”

      - Excerpt taken from co-workers' nomination form

To learn more about the USA Physicians Group Customer Service Performance Recognition Program and to print a nomination form, click here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

USA College of Medicine Alum Inducted as Fellow in American College of Radiology

Dr. William DeVon Varnell Jr. has been inducted as a fellow in the American College of Radiology (ACR). The induction took place at a formal convocation ceremony during the recent ACR Annual Meeting and Chapter Leadership conference in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Varnell, who graduated from the USA College of Medicine in 1981, is currently chair of the department of radiology at St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital in Pell City, Ala. He is also a diagnostic radiologist at St. Vincent’s East in Birmingham, Ala.; St. Vincent’s Blount in Oneonta, Ala.; and Cullman Regional Medical Center in Cullman, Ala.

One of the highest honors the ACR can bestow on a radiologist, radiation oncologist or medical physicist is recognition as a fellow of the American College of Radiology. ACR fellows demonstrate a history of service to the College, organized radiology, teaching or research. Approximately 10 percent of ACR members achieve this distinction.

Dr. Varnell is a member of the ACR, the Medical Association of the State of Alabama and the Jefferson County Medical Society.

The ACR is a national nonprofit association serving more than 34,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of radiology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.