Thursday, January 16, 2014

USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital Welcomes Two Midwife Nurses

Shandra Andry (above right) and Kathryn Detjens (above left) recently joined the University of South Alabama department of obstetrics and gynecology to serve as nurse midwives working exclusively at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital’s evaluation center and at the hospital’s labor and delivery service.

The addition of Andry and Detjens as nurse midwives enhances the quality of care for the female patients seen in the evaluation center after hours - from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Prior to their employment at USA, Andry worked at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, and Detjens served as an advanced registered nurse practitioner at Sacred Heart Health Systems in Pensacola, Fla.

Andry received nursing education from Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, N.C., completed an associate’s degree in nursing at Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., and graduated with a master’s of science in nursing-midwifery from Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, Ky. Her special areas of interest are natural childbirth support, centering pregnancy, and breastfeeding support.

Detjens received her degree in nursing from Milwaukee County General Hospital School of Nursing in Milwaukee, Wis., and a bachelor’s of science in nursing from the University of California in San Francisco, Calif. She earned a certification of midwifery from Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, Ky., as well as a master’s of science in nursing from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

For more information on the USA OBGYN nurse midwives contact Danny Rickert at (251) 415-1569.

USA Digestive Health Center Hosts Reception for Construction Crew at University Commons

Construction crew members get food during a reception in their honor at the newly relocated USA Digestive Health Center.
Construction crew member Danny Lewis (center) is joined by fellow crew members Pierre Ford (left) and Tony Myers as they enjoy their meal in one of the examination rooms during a reception at the newly relocated USA Digestive Health Center.
The University of South Alabama Digestive Health Center recently hosted a reception in honor of the construction crew who worked on remodeling the new clinic space at the University Commons.

In late December, the USA Digestive Health Center, along with Knollwood Physicians Group, relocated to the University Commons at the corner of University Blvd. and Old Shell Road. Both clinics previously were located on the Infirmary West Hospital campus.

The move allows the clinics to be conveniently located near one of their most important patient populations - the University community. Knollwood Physicians Group changed its name to University Physicians Group to coincide with the relocation.

To learn more about the clinics and their new location, click here.

USA Physicians Group Implementing EHR Software

The University of South Alabama Physicians Group is in the process of implementing Electronic Health Record (EHR) software throughout all its clinics. EHR is an alternative to paper charts, where doctors document encounters with patients.

Benefits of EHR software include immediate access to patient records in multiple locations and to multiple members of the care team simultaneously, as well as organization of data.

During the past three years, the EHR product NextGen has been implemented in the following clinics: Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Stanton Road Clinic, Knollwood Physicians Group, and Mastin Medical Specialties. Implementation in the Neurology, Surgery, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, Gastroenterology and Cardiology clinics will continue in 2014.

According to Harvey Ikner, chief of practice operations for the USA Health Services Foundation, the driving force behind the commitment to move forward with the implementation was the Affordable Care Act, which imposed penalties for not implementing EHR and provided stimulus monies to help offset the initial cost of the implementation.

“As of today we have received a total of $2,809,250 in stimulus funding and anticipate approximately another $2,700,000 more to come as we submit attestations for our providers meeting meaningful use benchmarks associated with our EHR,” Ikner said.

“We have made great strides in implementing our EHR,” he added. “I would like to especially thank Dr. Lamar Duffy, EHR lead physician, and Debbie Mullins, director of EHR, as well as the entire EHR implementation team for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm during this process.”

Other components of the USA Health System – including USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, USA Medical Center and USA Mitchell Cancer Institute – implemented EHR software in May 2012.

To learn more about electronic health records, watch the video below or click here.

EHR implementation - Dr. Duffy from USA Health System on Vimeo.

Monday, January 13, 2014

USA Professor Co-Authors New Edition of Microbiology Textbook

Dr. John Foster, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently co-authored a new edition of the textbook titled “Microbiology: An Evolving Science.”

“Microbiology is a constantly and rapidly evolving scientific field,” said Dr. Foster, “hence the book’s title.”

The new edition will include information on a wealth of cutting edge topics that include synthetic biology, which is the creation of new biological pathways by mixing genetic elements from various organisms; new techniques of DNA sequencing to identify bacteria or viruses present in a human’s micro-biome; fluorescent tagging of specific cell proteins that helps track the protein’s movements in bacteria or in human cells; as well as updates on emerging infectious agents like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a deadly respiratory disease first reported in 2012.

The new textbook is designed for undergraduate students majoring in biology. However, Dr. Foster and his team are writing an additional text for all health professions students.

“The new edition of our textbook offers undergraduate majors an up-to-date, concept- and research-driven analysis of microorganisms growing in the environment as well as in human hosts,” said Dr. Foster. Each section of the book also highlights a prominent research microbiologist and their projects and discoveries.

“Microbiology: An Evolving Science” includes online support with animations of key concepts, as well as an archive containing the material removed from earlier editions.

“Our goal is to inspire undergraduate science majors to embrace and contribute to the evolving science of the microbial world,” said Dr. Foster.