Thursday, September 4, 2014

USA Center for Lung Biology Hosts Lung Bowl

The University of South Alabama Center for Lung Biology recently held its third Lung Bowl competition at the Active Learning Center.

The Lung Bowl is a biology game based on a jeopardy model, where teams come together to compete against one another for high scores. The teams are comprised of predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical fellows in USA Center for Lung Biology training programs.

This year's winning team was "Lobe Trotters," comprised of graduate students Pierre Kadeba, Leslie Hargett and Kathleen McClinton and postdoctoral fellow Adam Morrow.

Students: Mark Your Calendar for Jag Health and Wellness Day

The University of South Alabama Student Health Center is hosting a Jag Health and Wellness Day on Sept. 18, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Free food, t-shirts, physicals and health screenings will be provided. Attendees will also have the chance to tour the clinic and meet the staff, as well as enter to win door prizes.

The event will be held at the USA Student Health Center at TRP III Building, Suite 1200 off USA North Drive. The JagTran will run a continuous shuttle from the Student Center, Dining Hall, and Student Recreation Center.

Click here for more information.

USA Welcomes Dr. Brett Baskovich

Dr. Brett Baskovich was recently appointed assistant professor of pathology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Dr. Baskovich earned his medical degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. He conducted his residency in pathology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., and his fellowship in molecular genetic pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

He is board certified by the American Board of Pathology. Dr. Baskovich is currently a member of the Association for Molecular Pathology and the Association for Pathology Informatics.

TEDMED to be Streamed Live at USA Biomedical Library

The University of South Alabama Biomedical Library will host a live stream of this year’s TEDMED event, titled “Unlock Imagination in the Service of Health and Medicine.”

The conference will be broadcast live Sept. 10-12, 2014, in the Baugh Biomedical Library Conference Room (222-A), with an encore performance of sessions five and seven to be shown at UMC in the 3rd floor south conference room on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. As university employees those interested in watching from their offices can sign up individually at For more information about the event, contact biomedical librarian Andrea Wright at or (251) 461-1424.

TED is the global movement dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” TED Talks have been viewed online 2 billion times around the world. TEDMED, created by the same founder, is focused exclusively on health and medicine, and is dedicated to bringing together extraordinary people from all walks of life and blending our unique yet complementary ideas and perspectives.

The university community is encouraged to convene and share in free access to the innovative program, comprising more than 70 Talks from transformative thinkers in health and medicine.

Conference sessions are as follows:

Session 1 – "Turn it Upside Down"
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 – 7:15-9:40 a.m.
Topics: Telemedicine 3D imaging, placebo research, medical research history, heart disease prevention, medical education and the global physician shortage

Session 2 – “We Just Don’t Know”
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 – noon-1:45 p.m.
Topics: Predictive analytics in health care, neuroscience of sleep, gun violence policy, the limits of knowledge, patient decision making, autism

Session 3 – “Flat Out Amazing”
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 – 3:45-5:15 p.m.
Topics: Relieving the global physician shortage, high-tech diagnostics, pushing physical limits, biometrics, syringe innovation, medical catastrophe

Session 4 – “Stealing Smart”
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 – 7:30-9:10 a.m.
Topics: media and health behavior, insights from animal health, conserving antibiotics, reducing injury with smart garments, obesity as addiction, medical surrogacy, impact of language on health, tissue engineering, clinical trials and patients

Session 5 – “Don’t You Dare Talk About This”
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 – 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Topics: Easing pediatric pain, medical transparency, drug abuse, caregiver shortcomings, patient experience, organ transplant policy

Session 6 – “Play is Not a Waste of Time”
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 – 3:30-5:05 p.m.
Topics: Self-motivated mobility, power of play, fine tuning haptic skills, adventurous science writing, interactive 3D health games

Session 7 – “Human Nature Inside and Out”
Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 – 7:15-8:40 a.m.
Topics: End-of-life ethics, the neuroscience of anesthesia, short film on the brain, health care facility design, light and health, psychological healing after disease and trauma, bio-inspiration in medicine, digital behavioral health, brain injury diagnostics

Session 8 – “Weird and Wonderful”
Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 – 10:00-11:40 a.m.
Topics: Alternative prosthetics, humor and healing, Ig Nobel Prize stories, wearable medical devices, where thoughts and emotions come from, advanced patient adherence technology, synthetic voice technology, science research opportunity, handheld consumer medical devices

Session 9 – “I Was Just Thinking Too Small”
Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 – 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Topics: Nanoparticle drug delivery, health and environmental design, healthcare for indigenous peoples, physiologic impact of stress on children, a no typing required electronic health record system

For more information about speakers and topics, visit

Basic Medical Sciences Graduate Program Student Receives Edwin R. Hughes Award

Sabrina Ramelli, a second-year student in the University of South Alabama Basic Medical Sciences Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, recently received the seventh annual Edwin R. Hughes Memorial Award. Dr. Samuel Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine, presented Ramelli with the award on Aug. 18, 2014.

The award is named in memory of Edwin R. Hughes, who served as director of the Basic Medical Sciences Graduate Program at the USA College of Medicine from its inception in 1978 until 1990. The award recognizes the student with the best performance in the curriculum.

Ramelli is completing her graduate studies under the direction of Dr. William Gerthoffer, chair of biochemistry and molecular biology.

Ramelli earned her bachelor of science degree in biology at the University of New Mexico in 2003 and her master’s degree in secondary education from the College of Santa Fe in 2006.

Benefit of USA Children's Clinic Reading Program Validated Through New AAP Policy

Cheyenne Gray, 8, and her mother Tiffany talk with Dr. Cindy Sheets about the book Cheyenne picked out at USA Children's Medical Center. Through the Reach Out and Read program, the USA Children's Medical Clinic has been promoting early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud for close to a decade.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a new policy promoting early literacy as an essential component of primary care visits, the first time they have adopted official policy on the issue.

This announcement was part of a new initiative involving the AAP, Too Small to Fail, Scholastic, and Reach Out and Read to raise awareness among parents about reading aloud and early language development.

While the policy might be new, the practice of promoting literacy at USA Children’s Medical Clinic through its Reach Out and Read program is nearly a decade old. The program promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.

Last year, the program at USA gave out a total of 9,000 books to young patients.

According to Dr. Cindy Sheets, who heads up the nine-year old program, brand new books are given out during a child’s checkup at the USA Children’s Medical Center and USA Midtown Pediatrics starting at the age of two months until five years of age. New and gently-used books are given out at well visits and most sick visits for children over five years. Books are also distributed to older children at USA’s Adolescent Clinic.

“Many of these kids have chaotic home lives. Some come from homes where there are few books or an environment where books are just not important,” said Dr. Sheets. “Having books and having parents read to their children encourages a love of reading and fosters togetherness between parent and child.”

In the past year, the program gave out 4,500 books to the target younger age group at well visits, and an additional 4,500 to older children and at sick visits. Books are also available in the clinic’s waiting and exam rooms.

The books come from a variety of sources including children’s book publisher Scholastic, which provides discounted new books. The non-profit First Book also donates new books for the cost of shipping. Additional books are received through area books drives and donations from school libraries. The USA library system’s annual book drive brings in thousands of gently-used books for the program.

The USA Department of Pediatrics and private donors have provided the funds for the program, which has received an overwhelmingly positive response.

“The parents are tickled with the books,” says Dr. Sheets. “And when the kids who have been there before come in for their checkup they always ask for their new books. That’s very gratifying.”

For information on how to donate books or funds to the program contact Dr. Cindy Sheets at 434-3869 or