Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mark Your Calendar: Retirement Receptions

The University of South Alabama Department of Orthopaedic Surgery will host a retirement reception honoring Dr. Jorge Alonso, professor of orthopaedic surgery, on Sept. 29, 2014. The event will be held from 3-5 p.m. in the second floor cafeteria conference room at USA Medical Center. Dr. Alonso is retiring after approximately six years of service to the university and 35 years in orthopaedic surgery.

A retirement reception honoring USA Nurse Midwife Cynthia Messer will be held Sept. 30, 2014, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Jubilee Room located in CWEB 1, directly behind USA Children's & Women's Hospital. Messer is retiring after more than 24 years of service, of which the last 11 years has been with the obstetrics and gynecology department as a nurse midwife.

USA Physicians Group Hosts Welcome Reception for New Physicians

The University of South Alabama Physicians Group recently hosted a welcome reception to honor and celebrate the physicians who joined the practice during the past year.

The following physicians were recognized:

Dr. Haley H. Ballard
Hospitalist/Emergency Medicine
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Dr. Brett W. Baskovich
Molecular Pathology
Assistant Professor of Pathology

Dr. Lynn A. Batten
Pediatric Cardiology
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Ramachandra Bhat
Assistant Professor of Neonatology

Dr. Nordie Anne Bilbao
Pediatric Endocrinology
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Brian E. Brocato
Maternal/Fetal Medicine
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Brooks D. Cash
Professor of Internal Medicine

Dr. Joel E. Lightner, Jr.
Assistant Professor of Radiology

Dr. Derek Samuels
Interventional Radiology
Assistant Professor of Radiology

Dr. Alana J. Schilthuis
General Internal Medicine
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Dr. William W. Scott
Adult and Pediatric Neurosurgery
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

Dr. Rachel T. Seaman
Hospitalist/Emergency Medicine
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

To learn more about these physicians and the entire practice group, visit

Click here to view more photos from the event.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Free Flu Vaccine for USA Health & Dental Enrollees

USA Physicians Group is providing Seasonal Flu Shot Clinics exclusively for USA Employees at five convenient locations on October 1, 2 and 3, 2014. This will provide you with convenient, fast, and timely seasonal flu vaccines free of charge. USA retirees are not eligible. Family members covered by the USA Health & Dental plan are also eligible for seasonal flu vaccines at these clinic sites free of charge. This applies to children four years old and older.

No appointments are necessary.

Specific times and locations are:

October 1
Family Medicine Clinic 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
University Physicians Group Clinic 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

October 2
USA Faculty Club  7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

October 3
University Physicians Group Clinic 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Family Medicine Clinic 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Urgent Care Clinic 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Human Resources Office - main campus 12:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Walk in clinics are available October 1st through the 3rd.  After these dates, flu vaccine should still be available but an appointment will be necessary.

For more information visit . If you have any questions, please call our appointment and information line at (251) 434-3711.

Med School Cafe - Expert Advice for the Community

Dr. Steve Cordina, assistant professor of neurology and medical director of the University of South Alabama Stroke Center, recently presented the August Med School Cafe lecture. The lecture had a total of 50 attendees.

During the lecture, titled “Cerebral Aneurysms: Prevention and Management,” Dr. Cordina discussed the risk factors of developing cerebral aneurysms and what can be done to repair them once they have been discovered.

Watch the video below to view the lecture in its entirety.
Med School Cafe-Aneurysms from USA Health System on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

First-Year Medical Students Take Class of 2018 Oath

Freshman medical students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine took the Class of 2018 Oath during a ceremony on Sept. 22, 2014.

This was the first of three oaths that students take while in medical school at USA. In a year and a half -- June 2016 -- these students will take the Medical Student Oath at the White Coat Ceremony as they transition into clerkships.

Two short years later – in May 2018 -- this group of students will take the Hippocratic Oath at Convocation. The Hippocratic Oath is taken by all medical students as they graduate.

“In neither the Hippocratic Oath nor the Medical Student Oath do students have any input. They simply read the oath and commit to words that someone else wrote,” said Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean of medical education and student affairs. “The oath that the students took today is unique to their class. They created this oath. Thus, they are committing to something that they wrote. That makes this Class of 2018 Oath very special.”

To view more photos from the ceremony, click here .

The Oath, developed by the Class of 2018, is shown below.

As a student in the University of South Alabama’s College of Medicine Class of 2018:

I will continuously strive for excellence in my understanding of the health sciences, and remember that my education is a privilege

I will be a life-long learner, acquiring and applying knowledge to practice medicine altruistically

I will remember that medicine is an art that extends beyond the academic realm and holds vital the values of humanism, integrity, and empathy

I will practice an ethical, unbiased, compassionate, and holistic form of medicine

I will respect and appreciate the diverse backgrounds and cultural values of all patients and colleagues with whom I have the opportunity to work

I will be transparent in my communication with patients, their families, and my colleagues, all while upholding confidentiality

I will uphold the practices of patient autonomy and conduct myself in a professional manner

I will be conscientious of my actions and keep patient welfare a top priority

I will maintain a healthy balance between my personal and professional life for the sake of my patients’ well being, as well as my own

I will practice self-reflection, be rid of my pride, and remember that it is my duty to selflessly serve others

I am committed to uphold the values and responsibilities that come with being a student doctor and I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant

ALREC Launches New Website to Help with EHR Transition

The University of South Alabama Center for Strategic Health Innovation (CSHI) has recently launched a new website,, for its Alabama Regional Extension Center (ALREC).

ALREC is a program funded by a $9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  (HHS) to help primary care providers in Alabama transition to Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. ALREC offers education, outreach, and technical assistance as part of a national initiative to improve health care efficiency and patient outcomes while moving virtually all health care providers to the electronic age.

The site, geared toward providers, is part of ALREC’s strategy to provide their members with resources to improve patient care and maximize revenue. Questions regarding Meaningful Use and EHR arise for providers and their practices on a daily basis. The resources available include a section for the latest developments in Health IT and Meaningful Use, information and tools regarding specific areas of Meaningful Use and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) EHR Incentive Program, along with an interactive question section.

"ALREC and the new website will help facilitate the process of moving health care providers away from the use of paper patient records to electronic records, which enables physicians to have more rapid access to patient information and ultimately improve the quality of patient care," said Dr. Dan Roach, director of medical informatics at CHSI.

There are more than 2,000 members at the Alabama Regional Extension Center composed of primary care providers, specialists, and critical access and rural health hospitals. Of those members, ALREC has helped 70 percent meet Meaningful Use and receive more than $27 million in CMS EHR Incentive Program payments.

USA was one of 62 nonprofit organizations selected nationwide by the HHS to receive the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center award.  The grant supports one of the Center for Strategic Health Innovation’s principal missions, which is to lead innovation and research into patient-centric health care technologies.

USA Welcomes Dr. Haley Ballard

Dr. Haley Ballard was recently appointed assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Dr. Ballard is a clinical educator and works as the attending physician for medical students during clinical clerkships and residents during inpatient ward coverage.

Dr. Ballard earned her medical degree from the USA College of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at USA Medical Center.

She is a member of the American College of Physicians, Alabama Chapter of American College of Physicians; and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.