Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dr. Brooks Cash Named Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology

Dr. Brooks D. Cash, professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a gastroenterologist with USA Physicians Group, recently was named chief of the division of gastroenterology and director of the USA Digestive Health Center.

“My role is to ensure the smooth operation of our clinical services and to maintain the highest standards of care for patients with digestive diseases or disorders who seek care with us,” he said.

Dr. Cash, who joined USA Health in 2013, said his short-term goals for the division are to enhance the offerings in multiple clinical areas and to achieve greater regional and national recognition for the division’s quality of care and academic achievements.

“I want our division to continue to pursue and enhance its already excellent research and educational initiatives, not only from a discovery point of view, but also from a practice improvement and regional leader position,” Dr. Cash said. “We have resources at our disposal that most practices in the community do not, and we have an obligation to improve our patients’ quality of life.”

Dr. Cash also has extensive long-term goals, including working with USA leadership and colleagues to develop a fully functional and integrated Digestive Diseases Center of Excellence. “The Center would be comprised of providers and researchers from multiple diverse specialties, located in close proximity to each other to maximize effective and coordinated patient care, enhance the education of our trainees and foster collaborative research initiatives,” he said.

Dr. Cash credits his experiences in the U.S Navy for providing a solid background for his new position. “Through my various roles in military medicine I learned that one has to create a shared vision in order to lead effectively,” he said. “Actively demonstrating a passion and respect for our mission, colleagues and coworkers is also critically important.”

Dr. Cash served in the U.S Navy for 24 years, retiring in 2013. “The transition from the socialized form of medicine that we practice in the military to the larger world of medicine has been an eye opener for me,” Dr. Cash explained. “The essential practice of medicine and definitions of quality are the same everywhere, and these are two of the areas where USA really shines.”

Dr. Cash earned his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He completed his internship, residency and fellowship training in gastroenterology at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Cash is a Diplomat of the American Board of Gastroenterology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), American Gastroenterology Association and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. He has chaired numerous professional society committees and has been course director for national and regional ACG postgraduate meetings. Dr. Cash has served on the Rome Committee for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and has authored over 150 articles and book chapters on a wide variety of gastrointestinal topics. He serves as an associate editor for the American Journal of Gastroenterology, an editorial board member and reviewer for multiple internal medicine and gastroenterology medical journals and is a sought-after presenter at national and international medical education meetings.

Last month, Dr. Cash was awarded the William D. Carey Award from the ACG for his outstanding leadership and work in gastroenterology. Click here to learn more.

USA Welcomes Dr. John Gosche

Dr. John Gosche recently rejoined the University of South Alabama College of Medicine as an adjunct professor of surgery and will serve as a pediatric surgeon with USA Physicians Group.

Dr. Gosche has served as chief professor of pediatric surgery at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas, Nev. From 1994 to 2001, he held a position as assistant professor of surgery and pediatrics, and later as associate professor of surgery and pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.

Dr. Goshe has served as associate professor of surgery, as well as associate professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. While at Mississippi, he served as assistant professor of pediatrics and later chief of the division of pediatric surgery until 2006.

Dr. Gosche earned both his bachelor of science and medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Fla. He earned his Ph.D. in cardiovascular physiology from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. He completed pediatric surgery resident training at Columbus Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, as well as residency training and an internship in general surgery at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Gosche is a member of the Association for Academic Surgery, American Pediatric Surgical Association and the Society of University Surgeons. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as the surgical section of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Gosche is board certified in general and pediatric surgery by the American Board of Surgery.
To make an appointment with Dr. Goshe, call (251) 415-1475.

President of American Academy of Pediatrics Presents Grand Rounds Lecture

Dr. Fernando Stein, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, presented “The Contribution of the General Pediatrician to the Reduction of Mortality in ICU” for pediatric grand rounds on Jan. 20, 2017.

Dr. Stein discussed how to identify the three signs of potentially fatal illness in children under five years of age.

A native of Guatemala, Dr. Stein earned his medical degree from Univ de San Carlos de Guatemala and completed his specialty and subspecialty training at Baylor College of Medicine affiliated institutions. He is a founding member of the Section of Critical Care, the Council of Sections Management Committee and the Committee on Membership of the AAP. Dr. Stein is a leader in the area of chronically ill children as survivors of intensive care.

Click here to view more photos from the lecture.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

USA Medical Students Get Hands-On Experience in Geriatric Care

Jonathan Todd (right), a fourth-year medical student at USA, and Dr. Eugene Lammers (left), medical director of Mercy Life of Alabama, works with Najah Mateen. A partnership between Mercy Life of Alabama and the USA College of Medicine enables fourth-year medical students to gain experience in complex geriatric care.
Fourth-year medical students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine have the opportunity to gain experience in complex geriatric care through a partnership between Mercy Life of Alabama and USA. The course is led by Dr. Eugene Lammers, adjunct clinical professor of medicine at the USA College of Medicine, and medical director and primary care physician of the Mercy Life of Alabama Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

Senior medical students are required to take two, four-week subspecialty courses to provide in-depth exposure and educational experiences in an area of their choice. The Mercy Life geriatrics course, MED 470, allows medical students to accompany Dr. Lammers and his team as they care for complex geriatric patients at the Mercy Life Clinic and USA Medical Center.

Jonathan Todd, a fourth-year medical student at USA, said the course has taught him the importance of looking beyond a diagnosis when working with the elderly population. “Mercy Life’s program addresses all of a patient’s unique needs, medical or otherwise,” he said.

USA Medical Center is one of the local partner hospitals that provides inpatient and outpatient care to Mercy Life participants. “Students see patients in our Life Center, as well as participate in our daily interdisciplinary team, weekly care planning and rounding on any inpatients at USA Medical Center,” Dr. Lammers said. “We work with the teams there to provide coordination of care, medication reconciliation and smooth transitions into and out of the hospital.”

The course introduces students to the importance of learning to care for complex geriatric patients through the PACE program, while also teaching students how to collaborate in an interdisciplinary team setting. Dr. Lammers’ interdisciplinary team is comprised of nurses, physical therapists, social workers and a chaplain. “This model can be tricky to use, but definitely provides a better outcome in this complex population,” Dr. Lammers said.

Dr. Lammers said the course is also beneficial to students because it exposes them to complex geriatric patients, as the patients seen at Mercy Life are sicker than the typical older adult in a primary care office. “These are patients sick enough to be in a nursing home, and we are trying to keep them in the community,” he said. Dr. Lammers and his team often see older adults with complicated diabetes, heart and other vascular disease, kidney failure, polypharmacy issues, depression and social isolation.

According to Dr. Lammers, educational experiences in geriatric care are important for all medical students. “The number of older adults is rising rapidly, and no matter the discipline, knowledge of basic principles of geriatrics will be useful,” he said.

Todd, who chose to specialize in psychiatry, said the course was beneficial in many ways. “Although mental illnesses are prevalent in all populations, certainly the elderly are at increased risk,” he said. “Having a solid knowledge base about the medical and non-medical issues prevalent in this population is a must for everyone who works in health care.”

“The partnership between Mercy Life and the USA College of Medicine has really been a win-win,” Dr. Lammers said. “As a 1982 graduate of the USA College of Medicine, I am proud to be able to be involved in education at USA.”

The Mercy Life PACE program provides a full spectrum of health care services, from primary to acute long-term care for elderly individuals eligible for nursing home care. “PACE is a program that focuses on patients who meet the Medicaid criteria for long term care in a nursing home, but want to remain at home without help,” Dr. Lammers said. “We provide comprehensive services including primary care, coordination with all specialists, transportation services, a day center with activities, rehab services, medications and nutrition support.”

To learn more about Mercy Life, click here.