Friday, September 1, 2017

USA Health Connects with Harris Health in Houston

USA Health Harris Health from USA Health on Vimeo.

Last week, Hurricane Harvey unleashed devastation upon Texas that decimated many communities. USA Health recently reached out to the leadership of the Harris Health System and learned that many of their employees have been severely affected.

The LBJ and Ben Taub Hospitals form the Harris Health System, an academic health system similar to USA Health serving 4.5 million people in Harris County and the greater Houston area. They provide high quality, compassionate care and serve all members of society equally with respect and dignity without distinction. 

We encourage you to support our fellow colleagues in Houston as they care for their community and work to put their lives and homes back together. Like us, they help people live longer, better lives.

If you wish to contribute, click here. Once you are on the web page, there is a drop down menu where you can select Employee Disaster Assistance. Further down the page, check “make this gift on behalf of an organization” and type in USA Health.

USA Health to Host Inaugural EBP Symposium

USA Health will host the inaugural evidence-based practice (EBP) symposium on Friday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Atlantis Room in the CWEB-2 building behind USA Children's & Women's Hospital.

The symposium, titled “EBP in Action,” is open to nurses and nursing students.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Linda Roussel, professor of nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala. She will discuss EBP, a problem-solving approach to clinical decision-making within a health care organization. EBP integrates the best available scientific evidence with the best available experiential (patient and practitioner) evidence.

The event is $20 for nurses and $12 for nursing students. Lunch is included. 5.7 contact hours will be available to those who attend.

Click here to register. For more information, email

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

COM Announces Faculty Intramural Grants Program

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently created the Faculty Intramural Grants Program, providing research funds through an annual competition to full-time faculty members in the basic science departments.

The new program will provide research funds to develop new research ideas, develop new critical preliminary data for extramural proposal submissions, or enable sustained laboratory progress between extramural grant funding periods.

According to Dr. Mary Townsley, senior associate dean of the USA College of Medicine, there are several reasons why this new program is important.

“The intramural grants program signals both the College and the Dean’s commitment to our research faculty for expansion of our extramural funding base,” she said. “Also, nationally-funded grants are extremely competitive, so it is important for our faculty to submit their very best work. In many cases, that means acquiring sufficient preliminary data to convince review groups of the significance and feasibility of the proposal. Further, by providing bridge funding for productive research faculty, progress in the laboratory can continue while faculty submit revised proposals.”

Each year, the USA College of Medicine will commit $250,000 to this program to provide individual one-year awards of up to $50,000 in direct costs. “Faculty members will submit ‘mini-proposals’ and compete for these awards,” Dr. Townsley said. “Feedback from the intramural review should also help those faculty members improve proposals submitted for extramural funding.”

Full-time faculty members in the USA College of Medicine basic science departments, holding ranks of assistant professor or above, are eligible to apply as principle investigators for this intramural award.

The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 15, 2017, by 5 p.m. Awards will begin Nov. 1, 2017.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

USA Welcomes New OBGYN Chair

Dr. Lisa Spiryda recently was appointed professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Dr. Spiryda earned her M.D. and Ph.D. through the Medical Scientist Training Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. She completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts Hospital Residency Program at Harvard University.

After several years in private practice, Dr. Spiryda began her academic career in 2007 as an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, S.C. She was recruited through the Centenary Program to start and direct a translational and clinical research program on Human Papillomavirus (HPV), abnormal pap tests and cervical precancerous disease. She held joint appointments in women’s studies and pathology, microbiology and immunology departments. Dr. Spiryda served as director of the research division, director of resident/student research and director of colposcopy.

In August 2013, Dr. Spiryda joined the faculty at the University of Florida College of Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as an associate professor. She was the chair of resident research, director of colposcopy and vulvar disease and chair of the residency clinical competency committee. Dr. Spiryda ran the translational research program on HPV and abnormal Pap tests pursuing biomarkers involved with earlier detection of precancerous lesions and new treatment modalities for premalignant cervical disease.  Additionally, she served as the director of the clinical research practicum and as a member of the executive committee for the M.D., Ph.D. program at UF.

Dr. Spiryda has published and presented nationally and internationally on a wide variety of topics in women’s health including: abnormal Pap tests, HPV /cervical precancer disease, breastfeeding, optimizing routes of hysterectomy, obesity and pregnancy outcomes, exercise and pregnancy outcomes, graft versus host disease in female genital organs and vulvar disease. She has mentored over 80 undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students and resident physicians. Dr. Spiryda has received multiple teaching awards including the Golden Apple Medical Student Education Award (2014 - 2017), CREOG Award for Outstanding Resident Teaching and the J. Lee Dockery, M.D. Excellence in Teaching Award for overall outstanding teaching in obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Spiryda has received multiple grants and awards for her research from local and national funding sources (USC, NIH and March of Dimes) and received the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists/Hologic Research Fellowship in Cervical Cancer Detection. She is currently a member of several committees for the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP).

She is on several journal editorial boards and is the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology.

She belongs to the following professional societies: American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

In addition to her active translational and clinical research programs and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Spiryda has been a board-certified obstetrics and gynecology since 2005 and maintains a large clinical practice encompassing the full spectrum of obstetrics and gynecology. Her special clinical interests include abnormal Pap tests; colposcopy; treatment for abnormal Pap tests; minimally invasive surgical techniques (da Vinci robotic surgery, advanced laparoscopy and hysteroscopy); vulvar disease; adolescent gynecology; and family-oriented obstetrics. In recognition of her dedication to patient care she has received the Customer Service Key Award at UF Health and has been recognized as a compassionate physician.

Mobile Medical Museum to Present Sally Green Memorial Lecture at Strada Patient Care Center

Stephanie Rookis, curator for the Alabama Museum of Health Sciences in Birmingham, Ala., and Dr. Michael A. Flannery, professor emeritus of UAB Libraries at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala., will present “Modeling Medicine: The Josiah Clark Nott Specimens, Window into 19th Century Health Care” on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, at 6 p.m. in the conference room on the first floor of the Strada Patient Care Center.

This lecture is part of a series of events dedicated to Sally Green, former Mobile Medical Museum board of trustee’s president and director, who passed away earlier this year.

Dr. Flannery and Rookis will discuss a special exhibition currently on display at the Mobile Medical Museum of 12 wax anatomical models from the 19th century on loan from the Alabama Museum of Health Sciences through Sept. 29. The models originally came from the collection of Dr. Josiah Clark Nott, who founded the Medical College of Alabama in Mobile, Ala. The school was open from 1859 to 1920.

Dr. Flannery and Rookis will also discuss what the figures tell modern day audiences about medical pathologies from the time, as well as the history of the Medical College of Alabama.

The lecture is free of charge and open to the public. The Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. For more information, contact the Mobile Medical Museum at (251) 415-1109.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Student-Run Free Clinic Moves to New Location

Justin Beasley, a second-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, listens to Greg Reed's heart at the USA Student-Run Free Clinic at the Salvation Army in Mobile.
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently re-opened the USA Student-Run Free Clinic (SRFC) after moving to the Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama in Mobile.

In the SRFC, students from the USA College of Medicine and other students from health professional programs at USA see patients in an inter-professional working atmosphere.

George Reed, a local Mobile resident, was especially thankful for the chance to be treated by student volunteers at the USA Student-Run Free Clinic (SFRC). “A lot of members of the community do not have the funds to see a physician, and I am grateful for the level of care I received today,” he said.

The inter-professional atmosphere of the SRFC is unique not only to programs within USA, but also to schools throughout the country.

Dr. Alison Rudd, assistant professor of nursing and assistant director of the USA Simulation Program, said the program is different from other student-run clinics because of the level of collaboration that takes place between students of different professions. “In other student-run clinics, medical students are fully running it, but at our clinic, we truly encourage students from every field to collaborate.”

The SRFC was previously located at 15 Place, a homeless shelter in Mobile. When the facility closed its doors, the Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama offered space in its facility. Students spent time painting and working on repairs in the space before it was ready to open in July.

Justin Beasley, a second-year medical student at USA, helped during the move. “I’m pretty invested in the new location and ready to help people who might not get help otherwise,” he said.

Kelli Caddell is a third-year pharmacy student at the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, which partners with USA in a joint pharmacy program. She said that the new clinic will provide more space for students and patients to engage in medical care as the clinic grows. “We work with local organizations to get patients the care they need, as well as wellness and preventative treatments and patient education,” she said.

“In the previous location, we could only see those individuals experiencing homelessness,” Dr. Rudd added. “At the Salvation Army, I think there is more opportunity for growth because we can see anyone who walks through the door.”

Ellen Zhou, a second-year medical student at USA, was ready to get hands-on experience while treating members of the community. “Getting into a room with a patient is my favorite part of volunteering, and it reminds us why we wanted to becomes doctors in the first place,” she said.

Joseph Cortopassi, a second-year medical student at USA, knows that it is important to give his time to something beyond just studying and classes. “When you’re in the clinic, you’re reminded that patients are more than just a number and that they have a lot going on in their lives,” he said.

Another second-year medical student, Anna Stevens, was happy to be learning from the nurses, audiologists, and other students who also came to serve in the clinic. “I have learned so much from everyone here, and it’s great for us to know that even if we have multiple tests to study for in the next week, the SRFC reminds us of why we’re all putting in the hard work,” she said.

Students enrolled in professional programs of study at USA -- including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, clinical and counseling psychology, audiology, physician assistant studies and therapeutic recreation -- are encouraged to volunteer.

For more information about the SRFC, click here.

View more photos here