Thursday, September 14, 2017

USA Health Staff Dancing For Patients’ Health

Dr. Lynn Batten, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatric cardiologist with USA Physicians Group, has a plan to help her pediatric patients get excited about fitness.

During the past several months, she and her staff, along with other medical professionals throughout USA Health, have appeared on the YouTube channel Dr. Fun’s Dance Party USA. The channel is a series of videos featuring USA staff dancing along to hit pop songs. The goal is for the videos to inspire young patients to get up and move with the videos.

“For the past few years, I’ve been interested in creating dance parties for my patients as a way to inspire them to have fun while they exercise,” Dr. Batten said.

After a young patient was hospitalized while waiting for a heart transplant in Birmingham, Ala., the mother of the child emailed Dr. Batten and said their days were very long, and that her daughter could use something to make her smile.

Dr. Batten found inspiration in YouTube. “My son Lucas has been making YouTube videos for quite some time, and so I came to him with the idea of creating a channel where my patients can smile and dance with me no matter where they are,” she said.

With her son’s filming and editing expertise, Dr. Batten was able to get her staff up and moving for their first video, a dance to the pop artist Bruno Mars’ song “24K Magic,” which was the patient’s favorite song.

“The patient passed away soon after the video went up,” Dr. Batten said. “However, her mother did let me know that she in fact saw it and it made her heart shine.”

Four videos later, Dr. Batten remains committed to getting her patients excited about getting up to move. Most recently, staff from the entire first floor of the Strada Patient Care Center came together to film a  choreographed video featuring the song “Shut Up and Dance” by the pop group Walk the Moon.

“We’re thrilled to have so many colleagues, including physicians, residents, nurses and medical students who are stepping up to make patients smile and exercise with us,” Dr. Batten said. “Plus,” she laughed, “You should see some of their incredible dance moves. Have you seen Dr. Maertens’ freestyling moves? They are great.”

Dr. Batten feels that by connecting with her patients through popular music and dance, maybe she can make them more excited about incorporating exercise in their lives. “There was a young patient who would not talk to me at all about walking or any form of exercise, but when I asked him what his favorite song was, he lit up and wanted to tell me all about his dance moves,” she said.

Dr. Batten plans to continue making the videos, and hopes that other physicians will branch out to make their own videos for patients. “Other physicians’ patients do not know me and would not be interested in seeing me dance in their videos, but they would be very excited to see their doctor being silly and having a great time,” she said.

Dr. Batten takes song requests during every appointment with her young patients. She also includes the link for the YouTube channel in the patients’ paperwork when they check out. “Most of the time they find the link before they even get home,” she said. She said she remains committed to making her patients feel good about themselves, their fitness and their visit to the clinic.

To view Dr. Fun’s Dance Party USA videos, click here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mark Your Calendar: Mobile Medical Museum Lecture to Feature Dr. Paul Kelton

Dr. Paul Kelton, Robert David Lion Gardiner Chair in American History at Stony Brook University in New York, will present a lecture on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, at 6 p.m. at Stewartfield at Spring Hill College.

Dr. Kelton is the author of "Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation's Fight against Smallpox."

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.

The lecture is free of charge and open to the public. The program has been made possible by the Sally Clark Green Memorial Fund and by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, contact the Mobile Medical Museum at (251) 415-1109.

Dr. Jonathan Rayner Appointed Director of Laboratory of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Jonathan Rayner recently was appointed associate professor of microbiology and immunology and serves as director of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases (LID) at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

As director, Dr. Rayner is responsible for general administrative oversight of the LID to help ensure compliance with all federal, state and University policies. He will also promote the use of the facility in support of innovative new science that can be applied to addressing concerns with infectious diseases of importance in public health and biodefense.

“Dr. Rayner provides the department with needed expertise in virology, an underrepresented research area, especially for viruses that are a potential threat to the gulf coast area,” said Dr. David Wood, professor and chair of microbiology and immunology at the USA College of Medicine. “In addition, his experience in the private sector with public and private contracts offers the opportunity to expand our infectious disease research at the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases.”

Dr. Rayner said he plans to implement the University’s current Good Clinical Practice Program at the LID to support infectious disease diagnostics and surveillance as well as human clinical trials for infectious disease vaccines. He will also apply his extensive experience in Good Laboratory Practice regulations to the development of animal models and assays that can support early stage discovery and evaluation of medical interventions against new, emerging, and re-emerging infectious diseases like Zika virus, Chickungunya virus and antimicrobial resistant bacteria.

Dr. Rayner received his Ph.D. in microbiology at Colorado State University in 1998 as part of the Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory where he studied the factors influencing vector-competence for yellow fever virus and dengue viruses. He then completed two post-doctoral research programs with the American Society for Microbiology/National Centers for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Arthropod-borne Infectious Diseases where he studied the role of non-structural protein mutations on attenuation of dengue virus. He then evaluated the use of a replicon based vaccine platform based on the genome of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) for vaccine development with the National Research Council at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Md.

Dr. Rayner continued his research on the VEEV replicon systems as a research scientist at AlphaVax, Inc., where he was responsible for optimizing the platform and developing vaccines targeting infectious diseases and cancer. After transferring to MRIGlobal, Dr. Rayner received extensive training in Good Laboratory Practice, ISO 9001, and program management. He served as principal investigator, program manager and study director on several large Department of Defense contracts to determine the bioweapons threat posed by neurovirulent and hemorrhagic fever viruses.  He also participated in numerous commercial contracts to assess the efficacy of pre- and post-exposure therapies and stability and safety of candidate vaccines in animal models.

Immediately prior to joining the University of South Alabama, Dr. Rayner served as the Director of Infectious Disease research at Southern Research in Birmingham, AL where he extended his experience to include support of human clinical trials for new vaccines against influenza and Zika; and the development of an immunopotency assay for lot release and stability testing of vaccines under Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.

“As director, Dr. Rayner will establish model systems for a variety of infectious diseases that can be made available to public and private investigators around the country,” Dr. Wood said. “His extensive biosafety and biosecurity background will also complement existing expertise in the department.”

USA Health Honors Employees at Jags Game

USA Health Game Day 2017.mp4 from USA Health on Vimeo.

Dr. Errol Crook, professor and Abraham Mitchell Chair of Internal Medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, waves to the crowd as he and several other employees of USA Health are recognized at USA Health Game Day on Sept. 8, 2017.
USA Health recently showed appreciation to its employees at the USA Jaguars vs. Oklahoma State football game on Sept. 8, 2017.

Each USA Health employee and volunteer who registered for the event received two complimentary tickets to the game. Prior to the game, employees also enjoyed a tailgate dinner provided by Sonny’s BBQ.

This year, approximately 3,000 USA Health guests attended the tailgate dinner and game.

Ten USA Health employees were selected to walk onto the field during the game to be recognized: Eduardo Rel, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital; Ingrid Lawson, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital; Fuh Tzer (Alice) Jong, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute; Vanessa McMillian, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute; Roderick Nobles, USA Medical Center; Terry Rose, USA Medical Center; Dr. Natalie Fox, USA Physicians Group; LaSandra White, USA Physicians Group; Dr. Errol Crook, USA College of Medicine; and Charlene Jordan, USA College of Medicine.

Click here to view more photos from USA Health Game Day, and watch the video below that was played during the game.

USA Health from USA Health on Vimeo.