Wednesday, February 28, 2018

USA Welcomes Dr. Myria Mack-Williams

Dr. Myria Mack-Williams recently was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and serves as a general pediatrician with USA Physicians Group.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Mack-Williams served as a general pediatrician with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Hospital New Orleans in Covington, La.

Dr. Mack-Williams earned her medical degree in 1996 from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She then completed her internship and residency training in pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital/ Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Philadelphia in 1999.

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and was named 2017 Top Doctor for pediatrics in Covington, La.

Dr. Mack-Williams practices at the Strada Patient Care Center, located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile. To make an appointment with Dr. Mack-Williams, call (251) 410-5437.

USA GME Program Expands to Include Medical Oncology Fellowship

Dr. David Clarkson, professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology at USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, talks with Dr. Yesica Campos and Dr. Luis Betancourt, both first-year internal medicine residents at USA Medical Center, as they round at the hospital Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. USA has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to start a medical oncology fellowship program.
The University of South Alabama has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to start a medical oncology fellowship program. Initially, two physician candidates will be chosen for the two-year program, which will begin on July 1, 2018.

Dr. David Clarkson, professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology at USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, has been appointed as director of the medical oncology fellowship program.

“This accreditation allows us to recruit residents with three years of training experience after medical school for additional training and certification in the sub-specialty of medical oncology,” Dr. Clarkson said. “The fellowship program joins the ranks of more than 200 ACGME-certified programs nationwide in medical oncology. In addition, it adds to the already established residency and fellowship programs at USA, thus enlarging the scope and breadth of our advanced training programs.”

The program’s goals include training the next generation of medical oncologists to serve the Southeastern U.S.; training and developing potential new faculty clinicians and physician scientists; enhancing the internal medicine residency educational experience in hematology and oncology through increased access and interaction with fellows; and improving the patient experience through increased access to expertise.   

“We want to develop a program in which these individuals will take their places in our own and other academic programs in the burgeoning area of medical oncology,” Dr. Clarkson said.

The accreditation process and ACGME application process involved close to 12 months of work – including developing the didactic lecture program; developing clinic rotations in breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, blood diseases, clinical trials experiences, and allogeneic and autologous transplantation; and refining multi-disciplinary tumor conferences in different subspecialties.

“Many of these programs were already in place but needed adaptations to make them more appropriate as a learning environment,” Dr. Clarkson said.

Dr. Samuel McQuiston, assistant dean for graduate medical education and associate professor of radiology at the USA College of Medicine, said USA Hospitals will serve as the sponsoring institution of the medical oncology fellowship program with the internal medicine residency as the parent program – comparable to the fellowships in cardiology, gastroenterology and pulmonology. The USA Mitchell Cancer Institute will serve as the major site for training.

“Each of our programs has a long history of providing outstanding training experiences and preparing residents and fellows for competent medical practice and a life of personal advancement,” Dr. McQuiston said. “We are confident that USA’s new medical oncology fellowship program will continue our tradition of excellence in graduate medical education.”

Mark Your Calendar: Match Day 2018

On March 16, 2018, senior medial students and residency training program directors across the United States and Canada will find out this year’s Match Day results.

Locally, the University of South Alabama’s Match Day will be held at 10:30 a.m. CST on March 16, 2018, in the Upper Concourse Grand Ballroom at the Mobile Convention Center at 1 South Water Street in Mobile, Ala. The envelopes containing Match results will be handed out to the students shortly before 11 a.m. followed by the students’ individual announcement of the location of their residency.

The National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), or Match Day, is the annual event in which senior medical students across North America simultaneously learn where they will be doing their residency training.

The Match process works like this: after interviewing with different residency programs - both near and far - students provide a ranking of the programs in order of preference. The training programs, in turn, rank the students who interviewed. Students are then matched based on a mutual ranking with a specific residency program.

The NRMP matches applicants’ preferences for residency positions with program directors’ preferences for applicants. Each year, thousands of medical school seniors compete for approximately 24,000 residency positions across the United States.

Updates from the event will be posted on the USA College of Medicine's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Be sure to check them after the event for our full wrap-up coverage, including details about all of the matches and full photo galleries from the day.

Share your own posts and photos using the hashtag #USAMatchDay and #Match2018.

USA Neurology to Host Annual Spring Symposium

The University of South Alabama’s Neurosciences Program will host the fifth annual Neuroscience Symposium on April 6-8, 2018, at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Ala. The event will cover a broad range of topics including seizures, stroke, multiple sclerosis, deep brain stimulation, neuromuscular disease, movement disorders and headaches.

The program will be beneficial to neurologists, primary care physicians, nurses and health professionals throughout the region. This conference is open to all health care providers interested in increasing their knowledge, addressing competence and performance, and improving patient outcomes.

Dr. Juan G. Ochoa, associate professor of neurology at the USA College of Medicine and a neurologist with USA Physicians Group, will serve as the course director. Guest faculty include Dr. Hubert H. Fernandez, professor of neurology at the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and Dr. Solomon L. Moshe, professor of neurology, neuroscience and pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. USA faculty speakers include Drs. Bassam A. Bassam, Elias G. Chalhub, Steve M. Cordina, Daniel D. Dees, J. Ivan Lopez, Paul Maertens, Elizabeth H. Minto and Dean K. Naritoku.

Advanced registration is requested. For more information and to register, click here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Rescheduled: USA Health Advanced Practice Provider Quarterly Meeting

The USA Health Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Leadership Council will host the first advanced practice provider quarterly meeting on Feb. 28, 2018, at 6 p.m. at Dumbwaiter on the Hill.

The quarterly meeting will feature Mindy Crawford, clinical sales specialist for Similac. She will discuss the benefits of human milk oligosaccharides in infant formula.

Crawford earned her master’s of business administration from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., and her bachelor of science in food and nutrition in business from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

The newly developed APP Leadership Council is the voice for advanced practice providers within USA Health. The mission of the group is to support the APP community through leadership, advocacy and professional development.

The meeting is open to all USA Health advanced practice providers. To register, visit http://evite.me/jaDfk7hxpY or email Kimberly Thompson at kadler@health.southalabama.edu.

Mark Your Calendar: Gulf Coast Acute Care Surgery Symposium

The University of South Alabama Department of Surgery will host the 9th annual Gulf Coast and Acute Care Surgery Symposium March 22-23, 2018, at the Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa.

The goal of the symposium is to educate attendees on achieving optimal outcomes from the critical ill or injured patient by utilizing rapid assessment and early intervention. The symposium will provide physicians, surgeons, residents, nurses, technicians, EMT and EMS personnel with evidenced-based concepts and techniques in critical care in today’s world.

“Data related to the care of critically ill and injured patients is rapidly evolving with advances in science and technology,” said Dr. Jon Simmons, associate professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine and a trauma and critical care surgeon with USA Health. “If implementation at the bedside fails to keep pace, optimal patient care can be comprised.”

The format will include brief lectures and panel discussions on clinical scenarios encountered by providers in emergency general surgery, trauma, critical care and burn. Educational topics will cover all emergency aspects of pediatric and adult trauma patients, orthopaedics, burns and trauma updates.

The 11th annual William A.L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship will be held in conjunction with the conference. The memorial lecture is presented annually to honor the life of William A.L. Mitchell, who passed away in 2005 from severe traumatic injuries sustained in a car accident. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. David Spain, professor and chief of surgery at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, Calif. Dr. Spain will present “Stop the Bleed and Zero Preventable Deaths,” during the lecture.  This lecture will also take place at the Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa on March 22 at 4:30 p.m. The William A.L. Mitchell lectureship is open to the public, free of charge.

For more information, contact Rebecca Scarbrough at (251) 471-7971 or visit http://www.usahealthsystem.com/registration-5617.

William A. L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship to Feature Dr. David Spain

This year’s William A. L. Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Traumatology and Surgical Care hosted by the University of South Alabama Department of Surgery will feature Dr. David Spain, professor and chief of surgery at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, Calif.

Dr. Spain will present “Stop the Bleed and Zero Preventable Deaths” on March 22, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. at the Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa. It is held in conjunction with the 9th annual Gulf Coast Acute Care Surgery Symposium.

Dr. Spain earned his medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. He completed his residency training at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and a fellowship at the University of Louisville Hospital.

His clinical areas of specialty are emergency and elective general surgery, trauma and critical care. His research focus is assessment of clinical care, systems of care and introduction of new technology. He currently serves as the editor of the new textbook, Scientific American’s Critical Care of the Surgical Patient. He is board-certified in general surgery and surgical critical care.

The lecture is presented annually in memory of William A. L. Mitchell, who passed away in 2005 from severe traumatic injuries sustained in a car crash. In appreciation for the care he received at the USA Trauma Center, his family established the endowed lecture series to memorialize their son and brother and to improve trauma patient care in our region through education.

The USA Trauma Center is this region’s only Level I Trauma Center, serving as a community resource for citizens throughout the central Gulf Coast region. The center provides the highest level of care for critically ill and injured patients.

For more information about the lecture, contact Rebecca Scarbrough at (251) 471-7971.

Friday, February 16, 2018

USA GHHS Members Participate in Solidarity Week, Highlight Compassionate Patient Care

Members of the USA College of Medicine Gold Humanism Honor Society participate in Solidarity Week, a national initiative designed to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine. 
USA fourth-year medical students and GHHS members Christina Antz and Jonathon Whitehead pose for a photo with Ariel in her hospital room at USA Children's & Women's Hospital Thursday, Feb.15, 2018. Students asked patients to tell them unique information about themselves, which they used to craft posters and display above their beds.
His friends describe him as stoic and outspoken and if there is a problem – especially mechanical – he can fix it. These are the details Stephen wants his health care team at USA Medical Center to know about his life outside of the hospital.

This week, members of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine Chapter of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society participated in Solidarity Week, a national initiative designed to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine.

For the past three years, the “Tell Me More” program has served as the centerpiece of Solidarity Week. Led by GHHS members, the goal of “Tell Me More” is to engage patients in conversations that focus on important aspects of their lives rather than their illness. After obtaining consent, medical students asked patients to tell them unique information about themselves, which they used to craft posters and display above their beds.

Students also distributed Mari Gras beads to patients in celebration of Mardi Gras, which originated in Mobile, Ala.

Hilda Watkins, a third-year student at the USA College of Medicine and GHHS chapter member, said Stephen’s eyes lit up as she entered the room with the poster. Watkins handed Stephen and his wife, Cathy, Mardi Gras beads before hanging his poster above the bed.

According to Cathy, the compassionate care they have received at USA Medical Center is unmatched. “We have received an abundance of kindness here and I think we were spoiled,” she said. “The poster is great. Since we were here during Mardi Gras we weren’t able to attend any parades, so the beads were the perfect treat.”

Watkins said the “Tell Me More” program fosters relationships and provides the opportunity to relate to patients in ways other than their clinical diagnoses. “They were very willing to answer the questions and let me learn more about them,” she said. “Despite the hardships the patient and his wife have experienced, they were very thankful and smiled the entire time."

Alexander Wiles, a fourth-year student at the USA College of Medicine and GHHS chapter president for the Class of 2018, said Solidarity Week is fun for patients and medical students alike. “Solidarity Week allows GHHS students to interact and get to know each other better,” he said. “We hear amazing stories about patients’ lives, and ‘Tell Me More’ is a great way to encourage our providers to remain engaged in the humanistic side of patient care. I love seeing the happiness we bring patients by learning more about them.”

Jonathon Whitehead, a third-year student at the USA College of Medicine and GHHS member, had the opportunity to learn more about Ariel, a pediatric patient at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital. “Ariel has a big heart for dogs and cats,” he said. “I tried my best to draw a few animals on her poster to make it special for her.”

Ariel and her grandmother admired her poster as Whitehead taped it to the wall. “It’s perfect. I wouldn’t add anything else,” she said. “I’m going to show it to everyone as they come in the room, and I want to frame it when I get home.”

“Practicing medicine is not just addressing the patient’s physical ailments,” said Christel Bowman, a third-year student at the USA College of Medicine and GHHS chapter member. “Sometimes a patient needs encouragement, advice or just a hand to hold. By being compassionate, we help them heal.”

While visiting patients, GHHS members distributed snacks to each nurse’s station to express their appreciation. They also hung a banner in the lobby of the Medical Sciences Building to motivate and encourage the second-year students as they prepare to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 – the first of three licensure exams that assess their ability to apply knowledge, concepts and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills.

“This project impacted me personally, and I did not realize what an impact a simple ‘thank you’ can have,” Bowman said. “When we delivered goodie baskets to different departments, we were met with smiles, hugs and appreciation.”

Click here to view more photos from Solidarity Week at USA.

To learn more about Solidarity Week, click here. Share your own posts and photos using the hashtag #SolidarityWeek.

Multicenter Meta-Analysis Reveals Sepsis Patients can be Risk Stratified at the Time of Diagnosis Demonstrating Potential to Improve Critical Care Medicine on a Global Scale

Why do some people die after they develop a severe infection while others with similar risk factors survive? Sepsis, which is defined by a life-threatening dysregulated host immune response to infection, is a leading cause of in-hospital deaths in the United States. However, physicians still lack accurate tools that predict moderate risk patients who will die from sepsis from those that will not.

To satisfy this major healthcare need, 24 scientists from across the world collaborated on a community approach to derive gene-based models that can accurately predict 30-day mortality in patients with sepsis at the time of patient enrollment. The project was led by scientists from Sage Bionetworks, the University of South Alabama, Duke University and Stanford University, and the results were published today in Nature Communications.

“Sepsis is a heterogeneous disease contributing to half of all in-hospital deaths in the United States and is a leading cost for our health care system,” said Dr. Raymond Langley, Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama and one of the senior authors on the publication.

“Despite dozens of clinical trials, there are no pharmacologic treatments specific for sepsis that have been successfully utilized in clinical practice,” he said. “Patient treatment still focuses on general management strategies including source control, antibiotics and supportive care. With improved accuracy in sepsis prognosis we can hopefully improve critical care through appropriate matching of patients with resources.”

For this study, the team identified a large collection of both public and privately-held gene expression data from clinical sepsis studies at the time of diagnosis to study molecular changes in immune cells, also known as leukocytes. The patients were enrolled in the emergency department or the intensive care unit from hospitals and universities around the world; such as the United States, Spain, England and Sydney, Australia.

These highly valuable datasets have been published publicly so others can perform independent analyses. Three scientific groups were then invited to build algorithmic models to predict 30-day mortality. Four different prognostic models, which had widely different predictive features (genes), were then evaluated utilizing independent external validation cohorts composed of patients with either community-acquired sepsis or hospital-acquired infections.

The research comprehensively revealed that patients with sepsis can be risk-stratified based on their gene expression profiles at the time of diagnosis.

“One the major strengths of this paper is that the data were subjected to analysis by several different groups of scientists using different methods. This allows us to suggest that the accuracy of the models we derived is unlikely to be beaten by other groups looking at similar data” said Timothy Sweeney, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and a researcher at Stanford at the time the work was performed. “Our focus here was explicitly to derive a highly predictive gene expression ‘fingerprint’ that could someday become a clinical tool. For that reason, our focus was on improving accuracy more than understanding biology.”

Still, said Dr. Langley, “These gene expression models reflect a patient’s underlying biological response and could potentially serve as a valuable clinical assay for prognosis and for defining the host dysfunction responsible for sepsis. These results serve as a benchmark for future prognostic model development and as a rich source of information that can be mined for additional insights. Our community approach identified a large number of genes associated with sepsis mortality that may point to underlying biology.”

Dr. Langley said the data from this study holds far-reaching potential to improve critical care medicine on a global scale.

“A very sick patient could be diverted to ICU for maximal intervention, while patients predicted to have a better outcome may be safely monitored in the hospital or even discharged early,” he said. “More precise estimates of prognosis would also allow for better discussions regarding patient preferences and the utility of aggressive interventions, while better molecular phenotyping of sepsis patients has the potential to improve clinical trials.”

The study was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a DREAM Challenge initially tasked to determine resiliency. DREAM Challenges, powered by Sage Bionetworks, allow for a community approach to determine solutions to complex health problems to improve translational medicine.

To view the data published in Nature Communications, visit https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03078-2.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Internal Medicine to Host Multi-Departmental Grand Rounds on Feb. 22

The department of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will host a multi-departmental grand rounds on Feb. 22, 2018, at 8 a.m. in the conference room on the second floor of USA Medical Center.

The lecture, titled “The Microbiome: A Multi-Organ System Dynamic Interaction,” will feature contributions from numerous departments of medicine at USA. The lecture is designed to present an understanding of the vast role of the microbiome in clinical illness.

Presenters include Drs. Andrew Berry, a third-year internal medicine resident; Robert Wildman, a fourth-year neurology resident; Mohammed Berrou, a pulmonology and critical care fellow; and Benjamin Niland, a gastroenterology fellow.

The event is open to all USA faculty, staff and students.

For more information, contact Jacqueline Niles at (251) 471-7900.

Summer Research Proposal Deadline Approaching

The deadline to submit proposals for the 2018 Medical Student Summer Research Program is Feb. 28, 2018.

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Summer Research Program is a 9-week program (May 30 through July 27, 2018) that pairs medical students with faculty mentors. The program is open to entering medical students and rising second-year medical students in the USA College of Medicine.

Through this program, students develop an appreciation of how research contributes to the knowledge and the practice of medicine. The summer experience includes hands-on research related to basic science and/or clinical medicine; a seminar program that focuses on various scientific and clinical topics; and student presentations at Research Day.

The Medical Student Research Proposal form and the Research Compliance Checklist for the Summer Research Program can be found here. Please submit these forms to Marcina Lang, the program coordinator, at marcinalang@southalabama.edu. Research proposal guidelines and example proposals are available online to assist you with proposal preparation. Please follow the format provided.

For more information, call (251) 460-6041.

USA Welcomes Dr. Preethi Marri

Dr. Preethi Marri recently was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and serves as a pediatric hematologist and oncologist with USA Physicians Group.

Prior to her appointment at USA, Dr. Marri served as chair of pediatrics and as a pediatric hospitalist at Providence Hospital in Mobile, Ala. She also previously served as an instructor in pediatric and adolescent medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Marri earned her medical degree from SVS Medical College - NTR University of Health Sciences in Andhra Pradesh, India. She earned a master's in hospital administration from the University of New Haven in New Haven, Conn. Dr. Marri later went on to complete an internship in pediatrics at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., a residency in pediatrics at Texas A&M, Scott and White Children’s Hospital in Temple, Texas, and a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Marri is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society of Pediatric hematology/oncology, and the Mobile Pediatric Society of Alabama. Her research in pediatric hematology and oncology has been published and presented extensively.

Dr. Marri practices at the Strada Patient Care Center, located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile. To make an appointment with her, call (251) 410-5437. 

USA Center for Healthy Communities Receives 2018 Health and Human Services Award

From left: Dr. Martha Arrieta, director of research at the USA Center for Healthy Communities; Dr. Errol Crook, Professor and Abraham Mitchell Chair of Internal Medicine at the USA College of Medicine and director of the USA Center for Healthy Communities; and Dr. Roma Hanks, co-core director of community outreach at the USA Center for Healthy Communities.
Three faculty members at the University of South Alabama Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) recently received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Health and Human Services Award from the People United to Advance the Dream Mobile, Inc. (PUAD) – a local nonprofit organization that encourages unity and promotes peace and harmony in the community.

The CHC is the lead entity within the USA College of Medicine for coordinating community education, research, public service and health activities to help eliminate health disparities, foster access to health care for underserved populations and enhance the capacity of individuals to better participate in decision making about their health.

Dr. Errol Crook, Professor and Abraham Mitchell Chair of Internal Medicine at the USA College of Medicine and director of the USA Center for Healthy Communities; Dr. Martha Arrieta, director of research at the USA Center for Healthy Communities; and Dr. Roma Hanks, co-core director of community outreach at the USA Center for Healthy Communities, were presented the award at the PUAD Second Annual Black Tie Gala – an award ceremony recognizing individuals in the Mobile community for their dedication and service to enrich the lives of others.

According to Dr. Crook, the Health and Human Service Award – presented to individuals and organizations who work to address health disparities through research and community engagement – represents the mission and values of CHC.

“CHC focuses on health in a holistic sense by promoting fair opportunities for everyone to pursue happiness, be safe and live a healthy lifestyle,” Dr. Crook said. “CHC allows people throughout the greater Mobile area that are civic minded and have a specific interest in pursuing a healthy way of life to link with others who are like minded. When they come together, their efforts are additive and impactful, causing synergistic effects throughout the community.”

Dr. Arrieta said the award holds tremendous value as it provides a new impetus and renewed commitment to continue the Center for Healthy Communities’ work to move the needle in the direction of health equity. “It also validates our effort to create a meaningful connection with the residents of the USA Medical Center service area,” she said. “Based on participatory research principles, we have engaged community leaders, stakeholders and community members as partners in research studies and as leaders of projects aimed at improving community health. The award tells us that we have made progress toward earning a measure of trust and respect from the community through our 14 years of dedicated effort.”

Dr. Hanks credits her life stage for giving the award a deeper meaning. “I can remember watching TV as the events of Dr. King’s life and leadership unfolded,” she said. “Being part of this honor from a group committed to keeping Dr. King’s dream alive gives me great hope for the future. We need to continue to raise issues and to make sure that voices are heard.”

According to Dr. Hanks, the award also speaks to the dedication CHC has to community outreach. Community Health Advocates (CHA) – volunteers who work with the CHC to support the fight against health disparities and to promote a healthy lifestyle to those in need – assist their communities by bringing awareness and education to specific health issues.

“The CHA program has taught me what true commitment to health and community looks like in action,” Dr. Hanks said. “Our CHAs give tirelessly to ensure that their communities have accurate, relevant and culturally competent health messages. Whether they are conducting a health fair, giving a lecture, or building a community garden, they are fully engaged in the process and outcome.”

Dr. Crook said a long-time CHA, Dr. Bobbie Holt-Ragler, nominated CHC for the award. “Bobbie, who received the award in 2017, has been with us for over a decade,” he said. “It was incredibly heartwarming that one of our partners recognized our value and thought we were worthy of this award.”

Click here to learn more.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

February Med School Café - 'Understanding A Woman’s Heart'

The February Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Christopher Malozzi, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a cardiologist with USA Physicians Group.

His lecture, titled “Understanding a Woman's Heart,” will be held on Feb. 23, 2018, at the USA Strada Patient Care Center Conference Room on the first floor. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Malozzi will lecture on women’s heart issues. He will also discuss the importance of maintaining health and preventing heart disease.

Dr. Malozzi earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his residency training in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at USA. Dr. Malozzi is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, please call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770.

Med School Café is a free community lecture series sponsored by USA Physicians Group. Each month, faculty from the USA College of Medicine share their expertise on a specific medical condition, providing insight on the latest treatment available.

The USA Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile.

‘Stay Tuned’

Lanette Flagge’s desire has always been to be a positive influence in all aspects of students’ lives – academically, professionally and personally.

Over the years, she has achieved success in that respect, as some students have expressed their thanks through an acknowledgment in their dissertation, through an unexpected gift, or specific words of thanks.

“My husband has always said, ‘the students appreciate you because you appreciate them,’” Flagge said.

Flagge is retiring from the University of South Alabama after 41 years of service – 24 of which were at the USA College of Medicine where she served as an academic advisor for the basic medical sciences graduate program.

Before her time at the College of Medicine, Flagge worked as a secretary in the department of housing and a credentials and degree analyst in the registrar’s office – both of which involved working with students.  The position at the College of Medicine gave her the opportunity to work individually with students and establish a relationship with each one over the five years that they were in the program.

Flagge has been the first point of contact for each student interested in the basic medical sciences graduate program. “Once they’re here, I serve as the overall academic advisor for those students for all aspects – I’m there to set up their schedules, make sure they are enrolled in the correct classes and see that they have successfully met the benchmarks to graduate."

“I will miss working with the students the most,” she said. “I’ve tried to make a positive difference in their life to ensure that they have had a good path in terms of completing their requirements. It’s a good feeling to know that I helped in whatever ways to help them achieve their goal.”

Flagge also is appreciative of the relationships she has made with colleagues.

Some of her fondest memories relate to the laughter ringing out across the hallways or over the phone during conversations with colleagues. Sometimes, the laughter has erupted over the most unexpected comments, expressions, or events.

A single memory relates to the start of each day of work. “For years, a dear friend and I would arrive on campus in the parking lot behind the Medical Sciences Building at the same time each morning,” Flagge said. “As we exited our cars and gathered our belongings, she would shout across the distance between our cars, ‘Hey there, young lady. We're ready for another day.’”

“Though she has been gone for seven years, I can still hear the inflection of her voice, emphasizing ‘young lady’ and that happy ‘ready for another day,’” Flagge said.

While Flagge’s appreciation is extended to a large population on campus, her truest and most sincere appreciation goes to her husband and children for their support of her work with USA students, staff, and faculty. “We all have been blessed by many lasting friendships formed during my time at South Alabama,” she said.

Flagge is ready to begin another chapter in her life. She said she looks forward to spending more time with family, finishing a few projects and traveling.

“My key expression has always been ‘stay tuned,’” she said, chuckling. “If I didn’t know the answer to something right away, that was my response and I always got back to the person.”

Now, as she leaves her USA family, she says “thanks for the memories” and adds her personal signature line, “stay tuned.”

“When I walk out that door, it won’t be the last time by any means,” she said. “That’s what I do – I’m always staying tuned.”

A retirement reception will be held in Flagge’s honor on Feb. 16, 2018, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the USA Faculty Club. We hope you will be able to attend as we celebrate Flagge’s career and offer her best wishes for the future.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Pediatrics Hosting Grand Rounds Feb. 16

Dallas Rabig, state coordinator for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, will present “Help Me Grow and Other State Initiatives” for February’s pediatric grand rounds.

The event will take place Friday, Feb. 16, at 8 a.m. in the conference room on the first floor of the Strada Patient Care Center.

Rabig will discuss infant and early childhood networks in Alabama and identify infant and early childhood mental health professional development resources.

The event is open to faculty, staff and students at USA. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages will be provided. For additional information, contact Katie Catlin at kncatlin@health.southalabama.edu.

The Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile.

Two Medical Students Match Early in Competitive Residency Programs

University of South Alabama College of Medicine students Stephen Ambrose (right) and Winston Crute recently found out they matched in early match programs – Ambrose in ophthalmology and Crute in urology.
University of South Alabama College of Medicine students Stephen Ambrose and Winston Crute recently found out they matched in early match programs – Ambrose in ophthalmology and Crute in urology.

The majority of medical students go through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) to find out where they will be doing their residency training following graduation, but students who wish to match in ophthalmology and urology participate in a separate specialty match program that takes places months before Match Day on March 16.

According to Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean of medical education and student affairs, both ophthalmology and urology are extremely competitive residency programs.

In 2018, there were 689 applicants for the ophthalmology match for only 434 spots. In urology, there were 436 applicants for 314 spots. “We are extremely proud of these two students and their matches into these residency programs,” Dr. LeDoux said. “It is always rewarding when we have the opportunity to witness students fulfilling their dreams.”

Ambrose matched in ophthalmology at the University of Kansas in Kansas City.

Growing up, Ambrose always had an interest in science and medicine. His favorite TV show was Bill Nye the Science Guy, and his grandfather practiced as an ophthalmologist in Florence, Ala., for approximately 30 years.

Seeing the joy and fulfillment his grandfather received from his career ultimately helped Ambrose choose his path in life. “Having that exposure at an early age helped me understand what ophthalmology was,” he said.

During his time at the USA College of Medicine, Ambrose was able to shadow and participate in away rotations to help him make his decision. “The thing I enjoy most about ophthalmology is the relationship with the patients,” he said. “To me, it’s a different relationship because you’re dealing with someone’s eyesight. Vision is such a precious gift we have that we take for granted every day.”

“I had patients tell me, ‘you can take anything else, but don't take my vision,’” he added. “Being able to play a role in taking care of something so important to individuals is very humbling.”

Ambrose said his experiences at USA will help guide him through his residency. “At South we are given a lot of hands on opportunities that allow us to be prepared to hit the ground running when we start residency,” he said. “We are given opportunities to grow and develop as leaders, and we are surrounded by great mentors we can emulate.”

Crute matched in urology at the University of Tennessee Medical System in Knoxville, Tenn.

It wasn’t until his early college career that Crute became interested in medical school; his best friend was involved in an accident that required prolonged medical care. “It was my first experience with being on the other side of a serious medical situation,” he said, “and I admired many of the doctors that provided him with care."

He later became interested in urology because it was a specialty in which he could not only diagnose and fix a problem, but also intervene surgically. “You get to take care of patients long term and establish relationships with them even after their surgery,” he said. “You also can treat a variety of diseases – from something as serious as cancer to something as benign as kidney stones.”

When Crute was choosing which medical school to attend, he was drawn to USA’s small, close-knit community. Urology is similar – it’s a close-knit specialty with small residency classes.

According to Crute, USA provided him a positive atmosphere where he could learn to build solid relationships with colleagues. “They forced me to work hard,” he said. “Residency will be tough, but I know that my hard work at USA will have prepared me for the next step.”

Crute said he is ready to begin his residency and focus on the type of medicine he is most passionate about. “I cannot wait to learn and begin to have more responsibility over my patients. It is exciting to get one step closer to being an independent physician.”

Locally, the University of South Alabama’s Match Day will be held at 10:30 a.m. CST on March 16, 2018, in the Upper Concourse Grand Ballroom at the Mobile Convention Center at 1 South Water Street in Mobile, Ala. The envelopes containing Match results will be handed out to the students shortly before 11 a.m. followed by the students’ individual announcement of the location of their residency.

Match Day will be streamed live online, and updates from the event will be posted on the USA College of Medicine's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Be sure to check them after the event for our full wrap-up coverage, including details about all of the matches and full photo galleries from the day.