Friday, January 19, 2018

New Members Elected into USA GHHS

Ten University of South Alabama medical students, three residents and one College of Medicine faculty member recently were named to the USA Chapter of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society (GHHS) – a national society that celebrates compassionate, patient-centered care.

This year, to announce those elected, fourth-year members of the honor society decided to ‘tap’ each new inductee in everyday places – such as the classroom or hospital hallways – to publicly recognize the student.

Each year, a select group of students, residents and faculty members are named to GHHS, through a peer-nominated process, GHHS membership recognizes those who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and serve as a role model, mentor and leader in medicine.

Each member of the Class of 2019 completed a ballot with statements such as “the classmates who have shown exceptional interest in service to those in need in our community” and “the classmates you would like to have work at your side during a medical emergency or unforeseen disaster,” among others. Each student is asked to name two students from their class who would best fit the situations described.

Together, Ashton Todd and Katherine Glosemeyer – fourth-year students at the USA College of Medicine and members of GHHS – assembled gold-themed goodie bags containing hand-written notes from current GHHS members to distribute to recently elected students, faculty and residents.

Holding three gold bags, Todd entered the Active Learning Center at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital to welcome new members to the society during a class. “The students cast their votes the day before, so they were all surprised to be notified so soon and even more shocked to have the results announced in front of their peers,” she said. “As I called each student’s name, everyone applauded and congratulated them in recognition of their dedication to compassionate care. It was impressive to see how the Class of 2019 cares not only about their own success, but also the success of their classmates.”

Dr. James Lamb, a second-year neurology resident physician and recently inducted GHHS member, thanks the Class of 2019 for nominating him for the award. “It was very unexpected and I am deeply honored to be chosen to be inducted into this honor society,” he said. “I make a constant effort to engage medical students, teach them and give advice in any area I can. Most of all, I try my best to provide the best patient care I possibly can.”

The following USA students, residents and faculty were selected:

Christina Artz - student
Christel Bowman - student
Phillip Brennan - student
Natalie Carlisle - student
Audrey Murphy - student
Matthew Robson - student
Alan Schumann - student
Trevor Stevens - student
Hilda Watkins - student
Jonathon Whitehead - student
Dr. Candace Holliday - resident, department of obstetrics and gynecology
Dr. James Lamb - resident, department of neurology
Dr. Frank Rutigliano - resident, department of surgery
Dr. Carol Motley - faculty, department of family medicine (not pictured)

This year’s GHHS class officers are Mathew Robson, president; Natalie Carlisle, secretary/treasurer; and Christina Artz, social coordinator. New members will be officially inducted and pinned at the USA College of Medicine’s annual White Coat Ceremony on June 16, 2018, at 10 a.m. at the USA Mitchell Center.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation sustains the commitment of health care professionals to provide compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent patient care.  The society currently has approximately 30,000 members in training and practice.

Each year, the GHHS participates in Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine. This year, Solidarity Week will take place Feb. 12-16, as the GHHS Class of 2018 and 2019 will participate in several activities to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine. The theme will be “Carnival of Compliments.” Click here to read about Solidarity Week 2017. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

'I Can Power Walk Again!'

Pat Buffa Patient Testimonial from USA Health on Vimeo.

"I often start my day walking with my dog. Last year I began experiencing severe symptoms of acid reflux and indigestion, which left me unable to power walk.

I had an appointment with Dr. Richards, and he let me know that I had a paraesophageal hiatal hernia and scheduled me for surgery. My stomach was twisted, which is why I was unable to keep my food down. My condition could have turned out very badly had it not been remedied.

The care I received at USA was phenomenal. Dr. Richards and his entire staff were all fabulous. Now, I can eat anything I want to and I'm able to power walk again."

Pat Buffa
Pensacola Beach, FL

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Register Now: Quality Payment Program Education Session

USA Physicians Group invites you to a Quality Payment Program Education Session on Jan. 30, 2018, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Strada Patient Care Center. Physicians, residents and advanced practice providers are encouraged to register.

The goal of the event is to increase provider awareness and knowledge of the merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS), Medicare access and CHIP reauthorization of 2015 (MACRA) and the transforming clinical practice initiative (TCPi). The session will focus on the effect MIPS, MACRA and TCPi has on outpatient reimbursement and address the question “How are we as a network positioning ourselves to do well?”

The session will feature Tina Whited, quality improvement advisor and performance manager for TCPi. The Medical Association of the State of Alabama and the Medical Society of Mobile will feature a representative from Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors.

“With much of Medicare and nearly 50 percent of the largest commercial plans’ medical spending going to alternative payment models, not learning how to practice value-based care will lead to business failure and bankruptcy,” said Dr. Allen Perkins, professor and chair of family medicine at the USA College of Medicine. “All providers should take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to deliver better, more efficient patient-centered care.”

Hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer will be provided.

Click here to register or for more information, email Christina Clark at

Mark Your Calendar: Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative TCPi Education Session

The USA Physicians Group Quality Department invites you to attend educational sessions on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi).

The purpose of the sessions is to help clinics prepare for the transition to alternative payment models. All staff members – clinical and non-clinical – are encouraged to attend and bring a snack or lunch to the session they attend.  All sessions are the same material, but presented at different locations to increase staff accessibility.

The first session will be held on Jan. 31, 2018, from noon to 1 p.m. at the USA Medical Center board room. The second session will take place on Feb. 1, 2018, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Strada Patient Care Center in the first floor conference room. The final session will take place on Feb. 1, 2018, from noon to 1 p.m. at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in the Atlantis Room.

The goal of this informational opportunity is to increase awareness/knowledge of and help clinics prepare for the transition to alternative payment models. The session will focus on The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative and how it relates to MIPS/MACRAs effect on outpatient reimbursement ~ value instead of volume, and address the question "How are we as a network positioning ourselves to do well?"

For more information, email Christina Clark at

Dr. Franklin Trimm Named Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Assistant Vice President for Medical Affairs

Dr. R. Franklin Trimm recently was named associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and assistant vice president for medical affairs at USA Health.

“Diversity and inclusion at our academic medical center is one of our primary strengths. We are fortunate to have faculty, staff, students and patients who have diverse experiences, cultures and perspectives,” said Dr. John V. Marymont, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine. “USA Health realizes the importance of supporting an environment where diversity is embraced and celebrated. Dr. Trimm will play a critical role in incorporating these ideals into our daily practices as we strengthen our organization’s ability to succeed in our mission.”

According to Owen Bailey, chief executive officer and senior associate vice president for medical affairs at USA Health, this appointment follows a national search. “Dr. Trimm has extensive experience related to diversity and inclusion on a national level and has demonstrated success in bringing about organizational change. This, along with his recruitment experiences here, gives him a unique advantage to continue strengthening our institution.”

In his new role, Dr. Trimm will be responsible for the oversight of policies and programs related to diversity and inclusion for students, residents, research and clinical fellows, faculty and staff in USA Health and the USA College of Medicine.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Trimm served as professor and vice chair of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and a pediatric developmental and behavioral physician with USA Physicians Group. He also served as pediatric residency director for the USA College of Medicine.

According to Dr. Trimm, his overarching goal is to improve the diversity and culture of the organization to be inclusive of all groups. “To begin, we must conduct a detailed environmental scan of the entire health system,” he said. “Based on standard approaches, this process could take six to nine months.”

Dr. Trimm credits his previous experiences in medical education and national organizations for preparing him for this position. “Almost everything that I have had the opportunity to do throughout my career provided me with the information, experience and skills needed to perform in this position,” he said. “I have chosen to work in health systems that typically serve underserved communities, which tend to be underrepresented minorities and diverse populations. As residency program director, I also have had the opportunity to work with a very diverse group of people.”

Dr. Trimm also serves as president of the Association of Pediatric Program Directors (APPD), an organization that assists pediatric programs across the nation by leading the advancement of education to ensure the health and well-being of children. “I had the opportunity to be a founding leader of a group with the APPD that focuses on LGBTQ diversity,” he said. “The group focused on addressing ways to make sure those members of the community were understood in the medical education setting and ensuring that our future pediatricians are competent in serving LGBTQ families. I also support an additional group that focuses on underrepresented minorities, raising awareness of implicit biases.”

Dr. Trimm said USA Health has an opportunity to continue striving toward excellence, not just a good contributor in medicine. “Excellence on every front involves a diverse group of people being part of a team,” he said. “The higher the diversity, the greater chance we have of achieving excellence.”