Thursday, April 12, 2018

Register Now: Joy in Practice Burnout Education Session

USA Physicians Group is hosting an education session on burnout on April 26, 2018, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Strada Patient Care Center.

Dr. Perry Dickinson, professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado, will present “Joy in Practice: How Practices and Clinicians Can Effectively Deal with Changes in Health Care without Burnout” at the event.

Dr. Dickinson will discuss the national landscape for health system redesign, including the growing move toward alternative payment models. He will also explain how practices and clinicians can deal effectively with the changes in the health care system without burnout.

A former faculty member in the USA Department of Family Medicine, Dr. Dickinson has led multiple large-scale studies investigating the process of practice and health system transformation – particularly focusing on the implementation of advanced primary care models, self-management support and integrated behavioral health services in primary care practices.

Physicians, residents, advanced practice providers, department chairs and directors are encouraged to register. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided.

Click here to register.

For more information, email Dr. Natalie Fox at

USA SNMA Health Fair a Success

Gisella Mancarella, a first-year student at the USA College of Medicine, checks a visitor's blood glucose level at the SMNA Health Fair on March 24, 2018.
In collaboration with BELONG, a local non-profit organization that provides resources to immigrant families, the University of South Alabama College of Medicine chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) recently hosted a health fair to meet the needs of the Hispanic community in Mobile.

Hilda Watkins, a third-year student at the USA College of Medicine and member of the SMNA, helped to organize the event. According to Watkins, the event was a success, as they were able to serve 75 Hispanic families.

“With a growing Hispanic population in the Mobile area, our goal is to provide educational resources that improve health literacy and health outcomes. It is our responsibility as future physicians to make sure we teach them about health and refer them to available resources,” Watkins said.

At the event, medical students facilitated six health-centered tables to provide counseling and information on various health topics. Members from the Medical Spanish Interest Group (MSIG) served as translators at the event.

Juan Torres, founder and CEO of BELONG, said this event was much needed - as members of the Hispanic community typically place health care below priorities such as work and family life. “This event provided the perfect opportunity to bring the Hispanic community together as we raised awareness of the importance of taking care of our health,” he said. “The unprecedented participation of medical students from the USA College of Medicine with our Hispanic community was wonderful because I have seen firsthand the level of energy, intellect and cultural sensitivity these students bring to a community at risk.”

Trevor Stevens, a third-year medical student and MSIG member at the USA College of Medicine, helped organize medical student translators.“Students were able to help break down the communication barriers and effectively help educate patients in order to prevent chronic and life-changing diseases while building trust within the community,” Stevens said.

Stevens said that events like the SMNA health fair are beneficial for medical students because it allows students to see the positive impact that they can have in the community and to have firsthand experience in battling health care disparities.

Watkins said she is grateful for the team effort put forth by the volunteers who organized and participated in the event. “To see an idea on paper come to fruition is a wonderful experience, and knowing you impacted a life in a positive way is quite satisfying,” she said. “We hope to continue hosting this event in the years to come, each year hoping it will grow, allowing us to impact more people.”

To learn more about BELONG, click here.

For more information about SMNA, click here.

Click here to view the USACOM Medical Spanish Interest Group page on Facebook.

USA Medical Student Presents Research at 2018 SAHM Meeting in Seattle

Alexis Griffin, a third-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently presented a research poster at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) 2018 Annual Meeting in Seattle.

During the meeting, diverse multidisciplinary adolescent health professionals from throughout the world assembled to share, discuss, critique and generate strategies to ensure that all young people have full and equal access to opportunities that enable them to achieve healthy, productive and meaningful lives.

Griffin’s research focused on the usage of etonogestral implant (EI) birth control devices among African American adolescent females. The goal of her research was to seek ways to combat health disparities.

According to Griffin, African American adolescents are likely to have twice many teen pregnancies as other groups. Griffin said that this group demonstrated a better EI retention rate than previously reported by studies investigating adolescent use of EI devices. Her research concluded that African American adolescents recommended EI devices to friends and that the devices are strongly recommended for this demographic.

Griffin conducted her research with Dr. Daniel Preud'Homme, professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and a pediatric gastroenterologist with USA Physicians Group.

Griffin said that is essential for diversity to be represented in health care, as health care delivery is becoming increasingly diverse and specific to each individual.

Griffin said she is hoping to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology. She said that she feels it is important for medical students to participate in extracurricular research because it is a way for them to express themselves, and provides them with opportunities to become a better physician.

“Research gives you the freedom to explore medical topics of interest through your scope of choice. It also teaches you to think critically and to be methodological, concise and analytical,” Griffin said.

To view Griffin’s research abstract, click here.

To learn more about the 2018 Annual Meeting, click here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

USA Student Health Center Featured in Journal of American College Health

Beverly Kellen, director of operations for the USA Student Health Center, holds a recent edition of the Journal of American College Health featuring USA's Student Health Center.
The University of South Alabama Student Health Center recently was published on the cover of the Journal of American College Health, the only scholarly publication devoted entirely to college students’ health.

According to Beverly Kellen, director of operations for USA Student Health Center, the Student Health Center has evolved to become an integral part of campus life, and it is an honor to be featured on the cover.”Historically, the Journal selects a student health center that has just moved into a new building to feature on the cover,” she said. “In the fall of 2016, President Waldrop and the USA administrative leaders supported our efforts to relocate our clinic into the heart of campus so that we are much more accessible to our student population.”

The clinic is now within walking distance from many key buildings on campus, offering primary care, sports medicine, women’s health care and psychiatric services. Kellen said during the first month of operation at the new location, utilization increased by 28 percent as compared to the same period of the previous year.

To learn more about the USA Student Health Center, click here.

The Journal of American College Health is published bi-monthly in cooperation with the American College Health Association. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

USA College of Medicine Welcomes New Emergency Medicine Faculty

Dr. Larry Mellick recently was appointed professor of emergency medicine and vice chair of academic affairs for emergency medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. He also serves as an emergency medicine physician at both USA Medical Center and USA Children's & Women's Hospital.

In his new position, Dr. Mellick serves as a mentor to medical students and residents at the USA College of Medicine. He is particularly interested in assisting residents, medical students and colleagues with getting medical papers published in academic journals.“The opportunity to provide mentorship to individuals who are given the joy of seeing their medical and academic work published is an honor,” Dr. Mellick said.

In addition to his mentorship duties, Dr. Mellick is also working on the development of the pediatric emergency medicine program and serves as the division chief for pediatric emergency medicine. He also provides assistance to the emergency medicine residency program that is being developed by Dr. Edward Panacek, professor and chair of emergency medicine at the USA College of Medicine.

Dr. Mellick has more than 30 years of experience as a physician, educator, researcher and administrator. He is board-certified in pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine and emergency medicine. Dr. Mellick served as academic chairman of emergency medicine at Loma Linda University from 1993 to 1996 and was the inaugural academic chairman of emergency medicine for the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University from 1996 to 2003.

During his career he also created and led two pediatric emergency medicine divisions and started a pediatric emergency medicine fellowship. From 2012 to 2017, he served on the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Subboard for the American Board of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Mellick served as professor of pediatrics, emergency medicine, physician assistant studies, graduate studies and dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Ga., from 1996 to 2018. From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Mellick served in Quantico, Virginia, as one of three full-time physicians  for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, before returning to Augusta to serve for two years as the emergency medicine residency director.

Dr. Mellick earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. He completed his residency training in pediatrics at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Wash. Dr. Mellick then completed residency training in emergency medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.  He served in the United States Army for 11 years and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Dr. Mellick has presented research all over the United States. His research has also been published extensively in many academic medical journals. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the American Medical Association.