Thursday, August 9, 2018

Abby Perkins Named Director of Operations for Orthopaedic Surgery

Abby Perkins recently was appointed director of operations for orthopaedic surgery with USA Physicians Group.

In her new position, Perkins will oversee the day-to-day operations, control revenue and staff-work environment, and coordinate and develop policies and procedures to best guide the department.

Perkins said this is an exciting time for USA Health and is lucky to be working with and learning from a talented group of people. “I think we have the talent and resources to be one of, if not the best orthopaedic surgery groups in the region, and I am looking forward to contributing to its growth,” she said. “Dr. Richard Marks, professor and chair of orthopaedic surgery at the USA College of Medicine, has a lot of enthusiasm and a great vision for our department. I am looking forward to working with him to grow our department to its fullest potential.”

Prior to her appointment, Perkins served as a group practice administrator at Keesler Air Force Base Hospital in Biloxi, Miss.

Perkins received her bachelor's degree in healthcare administration and policy from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg, Miss., and will be completing her Master of Business Administration this year from USM.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Med School Café - Expert Advice for the Community

Dr. J. Ivan Lopez, professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and pediatric and adult neurologist with USA Physicians Group, presented July’s Med School Café lecture, “Acute Stroke Therapy.”

During the talk, Dr. Lopez discussed treatment options, risk factors and signs of a stroke.

Dr. Lopez earned his medical degree from the La Salle University School of Medicine in Mexico City and completed his residency in neurology at USA.

Watch July Med School Café - Acute Stroke Therapy on YouTube or below.

South Med Prep Scholars Participate in Research Day

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion recently hosted the 2018 South Med Prep Scholars Research Day. The event provided six undergraduate students from historically black colleges and universities the opportunity to gain firsthand exposure to medical research.

South Med Prep Scholars (SMPS) is a two-phase pre-medical school pipeline program designed to provide enrichment and recruitment of talented freshman and sophomore students from select partner institutions.

The program’s eight-week summer sessions focus on research, MCAT preparation and the medical school interview process. Over the course of two consecutive summers, students gain a grasp of the realities of the medical school admission process and learn skills for medical school matriculation.

Throughout the summer, students were paired with a principal investigator to conduct their research. The program culminated with research day, where each student presented their research on topics ranging from neuromorphology to the survival and recovery of pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells.

Michaela Crawford, a rising junior at Xavier University in New Orleans, spoke highly of her research experience. “I was given the opportunity to perform research under Dr. Troy Stevens and work very closely with Ph.D. candidate, Sarah Voth,” she said. “I will be published as a co-author in Sarah’s research paper that will go into the Blue Journal later this year.”

According to LoRen Burroughs, diversity coordinator at the USA College of Medicine, 11 scholars participated in this year’s South Med Prep Scholars program, with five graduating this summer and six moving on to phase 2 in the summer of 2019.

“Since its inception in 2014, there have been a total of three classes to complete the program with four students currently in medical or dental school,” she said. “Starting this fall, recruitment efforts will resume for the summer 2019 cohort of the South Med Prep Scholars program as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion continues its efforts to help students navigate a successful path into the field of medicine.”

The partner institutions for the South Med Prep Scholars program include Dillard University, Morehouse College, Xavier University, Spelman College, and Tuskegee University. “These intuitions are collectively responsible for an ever-growing percentage of the nation’s STEM degree-holders of color,” Burroughs added. “Partnerships with these institutions are critical to the USA College of Medicine’s mission to foster a community of physicians that can relate, identify, and effectively serve Alabama communities.”

Monday, August 6, 2018

LoRen Burroughs Named Diversity Coordinator for USA COM

LoRen Burroughs, a 2013 graduate of the University of South Alabama, recently was named diversity coordinator for the USA College of Medicine.

In her new position, Burroughs is responsible for helping to foster a supportive and inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff through programming and targeted initiatives. She will also oversee various USA College of Medicine pipeline programs in an effort to give high-achieving students from underrepresented groups access and exposure to a career in medicine.

According to Burroughs, her overarching goal is to destigmatize the concept of diversity. “Diversity is typically thought to be synonymous with ‘other,’” she said. “Instead, diversity should be viewed as a collective effort by creating a space for everyone.”

Burroughs earned her bachelor’s degree in professional health management from USA, and her master’s degree in nonprofit management and community development from Eastern Kentucky University.

Prior to her appointment at USA, Burroughs served as a HIV/AIDS civil society capacity building specialist with the Botswana Peace Corps in Maun, Botswana – an experience she said will prove beneficial her for her new role.

“My work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana taught me that truth is relative; the ideals, morals, and societal understandings I hold may not be held by the next person,” she said. “It's important to interact with people from this perspective. Although their truth may not be my truth or another person's reality may not be my own, my utmost obligation is to seek understanding.”

In 2009, Burroughs also served as an assistant for the STARS (Student Training for Academic Reinforcement in the Sciences) and STRIPES (Special Training to Raise Interest and Prepare for Entry into the Sciences) program with the USA Center for Healthy Communities. The purpose of the programs is to enhance students’ preparation in math, science, communication skills and test preparation, so they will be better prepared for college and careers in the health sciences.

She credits her time with the USA Center for Healthy Communities for providing a firsthand look at the positive influences pipeline programs have on the community. “Working with the STARS and STRIPES program showed me the relevance of pipeline programs that address disenfranchisement and lack of access in minority communities,” she said.

Burroughs said she is most excited to engage in the challenging conversations that are inherent in this field of work. “After all, open-minded conversations often lead to change,” she said.