Friday, October 4, 2019

Pediatric grand rounds to focus on chest wall deformities

Hanna Alemayehu, M.D., assistant professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, will present at the next pediatric grand rounds. Her presentation, “Chest Wall Deformities,” is set for 8 a.m. Oct. 18, at the Strada Patient Care Center first-floor conference room.

In her talk, Alemayehu will explain the diagnostic criteria, classification, and incidence for the three types of pediatric chest wall deformities: pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, and Poland’s syndrome; define the potential psychosocial and orthopaedic problems in adulthood for children with chest wall deformities; discuss surgical techniques for chest wall deformities; and explain the optimal functional and cosmetic outcome of chest wall surgeries.

Pediatric grand rounds take place every third Friday of the month and are open to USA faculty, staff and students. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages are provided.

For more information, contact Nicole Laden at (251) 415-8688 or

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Students learn skin cancer screening at the GO Run

Mobile dermatologist Dr. Kathryn Dempsey conducts a skin screening while medical student Brittany Jackson looks on at the 12th Annual GO Run.
Students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine gained experience screening participants for skin cancer at the 12th Annual GO Run on Saturday, Sept. 28.

The five student volunteers worked under the supervision of Mobile dermatologist Kathryn Dempsey, M.D., at a skin screening tent organized by USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute.

Raymond Dolcelli, a third-year medical student, said he volunteered because he’s considering a career in dermatology. “I wanted to take the opportunity to learn from and interact with a local dermatologist while using my skills to provide an important preventative health service for my community,” he said. “It felt wonderful to be able to give peace of mind to several of the runners who were concerned about skin lesions that turned out to be benign.”

The students included Dolcelli and second-year students Alex Tankersley, Hannah Granger, Brittany Jackson and Lexie Hensley. “I wanted to take the opportunity to not only enrich my knowledge of dermatologic health but also to promote the importance of visiting a dermatologist,” said Jackson. “I learned how to properly do a skin test and successfully screened individuals who may not have been tested otherwise.

While visiting booths Saturday, Sandy Noll of Theodore said that a screening at the GO Run four years ago may have saved her life.

“The doctor looked at the spot and said, ‘I can’t say for sure, but you need to have it looked at,’” Noll recalled. She then made an appointment with a local dermatologist, who diagnosed the spot as skin cancer and recommended Mohs surgery, which was successful.

“It was a serious scare,” said her daughter, Kerrie Noll.

Kelly Roveda, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, said participating in community activities helps to fulfill the USA College of Medicine mission statement: “We educate. We discover. We serve.”

“Part of preparing the next generation of physicians to enter the workforce includes cultivating their desire to serve their community at large,” Roveda said. “By participating in activities such as skin screening at the GO Run, our students here at the USA College of Medicine can experience firsthand the impact a physician can have in the community outside the structure of a hospital or clinic setting.”

Bassam to present at national neuromuscular review

Bassam Bassam, M.D., director of the neuromuscular program at USA Health and professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, is the invited speaker at the University of Kansas Medical Center Neuromuscular Review Course to be held in Orange Beach, Alabama, on Oct. 5.

At the national review, Bassam will present “Challenges in Entrapments & Axonal vs. Demyelinating Neuropathies” to neurologists and other physicians treating neuromuscular disorders. The educational review sessions are designed to provide an up-to-date review of clinical issues related to the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular diseases, and the speakers are brought in from around the country and the world.

“As physicians practicing at an academic medical center, we play a critical role in disseminating knowledge to residents as well as fellow neurologists practicing neuromuscular disease,” Bassam said. “We play a critical role in sharing information about new discoveries and new treatment options with the neurology community.”

Bassam has been on faculty at the USA College of Medicine since 1985. He completed his training at Wayne State University in Detroit and the Mayo Clinic in neuromuscular disease and electromyography. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as the American Board of Neuromuscular Disease and Electrodiagnostic Medicine and is a Diplomate in Neuromuscular Disease Subspecialty.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Register Now: Third Annual Conference on Ethics and Opioids

The University of South Alabama Office of Continuing Medical Education will host the third annual Conference on Ethics and Opioids. The conference is set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov.1, at the USA Faculty Club.

The ethics and opioids talks will identify and analyze frequent professional and popular beliefs about human nature and the personal and societal factors that influence a client’s direction in life. Based on that analysis we will discuss the characteristics of an ethical and effective practitioner and the ethical dilemmas they often face. We will then explore ethical behavior in a therapeutic relationship and apply those concepts to case scenarios with course participants’ direct involvement.

The conference will be of particular interest to physicians, nurses, counselors, psychologists, social workers, law enforcement, mental health professionals, parents, and any other individuals involved in the assessment, treatment, ethical considerations, and rehabilitation efforts of clients/patients as well as those confronting the crisis of opioid use and addiction.

Register online, or call (251) 414-8080 or email

The Faculty Club is located at 6348 Fincher Road on USA's main campus.

Department of Pathology to host Research Seminar Series

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine and the Department of Pathology will host a Research Seminar Series at noon Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Strada Patient Care Center conference room.

Paul W. Sanders, M.D., professor of medicine in the division of nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, will present “Pathophysiology of Light Chain Mediated Tubular Injury.”

Lunch will be served. All are welcome, and no reservations are required.

USA awarded more than $4 million to improve health in underserved areas

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine has been awarded a $4.4 million grant to improve the health of underserved areas and increase the number of primary care physicians. Allen Perkins, M.D., M.P.H, professor and chair of family medicine, was the principal investigator for this project.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently awarded the University of South Alabama College of Medicine a $4.4 million grant to improve the health of underserved areas and increase the number of primary care physicians. USA was one of five institutions across the United States who received grant funding through the HRSA Population Care Pathway Program.

“This funding allows us to expand the curriculum for our medical students in order to better serve the needs of citizens who live in underserved and under resourced areas of our county,” said Allen Perkins, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of family medicine, who also serves as the principal investigator for the project.

According to Perkins, the grant will expand opportunities for the USA College of Medicine students to work with health centers located in underserved areas in southern Alabama. Through a partnership with Franklin Primary Health Center and AltaPointe Health, students will also be able to complete rotations locally in these community health centers.

“Our college of medicine is known for providing students with outstanding training experiences,” explained Perkins. “The care our alumni provide to citizens throughout our region – particularly in underserved areas – is a reflection of the mentoring our faculty provides as well as the extensive clinical experiences of our program.”

Benjamin Estrada, M.D., assistant dean for educational strategies and faculty development and Terry Hundley, M.D., assistant dean for medical education and student affairs – both USA College of Medicine faculty members – are key personnel for the project as well.

The USA College of Medicine has more than 2,700 medical student graduates. There are 43 percent of alumni from the College of Medicine practicing in Alabama, 36 percent in underserved areas, 27 percent in primary care disciplines and 10 percent in rural areas.