Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hughes Named Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Lindsay Hughes recently was named assistant director of marketing and communications for the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and USA Physicians Group.

In her new role, she will write and edit articles for the Med School Watercooler, manage production of the USA College of Medicine Magazine, plan events, and assist with all public relations and marketing efforts.

Hughes said she considers herself a storyteller foremost, and she is eager to tell the stories of USA Health. "I always seek to find purpose in my work and ask how it contributes to the greater good. Working here makes it easy to answers those questions," she said. "We always have wonderful news to share about our medical students, faculty, physicians, patients and staff."

Hughes received a bachelor's degree in communications from USA and a master's degree in English from Spring Hill College. While a student at South, she interned in the USA College of Medicine, "so returning to USA Health really is like coming home for me," she said.

Following graduation, she started her journalism career as a features reporter at The Mississippi Press. After her tenure at the newspaper, she spent 10 years at Spring Hill College as the associate director of communications and marketing, as well as editor of the Spring Hill College Magazine. Prior to this appointment, she served two years as the web manager for Today's Homeowner Media.

Med School Café – Expert Advice for the Community

Dr. Ashley Marass, pediatric nurse practitioner with USA Physicians Group, presented the May Med School Café lecture titled “Concussion Awareness Program: Putting a CAP on Concussions.”

During the talk, she discussed the education programs, background and future endeavors surrounding concussions.

Dr. Marass earned her master of nursing from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., and her doctorate of nursing practice degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Watch the video below to view the lecture in its entirety.

Med School Cafe-CAP-Concussion Awareness Program from USA Health on Vimeo.

USA Alumnus Named President-Elect of State Medical Association

Dr. John S. Meigs, University of South Alabama College of Medicine alumnus, recently was named president-elect of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. Dr. Meigs also serves on the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners.

“The Association welcomes Dr. Meigs’ continued service on the Board of Censors as president-elect,” Executive Director Mark Jackson said. “His medical experience, as well as his civic-mindedness and sense of compassion brings a strong perspective to the board. It is a genuine pleasure to work with such a leader in the medical community.”

Dr. Meigs received his medical degree from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and completed his internship and residency training in family medicine with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Selma Family Practice Residency Program.

He is a diplomate with the American Board of Family Medicine. He is also a past president and former board chair of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians; a fellow, former speaker, a past president and current board chair with the American Academy of Family Physicians; and member of the American Medical Association. With the Medical Association, Dr. Meigs has served as a delegate, counselor, life counselor, speaker of the House of Delegates, and on numerous committees.

In 2014, Dr. Meigs received the high honor of being elected to the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame, which recognized those persons, living or deceased, who have made outstanding contributions to, or rendered exemplary service for health care in the State of Alabama.

Dedicated to giving back to his community, Dr. Meigs has served as a clinical professor at The University of Alabama College of Community and Health Science and a clinical professor at University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine. Additionally, he was named 2004 Bibb County Citizen of the Year by the Kiwanis Club. He has also served as president of Distinguished Young Women of Bibb County, team physician for Bibb County High School, and a member of Brent Civitan Club.

Dr. Meigs has been a member of the Bibb County Medical Society and the Medical Association since 1982.

USA Medical Student Receives ASTRO Minority Summer Fellowship Award

Zachary White II, a rising second-year student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently received the 2018 ASTRO Minority Summer Fellowship Award.

The purpose of the award is to promote radiation oncology as a career choice, as the fellowship provides medical students with an experience designed to expose them to clinical, basic and translational research questions in radiation oncology.

White is one of only two students across the country selected for this year’s award. This summer, he will complete eight weeks of basic sciences research and gain clinical exposure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center Department of Radiation Oncology.

He will conduct his research under the direction of Dr. Markus Bredel, Professor and Sharon A. Spencer Distinguished Endowed Chair in Translational Radiation Oncology at the UAB School of Medicine, and Dr. Susan Nozell, associate professor of radiation oncology at the UAB School of Medicine.

His research project titled, “Impact of ANXA7 I1 Expression on PDGFRA and MET Endosomal Trafficking in Glioblastoma Multiforme,” focuses on Glioblastoma Multiforme – the most common and malignant brain tumor that is highly resistant to both radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

According to White, the tumor suppressor annexin A7 (ANXA7) is a membrane-binding protein that is alternatively spliced and expressed as two isoforms – I1 and I2 – with only I1 being tumor suppressive. “In glioblastoma, I1 is absent or low and I2 is found in abundance,” he said. “Signaling molecules such as EGFR, PDGFRA and MET are normally activated in cases where you may have a wound and your body needs to grow new cells in order to heal. However, these molecules are over-activated in cancers such as glioblastoma, which causes the cell to grow at an uncontrollable rate. By understanding how ANXA7 I1 impacts PDGFRA and MET signaling, we hope to improve therapy for patients with glioblastoma. When restored, ANXA7 I1 has the potential to downregulate the signals of tumor growth and reduce tumorigenicity.”

White credits his mother’s battle with cancer for inspiring him to pursue the field of radiation oncology, and applying for the ASTRO award. “As an aspiring physician, the thought of losing my mother to breast cancer and being unable to help her is a concept that I find difficult to accept,” he said. “Unfortunately, when I was in the third grade, this thought became a real threat. I experienced the stress of balancing my schoolwork, visiting the hospital as often as I could, and worrying whether my mom was going to live. After surgery, she underwent radiation followed by six months of intense chemotherapy and today she is a 16-year cancer survivor.”

White said one of his favorite aspects of radiation oncology is the opportunity to give compassionate medical care to cancer patients while working with the latest state-of-the-art medical technology. “I'm really grateful to be chosen for this award because it grants me the opportunity to continue doing research in radiation oncology and be able to interact with Dr. Bredel's patients in the clinic,” he said.

ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, providing members with the continuing medical education, health policy analysis, patient information resources and advocacy that they need to succeed in today’s ever-changing health care delivery system.

To learn more about ASTRO, click here.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

USA Physicians Group Participates in Nurses Week

USA Physicians Group clinics recently celebrated Nurses Week, a national initiative led by the American Nurses Association to honor and celebrate the work of the nation’s registered nurses — the largest of the health care professions.

“In recognition of nurses week, the management staff at Stanton Road Clinic decided to purchase T-shirts for the staff to wear each Friday during May,” said Yolanda Todd, clinical nursing specialty supervisor at USA Stanton Road Clinic. “We have a great team of individuals who work hard on a daily basis to assist their patients, their families and our medical team. This T-shirt promotes the mission we have for our patients and staff, and shows the dedication that each staff member gives every day.”

Robin Geary, clinical nursing supervisor at USA Stanton Road Clinic, said she was excited to participate in nurses week. "Nurses pour their hearts into their work, selflessly caring for others without giving it a second thought,” she said. “They play a vital role in the health care industry, and it is important to let them know that their hard work, dedication and expertise are both appreciated and noticed.”

The theme for the week was "Nurses Rock," as several USA Physicians Group administrators served ice cream to the nurses in recognition of their hard work. At the ice cream socials, nurses were also able to participate in photo booths and enter door prizes while eating with colleagues.

"We had a great turnout from both our nurses and our administrators at our nurses week celebration," said Dr. Natalie Fox, director of nursing for USA Physicians Group. “I want each and every one of our nurses to know I appreciate everything they do to make a difference in the lives of our patients.”

Learn more about nurses week here.