Friday, August 21, 2009

From Pigs to People: What You Need To Know About Swine Flu

With flu season just around the corner and Novel H1N1 virus (often referred to as “swine flu”) spreading worldwide, it is important for everyone to take an active role in keeping ourselves and our community healthy.

The University of South Alabama Physicians’ Group Med School Café lecture series for September will feature Dr. William Kevin Green, associate professor of infectious disease and internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Dr. Green’s lecture, “From Pigs to People: What You Need To Know About Swine Flu,” will provide advice on how you can best prepare for the upcoming flu season.

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information on Dr. Green’s lecture or to make reservations, please call Kim Barnes at (251) 460-7770 or email

H1N1 Quick Facts:

- First detected in people in the United States in April 2009.

- June 11, 2009 - the World Health Organization announced pandemic.

- Spread of novel H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads, mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. It is also possible to become infected by touching a surface or object with flu viruses on it and then touching your mouth or nose.

- The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking a few precautions to help stop the spread of the flu virus, including covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands often with soap and water, and avoiding close contact with sick people.

- If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care.

Dr. Dan Beals returns to USA

Dr. Daniel A. Beals has been appointed associate professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. From 1995 to 2000, Dr. Beals served as assistant professor of surgery and pediatrics at USA.

Before returning to Mobile, Dr. Beals spent two years in private practice with Cornerstone Pediatric Surgery in Lexington, Ky. From 2000 to 2007, he was an associate professor of surgery and pediatrics in the division of pediatric surgery at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine in Lexington, Ky.

Dr. Beals is interested in all aspects of pediatric surgery, with specific interests in pediatric urology and thoracic surgery. His academic interest is the field of bioethics.

During his first appointment at USA, Dr. Beals was the lead investigator on a research project examining liquid ventilation via the trachea. Also during this time, he served as co-investigator on a research project evaluating liquid breathing applications for injured lungs.

Dr. Beals attended medical school at Tulane School of Medicine in New Orleans. He completed a general surgery residency at Marshall University in Huntington, W. Va. Pediatric surgery training began with a fellowship in pediatric surgery and critical care at the Children's Hospital in Boston. From there, Dr. Beals completed an additional fellowship in pediatric surgery and urology at the Miami Children's Hospital in Miami.

Prior to his original appointment at USA, Dr. Beals completed an active duty tour as a pediatric surgeon in the U.S. Air Force.

Dr. Beals will care for patients at the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. For appointments and referrals, call (251) 415-1465.

Dr. Beals also a fellow with the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Advice for moms-to-be: Get your flu shot NOW!!!

Dr. Kathy B. Porter, professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, gave a Med School Café lecture this week about planning a healthy pregnancy for women in their 30s.

Dr. Porter had strong advice for pregnant women regarding the flu shot. “If you haven’t been vaccinated before you become pregnant, get your flu shot right away – at any stage of pregnancy,” she stressed. “The only patients who should not get the vaccination are those who are allergic to chicken eggs and those have had a severe reaction to previous flu vaccinations.”

Contracting the flu during pregnancy, both H1N1 (often referred to as swine flu) or seasonal flu, can lead to serious complications to both mom and her unborn baby.

According to Dr. Porter, pregnancy itself causes the women’s immune system to be less effective in fighting illnesses, including those related to the flu. Women who are pregnant and have chronic medical conditions like diabetes or kidney disease are at even higher risk for experiencing flu-related complications.

Dr. Porter pointed out another reason to get vaccinated. “Studies suggest that immunity from the flu vaccination is passed along from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy,” she said. “This is significant because otherwise newborns have no immunity to the flu virus.”

To watch Dr. Porter’s entire lecture, follow this link

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Pediatric Developmental-Behavioral Specialist

Dr. Stephanie Anderson was recently appointed as assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and will serve in the division of developmental-behavioral pediatrics.

She earned her medical degree from Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine in Charleston, S.C. She conducted her internal medicine-pediatric residency with the Greenville Hospital System at the University of South Carolina in Greenville, S.C.

In addition, she completed a developmental-behavioral pediatric fellowship with the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

Dr. Anderson’s research interests include fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, international adoptions, mind-body medicine, autism spectrum disorders, and transitions from pediatric to adult medical care for individuals with special needs.

Dr. Anderson is now accepting new patients at the Pediatric Disease Management Center. To make an appointment, call 251-415-8577.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dr. Kirk Joins USA Pediatrics

Dr. Jessica L. Kirk was recently appointed as assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Dr. Kirk is a board-certified pediatrician who has advanced training in the detection of child abuse and follow-up care for victims.

She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she received her bachelor of science degree in psychobiology.

Dr. Kirk earned her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada. She conducted her pediatric residency at USA, where she served as pediatric chief resident of pediatrics.

Dr. Kirk currently serves as medical director for the Child Advocacy Center in Mobile. The center works with child victims of sexual and physical abuse by offering counseling for victims and their families as well as assisting in prosecuting offenders.

Dr. Kirk is a member of the Mobile Medical Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics, where she has served as district coordinator, program delegate, and a panelist on the open forum on mental health and the open forum on child development. She was also the chapter president of the American Medical Student Association and served on the USA Resident Selection Committee and the AMSA International Student Committee.

The Child Advocacy Center is located at 1351 Spring Hill Ave. For more information, call (251)432-1101.

Med School Cafe' Lectures - Streaming Video

If you missed a recent lecture, you're in luck. They're now available online. To view the four most recent talks, visit

Lectures are open to the public and free of charge.

Here's a list of upcoming lectures.

September 24th - “From Pigs to People: What You Need To Know About Swine Flu”

October 21st - “Percipio – The Art of Science”

November 18th - “State of the Art Care for Peripherial Artery Disease”

December 16th - “ The Past and Future of African American Physicians in Mobile”

RSVP by emailing Kim Barnes at . You can also join us in advance of each lecture to post questions for speakers by becoming a fan of our Facebook page by following this link .

Hope to see you soon for lunch with a healthy dose of learning!