Wednesday, December 22, 2010

North Drive Closed Through Jan. 2

As part of the portals construction project at the University of South Alabama, North Drive will be closed until Jan. 2, 2011. A detour route is marked through the Health Sciences and Alpha Parking lot to University Drive.

Students Donate Books to USA Pediatric Clinics Through Reach Out and Read Program

From left to right: Dr. Cindy Sheets, a pediatrician at USA; Liza Eldred, a second-grade teacher at St. Paul’s Episcopal School; and Dr. LaDonna Crews, assistant professor of pediatrics at USA.

The University of South Alabama pediatric clinics recently received 409 books collected by second-grade students at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile.

Laura Hassell, a parent of a second-grade student at St. Paul’s and the second-grade level representative, said the classes started philanthropy projects about three years ago. Instead of the children bringing small gifts for one another at Christmas, each grade level would pick an organization or philanthropy to support.

“The second-grade students were recently introduced to the Reach Out and Read program,” Hassell said. “It was easy to explain to the kids and easy for them to be active participants. We introduced the idea in October, and the kids brought in books to their classroom during the first week of December.”

Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. USA has been participating in the Reach Out and Read program for more than five years.

Dr. LaDonna Crews, assistant professor of pediatrics at USA and parent of a second-grader at St. Paul's, said the school's project for the Reach Out and Read Program was a great success and hopes that it will be supported again next year.

Mark Your Calendars: Gumbo Chili Showdown

The third annual Gumbo Chili Showdown will take place March 26, 2011, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of South Alabama’s track. This annual event benefits the Regan Robinson Young Scholarship Fund at the USA College of Medicine.

The event will feature both gumbo and chili from competing teams representing area medical practices and local businesses.

The Gumbo Chili Showdown was created in 2008 by USA medical students and continues to be a project organized by students at the USA College of Medicine.

The event supports a scholarship created in memory of Regan Robinson, a medical student at USA who was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer in 2003 at the age of 23. The scholarship provides assistance to a rising senior medical student who embodies Regan’s spirit and character.

Last year, the event had 2,000 attendees, and more than $20,000 was raised for the Reagan Robinson Scholarship Fund.

Register your team now at For more information, contact Katy Lalor at

USA Library Hosts "DepARTmental" Art Exhibition

The University of South Alabama will be hosting an art exhibition, "DepARTmental," featuring the work of five artists -- all of whom are former or current employees of the USA College of Medicine.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will take place Jan. 5 through Feb. 25, 2011, at the USA Library's third floor gallery. A special reception will be held Jan. 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Department of Educational Technologies and Services began along with the USA College of Medicine as a way to support medical education in all media. Over the years the department attracted a number of artists who creatively applied their skills to the often unique and challenging problems encountered in medical education and research. The work they accomplished while in the employment of the USA College of Medicine continues to have a lasting positive impact on students, faculty, and the community at large.

This exhibition showcases five of these artists -- Walter Beckham, Mike Carmichael, Lynda Smith Touart, Frank Vogtner, and Laura Worsham -- with examples of their personal work in photography, painting, drawing, and mixed media.

For more information, call (251) 460-7021 or visit

Walter Beckham

I Love You
Frank Vogtner

Reading Room
Lynda Smith Touart

Pecan Grove
Laura Worsham

Mike Carmichael

USA Neurologist Speaks at AANEM 57th Annual Meeting in Quebec City

Dr. Bassam A. Bassam, professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently an invited speaker at the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) 57th annual meeting in Quebec City.

He presented four workshops, “Nerve Conduction Pitfalls and Repetitive Motor Nerve Stimulation,” on Oct. 6 and Oct. 9, 2010. In addition, Dr. Bassam presented a neuromuscular vignettes medley at the Neuromuscular update course on Oct. 7, 2010.

The meeting, which is of the highest national/international organization in the field of neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic medicine, was attended by more than 900 neurologists, neuromuscular subspecialists and PMR physicians from around the world.

Dr. Bassam has been an invited speaker at multiple annual meetings of the AANEM, as well as other national professional organizations. In addition, he has served on numerous national committees, including serving as chair of the Workshop and Education Committee of the AANEM.

Dr. Bassam joined USA in 1985. He is board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and his research interests include diseases of peripheral nerve and muscle. Dr. Bassam currently serves on the American Board of Electrodiagnostic (ABE) examination committee and the Neuromuscular Update committee.