Thursday, December 1, 2011

USA Physician Included in 40 Under 40

Surgical oncologist Dr. Carlo Contreras, assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently selected to be included in the 2011 class of the Mobile Bay 40 Under 40.

The annual Mobile Bay 40 Under 40 awards identify 40 of the area’s young professionals who will benefit the community for years to come with their leadership, professional excellence and community service.

Dr. Contreras said he was honored to be selected as one of this year’s 40 Under 40.

“In such a vibrant community with so many young, successful leaders, receiving this nomination was unexpected, but welcome,” he said. “My individual recognition is really made possible by all the individuals that collaborate with me at USA and all of our other partners within the Mobile community.”

Dr. Contreras was presented a plaque at the awards luncheon on Nov. 30, 2011, at the Riverview Hotel in Mobile.

Those who were chosen to be included in 40 Under 40 will be featured in the December issue of Mobile Bay.

HSF Board of Directors Visits Medical Center

Members of the Health Services Foundation Board of Directors visited the University of South Alabama Medical Center this week, where they held their board meeting and toured both the new Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) and the Trauma Center.

Members were also introduced to Joshua Roberts, a patient who benefitted from the specialty care provided at the hospital.

Roberts, 22, suffered from epileptic seizures since he was 2 years old, which decreased his quality of life and sidetracked his educational career. In July, he was monitored at the EMU and had surgery to remove a section of his brain. Since then, Roberts has not had a seizure and is preparing to attend USA in January.

Photos from the meeting and tour are shown below.

Joshua Roberts (left) shares his story during the Board of Directors meeting.
From left: Dr. Samuel Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine; Sarah Damson, board member; and Dr. David Lewis, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the USA College of Medicine.

Trauma surgeon Dr. Richard Gonzalez (left), associate professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine, describes how patients are cared for at the USA Trauma Center.
Dr. Dean Naritoku (right), chair of neurology at the USA College of Medicine, explains how the new epilepsy monitoring unit is helping patients from Mobile and the surrounding region.

December Med School Café - “Get Smart with Stroke”

The December Med School Café lecture will feature interventional neurologist Dr. Steve Cordina, assistant professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and medical director for the USA Stroke Center.

His lecture, titled “Get Smart with Stroke,” will take place Dec. 15, 2011, at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Cordina, who is the first interventional neurologist to be based in the Mobile region, will discuss new treatments and interventions available for stroke victims, as well as prevention strategies.

Dr. Cordina earned his medical degree from the University of Malta in Msida, Malta. He completed his residency training in neurology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Department of Neurology and Neurosciences in Newark, N.J. This was followed by a vascular neurology fellowship at the University of Minnesota.

The Mobile Museum of Art is located at 4850 Museum Drive in Mobile.

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, please call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or e-mail

Med School Café is a free community lecture series sponsored by the USA Physicians Group. Each month, faculty from the USA College of Medicine share their expertise on a specific medical condition, providing insight on the latest treatment available.

USA Medical Center To Host Blood Drives

The University of South Alabama Medical Center is hosting a LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Blood Drive in the Medical Center's 10th floor Dining Room.

The dates and times are as follows:
Friday, Dec. 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 5 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All registered donors will receive a free meal ticket and a LifeSouth recognition item. In addition, donors will be entered into a regional drawing for an Apple iPad 2.

For more information, call 471-7408.

Next Week's DSS - Dr. Ronald L. Schnaar

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will be presented by Dr. Ronald L. Schnaar, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences and neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The lecture, titled "Axon-myelin Interactions, Axon Stability & the Control of Axon Regeneration," will take place Dec. 8, 2011, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium.

Dr. Schaar received his B.S. degree in cellular biology at the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. degree in the department of biology at The Johns Hopkins University. He completed his postdoctoral studies in biochemistry with Nobel Laureate Marshall Nirenberg in the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University.

For more information on Dr. Schnaar's research, click here.