Thursday, April 12, 2012

Health Services Foundation Announces Customer Service Recognition Program

Becky S. Tate, chief executive officer of the University of South Alabama Health Services Foundation, recently announced a Customer Service Performance Recognition Program that recognizes faculty and staff members who exemplify outstanding customer service.

Nominations are accepted and reviewed quarterly, and selected winners receive an additional PTO Day.

As part of this program, the USA Health Services Foundation is conducting a customer service training initiative, where each individual within the Health Services Foundation will receive training and support on customer service.

"HSF employees have embraced this initiative," Tate said. "To date, we have had 100 percent participation in our customer service refresher courses."

"Our patients are our customers," Tate said. "In addition to providing the best care, we feel it's important for patients to receive excellent customer service. Our goal is not only to meet our patients expectations, but to exceed them."

Patients, faculty and staff may nominate a faculty or staff member for the Customer Service Performance Recognition Program. To view the nomination form, click here. To read the guidelines, click here.

USA Libraries Book Drive Ends Friday

University of South Alabama libraries have been taking new and gently used book donations for the Reach Out and Read program as a part of National Library Week. The donated books will be given to the Children’s Medical Center who became a Reach Out and Read site seven years ago.

Reach Out and Read is a national non-profit organization that encourages early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading.

“As a Reach Out and Read site, our office provides books to patients beginning at six months of age,” USA pediatrician Dr. Cindy Sheets said. “We also give advice to parents about the importance of reading, and set out a variety of children’s books in our waiting rooms.”

All university libraries have been taking book donations since April 9, 2012, as part of National Library Week. Friday, April 13, 2012, is the last day to turn in your donations. Please look for the donation boxes at these locations.

If you have any question, or if you would like to schedule a pick up, contact Andrea Wright at or (251) 461-1424.

April Med School Café: Evidence-Based Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders

The April Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Hanes M. Swingle, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

His lecture, titled “Evidence-Based Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders,” will take place April 18, 2012, at the Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center in Mobile. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Swingle will lecture on autism spectrum disorders, a group of complex developmental disorders including autism, Asperger’s syndrome and Pervasive Development Disorders – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), as well as the local services that are available for people with the condition.

Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the United States and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism.

During his talk, Dr. Swingle will outline the disorders, as well as their signs, symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis.

Dr. Swingle established the Autism Diagnostic Clinic at USA in 2007. The clinic, located near the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, is one of two in the state of Alabama that provides multidisciplinary evaluations, which include examinations by physicians who are developmental-behavioral pediatricians.

Dr. Swingle is board certified in pediatrics, developmental-behavioral pediatrics and neonatology. His special interests include autism spectrum disorders, public health and the epidemiology of preterm birth.

He received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., and received postgraduate training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston. He completed a fellowship in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at the Center for Disabilities and Development at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

The Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center is located at 1717 Dauphin St. 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.

Annual Fund Gift Basket Winner Announced

Mel Leggett (left), practice director for internal medicine and neurology, presents Barbara Ratliff, secretary in the neurology department, with the Annual Fund gift basket.

Barbara Ratliff, a secretary in the neurology department, was recently announced the winner of the gift basket giveaway established by the University of South Alabama Health Services Foundation as part of USA's 50th Anniversary Annual Fund Campaign.

Each HSF employee that made a contribution to this year’s Annual Fund Campaign was entered into a drawing for a chance to win the gift basket.

The basket included a signed Jaguar football by Coach Joey Jones, a 50-minute spa treatment at the Marriott Grand Hotel in Point Clear ($120 value), and a collection of Jaguar gear.

Ratliff, who has been with the University for eight years, said she chose to support the athletics department with her donation this year.

"I feel it's important for faculty and staff to support the University through the Annual Fund Campaign," Ratliff said. "It's a great way to give back."

To see Barbara's reaction, click here.

Next Week's DSS - Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will be presented by Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Parker B. Francis Professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

His lecture, titled “Autophagy: Regulation and Function in Lung Disease,” will take place April 19, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA’s main campus.

Dr. Choi strives to foster a better understanding of various pulmonary disorders and to improve current medicinal practices used to treat lung disease and injury.

Dr. Choi received a B.S. degree in biology at the University of Kentucky and a doctorate in medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Choi received the 2010 American Thoracic Society Recognition Award for scientific accomplishments. This prestigious award is given to individuals for outstanding scientific contributions to the understanding, prevention, and treatment of lung disease. Those considered for the award would be recognized for either scientific contributions throughout their careers or for major contributions at a particular point in their careers.

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