Friday, September 7, 2012

Biomedical Librarian Selected for Hospital Librarian of the Year Award

Geneva Staggs, senior librarian at the University of South Alabama’s Biomedical Library, has recently been selected for the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association's (SC/MLA) Hospital Librarian of the Year award. This award was established to recognize a hospital librarian who exemplifies excellence, promotes leadership, and pursues continued high levels of achievement in the field of library science.

A plaque and a cash award will be presented to Staggs at the SC/MLA annual meeting in Baltimore in October. Stagg’s nomination was based on her involvement with the cardiovascular and thoracic (CVT) surgery patient education program that is underway at the USA Medical Center.

“I have been active in providing the research to support the writing of a new protocol for the services – such as physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and nutrition services – that help with treating open heart patients,” said Staggs. “As part of the protocol we have set up pre-surgery education with the goal of improving outcomes so patients know what to expect when they go into surgery. It relieves some of the stress they are under and gives them good basis for evaluating their progress after surgery.”

Staggs said she started her career at USA in 1979 as the junior hospital librarian at the USA Medical Center and five years ago came back to the hospital as the assistant director for hospital library services. “I enjoyed the hospital atmosphere early in my career, and now it is fulfilling to have the opportunity to positively impact the outcomes of patients,” she said.

Staggs thanks Judy Burnham, director of the USA Biomedical Library, as well as the USA health care community for supporting continuing education and recognizing librarians’ role in patient care.

“I would like to thank Judy Burnham for the support she gives her librarians to be effective members of the health care team at USA and also the members of the South Alabama healthcare community and the USA College of Medicine,” said Staggs. “They recognize that librarians have an important role to play in the safety and outcomes of patients, and they give us the opportunity to develop the skills needed to provide services to the community.”

SC/MLA is a professional organization made up of health science librarians from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To learn more, click here.

Basic Medical Sciences Graduate Program Student Receives Edwin R. Hughes Award

Dr. Thomas Rich (left), associate professor of pharmacology at the USA College of Medicine, presents student Joshua Bryant Phillips (right) with the Edwin R. Hughes Award.

Joshua Bryant Phillips, a second-year student in the University of South Alabama Basic Medical Sciences Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, recently received the annual Edwin R. Hughes Memorial Award for the Outstanding Student of the IDL Class of 2011-2012. 

Phillips is the fifth student to receive the annual award, first presented in 2007. Dr. Thomas Rich, associate professor of pharmacology at the USA College of Medicine, presented Phillips with the award.

The award is named in memory of Edwin R. Hughes, who served as director of the Basic Medical Sciences Graduate Program at the USA College of Medicine from its inception in 1978 until 1990. The award recognizes the student with the best performance in the curriculum.

Phillips completed his undergraduate studies at Centenary College of Louisiana, receiving his bachelor of science degree in biology in May 2011.  Phillips is currently concentrating his advanced studies for a Ph.D. degree through the USA Center for Lung Biology. Dr. Ronald Balczon serves as Phillips' major professor.

Patient Testimonial Ad a Success

The University of South Alabama Health System recently featured Dr. Richard Talbott, dean of the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professionals at USA, as part of its patient testimonial series.

According to Dr. Frederick Meyer, professor and chair of orthopaedics at USA, Dr. Talbott’s testimonial had a good response, with four or five patients coming to him specifically mentioning the procedure featured in the ad. “They did not want surgery, but instead wanted the same procedure Dr. Talbott had in order to avoid surgery,” Dr. Meyer said.

Dr. Talbott, an avid golfer, suffered from Dupuytren’s contracture, a medical condition where the movement of your fingers is severely limited. With a new procedure offered by Dr. Meyer at USA, Dr. Talbott was treated with the non-surgical therapy right in the doctor’s office. Now, he has returned to the golf course.

To learn more about Dr. Talbott and to view more patient testimonials, click here.

To read more about Dupuytren’s contracture, click here.

Dr. Molokhia Earns Master of Public Health Degree

Dr. Ehab Molokhia, associate professor of family medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently earned his Master of Public Health degree in Health Care Organization. The program offered from the University of Alabama at Birmingham included a distance learning aspect, which enabled him to earn his degree while practicing medicine at USA.

Dr. Molokhia’s class was the first to earn this degree entirely online from UAB, and he completed the program in four years.

In the program, all the lectures were posted online for Dr. Molokhia to watch at his convenience. PowerPoint presentations were uploaded to the website for him to print into a file, and he was also able to participate in online discussion chat rooms with classmates. The majority of the testing was in person at the USA College of Nursing and was coordinated with Dr. Rosemary Rhodes.

“It was really nice that the USA College of Nursing and Dr. Rhodes were able to accommodate and help administer tests, he said. “They were very cooperative with understanding that I am a full time physician, and I never once had to travel to Birmingham.”

Dr. Molokhia said that earning his master’s in public health has taken his professional development to a new level. “Much of the curriculum covered clinical research, leadership training, strategic management and health policy analysis,” said Dr. Molokhia. “I now have a much broader understanding of health economics, how insurance is run, and the impact of the affordable care act on the health system as a whole.”

The last portion of the program was a summer internship, which Dr. Molokhia was able to complete at USA with Dr. Allen Perkins as his site supervisor. During this internship, he had the opportunity to work with Dr. Deborah Lafky at the USA Center for Strategic Health. He also worked with Dr. Dan Roach in his examination of the effects of major disasters on the Gulf Coast regarding primary care and care of chronic illnesses.

Dr. Molokhia said the most rewarding part of the experience is that he now has a better understanding of the health care system. “I have a different view of how health care and different contributors come together in order for the health care system to function properly,” he said.

Dr. Molokhia said he is grateful that the administration provided him this opportunity. “I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking to pursue a master’s in public health,” he said. “The distance learning opportunity allows you to study while still advancing in your full-time career.”