Thursday, November 1, 2012

USA Children's & Women's Hospital Patients Celebrate Halloween

Pediatric patients at the University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital went trick or treating throughout the hospital on Halloween this past Wednesday. The children also served as judges of the hospital staff costume contest.

The staff costume winners are as follows:

Funniest: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Peds
Scariest: Frankenstein: Bill Hussong - FM
Best Group: Pirates - QM/Education
Most Original: The Cat in the Hat and all the Things - Cardio
Best Overall: Park Statues - Volunteer Services.

Click here to view all photos from the event.

To view local coverage of the event, click the following links:

Press-Register Photo Gallery
Local 15

USA College of Medicine Biomedical Library Awarded Funds for Technology Improvement

Geneva Staggs
The University of South Alabama Biomedical Library has been awarded $4,790 from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine for technology to improve patient outcomes by delivering pre-surgery education to heart patients cared for at USA Medical Center.

Geneva Staggs, senior librarian at the USA Biomedical Library and principal investigator of the project, said the project funds technology that will provide patients with access to educational videos from the National Library of Medicine’s consumer health web site, Medline Plus (

Traditionally, patients obtained information by coming into the Health Information Resource Center to use a touch screen kiosk. However, this funding will allow librarians to provide information that describes the patient process from pre-hospital admission to discharge.

The new laptop will be used during the patient's pre-operative visit, and to take pre-surgery education into the open heart surgery patient’s room. After April 30, 2013, this service will continue as currently offered and will be expanded to patients with other conditions.

Staggs says that this project illustrates the commitment of the College of Medicine and the Biomedical Library to support the delivery of quality healthcare in USA hospitals. Under the direction of Dr. Clara Massey, the director of the division of cardiology at USA, 15 departments in the USA Medical Center have established a Heart Care Team and have written new evidence based clinical pathways for open heart patients.

Dr. Massey, who is also professor of internal medicine, says that prior to the development of the Heart Team, the information provided to the patient and family before surgery was very limited.

“Feedback from patients and families who used this service confirms a decrease in their level of anxiety and improved understanding of the treatment process,” she said. “Our most recent statistics document an improvement in patient outcome as a direct response to this activity."

As principal investigator for the project, Staggs recently presented a preliminary report on the project at the Quad Chapter Meeting of the Medical Library Association in Baltimore, Md. Her poster was titled “Librarian’s Involvement with Hospital’s New Protocol for Open Heart Surgery.”

This was a joint meeting of the Southern, Mid-Atlantic, New York/New Jersey, and Philadelphia Regional Chapters of the Medical Library Association. “Instead of only being viewed by librarians in the Southeast, librarians from a broader area with an interest in patient education were able to view and discuss what we are doing at the University of South Alabama,” said Staggs.

“We know that patient education is important because it supports the patient’s health care decisions and provides for better outcomes through better understanding,” said Staggs. “Having up to date equipment to provide this education will reduce problems we sometimes encountered in the past, such as connectivity and equipment issues.”

College of Medicine Research Forum: Abstract Submissions Due Nov. 19

Terrance Platt (left), presents his poster presentation to Dr. Brian Fouty, associate professor of internal medicine at USA, at last year's College of Medicine Research Forum.
The sixth annual University of South Alabama College of Medicine Research Forum will be held Dec. 13, 2012, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Medical Sciences Building on USA's main campus. The deadline for abstract submission is Nov. 19, 2012.

The forum is an opportunity for graduate students in the Basic Medical Sciences program, postdoctoral fellows, residents, clinical fellows, and new faculty to present their research to the College of Medicine community.

"The forum is important for students because it gives them experience in presenting their work to others, and for faculty and students alike it opens doors for new ideas and collaborations," said Dr. Donna Cioffi, assistant professor of biochemistry at USA.

"In particular, we hope that new projects will be initiated in the area of translational medicine," she added. "The combination of outstanding physicians and scientists makes the environment at USA ideal for development of such project."

Click here for detailed instructions regarding preparation and submission of abstracts. For more information, contact Dr. Cioffi at

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This Week's DSS - Dr. Luis Fernandez

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will be presented by Dr. Luis A. Fernandez, associate professor of surgery in the division of transplantation education at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The lecture, titled "Islet Transplantation: What Have We Learned in the Past 10 Years," will take place Nov. 1, 2012, at 4 p.m. at the USAMC Conference Center.

On Nov. 2, 2012, Dr. Fernandez will present a second talk, titled "Evidence Based Practice in Kidney Transplantation," during Surgery Grand Rounds at the USAMC Conference Center at 7 a.m.

Dr. Fernandez’s research interests include pancreas, liver, islet cell, and renal transplantation.

Dr. Fernandez received his medical degree from Universidad Central de Venezuela, Jose Maria Vargas School of Medicine. He did a fellowship in transplant surgery at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Dr. Fernandez conducted his residency in general surgery and served as chief resident at University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute.

For more information on Dr. Fernandez’s research, click here.

To learn more about the lectures, call Natalie Kent at (251) 461-1548.