Thursday, January 10, 2013

'Tide QB Survived Scary Childhood Accident'

This past weekend, Mobile's own AJ McCarron led the Alabama football team to a victory in the BCS National Championship.

Follow this link to a story that was posted last year that details his connection as a patient with the USA Health System some 15 years ago -

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

USA College of Medicine Receives State Funding for Newborn Screening Program

Dr. Kaulfers
Dr. Anne-Marie Kaulfers, assistant professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently awarded funding through the Alabama Department of Public Health to improve the state newborn screening program. The award totals $30,101.

The funding allows for better quality of newborn screenings to ensure newborn infants affected by disorders receive the most appropriate care and the best possible medical outcomes.

According to Dr. Kaulfers, this grant allows the coordination of subspecialty services across the state to ensure that every child gets prompt treatment for their condition.

Dr. Kaulfers said newborn screening is important because proper diagnoses, treatment and development in the infant stage can determine if the child will have health problems later in life. Her office receives the abnormal blood screen samples from the state lab in an effort to catch the problems early and address possible diseases and illnesses that have few visible symptoms at birth.

With this screening program, the state is able to contact Dr. Kaulfers’ office immediately so that the patient can start medication.

The program is also able to expand the effectiveness of care to patients across the state. Dr. Kaulfers served as an expert panelist at the Alabama Department of Public Health annual conference in 2011 and spoke to hundreds of nurses and pediatricians from across the state.
“The conference provided a forum to talk to providers about the diseases we screen for, how they are treated, the prognosis and how they can educate the parents of these children,” she said.

The Department of Public Health also sponsors video conferencing to strategize about ways to improve access to care.
“We meet at least four times a year by video conference so the doctors that care for the patients can meet with the lab coordinators and the directors of the program,” she said. “This allows us to discuss any problems that come up and develop new protocols to make things run smoothly, and make sure that every child, regardless of where they live, gets the same treatment.”

Next Week's DSS - Dr. Nipun Merchant

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will feature Dr. Nipun B. Merchant, professor of surgery and cancer biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and director of the Vanderbilt Pancreas Center.

The lecture, titled “Overcoming Therapeutic Resistance in Pancreas Cancer,” will take place Jan. 17, 2013, at 4 p.m. in the USA Medical Center’s 2nd floor conference room.

Dr. Merchant earned his B.A. from New York University and his M.D. from State University of New York at Brooklyn.

Dr. Merchant completed his general surgery residency at Temple University Hospital and completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Merchant serves on the editorial board for Colorectal Cancer: Index & Reviews, and Journal of Surgical Research. He also serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several publications including: Journal of Biological Chemistry, Clinical Cancer Research, and Annals of Surgery.

Dr. Merchant’s primary research interests include the identification of molecular markers of colorectal cancer.

For more information on Dr. Merchant, click here.

COM Alum Weighs in on SB 3

University of South Alabama College of Medicine alum Dr. Pippa Abston (COM '93) recently wrote an opinion column featured on In her column she discusses the pending state bill and implications of its passage.

As a member of the board for the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Abston is an advocate for children's issues at the state level as a member of the board for the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

To read the full article, click here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

USA Knollwood Physicians Group Welcomes Dr. Thomas Leytham

Dr. Thomas J. Leytham recently joined the USA Knollwood Physicians Group, located at 3301 Knollwood Drive. Prior to his appointment at USA, Dr. Leytham practiced with the Health Texas Medical Group in San Antonio.

Dr. Leytham, who grew up in Mobile, graduated from Greystone Christian School.  He earned two bachelor’s degrees and his medical degree from the University of South Alabama. Dr. Leytham completed his residency in family practice at Eglin Regional USAF Hospital, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

From 1991-1997, Dr. Leytham served in the United States Air Force as a staff family physician at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. He later served as assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, also in San Antonio.

In addition, Dr. Leytham has served as medical director of Gamboa Family Practice in San Antonio, Texas; clinic director of La Vernia Family Physicians in La Vernia, Texas; medical director of both Alamo City Medical Group East Side Clinic and Alamo City Medical Group La Vernia Clinic, both in San Antonio.

Dr. Leytham is a diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice. He has been included in Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors, Top Doctors of America, and Top Doctors in San Antonio.

Dr. Leytham is now accepting new patients. For appointments call (251) 660-5787.