Thursday, February 7, 2013

USA Chapter of Gold Humanism Honor Society to Focus on Compassion

In honor of the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society's (GHHS) 3rd annual Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, the University of South Alabama chapter of GHHS is planning several activities to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine.

On Solidarity Day - Feb. 14, 2013 - USA medical students are asked to wear red to symbolize unity and to act as a reminder of the importance of compassion and love in health care.

The GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care was initiated after the 2011 shootings in Tucson, Ariz., to honor the humanistic actions of Dr. Randall Friese, the trauma surgeon who first treated Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The senior medical students of the USA chapter of GHHS are Laura Jelf, William Kilgo, Emile Kleyn, William Moore, John Moultrie, Sonia Savani, Kaci Sims and Joseph Wehby.

Click here to learn more about the USA chapter of GHHS. For more information on the chapter's participation in Solidarity Day and the planned events, contact Sonia Savani at

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

USA Cardiologist Honored at 2013 Go Red for Women Symposium

Dr. Clara Massey (right), professor of internal medicine and director of the division of cardiology at the University of South Alabama, with Beth Anderson (left), hospital administrator at the USA Medical Center. Dr. Massey was recently recognized as the 2013 Go Red for Women Honoree at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women symposium.
Both Dr. Massey and Dr. Steve Cordina (pictured above), assistant professor of neurology and medical director for the USA Stroke Center, presented lectures at the Go Red for Women symposium.
Dr. Clara Massey, professor of internal medicine and director of the division of cardiology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently recognized as the 2013 Go Red for Women Honoree at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women symposium.

The event, which was partially sponsored by the USA Health System, was held Feb. 1 at the Mobile Marriott.

Beth Anderson, hospital administrator at the USA Medical Center, introduced Dr. Massey at the event. Anderson said Dr. Massey was honored for her efforts not only in preventing heart disease, but also for her efforts in early detection and evidenced based treatment.

“Dr. Massey has been involved with the American Heart Association’s Go Red movement since her fellowship days, and she regularly speaks at community events to educate the public about prevention and treatment of heart disease,” Anderson said. “She balances her role as a physician with that of a wife, mother and community leader.”

Dr. Massey, along with Dr. Steve Cordina, assistant professor of neurology and medical director for the USA Stroke Center, presented lectures during a series of break-out sessions at the Go Red event.

As part of the "Go Red for Women" campaign against heart disease, the event educates and inspires women to take action against the number one killer of women in the United States.

Click here to view more photos from the event.

Next Week's DSS - Dr. Ann Bonham

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will feature Dr. Ann Bonham, chief scientific officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington D.C.

The lecture, titled “The Social Contract of Biomedical Research in Fiscally Perilous Times,” will take place Feb. 14, 2013, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA’s main campus. A reception will follow.

Dr. Bonham directs the AAMC's array of programs that support all aspects of research and training. As the primary AAMC contact for external research organizations, Dr. Bonham addresses policy issues affecting research through engagement with key officials in the public and private sectors. Dr. Bonham also works closely with AAMC constituents to address their research needs, and represents the association on the national stage in forums dealing with research policy and administration.

Prior to joining the association, Dr. Bonham served as executive associate dean for academic affairs and professor of pharmacology and internal medicine at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, where she oversaw the school's research, undergraduate medical education, and faculty academic programs.

Dr. Bonham received her doctoral degree in pharmacology from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University School of Medicine.

USA Medical Center, Community Volunteers Help with Mobile Street Beautifcation Effort

Volunteers gathered near the University of South Alabama Medical Center campus Saturday to help plant 125 trees on Mobile Street between Springhill Avenue and the USA Medical Center.

The tree planting was in partnership with Keep Mobile Beautiful and is part of the beautification effort organized by Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson and the USA Health System.

Bob Haskins, coordinator of Keep Mobile Beautiful, said that 73 volunteers from the community helped plant the 120 crepe myrtle trees.

"The tree planting was a huge success because of the variety of volunteers," he said. "We received enthusiastic support from the USA Medical Center, people in the neighborhood, students from LeFlore High School and other volunteers from the area."

According to Haskins, the trees were provided with funds from the Keep Mobile Beautiful Living Legacy program and a grant from the Hearin-Chandler Foundation.

"We greatly appreciate the input and support from the University and are thanksful for the cheerful volunteers who helped plant the trees," he said. "It was a beautiful morning, and everyone came ready to work."

The planting was supported by the City of Mobile Parks Department, which provided transportation, delivery and the drilling of the 120 holes for the trees.

Elmer Sellers, assistant hospital administrator at the USA Medical Center, said more than 20 hospital and administration staff participated in the tree planting.

"We are excited to see Mobile Street being improved," he said. "After the street was widened to three lanes, we reached out to the City of Mobile to see if we could collaborate to beautify and maintain the route to the hospital from Springhill Avenue."

Sellers said future plans include adding decorative street lighting and remodeling the USA Medical Center sign to help identify the route to the hospital.

"We have several ideas to help improve the area's appearance," he said. "There's a lot to be done, and we will continue to cooperate with the City of Mobile to beautify this area."

To view more photos from the event - taken by Elmer Sellers - click here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

High School Students Explore Health Care Careers Through USA’s S.T.A.R.S. and S.T.R.I.P.E.S. Programs

Students (above) participate in the S.T.A.R.S. enrichment program in 2010. The program's ultimate goal is to increase the number of minority students who graduate from college in the sciences and assist them in becoming health care providers who will address minority health disparities through culturally appropriate health care and research.
The University of South Alabama's Center for Healthy Communities is gearing up for the 2013 Education Pipe-Link programs that begin in the summer.

The S.T.A.R.S. (Student Training for Academic Reinforcement in the Sciences) and S.T.R.I.P.E.S. (Special Training to Raise Interest and Prepare for Entry into the Sciences) program’s purpose is to improve their knowledge and academic development, reinforce their scientific and mathematical knowledge base, and ultimately prepare them for entry into a health care field.

Mary C. Williams, health education specialist and pipe-link coordinator, said that S.T.A.R.S. is an enrichment program for rising juniors in high school who perform well in science and mathematics. After a referral from their guidance counselor, science and math faculty, or principal, prospective students are interviewed for possible entry into the program. They will enter the summer following their high school sophomore year for a four-week academic immersion session in which they will attend advanced core classes in math, English, science, study skills, communication skills and complementary enrichment activities.

“We want to strengthen their knowledge and academic development to facilitate successful high school graduation and college entry,” Williams said. “Therefore, they are also required to attend tutoring sessions during the academic year and participate in community health advocacy and volunteer services.”

If they are successful, S.T.A.R.S. will earn promotion into the S.T.R.I.P.E.S program the following summer, and they will "Earn their STRIPES” through community activities and health advocacy. This is a six-week internship program to reinforce their knowledge base and prepare them for college entry. The program aims for students to become science majors in preparation for research and health care providers who will address minority health disparities through culturally appropriate means.

“I think these programs are important because the students we target are grossly underrepresented in the field of medical sciences,” Williams said. “Through S.T.A.R.S. and S.T.R.I.P.E.S., they are exposed to a rigorous training schedule and have the opportunity to decide if this is something they really want to do for a career.”

The pipeline program is currently focused on four high schools in the Mobile area; Mattie T. Blount, John L. LeFlore, C. F. Vigor, and Lillie B. Williamson.

Dr. Hattie Myles, community outreach core co-director, said the guidance counselors at these schools are asked to identify the students who have indicated career goals in the health care professions or medical sciences fields. The students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average to be considered for the program along with other qualifications, and must undergo an interview.

"We have streamlined the application process and made it available for completion online,” said Dr. Myles. “We believe that this will speed up the process and increase the number of interested and qualified applicants.  Also, we had a very well-attended education and information meeting with parents and school officials from the targeted high schools and that too, we feel, will have a positive impact on the applicant pool.”

According to Dr. Myles, the program has inspired students to go to college who otherwise may not have. The programs also provide time for scholarship searches and completing admission and financial aid applications so the participants will have the opportunity to get answers for all of their questions.

“The pipeline has been in operation long enough for a number of our students to enter college and graduate, with more graduating in May,” she said. “Although there have been some challenges in getting the program to the level of operation that we have envisioned, we are optimistic that we are making an impact on the number of students considering careers in the health professions as our pipeline continues to progress.”

For more information visit the Education Pipe-Link Website: