Thursday, September 26, 2013

USA Children's & Women's Hospital Patients Participate in Painting Seminar

Fairhope artist B'Beth Weldon watches as A.J. Smith paints a self portrait at USA Children's & Women's Hospital Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. Weldon brought her Gifted Masterpieces program to the hospital Wednesday. Children receiving treatment at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and their families took a break from their normal routines to paint masterpieces.
Evan Bonner, 3, works on a painting at USA Children's & Women's Hospital Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, as part of the Gifted Masterpieces program.

Click here to view more photos from the event. To view local news coverage of the event, click here and here.

USA Physicians Group Participates in Heart Walk

Tommie Carlisle (center) and Patsy Kennedy (right) participate in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk on Sept. 21 as part of the USA Physicians Group team.
The American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk in Mobile, Ala., was held on Saturday, Sept. 21. The event raised $283,426 to be donated to life-saving research and education in the battle against heart disease.

Despite some rain, crowds turned out to walk a three-mile path through the University of South Alabama’s campus.

Tommie Carlisle, the team captain for the USA Physicians Group’s Heart Walk team, said, “Raising awareness of cardiovascular diseases is made possible through the educational tools provided by the American Heart Association and events like the Heart Walk.”

“All of us are affected by cardiovascular disease at some point,” Carlisle said. “Awareness is the biggest counterforce against heart disease.”

Carlisle is a stroke and saddle pulmonary embolism survivor who, at the time of surgery, was given a small chance of survival. He credits his life being saved by the care he received at USA Medical Center.

“I am here today because of the excellent research, knowledge and physician awareness made possible by organizations like the American Heart Association,” Carlisle said.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dr. Audia Launches Interactive Biology Program at St. Luke’s

Dr. Jonathon Audia (right), assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the USA College of Medicine, works with ninth-grade biology students at St. Luke's Episcopal School in Mobile.
Dr. Jonathon Audia, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, led a pilot program giving ninth-grade biology students at St. Luke’s Episcopal School an opportunity to interact with medical professionals in a laboratory setting.

Dr. Audia worked with Angela Dixon, an educator of science at St. Luke’s, and Margaret VanLoock, a parent volunteer, to create a series of lab exercises to help reinforce basic concepts in biology using a hands-on approach.

“I was immediately interested in the prospect of getting involved in the community and saw the potential to involve our Ph.D. candidate graduate students in the basic medical sciences program,” said Dr. Audia.

In an ever-evolving medical field, the training processes must continuously adapt to provide optimal preparation for USA’s doctoral candidates. “It is critical that we integrate their medical research with opportunities to develop and deliver content to students as part of their formal training,” said Dr. Audia. “This seemed like the perfect chance to put together a pilot test of the idea.”

The team from USA included Dr. Audia and three graduate students, Jared McLendon, Leslie Hargett, and Peter Favreau. The graduate students also reviewed the students’ laboratory reports and gave feedback on ways to improve accuracy.

“Together we worked along with Dixon to develop a laboratory in which her ninth-grade biology class tested various household disinfectants for their ability to kill common bacteria such as E. coli,” said Dr. Audia. “Using harmless microbes that are simple to grow and manipulate to teach students basic principles of how cells work and react to their environment seemed like a no-brainer to a microbiologist,” he said.

According to Dixon, the interactive outreach program notably enhances the biology program offered at St. Luke’s. “This experience provides our high school students with the opportunity to take part in lab experiences that I could not give them on my own,” said Dixon. “My students were able to work with professionals, giving them a greater understanding of the research behind the science and an appreciation for the scientists too.”

“If successful, this venture may provide a pathway to developing a formal course that affords our Ph.D. candidates the opportunity to develop their own lectures and start engaging high school and undergraduate students as a part of their training,” Dr. Audia said.

To view more photos from the program, click here.

First-Year Med Students Receive White Coats

Freshman medical students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine received their first white coats, the traditional dress of physicians for more than 100 years, at the White Coat Ceremony on Sept. 23, 2013.

In the past, the White Coat Ceremony was held as medical students entered their junior year. However, changes in USA's curriculum changed the timing of the ceremony to coincide with the students' earlier clinic experiences.

To view more photos from the ceremony, click here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chief Diversity Officer to Lecture at USA

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Office of Diversity and Cultural Competence is hosting two lectures featuring Dr. Marc Nivet, chief diversity officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), on Oct. 3, 2013.

The morning event will be held at the USA Medical Center Conference Center from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. as part of Internal Medicine Grand Rounds. This lecture is titled “Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine: From Fairness to Excellence.”

The afternoon session will be held at USA's main campus in the College of Medicine Auditorium from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series. This lecture is titled “Cultural Diversity and Inclusion: A Means to Excellence in Academia.”

In his role as chief diversity officer, Dr. Nivet is a source of strategic vision for all AAMC diversity activities. The initiatives undertaken by Dr. Nivet and the association’s diversity policy and programs department are crafted to increase diversity in medical education and advance health care equity. The AAMC also provide assistance to medical schools and teaching hospitals with their diversity goals. Dr. Nivet is an expert in promoting cultural competence and equity in higher education and in community-oriented public forums.

Dr. Nivet holds an Ed.D. degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and an M.S. degree in higher education and student development from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus. Dr. Nivet earned his B.A. degree in communications studies from Southern Connecticut State University.

To learn more about diversity and inclusion in academic medicine contact Chante’ Hendrix at, or (251) 470-5893.