Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Construction Update: USA Physicians Group Professional Office Building

Last Thursday, construction of the new USA Physicians Group professional office building reached a significant landmark as engineers began tilting the building’s structural walls into place.  Fabricated on site, the 39 concrete walls weighing approximately 60 tons each were lifted one by one onto the foundation forming the exterior of the structure in just two days.

“The tilt wall process involves pouring the reinforced wall panels on the building’s slab on grade and then tilting the panels into place using a crane,” explained Patrick Duke with TPC Group, LLC, who is serving as the project management firm for the building project. “The next steps in the construction process will be to erect the structural steel, joist and decking, which will serve as the floors and roof for the building.”

Located across from USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, the new building will contain 153 patient exam rooms, 16 nurses stations and seven educational conference rooms.  “A large portion of the USA Physicians Group practice including general pediatrics, pediatric subspecialties, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics and orthopaedic rehabilitation, neurosciences and ancillary care will move from their current locations to the new building,” said Becky S. Tate, health system administrator for ambulatory services and network development for the USA Health System.

According to Tate, the new state-of-the-art building will provide an expansion of clinical space for the physicians’ practice and will offer patients many additional conveniences.

“This is an exciting time for our Health System,” said Tate. “A great deal of planning and foundation work has taken place, but now we can actually see the building begin to take shape.”

In addition to many of the clinics in the Physicians Group practice, the space will contain a new breast and mammography center as well as clinical space for related oncology care provided by faculty and staff from the Mitchell Cancer Institute.

Unique design features that are planned for the new building include large windows with a visual connection to the Geri Moulton Children’s Park and internal and exterior designs that are similar to other buildings on the campus.

Construction on the 133,000-square-foot building is slated to be complete next summer.

Watch the video below to see the installation of the exterior walls. View a gallery of recent pictures at the construction site here.

USA Physicians Group POB Walls Up from USA Health System on Vimeo.

USA Welcomes Dr. Ron Brooks

Dr. Ron Brooks recently was appointed assistant professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine and will serve as a plastic surgeon with USA Physicians Group.

Dr. Brooks earned his medical degree from Indiana University in Indianapolis. He completed his surgery residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He then completed a plastic surgery fellowship at the University of Louisville and Affiliated Hospitals, located in Louisville, Ky. In addition, he completed surgical research at Weill Cornel Medical College in New York.

Dr. Brooks is a member of the American College of Surgeons, Alpha Omega Alpha and is a candidate for membership of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr. Brooks is now accepting new patients and referrals. To make an appointment, call 251-660-5763.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Med School Cafe - Expert Advice for the Community

Dr. Rachel Seaman, assistant professor of internal medicine and emergency medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and an internist with USA Physicians Group, presented the July Med School Cafe lecture on July 22, 2015.

During the talk, titled "Tobacco Cessation: The Need to Quit," Dr. Seaman discussed the history of tobacco use in the United States, health hazards related to smoking and current treatment options for cessation.

Watch the video below to view the lecture in its entirety.

Med School Cafe 7-22-15 from USA Health System on Vimeo.

USA College of Medicine CME Achieves Accreditation with Commendation

Sharrie Cranford (right), director of the University of South Alabama Continuing Medical Education (CME) Office, and Yolanda Mack, CME program assistant, pose with a certificate of Accreditation with Commendation from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) was awarded Accreditation with Commendation, a six-year term, by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) at its July 2015 meeting.

Accreditation with Commendation is awarded to providers that demonstrate compliance in all criteria and the accreditation policies.

"Accreditation with Commendation is the highest honor for CME providers," said Dr. Samuel Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine. "These findings demonstrate our commitment to support excellence in clinical care by providing superb ongoing medical educational opportunities for physicians."

The CME Office provides educational programs designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, attitudes and clinical competence of physicians in order to improve the quality of health care and patient outcomes for the citizens of Alabama and surrounding communities. CME activities include lectures, materials, grand rounds, patient care reviews, and specialty seminars.

The ACCME’s decision was based on the review of the department’s self-study report, evidence of performance-in-practice, and the accreditation interview. The review committee commended the program for meeting the accreditation requirements and for demonstrating an excellence in continuing medical education and its engagement with the environment in support of physician and allied health learning and change that is part of a system for quality improvement.

“Our office strives for excellence in the services we provide and in the way we provide them, said Sharrie Cranford, director of USA’s CME Office. “We are dedicated to meeting the highest standards as set by the ACCME, AMA, and other governing bodies. Our programs serve to educate all health care providers in our region through education and research.”

Cranford said the goal of the department is to improve patient outcomes through its many educational programs.

According to the ACCME’s report, the organizational structure at USA has positioned the office to be a change agent within the organization. CME staff is represented on and collaborates with key organizational groups across the institution that share the goal of improving professional practice.

These groups, including the organization’s Performance Improvement Committee, the Quality Assurance Committee, the Graduate Medical Education Committee, the Faculty Development Committee, the Health Disparities Research Group, Quality Matters, and the End of Life Protocol Committee, to name a few, use core performance measures and hospital data routinely to plan and support CME activities.

The department was also commended for utilizing several non-education strategies to enhance changes in its learners; identifying factors outside its control that impact patient outcomes in its CME planning process; identifying barriers to physician change; engaging in multiple collaborations with stakeholders; participating in quality improvement projects across the institution; and serving as a strategic asset for the health system and the university, positioning the organization to influence the scope and content of its activities and educational interventions.

For a full list of the ACCME’s accreditation criteria, click here.

To learn more about CME at the USA College of Medicine, visit