Friday, March 3, 2017

Brian Norris Appointed Administrator of Ambulatory Services at USA Health

Brian Norris recently was appointed administrator of ambulatory services for USA Health at the University of South Alabama.

In his new position, Norris will oversee the day-to-day operations of USA Physicians Group, the region’s only academic practice and the region’s largest multi-specialty practice with clinics in Mobile, Baldwin and Washington counties.

“I am honored to take on this new role with USA Health,” Norris said. “I hope to build on the work already being done and expand the roles of the clinics in the community. To do that, we’ll continue to focus on the patient experience from the time of a referral until someone is hopefully on the road to recovery. We want to provide more people with quality health care.”

Since 2015, Norris served as a health system assistant administrator responsible for departments including surgery, trauma, burns, operating rooms, anesthesia, surgical clinics, orthopaedics, neurology, neurosciences and pediatric surgery clinics at USA Health.

Norris earned his bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Mobile and his master’s degree in ethics/bioethics from Spring Hill College.

Before joining USA Health, Norris was a regional vice president of operations at Jackson Healthcare in Alpharetta, Georgia. He has more than 20 years of executive level experience in healthcare settings including a previous leadership position at Providence Hospital in Mobile. His management work in ethical decision making, servant leadership, patient satisfaction and productivity has been featured in several national publications that detail the successful work of medical groups across the United States. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Register Now: Oncology Outlook 2017

The University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute will host a CME event, Oncology Outlook 2017, March 31 through April 1 at the Pensacola Hilton in Pensacola Beach, Fla.

The event is designed as an interdisciplinary conference for physicians, advanced care providers, nurses, social workers and radiation therapists throughout the Gulf Coast region. All health care providers and medical students interested in increasing knowledge, addressing performance and addressing patient outcomes are welcome.

Featured guest speakers are Dr. Yong Cha, director of the radiation oncology service line at the Rex Robley Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., and co-director of the SBRT and Thoracic Oncology Program at the Norton Cancer Institute in Louisville, Ky.; and Dr. Bhupesh Parashar, associate professor of clinical radiation oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, N.Y.

Dr. Cha will discuss stereotactic radiosurgery for CNS disorders and stereotactic body radiotherapy's evolving role in the management of liver cancers. Dr. Parashar will discuss SBRT for early stage lung cancer.

In addition, the event will feature USA faculty speakers Drs. Marcus Tan, Osama Abdul-Rahim, J. Spencer Liles, Clayton Smith, Moh’d Khushman and Weisi Yan.

Advanced registration is requested. For more information about Oncology Outlook 2017, click here. To register, visit

USA Welcomes Dr. Kamal Sharma

Dr. Kamal Sharma recently was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and will serve as a pediatric critical care physician at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Sharma served as a pediatric intensivist at Edinburg Children’s Hospital in Edinburg, Texas.

He earned his medical degree from B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal. He completed his residency training in pediatrics at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a fellowship in pediatric critical care at Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami, Fla.

Dr. Sharma serves as a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is board-certified in pediatric critical care and general pediatrics.

Gumbo Chili Showdown Set for April 8

The 2017 Gumbo Chili Showdown will be held April 8, 2017, preceding the University of South Alabama Jaguars Spring Game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The event supports a scholarship at the USA College of Medicine created in memory of Regan Robinson Young, a medical student at USA who was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer in 2008 at the age of 23. The scholarship provides assistance to a rising senior medical student who embodies Regan’s spirit and character.

Teams will compete against one another for the crown of Best Gumbo or Chili as judged by both the audience, faculty and celebrity judges. Each team will consist of five members. Student or resident teams cost $75, while all non-student teams are $150. This is a per team fee, not per person fee.

The primary form of funding for the event is through local business sponsorships. There are several levels of sponsorship, each with varying levels of incentive packages.

Tickets to attend the event are $10 day-of, and kids under 10 years of age are admitted for free.Click here for more information. To purchase a ticket, click here.

USA Medical Students Present Research at ALACC Conference

Maelynn La, above, won third place for her research presentation at the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Cardiology winter conference.
Maelynn La and Mazen Omar, two second-year medical students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, presented at the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ALACC) winter conference in Birmingham, Ala., last month.

La won third place in the Ami Iskandrian Young Investigator Abstract Poster Competition for her research on “Clinical Significance of Nonspecific T-Wave Abnormalities.”

Her research focused on the clinical significance of nonspecific t-wave abnormalities on an electrocardiogram. “These findings are often considered incidental, but we wanted to determine if these subtle findings correlated to ischemic heart disease as evidenced on studies such as echocardiogram, cardiac catherization and stress tests,” La said. “Much of coronary disease is preventable so we were interested in studying methods to improve patient outcomes."

La credits the USA College of Medicine’s Summer Research Program for preparing her for the conference. “Out of 14 projects, only one other medical student participated and the rest were cardiology fellows,” she said. “I was selected for an oral presentation on my project for the summer research program, so I was much more comfortable and confident presenting my poster and answering questions at these meetings.”

La received a travel award to present at the 2017 ALAAC annual meeting in June. “The program has already made a huge impact on my career because I was able to work on clinical research directly with cardiologists and present my project on both a national and regional level,” La said. “I do not think I would have been able to work as closely with attendings if I were at a larger institution, and that makes South special to me.”

Omar presented “Correlation of Nuclear Stress Test Findings with the Extent of Coronary Artery Disease in Diabetic Versus Non-Diabetic Patients” at the conference. “The goal of my research was to compare the results of stress tests between diabetic and non-diabetic patients,” he said. “What I found was that when a diabetic patient has an abnormal stress test, they are more likely to have coronary artery disease than a non-diabetic patient.”

Omar said participating in the USA College of Medicine’s Summer Research Program gave him the opportunity to present research at multiple conferences. “The summer research program is a good way for medical students to be introduced to the research opportunities at USA and allows students to network with faculty members,” he said.

Both La and Omar presented at the 2016 American Medical Association Research Symposium last year. To learn more about their research, click here.

For more information on the Summer Research Program, click here.