Thursday, April 26, 2018

USA Welcomes Basic Medical Sciences Graduate Advisor

Angie O’Neal recently was named graduate advisor for the University of South Alabama College of Medicine Basic Medical Sciences Ph.D. Graduate Program.

In her new position, O’Neal said the students are her top priority as she guides them through registration, course requirements and deadlines. “I will be with our students from admissions through graduation,” she said.

O’Neal said she is most excited to provide students with the resources, advice and information to help them reach their ultimate goal – graduation. “The research that our students conduct here is amazing,” she said. “To simply be a part of their journey as they grow as scientists and researchers is very rewarding.”

She credits her previous positions within USA for giving her key experiences that she can use in her new position. Prior to this appointment, O’Neal served as a specialist for the office of institutional effectiveness at USA, where she used data to support institutional improvement and decision making that reflected the University’s mission. O’Neal has also served as a development specialist in the USA College of Engineering.

O’Neal earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication from USA.

Marquietta Lawson receives DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses

 Marquietta Lawson, center, poses with Dr. Natalie Fox, director of nursing, left, and Terry O'Neil, director of operations for neuroscience.
Marquietta Lawson, a clinical nurse supervisor for neuroscience at the University of South Alabama, recently received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses for the month of April. USA Health awards one nurse each month who demonstrates exceptional, compassionate patient care. Lawson is the first nurse in USA Physicians Group to receive the honor.

Terry O’Neil, director of operations for neuroscience, nominated Lawson for the award. “When I first came to the department in October, Marquietta made me feel so welcome and so glad to be here,” O’Neil said. “Marquietta has successfully transitioned from a staff nurse to a clinical nurse supervisor in the neuroscience clinic. She is very organized and pays great attention to detail. Marquietta fosters open dialogue when working with her staff, which leads to clearly defined job responsibilities and great patient satisfaction."

Lawson’s staff members described her as someone who cares deeply about all people, always lending a listening ear and helpful hand to everyone she encounters.

“I just want to thank everyone so much. This is such a big honor,” Lawson said at the award ceremony. “I want to thank the entire team for all of your hard work.”

The DAISY Foundation was founded in 1999 in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 from complications due to an autoimmune disease, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The nursing care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family and inspired them to form The DAISY Foundation, an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

Visit to learn more.

Students and Faculty to be Honored at Annual Honors Convocation

Each spring, the University of South Alabama College of Medicine recognizes students for their academic achievements at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony.

This year's College of Medicine Honors Convocation for the Class of 2018 will be held May 4, 2018, at 7 p.m. at the USA Mitchell Center.

Doctoral hoods, along with the student honors, will be awarded to the medical students at Honors Convocation. The seniors will honor members of the faculty who had the most meaningful impact on their medical education, and the faculty selected will wear a red sash over their academic regalia.

Dr. Lee Grimm, assistant professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine and a colorectal surgeon with USA Physicians Group, will deliver the address to the class.

A reception for students, guests, and faculty will follow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

May Med School Café - 'Concussion Awareness Program: Putting a CAP on Concussions'

May's Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Ashley Marass, pediatric nurse practitioner with USA Physicians Group, and Dr. Anthony Martino, professor and chair of neurosurgery at the USA College of Medicine and neurosurgeon with USA Physicians Group.

Their lecture, titled “Concussion Awareness Program: Putting a CAP on Concussions,” will be held on Friday, May 11, 2018, at the Strada Patient Care Center Conference Room on the first floor. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation will begin at noon.

Together, they will discuss the educational programs, background and future endeavors surrounding concussions.

Dr. Marass earned her master of nursing from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., and her doctorate of nursing practice degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Born in Italy, Dr. Martino earned his medical degree from Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome. He completed his internship at Columbus Hospital in Chicago and his residency at the State Hospital of New York in Syracuse, N.Y.  Following residency training, Dr. Martino completed a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at the University of California at San Francisco.

In 2014, Drs. Martino and Marass, along with a team from USA, applied for the Mind Matters Challenge - an educational challenge and grant program aimed at changing concussion safety behaviors funded by the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense. They created a web-based module in which education on concussions is provided to any athletic stakeholder via an engaging, interactive platform, and continue to promote education about concussions and head injuries throughout the community.

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, contact Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or

Med School Café is a free community lecture series sponsored by the USA Physicians Group. Each month, faculty from the USA College of Medicine share their expertise on a specific medical condition, providing insight on the latest treatment available.

The Strada Patient Care Center is located at 1601 Center St. in Mobile.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

USA Student Health Center Receives AAAHC Reaccreditation

The University of South Alabama Student Health Center has achieved reaccreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), reinforcing the university’s dedication to students’ health and well-being.

The center has been accredited since 2013 and has been granted the maximum reaccreditation term of three years. Only 20 percent of student health centers in the country receive this recognition.

“This is an important milestone in the continuing growth and success of our Student Health Center,” said Beverly Kellen, director of operations for the center. “Pursuing accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest levels of patient care to our students, and the same high level of quality in our business practices. Achieving accreditation by AAAHC is proof that we have met the rigorous standards of a nationally recognized third party.”

Organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert physicians, nurses and administrators. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services. Kellen emphasized that not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation, and not all that undergo the rigorous process are granted accreditation.

“Going through the process challenged us to find better ways to care for our patients, and it serves as a constant reminder that our responsibility is to strive to continuously improve the quality of care we provide,” Kellen said.

The USA Student Health Center offers comprehensive primary health care services including women’s health, sports medicine, travel medicine and psychiatry services. Student health also encompasses health education and wellness programs that empower students to make healthy lifestyle choices. Program topics include sexual assault, tobacco cessation, reproductive health, substance abuse prevention, nutrition, stress management and relaxation.

Kellen points to the importance of students taking care of their mental health as well as their physical health. “Psychiatric services are a very important aspect of our holistic approach to medicine,” she said, “and this service has been very well received by our students.”

In the fall of 2016, the clinic relocated to the heart of the university’s campus, making its services more accessible to the student population.

To learn more about the USA Student Health Center, click here. For more information on the accreditation process, visit the AAAHC’s website.