Friday, June 15, 2018

USA Mobile Diagnostic Center Diabetes Education Program Merits ADA Recognition

The USA Mobile Diagnostic Center diabetes self-management education program has been awarded continued recognition from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The program offers outstanding education services to patients living with diabetes and their families.

“Our mission is to ensure that every individual with diabetes, or at risk for diabetes, receives the best possible care,” said Phyllus Justice, diabetes resource coordinator for USA Mobile Diagnostic Center. “Our approach offers an experienced, patient-focused team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians and certified diabetes educators to achieve positive outcomes for our patients and the community.”

According to Justice, self-management education is an essential component of diabetes treatment. “Diabetes is a condition that is largely self-managed with approximately 99 percent of care becoming the responsibility of the patients and those involved in the daily management,” she said.

One benefit of compliance with the national standards is greater consistency in the quality and quantity of education offered to people with diabetes. The patients in an ADA-recognized program are taught self-care skills that will promote better management of his or her diabetes treatment regimen. “In the recent past, research has shown that patients who have a full diabetes care team have improved knowledge and self-care behaviors, lower A1c, lower weight, improved quality of life, reduced all-cause mortality risk, healthy coping, reduced health care costs and better outcomes,” Justice added.

All approved education programs cover the following topics as needed: diabetes overview; nutritional management; physical activity; medications; monitoring; preventing, detecting, and treating acute complications; preventing, detecting and treating chronic complications through risk reduction; goal setting and problem solving; psychological adjustment; and preconception care, management during pregnancy and gestational management.

Assuring high-quality education for patient self-care is one of the primary goals of the Education Recognition program. Through the support of the health care team and increased knowledge and awareness of diabetes, the patient can assume a major part of the responsibility for his or her diabetes management. Unnecessary hospital admissions and some of the acute and chronic complications of diabetes may be prevented through self-management education.

Justice said the target of diabetes education recently has grown to include individuals with pre-diabetes for the purpose of preventing progression to Type 2 diabetes. “Pre-diabetes is a condition of elevated glucose, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes,” she said. “It is clear that the onset of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or significantly delayed, with the most impressive results for doing so coming from lifestyle changes rather than pharmacologic intervention.”

Founded in 1986, the ADA Education Recognition effort is a voluntary process which assures that approved education programs have met the National Standard for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. Programs that achieve recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide state-of-the-art information about diabetes management for participants.

For more information, contact USA Mobile Diagnostic Clinic at (251) 633-8880.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

USA Welcomes Dr. Ralph Lee Irvin

Dr. Ralph Lee Irvin recently joined the University of South Alabama as a pain management physician with USA Physicians Group.

Dr. Irvin received his medical degree from the USA College of Medicine. He completed his residency training in anesthesiology with the Medical University of South Carolina and served as chief resident. Prior to his position at USA, he was in private practice in Mobile since 1983.

He is a member of the Medical Society of Mobile County, Medical Association of the State of Alabama, North American Neuromodulation Society, the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, and the Society of Pain Practice Management. He is also a diplomate with the American Board of Anesthesiology.

He was the 2018 recipient of the Samuel Buford Word Award, the highest honor given by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, in recognition of service to humanity beyond the usual scope of medical practice.

Dr. Irvin sees patients at the Strada Patient Care Center. To make an appointment, call (251) 665-8200.

Pediatrics Hosting Grand Rounds June 15

Dr. Frederick Goldman, professor of pediatric hematology oncology and director of the Lowder & Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Alabama, will present "Sickle Cell Disease: Innovative and Curative Therapies" for June's pediatric grand rounds.

The lecture is set for 8 a.m. June 15 in the conference room on the first floor of the Strada Patient Care Center.

Dr. Goldman will discuss common presentations and pathogenesis of sickle cell disease, as well as gene therapy and bone marrow transplantation as it relates to the disease.

The event is open to USA faculty, staff and students. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages will be provided.

For more information, contact Dr. Haidee Custodio at or (251) 405-5126.

USA Medical Alumni Association Hosts 2018 Reunion Weekend

The University of South Alabama Medical Alumni Association hosted its annual Alumni Reunion Weekend June 8-10, 2018, in Pensacola Beach, Fla.

The event gave USA medical alumni a chance to reconnect with classmates, colleagues and faculty, as well as the opportunity to earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. This year's reunion honored the classes of 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013.

Professor and chair of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine, Dr. David Gremse (COM '83) received the 2018 Distinguished Medical Alumni Award.

Numerous USA alumni and faculty members presented during the weekend.

On Friday, Dr. Gordon Deen (COM '78) presented "Spine Surgery in the Year 2050: Will it be Done by Robots?"; Dr. Gremse presented "Recent Developments in Brief: Resolved Unexplained Events in Infants"; Dr. Edward Panacek (COM '78), professor and chair of emergency medicine at the USA College of Medicine, presented "Sepsis in the Time of CMS"; and Dr. John Sinnot (COM '78) presented "Art and Medicine: Diagnosing the Canvas."

On Saturday, Dr. Lisa Spiryda, professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the USA College of Medicine, presented "Pap Tests, HPV and Cervical Cancer Screening: Are the Current Recommendations Being Dictated by Insurance Companies or Evidence-Based Medicine?"; Dr. Russell Goode (COM '10) presented "Hip Fractures: The Geriatric Game-changer"; and Dr. Franklin Trimm, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the USA College of Medicine and assistant vice president for medical affairs at USA Health, presented "Why Diversity Matters in Healthcare"; Dr. Druhan Howell (COM '03) presented "Mythbusters: Allergy Edition"; and Dr. Mike Hennigan (COM '82) presented "Diabetes for the 21st Century: Technology, Medication, and Mentoring."

On Sunday, Dr. Sabrina Bessette (COM '03), assistant professor of internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine, presented "Primary Care and Chronic Kidney Disease"; and Dr. Natalie Fox, director of nursing for USA Physicians Group, presented "Implementing Team-Based Care to Achieve the Quadruple Aim - Improved Patient Care, Better Outcomes, Lower Cost and Clinician Wellness."

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Winners Announced at M3 Case Report Symposium

The USA College of Medicine class of 2019 participates in the M3 Case Report Symposium.
The University of South Alabama College of Medicine held its annual M3 Case Report Symposium June 7, 2018, at the Strada Patient Care Center.

The symposium provided rising fourth-year medical students the opportunity to present novel, rare or meaningful case studies observed during their third-year rotations to faculty, residents and peers in the form of poster presentations. The symposium also gave students the opportunity to showcase independent projects.

This year's winners were:
  • 1st place - Jonathon Whitehead and William Teachey: "Humeroulnar Gap (HUG) Sign of Pediatric Olecranon Osteochondral Flap Fracture"
  • 2nd place - William Gambla: "Bartonella henselae Neuroretinitis"
  • 3rd place - Kristen Smith: "A Case of Successful VBAC After Unknown Uterine Incision"
The case reports were judged based on originality, strength of conclusions, quality of references, overall appearance, organization and topic. Judges for the symposium were Dr. Anne-Marie Kaulfers, associate professor of endocrinology; Dr. J. Spencer Liles, assistant professor of surgery; and Dr. Charles Harmon, assistant professor of neonatology.

Medical student organizers of the event were Audrey Murphy, Matthew Robson and Kristen Smith.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Second Annual Resident and Fellow Exposition Winners Announced

Dr. Chaowapong Jarasvaraparn, a pediatric resident physician at the University of South Alabama, presents his research to Dr. Elizabeth Minto, assistant professor of neurology.
The Graduate Medical Education Committee at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently hosted the 2nd annual Resident and Fellow Exposition, providing an opportunity for residents and fellows to display their scholarly activities in the form of posters.

The competition, which drew 36 entries, was scored by a panel of judges including Dr. David Gremse, professor and chair of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine and a pediatric gastroenterologist with USA Physicians Group; Christina Clark, clinical project leader for the transforming clinical practice initiative for USA Physicians Group; Dr. Mike Finan, director of USA Mitchell Cancer Institute; Dr. Mark Taylor, associate professor of physiology and cell biology at the USA College of Medicine; Dr. Suneet Dullet, assistant professor of internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine and an internal medicine physician with USA Physicians Group; Dr. Elliot Carter, professor and interim co-chair of pathology at the USA College of Medicine; and Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean for medical education and student affairs at the USA College of Medicine.

The panel of judges selected the top posters from two competitive categories based on the appearance of the poster, originality of the project, effective presentation of content, quality of the content and interviews with the presenters.

The goal of the scientific posters was to increase understanding of a disease, improve the diagnosis or treatment of a disease, contribute to improving processes that promote health and patient outcomes, increase patient safety, or improve utilization of resources.

Dr. Majel Purvis, a general surgery resident with USA Health, received the Clinical and Translational Research award for her project, “Overutilization of Helicopter EMS in the Central Gulf Coast Region.” Dr. Jon Simmons, associate professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine and a trauma and critical care surgeon with USA Health, served as her mentor for the project.

The quality improvement and patient safety awards were given to family medicine residents Dr. Zachary Logan and Dr. Rebecca Sollie. Since USA Health has adopted the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle format for improvement projects, posters in the improvement category should demonstrate the use of this quality improvement tool, including the project's aim statement, the planned intervention, the metrics used in data collection during the project, the outcome analysis, and the actions implemented as a result of the project.

Dr. Ehab Molokhia, professor of family medicine and a family medicine physician with USA Physicians Group, served as the mentor for Dr. Logan’s project titled, “Improving Pediatric Asthma Classification in a Primary Care Setting” Dr. Ashleigh Butts-Wilkerson, assistant professor of family medicine and family medicine physician with USA Physicians Group, served as the mentor for Dr. Sollie’s project titled, “Decreasing Missed Opportunities for HPV Immunization.”

The expo also featured nine case-based clinical vignettes, which presented a classic example of unusual process or an unusual presentation of a common condition. These posters were displayed during the expo, but were not part of the poster competition.

View more photos of the 2nd annual Resident and Fellow Exposition here.