Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mark Your Calendar: Pediatric Grand Rounds Feb. 15

Dr. Rosina Avila Connelly, associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, will present February's pediatric grand rounds.

Her lecture, “Texas Children's Hospital's Complex Care Clinic: An Overview of a Structured Health Care Delivery Model for Medically Complex Children,” is set for 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in the Strada Patient Care Center first-floor conference room.

Dr. Connelly will describe the structure of a primary care-centered model of healthcare delivery for children who are medically complex and technology dependent; identify areas of opportunities for improvement in quality care, patient safety, health outcome and advocacy for medically complex and technology-dependent children; discuss the importance of care-coordination and patient-centered approach to care when building healthcare delivery systems for children with complex healthcare needs; appreciate the value of engaged and well-informed parents and/or caregivers as key components in the care of children with complex healthcare needs.

Pediatric grand rounds is every third Friday of the month. The event is open to USA faculty, staff and students. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages will be provided.

For more information, contact LaTasha Williams at or (251) 415-8688.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dr. Barry Porter Named Director of Operations for Emergency Medicine, Radiology

Dr. Barry Porter recently was appointed director of operations for emergency medicine and radiology with USA Health. He fills a position previously held by Ron Ori, who recently retired.

Dr. Porter is responsible for the daily operations of both departments, including strengthening communications and workflows, coordinating with hospital operations to create efficiencies, and supporting the departmental chairs as they grow their capabilities and increase patient access.

“I look forward to being an active part of the planning and growth of both of these vital departments,” Dr. Porter said. “As a native Mobilian, and being familiar with USA Health over the years, it's exciting to have the opportunity to be a part of the ongoing success, working with great leaders, talented providers and outstanding clinical professionals. USA Health, as an academic health system, has strong forward-momentum right now. It's exciting to be a part of the growth.”   

Dr. Porter previously served as director of family medicine project development with USA Healthcare Management, where he provided leadership in the design and development of a population health service line. Prior to that, he served as coordinator of the Longitudinal Experiences in Ambulatory Practice at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

“I've learned so much about what it takes to have systemic success during my time at USA. Academic healthcare is a different animal, and I've been fortunate to have experience both as an academic and as a manager,” Dr. Porter said. “Academic medicine is about learning and growing together as a community, focusing on improving the lives of both patients and employees who make the mission possible, and taking ownership of all opportunities when they arise, as they arise. I believe in delivering high-quality, patient-centered care to everyone who comes to USA Health.”

Prior to joining USA in 2015, Dr. Porter served as chief operating officer and administrator for Immediate Care Companies, where he managed the day-to-day business and clinical operations in urgent care practices for Mobile and Baldwin counties.

Dr. Porter earned his bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill College, and a master’s and doctorate from the University of South Alabama. He is currently pursuing his M.B.A. at USA and just completed Lean Six Sigma green belt certification at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Monday, January 28, 2019

USA Department of Neurology Recognized as a Partner in MS Care by National Multiple Sclerosis Society

From left, Dr. William Kilgo, assistant professor of neurology at the USA College of Medicine and an MS specialist with USA Physicians Group; Dr. Elizabeth Minto, director of clinical skills at the USA College of Medicine and an MS specialist with USA Physicians Group; Andrew Bell, president of the National MS Society, Alabama-Mississippi Chapter; and Deborah Kirkland, manager of healthcare provider engagement at the National MS Society.
The University of South Alabama department of neurology, a leading provider of care for people living with multiple sclerosis in the Mobile area, has been officially recognized as a Partner in MS Care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The Partners in MS Care program recognizes providers who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in treating patients with MS and whose practices support the Society’s initiative of affordable access to high-quality care for everyone living with MS – regardless of geography, disease progression and other disparities. Partners in MS Care also have a relationship with the National MS Society that helps connect their patients to the information, resources and support available.

"We are so proud to partner with the University of South Alabama’s department of neurology to enhance coordinated, comprehensive care for the people who live with MS in Mobile and along the Gulf Coast," said Andrew Bell, president of the National MS Society, Alabama-Mississippi Chapter. "In earning this recognition, the USA department of neurology has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in MS care, making a tremendous impact on people affected by MS in our community."

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling, disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to walking difficulties, fatigue, dizziness, pain, depression, blindness and paralysis. Approximately 500 people in the Mobile area are living with multiple sclerosis, and more than 900,000 people across the United States have been diagnosed with the disease.

Dr. William Kilgo, assistant professor of neurology at the USA College of Medicine and a neurologist with USA Physicians Group who specializes in multiple sclerosis, said the Partners in MS Care designation is the first step to becoming an MS Center for Comprehensive Care, which the USA department of neurology hopes to achieve in the next two years.

"Partnering with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is an essential step forward here at the University of South Alabama," Dr. Kilgo said. "We look forward to continuing to provide a high level of service to patients with multiple sclerosis along the Gulf Coast who in the past have driven as far as Birmingham, New Orleans or Atlanta for their care."

Marlo Blankenship speaks about her personal experience of 
living with multiple sclerosis. 
Dr. Elizabeth Minto, director of clinical skills at the USA College of Medicine and a neurologist with USA Physicians Group who specializes in multiple sclerosis, said, "This recognition from the National MS Society calls attention to the commitment of our physicians and staff to providing excellent comprehensive care to our patients living with MS. It also offers the opportunity for more patients in the region to be made aware of USA Neurology as a cutting-edge care provider, closer to home."

Marlo Blankenship of Mobile serves as an advocate in the community for those living with and affected by multiple sclerosis. She was diagnosed with MS by an internal medicine physician in 2004, after experiencing periods of blindness and paralysis in the leg. At the time there were no MS specialists in Mobile, so she traveled to Birmingham for care.

With the expertise of her doctors and medications to slow the progression of the disease, Blankenship is now healthy and active. She said the partnership between USA and the MS Society will greatly benefit the community.

"This partnership is amazing, and it's something that Mobile should be very excited about," Blankenship said. "I know I am, and I know other MS patients will love the comfort of having a specialist locally and the connection with the MS Society."

"We're very proud of this achievement and our partnership with the MS Society," said Dr. Dean Naritoku, professor and chair of neurology at the USA College of Medicine and a neurologist with USA Physicians Group. "We now have many disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis, and there are more on the horizon. We look forward to helping better care for people living with multiple sclerosis."

For more information on the Partners in MS Care program, visit

Dr. Kilgo recently presented "The Importance of Specialized Care for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis" at Med School Café. Watch the full presentation on YouTube.