Family Medicine Residency Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Reunion Weekend

The College of Community Health Sciences is hosting a reunion weekend Nov. 13-15, 2015, to celebrate 40 years of its Family Medicine Residency.

The weekend will allow Residency alumni to reconnect with their classmates, the College and the University through social events and a lecture series for continuing medical education.

The Residency, one of the oldest and largest family medicine residencies in the United States, was founded in 1974 and to date has graduated 450 family medicine physicians. More than half of those graduates are practicing in 46 of Alabama’s 67 counties, and 48 percent are practicing in a rural area of the state.

One in seven family physicians practicing in Alabama graduated from the Family Medicine Residency. And 77 percent of the Residency’s alumni practice in a primary care physician shortage area.

The College’s mission is to improve and promote the health of individuals and communities in Alabama and the region, and part of how it accomplishes that mission is by addressing the physician workforce needs of Alabama and the region with a focus on comprehensive Family Medicine Residency training.

The anniversary celebration weekend will kick off with a cocktail party on Friday evening, Nov. 13, at the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art and will include guided tours of the museum’s Westervelt Collection.

A lecture series will be held at the College the morning of Saturday, Nov. 14. Continuing medical education credits will be offered, and the lectures will cover a variety of topics related to the specialty of family medicine. The series will also include a two-part presentation by John B. Sullivan, MD, MBA, a 1978 Residency alumnus well known for his work in toxicology, including the development of rattlesnake bite anti-venom serum, as well as development of medication safety caps following seven Tylenol-related deaths in Chicago in 1982 that were the result of product tampering.

A gala will be held Saturday evening at the North Zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium. The event will feature a formal dinner with guest speaker Glen Stream, MD, FACCFP, President of Family Medicine for America’s Health and former president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, followed by live music and dancing.

On Sunday, Nov. 15, a farewell brunch will be held at Sweet Home Food Bar in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Tickets for the weekend are $35 per person. More information about the weekend’s agenda, where to find accommodations and how to RSVP can be found at cchs.ua.edu/fmr40.

 

 

Retired Student Health Physician and Wife Establish Scholarship

Dr. David H. Maxwell, a retired physician who worked at The University of Alabama’s Student Health Center for nearly 25 years, and his wife, Jeanne Maxwell, have pledged $25,000 to establish the Dr. Benjamin Collins Maxwell Endowed Scholarship at the College of Community Health Sciences.

The scholarship will give priority of consideration to fourth-year medical students at the University of Alabama School of Medicine’s Tuscaloosa Regional Campus, which is located at the College, as well Rural Medical Scholars who plan to practice primary care in a rural part of Alabama. Additional preference will be given to students who meet those criteria who have graduated from high schools in Escambia County, Alabama.

Dr. Benjamin Maxwell was Dr. David Maxwell’s uncle and his family’s primary care physician.

“‘Dr. Ben’ was a beloved family physician who served his hometown, Atmore, Alabama, for 43 years and was the personification of the compassionate, capable family doc,” he says. “As my family’s physician, he was an influence in my own decision to pursue medicine,

Benjamin Maxwell served in the US Navy after graduating high school in 1943. After WWII, he attended the University of Alabama and then attended medical school at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. After a one-year internship in Birmingham, he practiced in Atmore until retiring in 1996.

Jeanne Maxwell also knew Benjamin Maxwell when she was young. Her father was a physician in Mobile and she accompanied him to Atmore for consultations. Both Jeanne and David Maxwell attended The University of Alabama.

David Maxwell completed medical school at the University of South Alabama in Mobile and a family medicine residency at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He then practiced in Atmore himself for six years before moving with Regina to Tuscaloosa in 1989, where he practiced at the Student Health Center until retiring in 2014. He says their children are fourth-generation University of Alabama students and graduates.

David Maxwell says the scholarship is not only a way to honor his uncle’s legacy in his community and in the state, but that of all primary care physicians.

“Its goal is in keeping with the mission of the Rural Medical Scholars program as well as that of the College. Both are vital in meeting the need for culturally competent physicians, particularly in the underserved communities and counties of Alabama,” he says. “As our medical students make their decisions to fulfill a medical calling, I hope they will be encouraged and enabled in part by such scholarships as well as by those physicians who have served before them. It is my particular wish that this can help fill the needs in our home area—rural Escambia County.”

Innovative Program Pairs Med Students with Local Physicians

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Several University of Alabama medical students have paired with community physicians as part of an innovative medical education program promoting deeper connections with patients and stronger student-teacher relationships.

Third-year medical students at the School of Medicine’s Tuscaloosa Regional Campus, which is located at UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, are participating in a new medical education program — the Tuscaloosa Longitudinal Community Curriculum, or TLC².

TLC² follows an innovative model of medical education, a longitudinal integrated clerkship, which allows medical students an opportunity to follow patients over the course of their third-year of clinical education.

College to host 40th Anniversary Reunion Weekend for Family Medicine Residency

The College of Community Health Sciences is hosting a reunion weekend Nov. 13-15, 2015, to celebrate 40 years of its Family Medicine Residency.

The weekend will include social events, such as a cocktail party on Nov. 13 and a gala on Nov. 14, as well CME opportunities, to allow Residency alumni to reconnect with their classmates and the College.

The weekend will start with a casual social event on Friday, Nov. 13, at the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art. Hor d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served, and guided tours of the museum’s Westervelt Collection will be provided.

The morning of Saturday, Nov. 14, a CME lecture series will be offered at the College and will cover a variety of topics. The series will include a two-part presentation by John B. Sullivan, MD, MBA, a 1978 Residency alumnus well known for his work in toxicology, including the development of rattlesnake bite anti-venom serum.

A gala will then be held Saturday evening at the North Zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium. The event will include dinner and dancing and will feature guest speaker Glen Stream, MD, FACCFP, President of Family Medicine for America’s Health and former AAFP President.

A farewell brunch will be held on Sunday, Nov. 15, at Sweet Home Food Bar in Downtown Tuscaloosa.

Tickets for the weekend are $35 per person. More information about the weekend’s agenda, where to find accommodations and how to RSVP can be found at cchs.ua.edu/fmr40.

The Residency was founded in 1974 and has graduated 450 family medicine physicians. More than half of those graduates are practicing in 46 of Alabama’s 67 counties, and 48 percent are practicing in a rural area of the state.

One in seven family physicians in Alabama graduated from the College’s Family Medicine Residency. Seventy-seven percent of the Residency’s alumni practice in a primary care physician shortage area.

The College’s mission is to improve and promote the health of individuals and communities in Alabama and the region, and part of how it accomplishes that mission is by addressing the physician workforce needs of Alabama and the region with a focus on comprehensive Family Medicine Residency training.

Four students elected to honor medical society

Four University of Alabama School of Medicine students who are receiving their clinical education at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences were elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

The students, who are in their third-year of medical school, are Melissa Jordan, Missy Ma, Mathew May and Kay Rainey. 

Matthew May

Matthew May

Missy Ma

Missy Ma

Kay Rainey

Kay Rainey

Melissa Jordan

Melissa Jordan

Alpha Omega Alpha is a professional medical organization that recognizes excellence in scholarship as well as an outstanding commitment and dedication to caring for others. The top 25 percent of a medical school class is eligible for nomination to the honor society, and up to 16 percent may be selected.

“These students have worked hard to earn membership in Alpha Omega Alpha,” says Brook Hubner, program director of Medical Student Education at the College. “They have bright futures ahead as physician leaders dedicated to the art of healing.”

About 3,000 students, alumni and faculty are elected to Alpha Omega Alpha each year. The society has 120 chapters in medical schools throughout the United States and has elected more than 150,000 members since its founding in 1902.

In its role as a regional campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, the College provides clinical education to a subset of third- and fourth-year medical students. The students complete the first two years of basic science courses at the School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham, and then complete clinical rotations on the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus in the departments of Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Neurology, Psychiatry and Surgery.

Rural Medical Scholars 20th Class attends orientation

The 20th class of the Rural Medical Scholars Program was admitted by The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences, and a day of orientation was held for them and this year’s class of Rural Community Health Scholars (master’s degree candidates in Rural Community Health) on Aug.18 at Camp Tuscoba Retreat Center in Northport.

The orientation was more than introductions and program expectations—it was the starting point of a year of anticipation and preparation to pursue their goals, says Susan Guin, associate director of the Rural Medical Scholars Program.

“This coming year will be a time of developing lasting relationships with their peers and mentors who will be a source of friendship and support as they continue their education and into their careers,” says Guin. “Through the years, this support has come in many forms and from many sources, so we invite partners from around the state to join us in welcoming the newest class of Scholars.”

The College works to address the shortage of primary care physicians in Alabama through the Rural Medical Scholars Program, which is for rural Alabama students who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities. The program includes a year of study, after students receive their undergraduate degree, that leads to a master’s degree in rural community health and early admission to the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Rural Medical Scholars spend the first two years of medical school at the School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham and then return to the College for their final two years of clinical education.

The College will celebrate the program’s milestone with special events throughout the year.

Members of the Rural Medical Scholars 20th class are: Anooshah Ata, from Scottsboro; Helen Cunningham, from Barnwell; Tanner Hallman, of Arab; Storm McWhorter, Prattville; Carson Perrella, Salem; Johnson (John) Pounders, Leighton; Jayla Robinson, Addison; and Harriet Washington, from Carrollton.

The Rural Community Health Scholars Program is for graduate students not enrolled in the Rural Medical Scholars Program who are interested in health care careers. The program prepares students to assume leadership roles in community health in rural areas. The graduates of the program have entered the fields of public health, health administration, nursing and physical therapy, and they have continued their professional training to become nurse practitioners, physician assistants, public health practitioners, physicians, teachers and researchers.

Rural Community Health Scholars this year are: Januar Page Brown, of Enterprise; Amellia Cannon, of Duncanville; Dylan Drinkard, of Thomasville; Caleb Mason, of Guntersville; Johnny Pate, of Moundville; Kristin Pressley, of Harvest; and Jeremy Watson, of Tuscaloosa County.

The orientation agenda included an overview of the health needs of rural communities and the mission of the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline, a series of programs that recruit and support rural Alabama students who want to be health care professionals in rural and underserved communities in the state.

Each of this year’s Scholars added a colored dot to his or her own home county on oversized maps showing the home counties of past Rural Medical Scholars and Rural Community Health Scholars.

Program directors and professors discussed academic expectations and community involvement, which includes recruiting and outreach to rural youth.

Students spent time getting to know one another, and they also were introduced to College faculty and faculty from other UA departments associated with the program. Those who came to welcome them from the College included Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of the College; Dr. Thaddeus Ulzen, associate dean for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Tom Weida, associate dean for Clinical Affairs.

Other attendees included: Ron Sparks, director of rural development for Gov. Robert Bentley; Gwen Johnson, Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Agent for Hale and Greene counties; Toice Goodson, Greene County farmer; Regina Knox, Alicia Logan, and Katie Summerville, directors from the West Central Alabama Area Health Education Center; and Joe Anders, president of the Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation.

Visitors from the South Georgia Medical Education and Research Consortium also attended to learn more about implementing a sequence of programs similar to the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline.

University Medical Center-Northport celebrates grand opening

Community members and leaders gathered to celebrate the grand opening of University Medical Center’s new Northport location on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015.

A ribbon cutting ceremony, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, was held at University Medical Center-Northport, and an open house for the public followed. The open house included tours of the clinic.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, which operates UMC and UMC-Northport, said that opening the new location was part of the College’s effort to address the state’s shortage of primary care physicians and health care professionals.

“We know primary care and family medicine and the training we undertake are key to a healthcare system that is not only more effective, but more accessible and more prevention-oriented and ultimately results in improved population health, which is the mission of the College—to improve the health of the population,” he said.

He added, “We’ve outgrown our beautiful facility on campus, and we’re delighted to be able to open this facility in Northport and improve [health care] access for this part of the community and for the counties adjacent.”

UA President Stuart Bell spoke, saying that opening UMC-Northport is an offering of one of UA’s greatest resources to the community.

“As I think about what makes a community great and what is important to a community, first and foremost in that is providing excellent health care to our community, and I couldn’t be more proud to be here today and talk about the partnership we have between The University of Alabama and [Northport].”

Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon concluded the remarks with a proclamation: “I proclaim wisdom for the instructors, understanding for the students and the best health care possible for all citizens.”

Though the grand opening celebration was held on Aug. 26, UMC-Northport, which is located at 1325 McFarland Blvd., Suite 102, Northport, AL (in the Fitness One building) has been providing comprehensive, patient-centered care to the area in family medicine and obstetrics since its soft opening on July 1.

The opening of UMC-Northport was a relocation of UMC-Warrior Family Medicine, UMC’s location in Fairfax Park in Tuscaloosa, which closed in late June. Patients and providers from UMC-Warrior Family Medicine moved to UMC-Northport.

Dr. H. Joseph Fritz is clinic director at UMC-Northport, and he practices alongside Drs. Ray Brignac, Jennifer Clem, Catherine Skinner and nurse practitioner Lisa Brashier. Resident physicians Drs. Shawanda Agnew, Carrie Coxwell, Eric Frempong, Brianna Kendrick, Cheree Melton, Aisha Pitts, Efe Sahinoglu and Amy Wambolt, all of whom are part of The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency, also see patients.

Dr. John Burkhardt, a clinical psychologist, will provide psychotherapy and related care at UMC-Northport starting Sept. 1

UMC and UMC-Northport provide care to the University and West Alabama community. Patients of all ages can receive care for the full spectrum of needs—from preventive care and wellness exams to management of chronic conditions, to treatment for acute illness and accidents.

UMC-Warrior Family Medicine was formed in 2014 after Fritz and his practice, Warrior Family Practice, joined the College. Fritz had been in private practice in Tuscaloosa since 1978.

To make an appointment at UMC, phone the desired clinic directly, or call (205) 348-1770. To make an appointment at UMC-Northport, phone (205) 348-6700. Learn more about UMC and UMC-Northport here.

University Medical Center-Northport holds ribbon cutting, WVUA reports

The grand opening celebration was held for University Medical Center’s new Northport location on Wednesday, Aug. 26. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, and an open house followed immediately. Clinic tours were offered to the public as well as patient information sessions on health-related issues, reported WVUA 23.

Watch the report:

College welcomes 20th class of Rural Medical Scholars

The 20th class of the Rural Medical Scholars Program will start in August, and The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences will celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The incoming class of Rural Medical Scholars will attend orientation on Aug. 18 at Camp Tuscoba Retreat Center in Northport, Ala.

The 20th class of Rural Medical Scholars are:

Anooshah Ata, Scottsboro, Jackson County
Helen Cunningham, Barnwell, Baldwin County
Tanner Hallman, Arab, Marshall County
Carson Perrella, Salem, Lee County
Gloria (Storm) McWhorter, Prattville, Autauga County
Johnson (John) Pounders, Leighton, Colbert County
Jayla Robinson, Addison, Winston County
Harriet Washington, Carrollton, Pickens County

The Scholars were selected in May 2015 after an interview process. The Rural Medical Scholars Program is exclusively for rural Alabama students who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities. The program includes a year of study, after students receive their undergraduate degree, that leads to a master’s degree in rural community health, as well as early admission to the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Rural Medical Scholars spend the first two years of medical school at the School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham and then return to the College for their final two years of clinical education.

“Orientation for the Rural Scholars is more than introductions and program expectations; it is the starting point to a year of anticipation and preparation to pursue their goals,” says Susan Guin, CRNP, associate director of the Rural Medical Scholars Program. “This year will be a time of developing lasting relationships with their peers and mentors who will be a source of friendship and support as they continue their education and into their careers. Through the years, this support has come in many forms and from many sources, so we invite partners from around the state to join us in welcoming the newest class of Scholars.”

The Rural Medical Scholars Program is part of the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline, a sequence of programs that recruit and support rural Alabama students who want to be primary care physicians in rural and underserved communities in the state.

The College will celebrate the two decades of the Rural Medical Scholars Program throughout the academic year with events for alumni, many of whom are practicing in rural Alabama, as the program intends. About 60 percent of Rural Medical Scholars have chosen to practice in rural Alabama, and 90 percent of Scholars in practice are located in Alabama.

Six Rural Community Health Scholars will also attend the orientation on Aug. 18. The Rural Community Health Scholars at the College this year are:

Januar Page Brown, Enterprise, Coffee County
Amellia Cannon, Duncanville, Tuscaloosa County
Dylan Drinkard, Thomasville, Clarke County
Caleb Mason, Guntersville, Marshall County
Johnny Pate, Moundville, Hale County
Kristin Pressley, Harvest, Madison County
Jeremy Watson, Tuscaloosa County

 

Medical students inducted into Gold Humanism Honor Society

Medical students at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences were inducted this month into the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Wyman Gilmore, Russell Guin and Elizabeth Junkin are the Class of 2016 inductees at the College, which serves as the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus for the University of Alabama School of Medicine, headquartered in Birmingham. Steven Allon and Courtney Newsome are inductees from the Class of 2017.

The society is a signature program of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation established to recognize medical students, residents and faculty who practice patient-centered medical care by modeling the qualities of integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy.

The students were nominated by their peers who offered their observations of the students characteristics consistent with humanistic values. A selection committee then evaluated the nominees’ academic eligibility, assessments by their program directors and essays indicating each student’s’ willingness and qualifications to serve, if selected. About 10 to 15 percent of each class is selected to membership. More than 22,0000 Gold Humanism Honor Society members train and practice nationally.