Ion RobotPictured above: Pulmonary faculty Drs. Joseph Thachuthara-George, Aline Zouk and Hitesh Batra demonstrate the ION equipment.

Hitesh Batra, M.D., MBA (Associate Professor, Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care) performed the first robotic-assisted bronchoscopy using the Ion™ system in the state of Alabama on August 25. This new technology from Intuitive enables minimally invasive biopsy procedures to diagnose lung cancer. The system features an ultra-thin, ultra-maneuverable catheter that allows more precise navigation inside the lung, as well as offering added stabilization for the physician performing the procedure. Congrats to the entire team for implementing this exciting advance in interventional pulmonology!

Path Clinic Food Drive

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB is working with survivors to raise awareness about the importance of screening. Three men are sharing their personal experience with screening, diagnosis, and treatment, how this disease impacted their family and friends, and life as a cancer survivor. UAB experts are concerned that the pandemic may have interrupted regularly scheduled health care. They urge patients to reach out to health care providers about age-appropriate cancer screening.

Path Clinic Food Drive

The dominance of the Delta strain of COVID-19 combined with Alabama’s low vaccination rate has led experts to turn to monoclonal antibody infusion, a treatment in which infected individuals are administered supplemental antibodies that aid in clearing and stopping infection. The infusion reduces the risk of hospitalization by 70 percent in high-risk unvaccinated and pregnant persons. Experts emphasize getting vaccinated remains the most effective way to reduce hospitalizations and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Path Clinic Food DrivePictured Above: Surge Team members Julie England (PGY2), Jacob Roemen (PGY2) and Alonso Heudebert (GIM Attending) step up to provide additional coverage for rising numbers of hospitalized patients.

As cases skyrocket across Alabama, Department of Medicine faculty, staff and trainees have taken on additional shifts to provide care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The teams are working diligently to stay ahead of the rising numbers, arranging (and re-arranging) personnel to meet the need. Current models project total hospitalizations to exceed our previous high last winter, with as many as 250 patients in our system by the end of August.

Path Clinic Food DriveL to R: Amy Allon, MSW (Caseworker), Alex Edgil, M.D., (PGY3) and Sal Kamal, M.D., (CMR)

Internal medicine residents Alex Edgil (PGY3) and Sal Kamal (CMR) recently organized a food drive for patients they serve at the Providing Access to HealthCare (PATH) Clinic. The clinic provides free insulin, food supplies, and health care to uninsured patients with poorly controlled diabetes. After noticing food reserves were low, the residents joined together to ensure the patients could maintain their diets. Thank you to the residents for going above the call of duty to meet patients’ needs inside and outside of UAB facilities. Great Job!