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June 15, 2012 - USA Chairs Honored by Via Center

USA Family Medicine Chair Dr. Allen Perkins, USA Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work Chair Dr. Roma Hanks and USA Trustee Arlene Mitchell at the recent Via awards ceremony.

Dr. Allen Perkins, professor and chair of family medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently received a leadership award at the Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center's annual awards luncheon in Mobile.

Dr. Perkins has worked to secure HRSA Title VII grant funding for improving the geriatrics education of family medicine residents at USA. The project is a 5-year, $700,000 grant that began last year.

According to Dr. Perkins, residents participate in activities to enhance social-behavioral and community-based service issues in gerontology/geriatric care and care evaluation in partnership with the Center for Generational Studies. "This will allow them to experience team-based activity as a team member as well as a team leader," Dr. Perkins said.

In conjunction with this training, the family medicine department has been able to deliver care on-site at the Central Plaza Towers and provides on-site health education and screening services at Via.

"The residents spend half a day per week at Central Plaza Towers and half a day per week at Via in two one month blocks and longitudinally during the third year of training," Dr. Perkins said. "Seeing folks in community settings such as this allows the residents to better understand the aging process and to see aging as natural and not a disease to be treated.”

In addition to Dr. Perkins' award, Dr. Roma Hanks, chair of sociology, anthropology and social work, was named the 2012 recipient of the Arlene F. Mitchell Award by Via at the luncheon. Dr. Hanks is also the community engagement core co-director for the USA Center for Healthy Communities-Center of Excellence.

According to the organization, the award is “given each year in recognition of exceptional support and generosity by those who share Mrs. Mitchell’s spirit and dedication to older adults and the success of the Via Center.”

Mitchell, a USA trustee, also has been a long-time board member of Via Center.

Dr. Hanks also leads the USA Center for Generational Studies, which is headquartered at Via Center and works in partnership with the group.

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