Mobile Bay Magazine recognized seven representatives from the University of South Alabama and USA Health among its annual 40 Under 40 class. Honorees are residents under the age of 40 who demonstrate leadership, professional excellence, and a commitment to the Mobile Bay area.
Each year, Mobile Bay Magazine highlights 40 residents under the age of 40 who are selected from the business and professional community, the arts, medicine, education, community involvement, and more.
This year's honorees from University of South Alabama and USA Health include:
Meghan Hermance, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of South Alabama’s Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine, is dedicated to research and mentoring student physicians and scientists. A native of Houston, Hermance has been awarded more than $3 million in federal funding to help study ways to stop the transmission and spread of an emerging tick-borne virus in the U.S. Additionally, she is considered a local expert on advising the public about the risks of ticks and preventative strategies for tick-borne diseases.
Ashley Williams Hogue, M.D., is a trauma, acute care and burn surgeon at USA Health, an assistant professor of surgery at the Whiddon College of Medicine, and the director of the USA Center for Healthy Communities. In the Augusta, Georgia-native’s latest role as director, she is tasked with addressing health disparities and improving healthcare access for underserved populations. She and her husband, Antwan Hogue, M.D., a member of last year's 40 Under 40 class, co-founded Project Inspire, a multi-week, hospital-based injury prevention program aimed to reduce youth violence in the Mobile community.
Danuel Laan, M.D., F.A.C.S, a bariatric and general surgeon at USA Health Providence Hospital, performs state-of-the-art robotic surgery, serves as the medical director for bariatric surgery, and is chair of the robotic surgery committee. Thanks to rigorous work and dedication, Providence is an accredited comprehensive center for bariatric surgery, as recognized by the American College of Surgeons. The Fort Payne, Alabama-native also serves as one of seven appointed physicians on the Mobile County Board of Health.
Tyler McDonald, M.D., a pediatric orthopaedic and spine surgeon at USA Health and an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Whiddon College of Medicine, is devoted to treating children with scoliosis and expanding their scope of care. The Grapevine, Texas-native recently created a new program that provides halo gravity traction to those with the condition. In the community, he serves as the vice president of the Mobile Chapter of AMBUCS, a national organization devoted to promoting independence in children with disabilities through adaptive tricycle use, and he regularly provides care to underserved children on mission trips.
Rachel Seaman, M.D., fills multiple leadership roles at USA Health. The chief quality officer, associate program director for the internal medicine residency program, and director of the academic hospitalist program also serves as an associate professor of internal medicine at the Whiddon College of Medicine. A member of the hospital peer review and safety committees, the Grand Bay, Alabama-native is passionately dedicated to quality, safety, and patient satisfaction across the USA Health system. Her community involvement includes leading workshops and classes to improve health literacy on topics including smoking cessation.
Peter Susman, chief administrative officer at the University of South Alabama, is responsible for the management of human resources, information technology, student financial services, the budget office, tax accounting, the university police, and internal audit. He leads development and compliance reporting for a $1.5-billion operating budget. Additionally, he serves on the boards of directors for the Community Foundation of South Alabama, USA National Alumni Association, and Ahavas Chesed Synagogue in Mobile, where he is an active member.
Jai Deep Thakur, M.D., a neurosurgeon at USA Health and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Whiddon College of Medicine, is the director of minimally invasive cranial and skull base neurosurgery and director of neurosurgery education. The Panchkula, India-native is often praised for his ability to put patients at ease, even in challenging circumstances. Thakur’s research has been extensively published in peer-reviewed journals, and he shares his expertise by mentoring medical students. He also is working to create a neurosurgical residency program at USA Health.