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These award-winning physicians have additional qualifications, including research and academic contributions, volunteer work within healthcare, and training at top institutions.

Published Mar 27th, 2024

Four USA Health physicians – including a complex care pediatrician, a surgeon, a pediatric oncologist and a pulmonologist — have been named Exceptional Women in Medicine for 2024 by Castle Connelly.

The Exceptional Women in Medicine list recognizes female Castle Connolly Top Doctors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, expertise and dedication in their respective fields. In addition to meeting the requirements to be selected as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor, these physicians also have additional qualifications, including research and academic contributions, volunteer work within healthcare, and training at top institutions. To qualify, physicians must be nominated by their peers.

USA Health physicians receiving recognition are:

LaDonna M. Crews

LaDonna M. Crews, M.D., FAAP, a physician who specializes in complex care pediatrics at USA Health, has been a passionate advocate for her patients, dedicating her practice to creating a medical home for children with complex medical needs. In 2023, she received the Marsha Raulerson Advocacy Award by the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

As part of the region’s only academic health system, Crews serves as an associate professor of pediatrics at the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama. In 2019, Crews led the effort to establish the first Pediatrics Complex Care Clinic in Alabama. Located at the Strada Patient Care Center, the USA Health Pediatrics Complex Care Clinic staff sees children with medical complexities, who often face significant obstacles regarding their care.

Donna Lynn Dyess

Donna Lynn Dyess, M.D., FACS, is a breast and endocrine surgeon at USA Health and a professor of surgery at the Whiddon College of Medicine. She works as part of a multidisciplinary team caring for patients suffering from breast cancer. For more than 10 years, Dyess has volunteered at Victory Health Partners, which provides affordable healthcare services for medically underserved individuals in the Mobile area.

She serves on the medical advisory committee for the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings for women ages 40 to 64 who are uninsured and have a household income at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. Dyess is board certified in surgery and surgical critical care. She sees patients at the Breast and Endocrine Surgery Clinic at the Strada Patient Care Center and at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute.

Karen A. Fagan

Karen A. Fagan, M.D., who is triple board certified in internal medicine, critical care medicine and pulmonary disease, is an accomplished clinician and researcher at USA Health. She is a professor of internal medicine and pharmacology at the Whiddon College of Medicine, director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care and director of the pulmonary hypertension center at USA Health, which she helped establish after moving to Alabama.

Since 2019, Fagan has been awarded the Exceptional Women in Medicine designation by Castle Connelly Top Doctors each year. She has served as the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Board of Trustees chair, and as a member of the Scientific Leadership Council (SLC), the SLC research committee and the editorial board of Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension, among other leadership positions.

Felicia L. Wilson

Felicia L. Wilson, M.D., is a professor of pediatrics at the Whiddon College of Medicine, where she also has served as director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. A member of the faculty since 1992, she became the first faculty recipient of the “Humanism in Medicine Award” in recognition of her compassion, empathy and cultural sensitivity in the delivery of care to patients and their families in 2000. Throughout her career, she has been recognized at a national level being named one of “America’s Top Oncologists,” in 2009 and as one of “America’s Top Pediatricians” in 2004 and 2010 by the Consumers’ Research Council of America. In 2011, she was featured in Ebony magazine, among others, for her involvement in Be Sickle Smart, a national campaign aimed at raising awareness.

Wilson received substantial grant funding to conduct critical clinical trials to advance new therapies as USA Health’s principal investigator for the Children’s Oncology Group, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the National Institutes of Health. She is active in city, state and national level policy oversight of programs for children with sickle cell disease and has served as president of the Alabama Sickle Cell Oversight and Regulatory Commission.

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