School Department News

Osteopathic Medicine

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 8:53am
The first fully-equipped medical multirotor drone with telemedicine capability is the newest innovation from Dr. Italo Subbarao, an associate dean and associate professor at the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Guy Paul Cooper Jr., a third-year Carey medical student from Wheaton, Illinois.
Subbarao and Cooper have been working on the project, called Healthcare Integrated Rescue Operations (HiRO), since 2014. HiRO is a follow-up to the team’s previous project, an analysis of the use of Twitter during the February 2013 Hattiesburg tornado and an application of the social network’s usefulness to other crisis situations. Their findings from the Twitter project were published in June in PLOS Currents: Disasters, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and then shared internationally.
According to Subbarao, the HiRO prototype, a modified DJI S1000+ drone, is capable of carrying an advanced, 20-pound telemedical kit and delivering it to someone in need of medical attention in areas where emergency personnel may not be able to reach quickly. Subbarao also notes that the drone can be used to reach areas that health rescue personnel may not want to enter immediately, such as a suspected Ebola outbreak in a third-world country.
“The purpose of the project is to get timely life-saving medications, vaccines and equipment to victims in a disaster area or in a remote location through the use of GPS,” said Subbarao.
A hypothetical situation Subbarao envisions involves a hiker on a rural path with limited access to emergency medicine. When the hiker is injured or faces another situation, such as a heart attack, he dials 911. The HiRO drone is dispatched and is able to deliver the medical kit, which is customized to the hiker’s emergency. When the hiker opens the medical kit, he is greeted by a live video broadcast directing him on how to use the medicine or equipment.
“Embedded inside of the kit is a smartphone, which enables a live video chat between the injured party and the physician,” said Subbarao.
Subbarao hopes to eventually deploy a fleet of the HiRO drones throughout the state and nation and particularly to rural, underserved areas. He added that the project could also be used for a number of different purposes, such as military medicine or in the event of a hazardous material situation.
“The drone can be enabled with advanced features, including a sensor that can detect hazardous chemicals,” he said. “It could fly over an area and then sound an alarm that could tell firemen or emergency medical personnel not to enter.”
The HiRO project could also be used to help teach emergency medicine, said Subbarao.
“For example, medical students at Carey could work on the technical side of the drone and also learn emergency response techniques,” he said.
The team is currently conducting demonstrations of the prototype and building additional modular kits. A cardiac kit has already been assembled and is in the testing stages. Subbarao and Cooper are planning Ebola and trauma kits in the near future.
Cooper, who is currently completing clinical rotations in Gulfport, believes the project’s value can be found in its ability to avoid obstacles traditionally faced in health care delivery.
“HiRO can overcome obstacles such as traffic and hazardous materials, but it also has the ability to give emergency responders a quick survey of a crisis scene and a way to provide treatment,” he said.
The team sees a bright future for the HiRO project.
“Although the project is still in the quality control testing stages, we believe it can transform health care delivery around the world,” said Subbarao.
A demonstration video of HiRO is available at
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 1:45pm
A memorial service for Dr. Henry Pace, a pioneer of osteopathic medicine in Mississippi and an advocate and supporter of the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, will be held at 1 p.m. on October 9 in Bass Memorial Chapel on the Carey Hattiesburg campus.
A Tennessee native, Pace was introduced to osteopathic medicine while teaching at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in Missouri. He started recruiting students for osteopathic medical schools and continued this practice when he joined the faculty of the University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy. While at Ole Miss, Pace advised the student who would become Mississippi’s first doctor of osteopathic medicine.
Pace’s efforts also resulted in osteopathic physicians achieving full practice rights in the state in 1973. He worked with the American Osteopathic Association and local legislators to achieve this right. His efforts have resulted in over 2,000 students attending or graduating from osteopathic medical schools. Pace was also instrumental in the establishment of the Mississippi Osteopathic Medical Association and was active in the association’s operations.
Pace worked with university officials to help establish Carey’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is the first osteopathic medical school in Mississippi. The medical college, established in 2010, was granted full accreditation from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and graduated its inaugural class in 2014. A second class graduated in 2015. Over 400 students are now enrolled at the medical college.
The student lounge at the Carey medical college is named in memory of Pace, who was a friend and advisor to Carey’s medical administrators, faculty members and students. Pace was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carey and the state osteopathic medical association in May.
Pace, 85, died on October 4 in Water Valley. He had lived in his adopted hometown of Oxford since 1968. Memorials may be sent to the Henry Pace Scholarship at the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, WCU Box 141, 498 Tuscan Avenue, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, or donated online at
Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 8:17am
Three second-year medical students at the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine were honored with special awards during the sixth annual White Coat Ceremony on August 15 in Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
Christen Jones of Moselle received the Asbury Award for Academic Excellence, which was endowed by the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg and is given annually to recognize the student from the foundation’s eight-county service area who achieves the highest grade point average during the freshman year of study.
Preference is given to a student who intends to practice in Mississippi. Dr. William K. “Bill” Ray, the president of the foundation, presented Jones with a medallion and Dr. Tommy King, Carey president, awarded Jones with a cash gift to apply to her medical education. Jones is a 2013 graduate of Carey with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Jeffrey Griffis of Hattiesburg was presented with the Ross Award for Excellence in Anatomy, which recognizes the student with the highest grade point average in anatomy. It is given on an annual basis to a medical student from Mississippi who plans to practice in the state after completion of medical school. 
The Ross Award was established by Dr. Randy Ross, chairman of the department of surgery at Hattiesburg Clinic, and his wife, Brenda. The Rosses presented Griffis with a medallion and a cash stipend to be applied to medical school tuition. Griffis is a 2013 graduate of Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a 2014 graduate of Carey’s Master of Biomedical Science program.
Kristen Stevenson of Frisco, Texas, was awarded the Gulfport Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship for academic merit. The hospital auxiliary provided funds for two scholarships, including the medical student scholarship and a scholarship for a student enrolled in the Carey School of Nursing. Dr. James Turner, dean of the medical college, presented Stevenson with a certificate. Stevenson is a 2013 graduate of the Centenary College of Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree in biology.
“Establishing an endowed scholarship for students in the medical field is a fine way to leave a lasting legacy to an individual, a loved one or family member, while also enhancing medical services available to an underserved area of our nation,” said King as he expressed his appreciation to award and scholarship donors.
The Carey medical college, the second medical school in Mississippi and the state’s only osteopathic medical school, was established in 2010 to address the severe shortage of physicians in Mississippi and surrounding states and to impact the health care of rural Mississippians. The inaugural class graduated in 2014 followed by the second class in 2015. The White Coat Ceremony, held each August, welcomes the medical college’s newest class of students.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 11:20am
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 11:18am
The William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine hosted the sixth annual White Coat Ceremony for the new medical college class, the Class of 2019, on August 15 in Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
During the ceremony, each student was ceremonially cloaked with a white medical coat, which signifies the excellence and caring nature demanded of those entering the medical profession, in front of university administration, faculty and family members. After receiving their coats, students then signed their names in the “Big Red Book,” a tradition started by the inaugural class in 2010. Each class signs in to the book during the White Coat Ceremony and then signs out during commencement.
The new class consists of 108 students selected from 2,807 applicants. There are 56 men and 52 women in the class. In keeping with the medical college’s mission to serve the Gulf South region, 87 percent of the class is from Gulf South states, including 28 from Mississippi, 23 from Texas, 22 from Louisiana, eight from Florida and seven from Tennessee. A total of 16 states and two foreign countries are represented in the class.
The new class was also honored at a welcome reception on August 18 at the Historic Train Depot in Hattiesburg. The reception was co-sponsored by the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association, the Area Development Partnership, the City of Hattiesburg and the Forrest County Board of Supervisors.
The Carey medical college, the second medical school in Mississippi and the state’s only osteopathic medical school, was established in 2010 to address the severe shortage of physicians in Mississippi and surrounding states and to impact the health care of rural Mississippians. The inaugural class graduated in 2014 followed by the second class in 2015.