This year GAFP received a total of 58 research poster submissions from pre-med students, medical students, residents, and physicians/fellows. Posters were accessible virtually to attendees and displayed on-site at the Annual Meeting in the Social and Information Hub. The winners were then given the opportunity to present their research on the main stage during a CME session.
GAFP is excited to share the research poster competition winners and their abstracts:
Patients’ Use of the Federally Qualified Health Center Mobile App and Online Patient Portal in Southwest GA
Alexandra McComas (pre-medical student) at SOWEGA AHEC
Additional Author(s) – Loulie Hattaway, Jeramie Stokes
Abstract – Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) refers to developed IT systems, artificial intelligence, & medical devices that are used to store, share, and analyze health information. HIT is currently being used to improve many aspects of the healthcare system from healthcare professional and patient perspectives. Examples such as mobile applications and online patient portals enable patients to schedule appointments, pay balances, refill prescriptions, and access lab results. HIT has been proven to improve the quality of care in patients at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). To study the effect of mobile apps and patient portals, a cross-sectional survey was conducted with patients over the age of 18 receiving care at an FQHC in Albany, GA. There is a significant correlation between awareness and use of HIT with factors such as race, age, education, etc. The findings suggest that patients who understand the benefits are more likely to use this HIT. The study also suggests that there are opportunities that can increase the awareness of mobile and web-based portals.
The Effects of External Jugular Compression on Brain Structure and Function in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients
Zach Brieck (medical student) at Mercer Savannah
Additional Author(s) – Kathryn Batchler and John Ashby
Abstract-Objective: Literature review analyzing the effects of a jugular vein compression collar on brain composition and function following periods of physical impacts to the head.
Methods: Data sources: PubMed Database. Study selection: 17 original studies analyzing the physical and cognitive effects between groups assigned to wear a jugular vein compression collar and their relative controls by comparing neuroimages of the brain and cognitive function tests before and after head impacts.
Results: Following review of 38 articles, 17 studies met inclusion criteria. In terms of brain
composition, neuroimaging and data showed significant post-trauma differences in white matter changes, histological markers of degeneration, and risk of hemorrhage between those that did not wear a collar and those that did. Functionally, differences in EEG and fMRI changes were significantly more present in subjects who wore the collar compared those that did not. Task accuracy between subjects who wore the collar and those who did not had mixed results, but response time was not affected by collar use.
Conclusion: Our review of the 17 studies indicates that there is a level of protection to the brain, both compositionally and functionally, that results from wearing a jugular vein compression collar during periods of impact to the head that was not evident in the controls. While external protection such as helmets have proven beneficial in reducing brain injury, these findings suggest a role for additional “internal” protection in significantly decreasing the incidence of microtraumas and the effects of subconcussive impacts.
Dearth of Psychiatric Resources for Pregnant Women in Georgia
Jungwon Choi, MD (resident) at Emory University
Additional Author(s) – Dr. Ambar Kulshreshtha
Abstract – For the past few years, Georgia has had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the U.S. One of the leading causes of maternal mortality are mental health conditions, but very few pregnant patients with psychiatric conditions are receiving any form of treatment. This is concerning given the significant number of adverse outcomes that can occur in pregnant women who suffer from psychiatric illnesses, including premature delivery, fetal distress and several other obstetric and neonatal complications. One patient case at Emory University is about a pregnant patient with bipolar disorder complicated by psychosis and delusions. She had a very prolonged stay in the hospital due to a lack of psychiatric facilities in the state that were able to care for pregnant patients. For several months, she stayed in the same antepartum room as providers gave her psychotropics and provided the prenatal care she should’ve received on an outpatient basis. Although keeping the patient inpatient was deemed medically necessary for both the patient and fetus’s health, the patient’s prolonged stay certainly utilized a significant amount of hospital resources and was, at times, emotionally distressing for the patient herself. The antepartum floor is not best suited for a patient who has specific obstetric and psychiatric needs. Pregnant women with psychiatric illnesses deserve the same access to treatment as their non-pregnant counterparts. Hopefully, this case report will shed light on how we need to work to improve the current healthcare system to support this vulnerable population.
MRSA Outbreak in High School Athletics
Rachel Latremouille, MD (resident), Augusta University
Additional Author(s) – Tracy Phan, DO, Emma Ratchford, ATC, Rebecca Goldman, ATC, Lisa Branon, ATC, Christopher Ledford, MD
Abstract – Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause skin infections. Infections are usually limited to boils or abscesses however it can lead to more serious infections and even hospitalization. Athletes participating in contact sports are at increased risk of infection with MRSA due to direct skin trauma, skin to skin contact, and frequent contact with playing surfaces. Improper sanitary measures such as infrequent washing of jerseys and equipment or sharing of personal items such as razors, soap, and ointments can lead to a MRSA outbreak within a sports team and community.
An outbreak of MRSA among a local high school football team was suspected by an outreach athletic trainer of Augusta University health. Initially, student athletes were treated with varying antibiotics or antifungals of variable duration and return to play protocols. The sport medicine outreach leadership team promptly updated its MRSA prevention and treatment guidelines which detailed sport specific sanitation, local antibiogram, and guidelines for return to play. The immediate dissemination of validated information allowed for mobilization of staff members and families who then played an integral part in minimizing disease spread. Additionally, teamwork between the athletic trainers, coaching staff, athletic department leadership and sports medicine staff as well as the quick dissemination of these guidelines lead to end of the spread and, ultimately, resolution of the outbreak.
Unilateral Hyperintensity in the Basal Ganglia/Striata: A Case Study of Nonketotic Hyperglycemia
Florence Baralatei, MD; Aparna Satsangi, MD (GAFP active member physician)
Abstract: Nonketotic hyperglycemia (NKH) is a rare but potentially reversible cause of acute chorea associated with uncontrolled hyperglycemia.  The most common cause of hemichorea hemiballismus syndrome is the vascular insult in the contralateral striatum or subthalamic nucleus. However, it can occur secondary to a variety of other causes like tumors, encephalitis, neurodegenerative disorders, drugs, ipsilateral chronic subdural hemorrhage, and metabolic disorders such as non-ketotic hyperglycemia.  This case study presents an 84-year-old female patient with a history of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes who developed sudden onset hemichorea due to a developed LEFT unilateral T1 hyperintensity in the basal ganglia/striata sparing the internal capsule, and how her symptoms improved with treatment. This phenomenon is rare and should be considered as a differential diagnosis, especially in elderly patients with a history of poorly controlled DM II. . 
Thank you to all who participated in the poster competition as all submissions were exceptional and deserve recognition. Congrats again to this year’s winners – Alexandra McComas, Zach Brieck, Dr. Jungwon Choi, Dr. Rachel Latremouille, and Dr. Florence Baralatei as an honorable mention in our active member category. Please visit the GAFP ePosters site to explore all of the posters that participated in this year’s competition.