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USA Health System
News Release
Mobile, Ala. (August 10, 2009)
Contact: Paul Taylor, (251) 470-1682

Dr. William Richards To Lead Department of Surgery

Dr. William O. Richards  
Dr. William O. Richards
Dr. William O. Richards has been named professor and chair of the department of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Dr. Charles Rodning has served as interim chair for the department since Feb. 2006.

Prior to his appointment at USA, Dr. Richards was Ingram Professor of Surgical Sciences at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., where he was director of both laparoendoscopic surgery and the Vanderbilt Center for Weight Loss.

"Dr. Richards is an accomplished academician with almost 23 years of experience in academic medicine. During his career, he has demonstrated himself as an outstanding teacher, researcher and clinician," said Dr. Samuel J. Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine.


Dr. Richards’s clinical interests focus on surgical treatment for Type 2 diabetes and treating motility disorders of the gastrointestinal tract using minimally invasive surgical procedures. He has performed thousands of laparoscopic procedures since 1990, including numerous laparoscopic bariatric procedures.


His research interests include the measurement of magnetic fields to diagnose diseases of the gastrointestinal system. Throughout his career, his research activities have been funded by both the National Institutes of Health and industry. He holds a patent on noninvasive identification of intestinal gangrene using measurements of abnormal electromagnetic electrical rhythms. Recently he has investigated novel surgical procedures for treatment of diabetes including laparoscopic implantation of a gastric electrical stimulator.


Dr. Richards received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School Of Medicine in Baltimore. He completed his internship at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., and his surgery residency at the University of Maryland. Following his residency, Dr. Richards completed a surgical fellowship in portal hypertension and endoscopy at Emory University in Atlanta. In addition, he also completed a research fellowship in gastrointestinal motility at the Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.


In 2006, Dr. Richards was named Ingram Professor of Surgical Sciences at Vanderbilt and served as the President of the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. That same year, he was awarded along with his colleague, Dr. Alan Bradshaw, the Nightingale Prize from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. In 2008 he along with the leadership of the Tennessee Chapter of the ACS was instrumental in creating the Tennessee Surgical Quality Consortium which was funded by $2.5 million from Tennessee Blue Cross Foundation. This project created a consortium of 10 hospitals in Tennessee using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project NSQIP in order to improve surgical care within the State of Tennessee.


Currently, Dr. Richards serves on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons the editorial board for the Journal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques, on the Board of Governors of the Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and as the Chairman of the Emerging Technology Committee of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons.


Dr. Richards is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Surgical Association, the Society of University Surgeons, the Southern Surgical Association, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, the Association for Academic Surgery, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

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Date last changed: October 19, 2009 4:33 PM