Office of Accreditation and Planning
The Office of Accreditation and Planning was established in 2017 within the Whiddon College of Medicine to provide management and oversight for the accreditation and strategic planning processes of the College of Medicine.
Timothy Gilbert, Ed.D
Associate Dean, Accreditation and Planning
Dr. Gilbert is responsible for the work of the Office of Accreditation and Planning
which includes maintaining compliance with the requirements of the Liaison Committee
on Medical Education (LCME), tracking achievement of College of Medicine Strategic
Plan Priorities, and participate in the Continuous Quality Improvement Committee.
Additionally, Dr. Gilbert frequently assists students with maximizing their academic
performance. He also is a member of the Dean’s Cabinet and serves on college and university
David S. Williams, Ph.D., MPA
Assistant Dean, Institutional and Academic Success
Dr. Williams leads and oversees academic support programs that the college provides
to its students, including individual counseling of students, workshops to help students
understand how to achieve academic success, a method for more closely monitoring student
success, and a peer tutoring program. Dr. Williams also supports program assessment
initiatives to enhance the college’s review and revision of its curriculum to further
define measurable learning objectives that lead to academic improvement.
Melisa Pierce, MPA
Director, Quality Improvement
Mrs. Pierce supervises the CQI process across the College of Medicine and directs
the CQI Committee work. She administers the WEAVE platform for assessment related
material and serves as liaison to the USA Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Mrs.
Pierce supports all LCME activities including preparation of required documents, document
review and annual review of LCME processes. She works in the Office of Accreditation
and Planning (OAP) to collaborate, problem solve and innovate effective practices
for the office.
Russell W. Cantrell, MSCIS, MBA
Director, Data Administration and Strategic Initiatives
Mr. Cantrell is in charge of managing the databases that support the objectives of the Office of Accreditation and Planning. He directs the implementation and use of business intelligence tools, helping to synthesize and interpret data from various sources across the College of Medicine. Mr. Cantrell ensures the integrity of medical education data and prepares reports for accrediting agencies, university administration, and public relations. He additionally serves as a member of the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and Strategic Planning committees.
Angie O'Neal, M.Ed.
Director, Learning Support Services
Mrs. O'Neal leads and collaborates on initiatives that support student learning and academic success, including individual or small group academic counseling, assisting students with the development of their individual development plans, and academic skill building in areas such as time management, productivity modeling, and test-taking strategies. Mrs. O'Neal evaluates student support services offerings via formal and informal data to make decisions about existing, new, and potential services.
Mrs. Walley provides administrative support for the Office of Accreditation and Planning.
Focuses of Accreditation and Planning
The LCME is the accrediting body for all schools in the US and Canada that offer the Medical Doctor degree. LCME accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines whether the medical education program meets established standards. The USA Whiddon College of Medicine holds full accreditation at the highest level demonstrating that graduates exhibit professional competencies that are appropriate for entry to the next stage of their training.
Continuous Quality Improvement
The Office of Accreditation and Planning conducts regular assessment and planning leading to impactful quality improvement in the University of South Alabama College of Medicine (USACOM). In accordance with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Element 1.1, the University of South Alabama College of Medicine “engages in ongoing planning and continuous quality improvement processes that establish short and long-term programmatic goals, result in the achievement of measurable outcomes that are used to improve programmatic quality, and ensure effective monitoring of the medical education program’s compliance with accreditation standards.”
The Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Committee, a standing committee of the USACOM Executive Council, oversees a systematic monitoring system that conducts cyclical review and propose action plans to ensure effective processes for maintaining compliance with all Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation elements, USACOM Strategic Plan (SP) and institutional effectiveness. For each LCME element and USACOM SP priority, the committee is responsible for determining the frequency with which review occurs, the data sources used to monitor compliance, the criteria for success (i.e., outcomes/benchmarks), the individuals or groups who collect the data, and the individuals or groups who receive the results of monitoring. The committee also documents CQI initiatives, maintains element-specific assessment plans, reviews results of CQI initiatives, and approves use of these results for improvement.
The CQI Committee reviews the medical education program’s compliance with LCME elements. The committee establishes measuring criteria to determine whether the medical education program is in compliance with each LCME element. Elements with which the medical education program is and has been in compliance are designated as elements for quality assurance review. Elements that are (1) “prone to slippage” or (2) were cited by the LCME in previous surveys are designated as elements for CQI monitoring. The CQI committee established goals for improvement that are defined in outcome-based terms, identifies individuals responsible for collecting data, determines the frequency with which such review of the data occurs, and assesses progress toward goals until full compliance is achieved for CQI elements identified for monitoring.