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The MOMA Minute


Message from Executive Director

I want to offer a huge MOMA virtual hug to all of our members!  Most of you know me, but for those of you that I have not met, I look forward to meeting each and every one of you within the next year.  I had the pleasure of taking over as Executive Director for MOMA after Dr. Ed Williams retired from 2019. I have loved every minute working on behalf of our great association.  It has indeed been an honor to represent MOMA and osteopathic medicine in Mississippi.  For those of you that don't know, I have been working for WCUCOM for the past eight years and am immersed daily in all things osteopathic medicine.  I currently serve as the Assistant Dean of Clinical Operations for WCUCOM in addition to my role as Executive Director for MOMA.  In 2019, we hit the ground running and attended and co-hosted many events with MOMA members.  In January of 2020, we had an extraordinary Winter Meeting, with record attendance and a robust student track, and a poster session.  As you all know, 2020 has undoubtedly provided many challenges for our world in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we were not able to host our Annual Coast Conference; however, MOMA is still thriving and has some great things in store under the leadership of Dr. Morris and the Board of Directors.  The new MOMA website is one of the improvements that we have been working on, and we hope to make it an active area of engagement for all of our members and the public.  I encourage all of you to log in and update your member profiles as we prepare for what we hope to be a busy and productive 2021!  I want to thank Dr. Ed Williams for all of the years of hard work he and Mrs. Jane gave to lay a strong foundation for our association as we move into the future.  I pledge to work equally as hard on behalf of our members to continue to grow and develop our association with our talented leadership.  I hope you are all staying safe and we thank you for your service to the great state of Mississippi every day, and certainly working on the frontlines fighting this pandemic.  You are all heroes!
Makayla Merritt, Ph.D., MPH
Executive Director


MOMA's New look

MOMA is proud to launch our new website!  We hope this new website will be a shared space for our members and those interested in our association can stay informed and learn more about osteopathic medicine.  MOMA members now have their own member accounts and the ability to interact with one another through their account.  Need to Renew your MOMA Membership? Visit our new website to renew your membership and update your member profile today!



The President's Report





Welcome, New Members!

The Mississippi Osteopathic Medical Association's mission is to promote quality osteopathic medicine in Mississippi. As a new member, you now have access to all of the benefits MOMA has to offer. We are delighted to have you as part of our team! Reach out to us at any time. We are here to serve you.


Annual Business Meeting

On September 4, 2020, MOMA hosted a virtual annual business meeting and inducted new and returning At-Large and Specialist Board of Directors to serve as leaders in our association.  Dr. Morris provided a 'Year in Review' presentation to all of those in attendance.  CLICK HERE to view his presentation.  
2020-2022 MOMA At-Large Directors
  • Kerry Scott, DO – Meridian
  • Katherine Pannel, DO – Oxford
  • Beth Lindsey – DO – Corinth
  • James Mitchell, DO – Biloxi
  • Jonathan Reves, DO – Clinton
2020-2022 MOMA Specialist Director
  • David Roy, DO - Hattiesburg
*Dr. John Mutziger rotated off the MOMA board this year after many years of service as a board member and past-president.  Thank you for your service Dr. Mutziger.


Government Affairs

2020 MOMA Delegates:

W Ashley Hood, D.O., Delegate and Delegation Chair
Dr. Hood serves as chairman of our Government Affairs Task Force. He is a MOMA Past-President (2013-2015) and has been active at the National level with the AOA and ACOOG. In 2019, he was the Chair of the OMED planning committee. Dr. Hood is an OB/GYN in Flowood, MS, and a fantastic advocate for osteopathic medicine.
Seger S. Morris, DO, MBA, Delegate
Dr. Morris is our current MOMA President, and he also serves as chairman of our Member Value Task Force. He is very involved in advocacy and health policy within our state and nationally. He currently serves on the board of directors for the AOF and the MMPAC, and just recently cycled off of the AOA BOT. In 2019, Dr. Morris was voted one of the Top 10 Emerging Leaders in the Nation by the AOF. Dr. Morris is an internist at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, MS, where he is Program Director for the proposed Internal Medicine Residency Program. He also is the Regional Assistant Dean for Clinical Rotations of Baptist Memorial Health Care and Director of Health Policy for WCUCOM.
Peyton Preece, D.O., Delegate

Dr. Preece is our current MOMA President-Elect. He is very involved in osteopathic clinical education and serves as the Director of Student Medical Education at Magnolia Regional Health Center. Dr. Preece was recently nominated by MOMA for the 2020 AOF James M. Lally Emerging Leader Award. Dr. Preece is an internist at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth, MS, where he is the Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Richard C. Calderone, D.O., MPH, Alternate Delegate
Dr. Calderone sits on the Executive Board for MOMA as Secretary. He is very involved in osteopathic clinical education and works directly with osteopathic medical students at WCUCOM and residents at Forrest General Hospital. In addition, he is the Medical Director for the FGH Preoperative Medical Clinic. Dr. Calderone was recently selected as a fellow for the CDC's Population Health Training in Place and Preventive Medicine Fellowship program. Dr. Calderone is residency-trained in internal medicine and pediatrics and works as faculty in the Family Medicine Residency program at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, MS.
William S. Mayo, D.O., Alternate Delegate
Dr. Mayo is a MOMA Past-President (1984-1985 and 1990-1991) and a longtime supporter of our association. Dr. Mayo has been very active in his career in both state and national level advocacy, serving in leadership positions with MOMA, the MSBML, and the AOA. In fact, Dr. Mayo was the first Mississippian ever to serve as president of the AOA (2018-2019)! He is also currently a member of the AOA BOT as Immediate Past-President. Dr. Mayo is an Ophthalmologist in Oxford, MS.
Katherine Pannel, D.O., Alternate Delegate
Dr. Pannel is currently an At-Large member of the MOMA Board of Directors. She is a fierce advocate for mental health, osteopathic medicine, and health policy in the state of Mississippi. Dr. Pannel is also an active member of MSMA, serving on the COVID Task Force and Legislative Council. In addition to MOMA, she sits on the board of directors for both MSMA and the M.S. Psychiatric Association. Dr. Pannel is the first Mississippi Physician to ever serve on delegations at both the AMA and AOA House of Delegates! Dr. Pannel is a psychiatrist in Oxford, MS.
Tayler Thibodeaux, OMS 2, Student Delegate
St. Dr. Thibodeaux is the SGA President for the WCUCOM Class of 2023. She is a member of SOMA, SOMA Overdose Prevention Task Force, COSGP, the Gold Humanism Honors Society, and numerous WCUCOM student clubs. St. Dr. Thibodeaux was recently nominated as COSGP's "Most Influential General Council Member" and received a Silver Level for TOUCH hours from AACOM this past year. St. Dr. Thibodeaux is from Baton Rouge, LA, and is a graduate of Louisiana College. She has not decided on a specialty interest at this time.
Kory Christoffersen, OMS 2, Alternate Student Delegate
St. Dr. Christoffersen is the SGA Vice-President for the WCUCOM Class of 2023. He is also a member and secretary of Sigma Sigma Pi Alpha Mu Chapter, member and secretary of SOMA, COSGP and COSGP Legislative Affairs Committee, and treasurer of the WCUCOM ACOEP student chapter. St. Dr. Christoffersen is from Santa Cruz, CA, and is a graduate of the University of Oregon. He is interested in Orthopedic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, and Pediatric Endocrinology. 

Postdoctoral Trainees

Post-doc Training in a pandemic:

As many of you can agree, residency is a time of substantial learning curves, ups and downs, hard lessons, long nights, and interesting experiences that become crowd-pleasers at parties. Just as everyone is adjusting their practice or schooling in the new circumstances we all find ourselves, one thing I never expected from my residency training was how to be an Emergency Medicine physician in a global pandemic.
Emergency medicine is potentially one of the specialties more dramatically affected my COVID, especially with our many required ICU rotations. But this pandemic has seeped through every aspect of medicine, leaving no specialty untouched. It would be easy to dwell on all of the stressful parts of this, like holding the hand of a patient while their family says goodbye on facetime, consults refusing to take patients who desperately need their specific service because "they might have the virus,", fighting for adequate PPE, or ensuring our incoming interns include more than COVID in their differential.
But instead, I have been privy to a unique phenomenon, where I have seen physicians, nurses, and hospital administration come together to do everything possible to keep patients and employees safe while navigating uncharted territory and continuing to provide good medical care to some of the sickest patients in Mississippi. Furthermore, I have seen some of these same physicians, some of whom are a part of the MOMA family, rise above, and become advocates on the front lines. These physicians ensure patient safely when others do not. They ensure adequate resources when budget cuts put us in danger, and they provide exceptional, compassionate care in situations for which we were never trained.
As exhausted as we all are, it seems that our profession has a knack for being particularly adaptable. I am honored to be a part of an organization where overwhelmingly; the members are those physicians paving the way through this pandemic with determination to do what is right for our patients in a time that it would be easier than ever to cut corners in the name of burnout.  This new normal is still an adjustment, but as I continue my second year of residency, I know that training in this time will better prepare me for anything else I might face in my career, and hopefully develop into the kind of community leader that is so well-demonstrated by the members of MOMA.
Victoria Ross, DO PGY-2
Dpt. of Emergency Medicine
University of Mississippi Medical Center
MOMA BOD Resident Representative


William Carey university college of osteopathic medicine

MOMA is proud to have a partnership with William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM).


History of WCUCOM:

WCUCOM was officially established on March 3, 2008, in response to the need for more physicians in the medically underserved gulf south region of the United States. In the fall of 2009, WCUCOM began recruiting its inaugural class of students. On August 14, 2010, 100 students started their journey to become osteopathic physicians at WCUCOM.
Since 2014, WCUCOM has graduated nearly 700 new osteopathic physicians.


Ever Growing: 

On September 9, 2019, WCUCOM announced that it would increase its class size from 100 to 200 students over the next three years. On August 3, 2020, WCUCOM welcomed more than 150 new students. In 2021 and 2022, the medical school plans to accept 175 and 200 students, respectively.
Along with the increased student population, WCUCOM will add more than 35,000 square feet of academic facility space. The additional space will include more classrooms, laboratory space, study areas, and a full student lounge.



National Recognition:

In its 2020 rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine No. 3 nationwide in producing the highest percentage of primary care residents. The 2020 ranking is based on data from 2017 to 2019 and includes allopathic and osteopathic medical schools. From 2017 to 2019, 78 percent of WCUCOM's graduates entered primary care residencies.

moma member spotlight

Double Trouble:

In honor of the first edition of The MOMA Minute, we have decided to do a double member spotlight. Meet Dr. Keith Speed and Dr. Robert Bailey. 

Dr. Keith Speed grew up in Magee, Mississippi. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi in medical technology. He was the first in his family to become a physician. Dr. Speed received his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1985. In 1986 he returned home to start a rural family medicine practice in Tylertown, Mississippi. He served as a preceptor for osteopathic and allopathic medical students and was part of the founding clinical faculty at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He currently serves as Senior Associate Dean for WCUCOM.

Dr. Speed has been a member of MOMA since 1986 and served as president in 1995. He is also a member of the American Osteopathic Association, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, Mississippi State Medical Association. He has served on the board of directors for Southeast Mississippi Air Ambulance District and Walthall County Airport Board. He continues to serve as an aviation medical examiner for the federal aviation administration.

Dr. Robert Bailey is a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Mississippi and a master's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He received his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Bailey completed a rotating internship at Suncoast Hospital, completed a Neurology residency at the University of South Alabama, and he completed his Naval/Marine Flight Surgeon training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute.

Dr. Bailey has served in general medicine, general neurology private practice, as a neurology consultant and physician with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, served on active duty with the United States Navy and Army, and has served on four combat tours with the United States Army, earning the Combat Medical Badge as well as the Combat Action Badge. He is a Naval/Marine and Army flight surgeon. Additionally, Dr. Bailey serves with the Alabama Army National Guard as an active reservist. Dr. Robert Bailey joined WCUCOM in 2010 and currently serves as Assistant professor of Clinical and Preclinical sciences.


Don't forget to register!

OMED 2020: Envision a path to success

The AOA is excited to launch their first virtual OMED, coming your way Oct. 15-18. The can't-miss CME event of the year offers the opportunity to earn up to 30 hours of Category 1 CME credit selected from more than 100 hours of programming focused on clinical practice, advancements in medicine and COVID-19 treatment and care.  For more information, visit


Save-the Date MOMA's 40th annual Coast conference


MOMA is proud to host a meeting each summer in beautiful Sandestin.  We are even more excited to come back together for our 40th Annual Coast Conference on June 1-5, 2021!  The CME program will feature outstanding speakers and experts in their fields. Sessions will address current and forthcoming medical issues of concern and interest. Topics will have particular appeal to primary care providers. Registration is now open, visit