Trauma Surgeon ‘Williams Hogue named director of USA Center for Healthy Communities


Introducing Ashley Williams Hogue, M.D., a compassionate trauma surgeon at USA Health University Hospital, whose unwavering dedication to her community is inspiring.

Alongside her role as co-founder of Project Inspire, a program aimed at preventing gun violence, Dr. Williams Hogue has embraced yet another leadership opportunity to drive local change. Recently appointed as the director of the USA Center for Healthy Communities, an arm of the University of South Alabama, she will tackle health disparities, enhance healthcare accessibility for underserved populations, and empower individuals to take charge of their well-being.

Dr. Williams Hogue’s motivation to assume this position stems from her desire to spearhead vital transformations within the community. She regards the Center for Healthy Communities as a gateway connecting the University of South Alabama with the people it serves.

Recognizing the value of fostering an enduring partnership between medicine, research, and the community, she enthusiastically joins the team at the forefront of this collaborative effort. Furthermore, as an assistant professor of surgery at the esteemed Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine, she comprehends the significance of this synergy and strives to contribute her expertise.

With her outspoken advocacy against gun violence and commitment to community wellness, Dr. Williams Hogue embodies an ideal fit for her new role. John V. Marymont, M.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Whiddon College of Medicine, praises her as a true catalyst for change within their academic health system and the broader community. Anticipating her future endeavors, he eagerly awaits witnessing the expansion of the center’s mission and impact under her guidance.

A core aspect of the center’s mission is translating research into practical solutions where they are most needed. Already, the center has organized vaccination clinics, educational events, and farmers markets in underserved communities, aiming to bridge gaps, address disparities, and enhance healthcare access.

Owen Bailey, M.S.H.A., CEO of USA Health and senior associate vice president for medical affairs, commends Dr. Williams Hogue as an advocate for those she serves, emphasizing her passion and determination to foster a healthier community for all residents. In her new position, she will gain greater access to the resources of the university and the academic health system, equipping her with the necessary tools to unlock new possibilities for patients and their families.

As the Future Trauma Leader, bestowed with this title by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, Dr. Williams Hogue has already set her sights on the goals she wishes to achieve in her new capacity. She recognizes the criticality of evidence-informed interventions and preventive strategies, which can be promptly implemented in the community to alleviate prevailing health burdens. Communities often grapple with advanced diseases, systemic barriers, and social determinants that hinder their ability to thrive. By working alongside medicine and research, Dr. Williams Hogue aims to address these challenges and foster positive health outcomes.

In 2002, the University of South Alabama established the Center for Healthy Communities, utilizing its academic and healthcare resources to address pressing health concerns in the region, with a particular focus on reducing health disparities among African American, Native American, Hispanic, and Asian communities. The state also faces significant challenges, including a high prevalence of multiple chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes, as reported in America’s Health Rankings 2022 Annual Report. Consequently, prioritizing access to care and education is paramount to the community’s well-being.

Numerous studies emphasize the positive impact of community participation on health outcomes. Dr. Williams Hogue believes that the Mobile area is well-positioned to tackle the task at hand. With a robust academic health system boasting ample resources and capabilities, coupled with quality medical care and research, the efficient delivery of resources and programs that cater to the public’s overall health needs can be achieved by partnering with community stakeholders.

In her personal life, Dr. Williams Hogue is married to Antwan Hogue, M.D., a senior hospitalist at USA Health and a collaborating physician with the Johnson Haynes, Jr., M.D., Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center. Together, they have the privilege of raising three children, further reinforcing their commitment to family and community.

Through her role as a trauma surgeon, co-founder of Project Inspire, and now as the director of the USA Center for Healthy Communities, Dr. Ashley Williams Hogue is dedicated to making a lasting impact on the well-being of her community. With her unwavering passion, expertise, and drive for positive change, she strives to address health disparities, improve healthcare access, and empower individuals to take control of their health. Her vision, coupled with the collaborative efforts of the university, the academic health system, and community stakeholders, promises a healthier and more equitable future for all.

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