Online Newsroom

Welcome to the Online Newsroom! Below are press releases, organized by time release. For additional news information, please visit us on Facebook and YouTube.

If an emergency situation occurs where other normal communication channels may not be available (e.g. phones), the clinic will also use Twitter.

Jun 13, 2017

Clinic Offers Diabetes Support Group

  Did you know Hattiesburg Clinic offers a Diabetes Support Group? This is a free service available for individuals with diabetes, along with their family and friends, to learn how others in the community have improved their diabetes control and to hear from our diabetes health care team. The next meeting is Tuesday, July 11, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., at Cloverleaf Medical Plaza.
Jun 7, 2017

Tips for a Heart-Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

Tips for a Heart-Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

By Arthur C. Martin, MD, FACC Click for the PDF version of the article.

What is a heart-healthy diet?

The easier answer is what it is not. It is not “low fat, low cholesterol.” We have been misled for many years. Cholesterol in our food has little to do with cholesterol plaque blocking the arteries. (Eggs are fine.) A high fat diet benefits the body in many ways, including better absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K; a better immune system; and improved weight loss. The key is understanding the difference between unhealthy fats and healthy fats.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats usually refer to monounsaturated and, to an extent, polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are among the healthiest of fats, lowering inflammation and reducing heart risk. They are found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and trout, and in nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and avocados. The benefit of polyunsaturated fats depends on the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which are essential fats. Omega-3’s should dominate the omega-6’s, which promote inflammation. Vegetable oils (corn, soy, safflower, palm kernel) are high in omega-6 and are not healthy. Also, the olive oil in grocery stores is rarely extra virgin, despite the labeling. I recommend visiting an olive oil specialty store and discovering the difference. A local specialty store of this type is J.Olive in the Newpointe Shopping Center in Hattiesburg.

Unhealthy Fats

Saturated fat has been labeled the bad guy for decades, but it is highly controversial. There are now 50-year-old studies that have come to light showing that sugar and refined carbohydrates are more disease-causing than fat. Red meat has been associated with heart disease because, over the last 50 years, livestock have been fed a highly processed corn product rather than grasses, which are a cow’s natural food choice. The ratio of omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats in grass-fed beef is about 1 to 1, like fish, while in corn (grain)-fed beef the ratio is about 1 to 20. Grass-fed beef is a healthy fat. A local source is Stonnington Farm, available at Corner Market. On the other hand, farm-raised fish fed with commercial feed results in unhealthy fish compared to wild caught fish. This includes farm-raised salmon, tilapia and catfish. Corn product is also unhealthy for humans, as in high fructose corn syrup. The most dangerous fats are trans fats. If the label says, “partially hydrogenated,” do not buy it. Most importantly – cut out sugar and white flour.

So, what is a true heart-healthy diet?

Sorry, but there is no one easy answer. There are many approaches to putting this information into a healthy diet, depending on your preference and lifestyle. These include a plant-based diet (vegetarian, vegan), Mediterranean diet, DASH diet, and even a paleo diet. The principle of a paleo diet is that grains, in general, are inflammatory, and wheat is probably the worst. Processing it into white flour makes it worse yet. Many athletes follow a gluten-free diet to prevent excessive muscle and joint soreness, and it works. Eat real food from farm to table and stay away from processed junk. For example, a vegan diet can be healthy or unhealthy depending on food choices. If it is filled with sugar, cereals and refined carbs, it will not be good for you. A healthy diet suppresses chronic systemic inflammation.

Chronic Systemic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a leading cause of many health problems, including heart and vascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and many cancers. Inflamed blood vessels promote plaque formation. Lowering chronic inflammation is far more important than lowering fat and cholesterol intake.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

In addition to omega-3 fats, these include fresh fruits, berries and vegetables, particularly alliums (garlic, scallions, onions, leeks) and crucifers (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts). Ground flax seeds and chia seeds have high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. I personally add about a tablespoon of each to either my oatmeal or my full fat yogurt from grass-fed cows every day. This has eliminated all arthritis symptoms for me. Many spices are anti-inflammatory and are worth adding regularly to cooking, including cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, sage and thyme.


Even though exercise causes acute inflammation as a normal healing of muscles and tissues, regular exercise reduces chronic inflammation. Exercise helps everything. If you are not doing something now, understand that it takes a few months of discipline to strengthen your body before exercise becomes a habit that is enjoyable. Find something you can do and stick with it. It can be walking briskly, running, biking, swimming, group classes or all of the above. This also includes exercising your brain. Read something more than texts every day.


Tobacco has hundreds of chemicals that cause severe inflammation, which is why it greatly increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, many different cancers and death. This is also true for oral tobacco and secondhand smoke. My personal goal is not necessarily to stretch my life into as many years as possible but rather to preserve my quality of life for years to come. By following this lifestyle (a modified paleo diet and exercise on a regular basis), and especially since I cut out most sugar and wheat from my diet, I can say I have felt dramatically better in every way. I do not have aches, pains and stiffness. I have more energy and a more positive state of mind. My friends and patients who also follow this report the same results. If you are interested in living a more heart-healthy lifestyle, there are many sources of more detailed information on this topic in local bookstores, libraries and online. Disclaimer: Information on this page should be utilized as a guide only. Please consult your health care provider before making any major lifestyle changes regarding your health.
May 31, 2017

New Iris Update Brings Fresh Look, Enhanced Features

Hattiesburg Clinic’s online patient portal, Iris, now has a new look and enhanced features for patients. In addition to a new design overall, four major changes have been made with the portal’s latest update:
  1. The “My Medical Record” tab has been renamed “Health.”
  2. Past appointments and upcoming appointments are now listed on one screen rather than separate screens. This is accessed by clicking “Visits,” then “Appointments and Visits.”
  3. Options for sending messages are located on one screen now. By clicking “Messaging” and “Ask a Question,” patients can send a customer service message for billing inquiries or website issues and also ask their provider a non-urgent medical question or request a refill.
  4. Children or other family members for which a user has access has moved from the right side of the screen to the top left of the screen.
View the changes:
May 30, 2017

Smith Offering Surgical Services at Hattiesburg Clinic – Bellevue

Daniel H. Smith, MD, with Hattiesburg Clinic Surgery, is now offering services at Hattiesburg Clinic ­­– Bellevue, located at 7148 Hwy. 98, in Hattiesburg. Dr. Smith, who is located in Suite 101 with Bellevue Family Medicine, is offering consultation and evaluation for patients who are referred to him for various conditions that might require surgical treatment. “The Surgery department is providing services to the Bellevue area as a way to contribute to Hattiesburg Clinic’s mission of providing convenient access to health care in the community. Offering these services at this additional location will directly benefit those who live and work in the West Hattiesburg area,” said Dr. Smith. Hattiesburg Clinic Surgery provides surgical diagnostic and treatment expertise in the management of the digestive tract, diseases of the breast, endocrine system disorders, vascular access for dialysis treatment and bariatric surgery for treatment of obesity. The Surgery department’s primary location is on the second floor of Hattiesburg Clinic’s main campus, at 415 S. 28th Ave. in Hattiesburg. They can be reached at 601-268-5660. For more details about Hattiesburg Clinic Surgery, visit
May 30, 2017

Hattiesburg Clinic Physician Tackles Myths about Psoriasis

A skin disease affecting millions of people also carries with it some misconceptions, according to a Hattiesburg Clinic physician specializing in the disease. Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects the skin when the immune system speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. About 7.5 million Americans live with psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, making it the most common autoimmune disease in the country. Steven C. Shapiro, MD, who practices at Hattiesburg Clinic Dermatology and Laurel Dermatology, trained at Stanford and was involved with psoriasis research. That’s when he saw how devastating the condition was for those who lived with it. “On average, a person typically turns over his or her skin every 28 days. However, a person with psoriasis may turn over their skin every three to four days,” said Shapiro. “And along with that comes painful inflammation and irritation, in addition to a host of other potential health complications.” Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body but frequently occurs on the scalp, knees, elbows or torso. Plaque psoriasis, the most common form of the disease, appears as raised, red patches of skin with silvery, white buildup known as scale. Dr. Shapiro said there are some myths about the disease that everyone should be aware of:
  • Psoriasis is not contagious. Medical experts believe that disease is caused by a person’s immune system and their genetics. Although the disease cannot be spread, the National Psoriasis Foundation suggests that if one parent has psoriasis, there’s a 10 percent chance a child will develop it and a 50 percent chance if both parents have the disease.
  • It is not a sign of bad hygiene. A person’s hygiene habits are not a cause of psoriasis. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but various things could trigger a flare-up. Possible triggers include stress, infections, a cold or strep throat, certain medications, cold weather and certain foods.
  • Psoriasis is not just a rash. Psoriasis has a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Aside from the stigma surrounding a flare-up, the disease also affects the joints and is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis, according to Dr. Shapiro.
  • No cure does not mean it can’t be treated. Although there is currently no cure for psoriasis, Dr. Shapiro says he has been pleased to see medications for the skin condition dramatically improve over the years. Some medications used to treat psoriasis include Taltz, Cosentyx, Stelara, Humira, Otezla and Enbrel. He said these treatments are usually available with or without insurance.
Shapiro said he has witnessed modern-day treatments effectively treat psoriasis. “With treatment, many of our patients experience clear skin to the point that you’d never even realize they have psoriasis. Other health conditions, such as joint pain, also improve. It’s all about working with your provider in finding the treatment that works best for you,” said Shapiro. “As the symptoms of a flare-up subside with treatment, patients often find their confidence again, and that’s what we like to see.”   *Please note Hattiesburg Clinic does not endorse any particular drug or product mentioned in this article.