Current Projects


Annual Events


Semi-Annual APBRN Membership Meetings provide a forum for interaction and collaboration among members. New research and training opportunities are discussed, as are updates on recent projects and issues of concern to primary care and practice based research networks on the national level. For members' convenience, APBRN meetings are held in conjunction with Alabama Academy Meetings in June (Destin, FL) and late November / early December (Birmingham, AL). The APBRN gratefully acknowledges the Academy's support and assistance in holding its semi-annual meetings.


Annual meetings are in June in Destin, Florida at the Village of Baytowne Wharf (Sandestin Resort) Alabama Academy of Family Physicians' Annual Meeting and Scientific Assembly. For information on upcoming Academy events, please visit

Recent News

September 1, 2006: Tamela Turner, PhD Retires

Following 30 years of service to UAB, Dr. Turner retired September 1, 2006 in order to complete the Chaplaincy program at Emory University in Atlanta. Tamela was a familiar and friendly face to many physicians across Alabama. As Director of the Division of Predoctoral Education, UAB Family & Community Medicine for the past 14 years, she built longstanding relationships with hundreds of family medicine and rural preceptors throughout the state. She also played a key role in the APBRN, providing training on research methods as well as interventions for tobacco use and obesity. Additionally, she was an investigator on three projects focused on physician and medical student training, successfully integrating tobacco cessation training into UAB’s medical school curriculum, and conducting seminars for ATOFF and the March of Dimes' "Mission Opportunities Investment Program" which ultimately reached over 2,000 healthcare providers throughout the state. We wish Tamela the very best in her new career!


August 22, 2006: Dr.  Horton Accepts Teaching Position in Mississippi

In fulfillment of a longstanding personal ambition, Dr. Thomas Horton has accepted a teaching position at the University Medical Center in Jackson, MS where he will join the faculty of the family medicine department and work with medical students and residents in training. A Mississippi native, Dr. Horton graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, performed an internship in Montgomery, AL, and subsequently completed his family practice residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He has been board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine (formerly American Board of Family Practice) since 1988, and he became a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 1990. As an APBRN member, Dr. Horton was extremely active and productive, having quickly achieved gold-level membership by attending meetings, completing IRB training, and participating in APBRN research studies. In all his dealings with the APBRN, Dr. Horton was an absolute pleasure - quickly responding to requests for information or action, and always with a positive "can do" attitude. There is no doubt that the patients, faculty and students in Jackson will soon learn how privileged they are to know and work with such a fine individual. Although Dr. Horton's Alabama practice is now closed, they are seeking a replacement physician. For more information, please visit Although Dr. Horton will be greatly missed by the APBRN, we sincerely wish him all the best in his new position.


December 14, 2005: APBRN Celebrates 5-year Anniversary

A special commemorative newsletter. APBRN-News-12-05.pdf


October 31, 2005: Myra Crawford, PhD Retires

After 30 years on the UAB School of Medicine faculty, Dr. Crawford formally retired on October 31, 2005. As Director of the Division of Research for the Department of Family & Community Medicine, she spearheaded the APBRN’s creation in 1999 and, as Co-Director, led many of the network’s projects from inception to completion. She also oversaw Coordinating Center operations, represented APBRN at professional conferences, and served a 3-year term on the Steering Committee of the Federation of PBRNs. In addition to fostering collaborations with other UAB departments, PBRNs and institutions, Dr. Crawford facilitated APBRN’s participation in the ePCRN and remains active with both Networks as a consultant.



April 21, 2005: UAB Tapped by NIH to Help Create National e-Network for Primary Care Research (UAB Office of Media Relations)

The creation of a national electronic network connecting physicians, medical centers and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the aim of a new initiative involving the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Alabama Practice Based Research Network (APBRN).The project is part of NIH’s Roadmap for medical research, a series of initiatives designed to transform the nation's medical research capabilities and speed movement of research discoveries from bench to bedside. It’s funded by a three-year, $3 million grant awarded recently to the Federation of Practice Based Research Networks (FPBRN), in association with the American Academy of Family Physicians and the University of Minnesota. APBRN, created by UAB, is one of only 10 regional networks under the umbrella of FPBRN selected to participate in the initiative to build the Electronic Primary Care Research Network (ePCRN). “The new electronic infrastructure will potentially connect every primary care physician in the nation with researchers at universities and NIH,” said Myra Crawford, Ph.D., director of the Division of Research within UAB’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and member of the FPBRN Steering Committee. The goal of the electronic network is to accelerate the pace of discovery and application of knowledge to develop new primary care prevention strategies, diagnostics and treatments. “It will provide access to study participants throughout the country and accelerate the application of research findings in communities that may not have direct access to research institutions,” Crawford said. FPBRN governs 60 regional networks, 54 in the U.S., including APBRN, and six abroad. “The Alabama network is composed of 40 mostly family physicians who conduct research in clinics throughout the state,” said T. Michael Harrington, M.D., chair of UAB’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and APBRN director. “It’s the only operative medical practice-based research network in the state and a leader among networks nationally.” For thirty years, primary care practice-based research networks have conducted research in academic and community-based practices devoted principally to the care of patients. “Typically, networks draw on the experience and insight of practicing clinicians to identify and frame research questions whose answers can improve patient care,” Harrington said. “By linking these questions with rigorous research methods, the network can produce research findings that are immediately relevant to the clinician and, in theory, can be more easily translated into everyday practice.” The Department of Primary Care Clinical Sciences at Birmingham University, England, and the Collaborative Research Network, University of California San Francisco, also are collaborating on the project. “Ultimately, the plan is for the ePCRN to become a global project,” Crawford said.


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APBRN Coordinating Center
Department of Family and Community Medicine
Division of Research
University of Alabama at Birmingham
930 20th Street South Room 307
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
Phone: 205.934.9376
Fax: 205.934-9398

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