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UAB students will be well-prepared and empowered to successfully pursue meaningful careers throughout their lifetime.
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EMPOWERMENT - We encourage informed and responsible decision-making by individuals regarding their career and life goals.

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INCLUSIVENESS - We strive to provide an open and affirming environment that is respectful and supportive of our diverse community.

COMPETENCY - We value the skills, expertise, knowledge and continuous professional development of our staff to provide relevant and innovative programs.

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UAB News

  • UAB’s Adult CF program wins national quality award
    The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recognizes UAB’s Adult CF Program with Quality Care Award.

    The Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been

    selected as one of the 2015 recipients of the annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Quality Care Award: Recognizing Outstanding QI Processes and Accomplishments. 

    The UAB Department of Medicine, in concert with UAB Hospital, developed the adult CF program with a team of health care personnel to provide comprehensive, evidence-based clinical care for adult patients with cystic fibrosis. The team includes nurses, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, social workers and physicians, and cares for more than 180 individuals with CF.

    The program is also aligned with the UAB CF clinical trials unit and the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center. The center is recognized internationally for its transformative clinical and basic research, including the development of new therapies for the treatment of this devastating disease.  

    “We are gratified and excited to be recognized by CFF for the quality of our care,” said Veena Antony, M.D., professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care and director of the adult CF program. “We believe this is a signature program that will identify UAB as an international destination for patient care.”

    The award marks sustained quality improvement work that improved outcomes. Performance standards include:

    • Actively using clinical outcomes data to identify opportunities for improvement and document results of improvement efforts
    • Aligning improvement efforts to result in measurable improvement in important clinical outcomes
    • Consistently and actively involving patients and families in identifying, designing and/or implementing improvement efforts
    • Employing innovative strategies to improve care processes and outcomes and implementing system changes that result in high reliability of care processes

    Working with the CFF Center Committee, the CF Foundation instituted the Quality Care Award in 2008. The awards are presented each year at the U.S. Center and Program Directors’ meeting held in conjunction with the CFF North American CF Conference. Recipients of the award are chosen by the CFF Center Committee from the Programs visited during the most recent fall and spring site visit cycles previous to NACFC. 

  • Survivor’s guilt often a byproduct of those who live through tragic events
    UAB clinical psychologist says those who survived the Oregon mass shootings or other difficult events should engage with a team of mental health professionals.

    Survivor’s guilt can often be a byproduct of those who survive shootings like the most recent one in Oregon, says Josh Klapow, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health and a clinical psychologist.

    It has been reported that one of the victims in the mass shooting was a man who was asked by the shooter to give something to the police and then given instruction to sit in the back of the room, where he watched others be shot and killed by the gunman.

    “This individual has just survived something that many people could not even imagine,” Klapow said. “He has been exposed to a life-threatening situation that is far outside the realm of normal human existence. Reactions afterward from anyone like this victim involved in this type of event may range from a broad array of acute stress reaction symptoms — nightmares, intrusive thoughts, severe anxiety, hypervigilance — to complete emotional numbness as his natural and hard-wired psychological defense mechanisms kick in.”

    Any victim who experiences this type of situation — or any similar situation in which he or she may feel guilt — needs to be supported psychologically by a team of mental health professionals.

    “It’s almost akin to an individual with a severe infection whose body needs time to develop the strength and the antibodies to fight it off,” Klapow said. “He may feel nothing, he may feel extremely scared, he may feel extreme guilt and also extreme relief.”

    Klapow says encouraging those who may feel survivor’s guilt to engage with professionals equipped to help them through situations like this is vital. And while having family and friends to lean on, professionals experienced in helping those suffering with grief and severe anxiety also are necessary.   

    Klapow also stresses that this will be a process, not a quick fix. A person’s brain needs time to synthesize the information, make some sense of it, and incorporate this event into how he or she lives life.

    Klapow also stresses that this will be a process, not a quick fix. A person’s brain needs time to synthesize the information, make some sense of it, and incorporate this event into how he or she lives life.

    “He needs to know that he has access to professionals who are equipped to help him through this,” Klapow said. “This is different from friends and family. He needs them as well, but the most important thing people can do for victims in this type of circumstance is work with them and not try to move them emotionally in one direction or another. This is about being there to support him, to listen if he wants to talk, to leave him alone if he needs time to process. His needs will change day by day, even hour by hour. Letting him know that he has unconditional support, that people are there as his friends and family, and that he is under the watchful eye and care of a mental health team will allow him to process this tragic event.

    “This is not days,” Klapow added. “This is weeks, months, years.”  

  • Sustainability experts considering ways to revitalize metro area
    The UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center brought together green experts from around the world for the fourth annual Sustainable Smart Cities Symposium.

    More than 200 people filled the UAB Alumni House on Oct. 1 to learn from experts from around the world on matters concerning urban sustainability and development at the 2015 Sustainable Smart Cities Symposium.

    The symposium, organized by the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, is an annual event that focuses on the innovations — such as big data, renewable energy and smart mobility — being used to help make Birmingham and other cities around the world smarter, safer and more livable.

    In opening remarks, center director Fouad H. Fouad, Ph.D., who is also chair of the School of Engineering’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, celebrated UAB’s collaborations with the city and called Birmingham’s new bike-share program “a big step forward for sustainability.”

    Landscape architect Thomas Woltz, who was named Design Innovator of the Year for 2013 by the Wall Street Journal, was the event’s keynote speaker. Woltz designed a blocklong park and plaza to adjoin Alabama Power Company’s Powell Avenue Steam Plant redevelopment near Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham. He said Thursday that the new plaza should evoke the Magic City’s geology, rich history and industrial heritage.

    “I hope this is a place where you can come with your children and tell stories about what you are as a city,” Woltz said.

    In designing a large public space, Woltz says he and his staff — who are collaborating with several Birmingham design and construction firms — dig deep into the history and culture of an area. In this case, they wanted to reflect Birmingham’s mineral wealth and its status as an industrial and railroad hub.

    “We want ideas that will be meaningful and relevant in a place,” Woltz said.

    Other speakers included School of Engineering Dean Iwan Alexander, Ph.D., and Birmingham Mayor William Bell, who said that the city and UAB are “in the forefront of planning for the future.”

    The city encourages developers to use LEED environmental standards in new construction, according to Bell. “In everything we do at city hall, we think about sustainability,” Bell said.

    Additional speakers:

    Rizwan Khaliq, director of Marketing and Communications for IBM Global Public Sector and Smarter Cities, discussed the link between technology and the economic competitiveness of cities around the world. He said that cities must work hard to build their brands and reputations as vital, livable places in order to attract the top, young talent they need to grow their economies.

    This is more challenging now, since employees at companies like IBM can work remotely and live wherever they want, according to Khaliq. “Birmingham is not just competing with Louisville,” he said. “You are competing with cities in China. Each locality has to think about what it stands for from a branding perspective.”

    Teresa Bouza, a journalist and the founder of Datafest, a hackathon that brings together technologists, data scientists and other experts to help solve problems in 48-hour weekend sessions, discussed the value of hackathons, which are being held all around the world. “When you bring people with diverse skills and backgrounds over just a weekend, it is incredible what they create,” she said.

    She talked about the Smart Cities Hackathon held in Birmingham in 2015, in which UAB and Auburn University took part. In one project, a group radically improved the City of Birmingham website, where buyers can search for information about the roughly 5,000 blighted properties in the city’s recently created land bank.

    Woltz, Khaliq and Bouza participated in a panel discussion about sustainability moderated by Molly Wasko, a professor at the UAB Collat School of Business. Also on the panel were Ann August, director of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transportation Authority, and Christopher D. Hatcher, City of Birmingham urban design administrator.

    The new park on Powell Avenue will attempt to harmonize with nearby Railroad Park, making visual use of a massive smokestack on top of the old steam power plant, and will use native plants and such indigenous materials as limestone to powerfully evoke the city’s industrial past, according to Woltz. “We are trying not to just make up stuff from the outside but do things that are actually a portrait of the city,” he said.

    For more information about the Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, call 205-996-2880 or visit www.uab.edu/smartcities.

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