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UAB News

  • UAB holds ribbon cutting for new freshman residence hall

    UAB has officially dedicated its new freshman residence hall with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It will allow more than 700 students to join the 2,180 students housed in UAB’s five other residence halls.

    University of Alabama at Birmingham administrators have officially dedicated the new freshman residence hall.

    On Wednesday, Sept. 2, President Ray L. Watts, along with other administrators, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally present the 217,000-square-foot residence hall. Located at the corners of Ninth and 10th avenues south and 16th and 17th streets south, the U-shaped building consists of an eight-story tower and a four-story wing that contains common space and multiuse office space in addition to housing.

    The new freshman residence hall will help meet increased demand for on-campus housing, which has been filled to capacity for the last four years, and will allow more than 700 students to join the 2,180 students housed in UAB’s five other residence halls.

    “It sends a phenomenal message that we’re at the beginning of the next phase of the development and growth of UAB,” Vice President of Student Affairs John Jones, Ph.D., said. “We want to provide a robust experience for our students, and part of that experience is providing a residential component that allows them to develop outside the classroom.”

    The new residence hall is the first on campus to be universally designed, which will provide its residents and visitors with an environment that is equally accessible and adaptable to all users of the building.


  • School of Nursing re-designated PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center

    Designation indicates that the school’s research and clinical programs have superior scientific and technical leadership in nursing.

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing has received re-designation as a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on International Nursing for four years (2015-2019). The school is one of nine WHO Collaborating Centers in Nursing in the United States and one of 43 in the world.

    UAB’s School of Nursing was first awarded its PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center on International Nursing designation in 1994. The School was re-designated in 1997, then again in April 2011 for the four-year term of 2011-2015.

    “This designation continues to help put our School’s global outreach work, here at home and throughout the world, on the map nationally and internationally,” said Doreen Harper, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing and director of the UAB PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for International Nursing. “Since its founding, our School has been on the forefront of enhancing nursing education, practice and research with the ultimate goal of improving health locally and globally. Our continued designation as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for International Nursing provides us an exemplary platform to continue this important work for our community, our state and the world.”

    A PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for International Nursing is a special designation given by the organizations to recognize a school’s sustained involvement and interest in global nursing development. The PAHO/WHO designation indicates that the research and clinical programs in the UAB School of Nursing are nationally and internationally recognized, and that UAB has superior scientific and technical leadership in nursing.

    As a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center, the UAB School of Nursing participates in an international network that works toward realizing the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and the WHO’s major goal of “Health for All” by developing and sharing education and research materials that will help achieve these goals. The UAB School of Nursing collaborates with nurses in other countries to develop programs to enhance nursing education, practice and research and ultimately to improve global health. 

    For this next four-year term, the school’s work will focus on collaborating with PAHO/WHO to strengthen the quality of nursing and midwifery education, including in the agenda priority topics such as Universal Health Coverage, Universal Access to Health Care and Primary Health Care, and collaborating with PAHO/WHO to enhance the use and dissemination of knowledge resources to strengthen nursing and midwifery capacity and quality improvement in nursing and midwifery education program outcomes.

    “Our school has always been a leader and trendsetter in improving primary care, access to care within inner cities and rural communities, and improving quality of care in Alabama and beyond,” said Lynda Wilson, Ph.D., the center’s deputy director and School of Nursing professor. “Our re-designation for the next four years enables our school to collaborate with our global partners to promote nurses’ contributions to universal health coverage and universal access to health care to improve capacity, access and outcomes to help improve the lives and quality of life for millions of people.”

    The UAB School of Nursing is among an elite group of these centers in the Western Hemisphere. The United States belongs to the “AMRO” of the World Health Organization. This region comprises all the countries from Canada to Chile and is administered by the Pan American Health Organization. As a part of the AMRO Region, the School’s Collaborating Center is a member of PANMCC, the Pan American Nursing/Midwifery Collaborating Centers. Currently, PANMCC has 19 centers. The 43 worldwide WHO Collaborating Centers for International Nursing are organized into a global network. For further information visit the Global Network Website.

    The school also has many other global initiatives in addition to the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center work, including visiting scholar programs, study away, global service learning and integration of global health content across the curriculum. The School’s collaborative relationships with Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Zambia and many other countries have included visiting scholars, visiting professors, student exchanges and international research programs.

    More information is available on the School of Nursing website.

  • Fernández is inaugural winner of diversity award from the Obesity Society

    UAB’s Fernández honored for diversity leadership by the Obesity Society.

    José Fernández, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for Education in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at BirminghamSchool of Health Professions, has been named the inaugural winner of the Shiriki Kumanyida Diversity Leadership Award from the Obesity Society. The award recognizes an investigator whose research has made a significant difference in the field of obesity disparities.

    The prevalence of obesity has significantly increased among the population of the United States over the past 30 years, with nearly one-third of adults now considered obese. Obesity is a known risk factor for many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Significant racial/ethnic disparities continue to exist in the occurrence of obesity.

    Fernández joined UAB in August 2001, bringing special expertise in the application of statistical models to detect and disentangle genetic and environmental influences in obesity-related traits. His main research interest is the identification of genes that contribute to racial differences in obesity and diabetes. He uses the genetic admixture approach as a tool to decompose the genetic, social and cultural components underlying racial and ethnic differences in complex traits.

    Fernández has been a member of the editorial boards for the International Journal of Obesity and for Ethnicity and Disease. He has been the recipient of the UAB President’s Faculty Diversity Award, the UAB Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, and the UAB School of Health Professions’ Joseph F Volker Outstanding Faculty Award.

    The award is named for Shiriki Kumanyika, Ph.D., professor emeritus of epidemiology in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Kumanyika has an interdisciplinary background and holds advanced degrees in social work, nutrition and public health. Her research focuses on identifying effective strategies to reduce nutrition-related chronic disease risks, with a particular focus on achieving health equity for black Americans.

    In 2002, Kumanyika founded and continues to chair the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), a national network that seeks to improve the quantity, quality and effective translation of research on weight issues in African-American communities. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and is president of the American Public Health Association for 2015.

    Fernández will receive the award in November at the Obesity Society Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

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