On Friday, Oct. 11, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) celebrated the new addition to the School of Health Professions Building. Richard Margison, UAB vice president financial affairs and administration, Suzanne Austin, UAB vice provost for student and faculty success and Eric Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Collat School of Business, joined the school Dean Dr. Harold P. Jones in a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the building located at 1705 University Blvd.
In attendance was Mike Williams, president and CEO of Community Hospital Corporation. He is a nationally renowned speaker of and advocate for the preservation of community hospitals. The UAB Master of Science in Health Administration alumnus, Class 14, co-chaired the SHP Building Campaign Committee because he understands the vital healthcare role played by the school and its students.
“During this significant time of health reform that we’re experiencing in the U.S. today, there’s never been a more important time to focus on the education of individuals who work in the health profession,” said Williams. “The dedication of this new addition to the UAB School of Health Professions is timely as it will provide the education and training of the excellent workforce that we are all dependent upon in today’s healthcare delivery system.”
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“Already we’re finding that our educational space is in more demand than frankly we have opportunities to put the people in the space,” said Jones who has been dean of the school since 2001. “Groups across campus are lined up to use the ELC and that’s a nice problem to have; however, we’re going to continue to reserve it predominantly for our students and our faculty so they have the best learning environment available.”
In 2002, the School of Health Professions Building was built to be the first home in the history of the school. Since then, the student population has increased from 1,100 to more than 1,900 and the school’s research funding has nearly quadrupled.
“Before now, our programs were spread around multiple buildings across UAB’s campus so we needed this for current growth, but more importantly, we need this for future growth,” said Jones. “It gives me great pleasure to stand in the new addition, in front of our supporters, and finally say we have a world class facility that is only equaled by the quality of our faculty, students, alumni and donors.”
Jon Vice, MSHA Class 7 and past president and CEO of Children’s Hospital and Health System of Wisconsin, is the other campaign co-chair. He reminded everyone that the building is complete but the building campaign is not. His message to his fellow alumni is simple.
“You can’t just always take. You have to give back,” said Vice. “By making a contribution, whether it is large or small, you can give back to the program that helped make you successful.”
Dean Jones also hosted the School of Health Professions Dean’s Advisory Board this week. Attending the sessions and the SHPB dedication were Jeff Bowman, Jim Burkhart, Charlie Faulkner, Vicki Karolewics, Matt Rousculp, Michael Tucker, Nancy White, Mike Williams, David Yates and Sheree Chapman York.
The School of Health Professions has five departments and more than 20 innovative programs. Three of the programs, the Master of Science in Health Administration ranked 5th; the Ph.D. in Nutrition Sciences in the Top 10; and the Doctor of Physical Therapy in the Top 20, are nationally ranked in their respective emphasis.