February 3, 2015, New research finds baby’s genes, not mom’s, may trigger some preterm births

Some babies may be genetically predisposed to being born too soon, and variants in the DNA of the fetus — not the mother — may be the trigger for some early births.That is the finding of research conducted by Joseph Biggio, M.D., professor and director of the University of Alabama at BirminghamDivision of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and his colleagues from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Genomics and Proteomics Network for Preterm Birth Research. The March of Dimes will present its award for Best Research in Prematurity to Biggio for this work during the annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine meeting, which begins today in San Diego, California. Read more in UAB eReporter . . .

UAB Media Contact: Tyler Greer | tgreer@uab.edu

January 13, 2015, 2015 Women's Choice Award: America's Best Hospitals for Obstetrics 
UAB Medicine received a 2015 Women's Choice Award, having been named one of "America's Best Hospitals for Obstetrics". The honor was based on a review of services, patient satisfaction scores, and a strong record of clinical care and full-term deliveries.Women's Choice Award is a consumer advocacy group that helps women make smart health care decisions. This marks the third year that the group has presented the award to the nation's leading obstetrics programs. UAB Obstetrics has earned this recognition for each of those three years, in the category for hospitals with 400-plus beds. Read more in ONE  . . . 
August 27, 2014, UAB Awarded $19.31 Million to Lead National Study on Chronic Hypertension in Pregnancy
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Biostatistics have been awarded a $19.31 million R01 grant by the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to coordinate the most comprehensive study of chronic hypertension in pregnancy ever undertaken.The Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy Project (CHAP) is a multicenter, randomized trial which will enroll between 4,700 and 5,700 pregnant women during the next six years with a primary aim to evaluate the benefits and potential harms of pharmacologic treatment of mild chronic hypertension in pregnancy. Alan Tita, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in UAB’s School of Medicine is principal investigator/project director for CHAP.  UAB Media Contact: Tyler Greer | tgreer@uab.edu
July 14, 2014, UAB enrolls nation’s first patient in Phase III drug trial for preeclampsia
UAB has enrolled the first U.S. patient in a Phase III clinical trial for a drug that, if successful, would be a significant clinical breakthrough for reducing pre-term births and infant mortality. Alan Tita, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology is lead investigator for the trial.
 February 24, 2014, UAB Selected as One of "100 Hospitals with Great Women's Health Programs"
The editorial team at Becker's Hospital Review included hospitals on its list based on the comprehensiveness of their women's health programs and the quality of care they offer. Hospitals included on the list have been recognized for women's health by several organizations, including U.S.News & World Report, Healthgrades, UNICEF's Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and CareChex.UAB's Women & Infants Center covers the full spectrum of routine and complex obstetrics and gynecology services, including specialized urogynecology, infertility, gynecologic oncology, and minimally invasive and robotic surgery.UAB Hospital is the only hospital in central and north Alabama to participate in Best Fed Beginnings. Also, together with Children's Hospital of Alabama, UAB's Regional NICU is Alabama's only Level IV Unit, and the connecting sky bridge between the two entities provides a seamless transition for babies who require advanced inpatient care at both locations. UAB neonatologists are available in-house 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Read more in ONE . . .

December 17, 2013, Faculty become Students to Learn Simulation Training -Health professionals across campus, including 14 from the School of Medicine and UAB Hospital, completed an extensive week-long course in medical simulation training — a first step toward building a world-class program at UAB.  The Department of Ob/Gyn's faculty member, Chere' Stewart, MD, who is also the Associate Director for the Ob/Gyn Medical Student Clerkship, was a participate in this program. |Story by Cliniton Colmenares

July 2012 - Spirit of Alabama - Dr. Huh, Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and Senior Scientist at UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has recently been in the spotlight of a local television station. NBC 13 News showcased Dr. Huh and his cutting-edge work in cancer research in their section called, Spirit of Alabama. "Though 4 or 5 years away from actual use, Dr. Huh has developed a HPV virus vaccine that, once approved, could eliminate cervical cancer."May 2012 - Huh Receives Distinguished 2012 ACS Lane Adams Quality of Life Award - Dr. Huh has been named a recipient of the American Cancer Society 2012 Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award. He is one of 11 cancer-care providers nationwide who will be honored in a ceremony on Thursday, May 3, 2012, during the ACS annual board meeting in Dallas.The award recognizes individuals who have made a difference through innovation, leadership and consistent excellence in providing compassionate, skilled care and counsel to persons living with cancer and their families. Recipients are nominated by patients and their families, shedding light on the critical role that outstanding caregivers play in the healing process. UAB News Media Contact: Beena Thannickal, (205) 975-3967, beenat@uab.edu
June 2012 - Holly Richter, MD, PhD, has been named president-elect of Society of Gynecologic Surgeons (SGS) for 2012-13. Dr. Richter hold the J. Marion Sims Endowed Chair in ObGyn and directs the UAB Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery. UAB Media Contact: Jennifer Lollar, 205-934-3888, jpark@uab.eduThe SGS is recognized as a select member group of over 250 physicians representing both private practice and academic faculty--all involved in teaching and the practice of advanced gynecologic surgery. Scientific Meetings are held annually with presentations and discussions of papers based on research in anatomy, physiology, pathology, surgical technique, or clinical results of gynecologic surgery by members and invited guests. Source: UAB News - OneR. Edward Varner, MD, also in the Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, is the current president of SGS and will hand this position to Dr. Richter in 2012. Dr. Varner was nominated for the UAB President's Award for Excellence in 2012.
April 2012 - Ronald D. Alvarez, MD, professor and director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UAB, has been elected the 44th president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) at its annual meeting on women's cancer in Austin, Texas.SGO is a national medical specialty organization of physicians and allied health care professionals with more than 1,600 members trained in the comprehensive management of women with reproductive tract cancers.Dr. Alvarez also excels as an instructor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He has won the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Teaching Award 2011 and was nominated for the UAB President's Award for Excellence in 2012.
Fall/Winter 2011 - The Medical Mission Ecuador (MME) was created 19 years ago. This February, 84 Americans from 13 states—including 18 from Alabama—made the trip. Each year, Brian Gleason, M.D., (Women's Reproductive Heathcare) typically teams up with one of our ObGyn residents to make the trip. Shannon Bryant, M.D. was the resident (chief resident at the time) who accompanied Dr. Gleason to Ecuador. The physicians who volunteer provide patient care for the indigenous people as well as instruction to the medical students of Ecuador. UAB Magazine Media contact: Meg McKinney, 205-975-7253, periodicals@uab.edu
December 2010 (Press release from Future Science Group) - A new study undertaken in Zambia shows that, using setting-appropriate human resources and technology, morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer among HIV-infected women can be reduced. The study's lead author is Dr. Groesbeck Parham, Professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Infectious Diseases, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia's Cervical Cancer Prevention Program. The research was published in the December issue of HIV Therapy.
November 2010 - As the U.S. obesity epidemic grows, hospitals must change the way they treat morbidly obese patients. UAB Hospital leads the way by providing specialized beds, rooms, equipment and medical expertise. ABC's "Nightline" recently spent time at UAB to highlight how we address the national problem.The department's Dr. Debora Kimberlin (MFM), and the Women and Infants Center are both featured in this report.
 October 6, 2010BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The National Association For Continence (NAFC) has named the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Continence and Urogynecology Care Clinics its first Center of Excellence: Continence Care.NAFC's National Centers of Excellence: Continence Care program was established to offer consumers seeking solutions to their bladder and bowel control problems and related pelvic floor dysfunction a reliable, trustworthy means of finding an experienced and credentialed expert. The center of excellence designation is based on evidence of extensive training, clinical experience, resources and patient satisfaction statistics that meet established standards."It was a unanimous decision by everyone on the committee," to select UAB's Continence and Urogynecology Care Clinics as the inaugural center of excellence, said G. Willy Davila, M.D., chair of the NAFC Center of Excellence Review Committee. "Not only do these clinics have a great reputation, they also show great care to their patients, as made evident from the answers given on the patient satisfaction survey."UAB physicians Drs. Holly Richter, Robert Holley, Alayne Markland, Patricia Goode and R. Edward Varner are recognized as the healthcare providers for UAB's NAFC Center of Excellence designation. Drs. Jerrod Greer and Kathryn Burgio and nurse practitioners Jeannine McCormick and Lisa Pair, along with others, are part of the care team at these clinics. Media Contact: Jennifer Lollar, 205-934-3888, jpark@uab.edu
August 25, 2010 - A researcher in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has been selected for the inaugural Ovarian Cancer Academy Award, part of the U.S. Department of Defense funding for cancer research. Assistant Professor Charles Landen, M.D., of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, is one of seven early career investigators chosen for the grant. The award is $1.06 million from the Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research.Landen works to identify and characterize a subpopulation of ovarian cancer cells that have enhanced ability to survive chemotherapy and cause recurrence. Understanding this class of cells may lead to discoveries of key pathways than can be targeted with novel anti-cancer therapies. Media Contact: Troy Goodman, 205-934-8938, tdgoodman@uab.edu
May 21, 2010BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in partnership with the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the recipient of the 2009 Roy M. Pitkin Award from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.The award recognizes outstanding research published during the preceding year. UAB's honor is for the study "Results from Four Rounds of Ovarian Cancer Screening in a Randomized Trial" published April 2009 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology by lead author Edward Partridge, M.D., Cancer Center director and president-elect of the American Cancer Society National Board of Directors. The award was announced May 16 during the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' annual meeting in San Francisco.The study is part of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO trial) and included more than 72,000 women aged 55 to 74. The study looked at a screening regimen that combines ultrasound and a blood test for CA-125, a marker for women's cancer. Media Contact: Troy Goodman, 205-934-8938, tdgoodman@uab.edu
June 16, 2010 - The UAB Department of ObGyn long has served as a referral center for complex gynecologic health care. However, until two summers ago, it had been without the services of a gynecologic team dedicated to children/adolescents for more than 10 years. Kimberly Hoover, M.D. developed the UAB Pediatric/Adolescent Gynecologic Clinic within Children's Hospital. It is one of only two such dedicated children's clinics in the Birmingham area and positions UAB and Children's Hospital as leaders in diagnosis and treatment of pediatric/adolescent gynecologic disorders. The once-a-week, half-day clinic is open Wednesdays and provides inpatient/outpatient care for pediatric/adolescent gynecology from birth until age 19. Dr. Hoover says, "We're currently in discussion to open up an afternoon clinic. We're hopeful we're going to be able to get some-thing done soon so we can have an afternoon clinic to better serve those that are in school during the day."
February 22, 2010BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The new University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Women & Infants Center opened to patients Sunday, Feb. 21, and five babies were born before midnight in the new building. One of those five babies, La'Isaac Smith, was selected in a random drawing to receive a full, undergraduate tuition scholarship to UAB from the UAB Health System to commemorate his being among the first births in the new Women & Infants Center on its first day of operations.Nearly a decade of planning and construction culminated Feb. 21 when approximately 150 patients moved into the new 430,000-square-foot UAB Women & Infants Center. The well-planned and rehearsed move went flawlessly, with the final patient arriving safely in the new building more than three hours ahead of schedule. The new center offers the full spectrum of women's services, including routine maternity care, high-risk obstetrics, gynecology, urogynecology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility services and the only gynecological oncology program in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi affiliated with a National Institutes of Health-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.The $164 million Women & Infants Center represents UAB's commitment to improving the health and lives of the women and infants of its state and region. The patient and family-center facility is designed to feel more like a first-class hotel than a hospital while offering state-of-the art technology, including Alabama's only supratertiary NICU, the most modern C-section and post-anesthesia recovery suites, state-of-the-art patient-care rooms and technologically advanced communication and security systems. UAB also is the only Alabama women's center providing 24/7 access to in-house neonatology and high risk obstetrics physicians every day of the year. Media Contact: Jennifer Lollar, 205-934-3888, jpark@uab.edu