Heather Neighbors HeadshotHeather F. Neighbors, MSPAS, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor
1716 9th Avenue South
SHPB 487
Birmingham, AL 35294
(205) 975-0342

Mrs. Heather Neighbors joined the faculty of the Physician Assistant Studies Program in August of 2018. She is a graduate of the UAB Surgical Physician Assistant Program and completed her studies in 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Auburn University in 2004. Upon graduating from the PA program, Mrs. Neighbors joined a Vascular Surgeon in private practice in Birmingham, where she has practiced for the last ten years. While working in the operating room of multiple hospitals in Birmingham, Mrs. Neighbors recognized the vital importance of clinical training and experience. This knowledge motivated her to join the faculty of the PA program as the Director of Clinical Education. Mrs. Neighbors is committed to the education of our future Physician Assistants and is motivated to help provide the best didactic and clinical training to our students, using the wealth of knowledge she brings from her years of clinical experience. Mrs. Neighbors met her husband at Auburn University and they now have three boys. She enjoys spending time with family, traveling and pure barre.
john baddleyJohn Baddley, MD, MSPH
Associate Medical Director-Associate Professor
1900 University Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35294-0006

Professional Training
Medical School: Louisiana State University School of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine, LSU Medical Center
Fellowship: Infectious Diseases, UAB
Masters: Public Health Epidemiology, UAB

Dr. Baddley attended medical school at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He did his residency in Internal Medicine at the LSU Medical Center and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at UAB. He also completed a Masters of Science in Public Health with a focus in epidemiology at UAB. Dr. Baddley is a Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also Chief of Infectious Diseases at Birmingham VA Medical Center. Dr. Baddley’s research interests include the epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of fungal infections, transplant infectious diseases and hospital infection control. Dr. Baddley teaches research methods, serves as a clinical preceptor, and is the Associate Medical Director for the UAB PA Program.
Drace05William R. Drace, MA, PA-C
Assistant Professor
1716 9th Ave. S.
SHPB 484
Birmingham, AL  35294

Mr. Drace, Assistant Professor, joined the faculty in October of 2003. He graduated from UAB’s Surgical Physician Assistant program in 1978. He completed a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Drace’s extensive surgical background began as a Navy Corpsman and Operating Room Technician. Prior to accepting this faculty position, Mr. Drace worked with a Birmingham, Alabama based Cardiothoracic Surgical Practice for twenty-five years. Mr. Drace precepted Senior Physician Assistant Students from UAB from 1998 - 2003. It was this interaction that motivated him to accept a full-time faculty position. Mr. Drace brings a wealth of clinical and technical skills to the program.
Dr Monifa T Akinloye Gilford150x225M. Tosi Gilford, MD, PA-C
Interim Program Director
1716 9th Ave. S.
SHPB 480
Birmingham, AL 35294-1212
(205) 934-6941

Dr. Tosi Gilford joined the faculty of UAB Physician Assistant Studies Program in March of 2015. She is a Family Practice physician who is originally from Los Angeles. She completed her undergraduate studies at California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson; receiving a B.S. in Public Administration with a Health Services concentration. She received a second B.S. degree in Health Sciences, as well as a Physician Assistant Certificate from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science Physician Assistant Program in Los Angeles.

After graduating from PA school, she moved to Birmingham, where she practiced for one year as an Internal Medicine PA-C at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. She then went on to further her education and received a Doctorate of Medicine from Windsor University School of Medicine, and completed her Family Medicine residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham - Selma Family Medicine Program. Prior to joining us at UAB, she practiced as a medical consultant for the state of Alabama at Disability Determination Services.

Dr. Gilford has many interests outside of education, including traveling, potting plants, and spending time with her husband and four children. She also participates in various community service projects surrounding the Birmingham area to help encourage and assist children and families living in underserved communities. To support this endeavour, she recently started practicing clinically at Alabama Regional Medical Services (ARMS) in Ensley, AL, where she provides healthcare to underserved and homeless patients in the community. She also allows PA students to work with her in the clinic, in hopes of exposing them to clinical and socioeconomic factors that invariably contribute to health disparities in these surrounding areas.
justin goebelJustin Goebel, MSPAS, PA-C
Assistant Professor
1716 9th Ave. S.
SHPB 481
Birmingham, AL  35294

Mr. Goebel joined the PA program in February of 2018. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at UAB. He received a BS degree from UAB in Health Sciences in 2009 and a Master’s degree in Surgical Physician Assistant Studies in 2012. Prior to joining the PA program, Mr. Goebel practiced as an Operating Room Technician while completing his undergraduate studies. He then practiced as an Orthopedic Surgical PA at Shelby Baptist Hospital for five years after graduating from PA school. While practicing as a Surgical PA, he maintained a relationship with the PA program as a preceptor. With his love for UAB, the PA program, and surgery, Mr. Goebel is an excellent addition to our faculty. With over 15 years of surgical and clinical experience, he brings with him a passion to help educate and train our next generation of Physician Assistants. Mr. Goebel met his wife at UAB and they have three children. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and as a beekeeper, which is a fun, yet occasionally painful hobby.

Heather Hallman.Heather Hallman, PA-C
Assistant Professor
1716 9th Ave. S.
SHPB 466
Birmingham, AL 35294

Mrs. Hallman joined the Physician Assistant Studies Program in December of 2017. She is a UAB Alumni who graduated from the PA Program in 2014, after receiving her BS Degree from UAB in Allied Health Sciences in 2009. Following graduation, Heather remained connected with UAB and the PA Program by helping to train our students as an Adjunct Faculty of the PA Program as well as a preceptor for our students rotating in the ER. Prior to joining us as a full-time faculty member, Heather practiced as a Certified PA in Emergency Medicine at Princeton Baptist Medical Center.

Mrs. Hallman is dedicated to medicine and lifelong learning, and she is truly passionate about patient care and fostering the growth of students as they train to become our esteemed colleagues within the PA profession. In addition to providing didactic and clinical training to our students in the classroom setting, she will continue to practice clinically in the ER and will allow students to work with her in this setting. Allowing students to experience direct patient care under close oversight from a UAB PA faculty member will ensure that each student strengthens their ability to apply the appropriate skills and training needed to excel in the clinical setting. Outside of Heather’s passion for teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.

Wei Li WebWei Li, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Clinical & Diagnostic Sciences
1716 9th Avenue South, SHPB 485
Birmingham, AL 35294
(205) 996-2656

Dr. Wei Li is an Associate Professor in the Physician Assistant Studies Program, at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has more than 10 years working experience on educating medical professionals. In his career of medical education, he has been teaching a variety of subjects, including anatomy, clinical medicine, evidence based medicine, general biology, genomics, physiology, pathology, and patient evaluation. He has been not only teaching both undergraduate and graduate levels, but also performing pedagogy and student learning outcome research. In addition, he has been serving as an active reviewer or editor for several professional journals: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of Diabetes, Journal of Brain Imaging and Behavior, and The American Journal of the Medical Sciences. In his spare time, Dr. Li enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, and outdoor activities.
ReiffDonaldDonald Reiff, MD
Medical Director
1927 7th Ave. S.
Kracke Building 110
Birmingham, AL 35294

Dr. Reiff is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. He completed his residency in General surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2003, and currently serves as the Associate Medical Director of the Trauma/Burn Intensive Care Unit at UAB University Hospital. He is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at UAB.
Swatzell KellyKelley Swatzell, DrPH, MPH
Associate Professor
1716 9th Ave. S.
SHPB 435
Birmingham, AL  35294

Dr. Swatzell, Associate Professor, is the Director of Evaluation and Outcomes Research of the UAB Physician Assistant Program and the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. She earned her Doctorate in Public Health in December 2014. Her dissertation research was on perinatal outcomes of non-medically indicated early term deliveries. She is a member of the Delta Omega National Honors Society in Public Health and the Ph Alpha National Honors Society in Physician Assistant Education. She taught integrated public health science at the UAB School of Public Health prior to joining the faculty at the UAB Physician Assistant Program. She teaches research methods, statistics, scientific presentations and behavioral sciences for the UAB PA Program and the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences.
The Physician Assistant Studies Program degree program is designed to lead to a professional licensure (certification), Master of Physician Assistant Studies. While there is a national professional exam, Physician Assistant National Certification Examination, associated with the physician assistant licensure, specific licensure requirements still vary from state to state and by professional organization (if applicable). UAB is working to develop an online, publicly-accessible database to assist in providing this state-by-state information. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning about potential professional licensure requirements in your state for a specific degree program, please contact UAB State Authorization at stateauth@uab.edu, or call Dr. Lisa Reburn at (205) 934-3258.