Student & Alumni Affairs

Firehouse guysFirehouse Shelter ClinicThe men who walk into the Firehouse Shelter in Birmingham are people just like us. They suffer the same illnesses just like us. But that is really where the comparisons end.

Homeless people are:

  • 3 to 4 times more likely to die prematurely.
  • 3 times more likely to have heart disease.
  • 2 times more likely to suffer stroke or heart attack.

Their life on the streets is brutal. No stable shelter. No stable food. No stable income. And no stable health care options - until now.
caitlyn kendrickCaitlyn KendrickWe sent questions to some of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program students who volunteer at the School of Health Professions' Firehouse Shelter Clinic. We wanted to know more about them, the current PA program and why they serve. This spotlight is Caitlyn Kendrick.

Why did you choose UAB PA?

Caitlyn Kendrick: UAB offers a very involved and unique program that I knew would make me well rounded and prepared once I graduate. Also, the faculty’s positive attitude and encouragement made me confident that UAB was a good fit for me.

What inspires you to become a PA?

Cristina PardinasCristina Pardinas at White Coat CeremonyWe sent questions to some of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program students who volunteer at the School of Health Professions' Firehouse Shelter Clinic. We wanted to know more about them, the current PA program and why they serve. This spotlight is Cristina Pardinas.

What inspires you to become a PA?

Cristina Pardinas: My family, my friends, my community all inspire me to want to become a PA. I aim to help those who need it the most, I desire to take all that I have learned and give it to those in need. The motivation and drive my family and friends give me and the notion of helping my future patients all inspire me to want to become the best PA I can be.

Advice for future students?

Ebony BatesEbony BatesWe sent questions to some of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program students who volunteer at the School of Health Professions' Firehouse Shelter Clinic. We wanted to know more about them, the current PA program and why they serve. This spotlight is Ebony Bates.

Favorite part of the PA program?

Ebony Bates: I actually have two things. The first are the labs-cadaver and pig, and secondly, is the staff. Not only are they hilarious and make this fun but also very empathetic to individual needs.

Toughest part of the PA program?

Ebony Bates: For me I would say the toughest part would have to be balance-trying to find a balance between classes, studying, family and social life.  It can all be done, but you may have to re-prioritize certain things and make sure you're disciplined.

Why was volunteering at the Firehouse Shelter important to you?

Christophe JacksonChristophe JacksonWe sent questions to some of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program students who volunteer at the School of Health Professions' Firehouse Shelter Clinic. We wanted to know more about them, the current PA program and why they serve.

This spotlight is Christophe Jackson, Ph.D., who has been featured in the UAB Magazine article "The Science of Song" and B-Metro's "Keystrokes".

Favorite part of the PA program?

Christophe Jackson: My favorite part of PA program is the rigorous training and connection to applying real knowledge directly into clinical care. PA are trained to be able to handle a broad variety of medical and clinical settings. I like that PAs are trained to be the MacGyver of the medical profession to bridge the gaps between patient care and working collaboratively as an integrative member of the medical team.

Toughest part of the PA program?

We sent questions to some of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program students who volunteer at the School of Health Professions' Firehouse Shelter Clinic. We wanted to know more about them, the current PA program and why they serve.

This spotlight is Bellamy Hawkins.

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Why did you choose UAB PA?

Bellamy Hawkins: I grew up in Birmingham, went to high school at Briarwood Christian High School and then attended college at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. After I finished college, I felt led to pursue a degree in public health and I came to UAB to get a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology. I decided to apply to PA school while getting my MPH because I desired more patient care interaction and involvement in health care decisions.

Where will we see you in 20 years?

Chelsea BaresChelsea Bares, Class of '10Chelsea Bares, a 2010 graduate of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program, has stayed involved with the program and the School of Health Professions since graduation. She is Communications Director for the Junior Advisory Board of the School of Health Professions and has mentored students through the Breakfast with Blazers program, which gives PA students a forum to ask questions about the PA profession that they may not want to ask preceptors or professors.

We took this Alumni Spotlight opportunity to ask Chelsea some questions of our own.

Favorite part of the PA program?

Chelsea Bares: My favorite part of the PA program was honestly the friends I made, and people I met. I made great friends with fellow students, and also with other PAs who were preceptors or mentors, but have welcomed me into the community. The PA community is a real thing, and I love being a part of it. That all started when I was a student. Oh…..and honestly, I also really loved anatomy lab. I loved dissecting finding different landmarks. I find it all so fascinating. 

Toughest part of the PA program?

Chelsea Bares: The toughest part of the PA program was juggling everything. We were working on our Masters projects, doing rotations, giving presentations and so many other things at once. It was tricky keeping everything prioritized.

Class you never want to take again? And why?

2016 Challenge Bowl AnnouncementA team of students from the UAB School of Health Professions Physician Assistant Studies program achieved second place at the American Academy of Physician Assistant’s 2016 National Medical Challenge Bowl. Team “Kick Acidosis,” featuring second year students Carly Bramel, of Trussville, Alabama, Raeann Lamere, of Dothan, Alabama, and Catherine Willson, of Chesterfield, Virginia, finished higher than any other team in UAB history.

And the team that won together, answered together.

They said their coaches, PA faculty members Kristopher Maday, MS, PA-C, CNSC, and John Hurt, MSPAS, PA-C, helped define each of their “on stage” roles and they stayed true to those roles all the way through.

“Catherine was the fearless, quick thinker and was the speed demon with the clicker in the pre-test that earned us a spot on stage,” said Team Kick Acidosis. “Raeann was the deep, methodical thinker, good with the nitty gritty details, who was able to pull out random answers to the tough questions on stage and Carly was the competitive one, who played the "mom" role, calming the team's nerves.”
Kristopher Maday, MS, PA-C, CNSC, assistant professor in the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program, teaches with and through social media to help students achieve mastery of course goals and learning outcomes. This Faculty Spotlight video talks to Maday about how he works to enrich student engagement through podcasting and blogging.

For more information, contact him direct: maday@uab.edu