When it comes to global health, not everything has to be mission trips and hand-delivered packages of medicine. Some of the cause’s most influential work happens across a desk or over the phone. For Kim Bush, Director of Life Sciences Partnerships (LSP) at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and life-long advocate for the advancement of global health, making a difference means establishing strong relationships with the right people around the world.
"I’m helping to solve some of healthcare’s toughest issues,” says Bush, a 1976 graduate of UAB’s M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Sciences program. “I’m a results-oriented individual with a passion for global health.”
You might be familiar with Bush’s employer. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is recognized as one of the most powerful charitable organizations in the world, contributing over $28 billion toward efforts in global development since its creation in 1997. The foundation stresses the importance of innovation through collaborative partnership, which is exactly what Bush accomplishes as Director of the LSP.
"The LSP seeks active engagement with industry in order to achieve innovative, high-impact global health outcomes,” he explains. “These lead to healthy and productive lives for all people, especially those living in extreme poverty.”
A 1979 graduate of UAB’s Dietetic Internship and Master’s program in Nutrition Sciences, Campbell spent over thirty years practicing clinical nutrition and managing medical nutrition communications. Now happily retired, she runs her own food tourism business, A La Carte Food Tours, in Columbus, Ohio. “When I retired, I wanted to return to the beauty and sensuality of food,” she explains.
Campbell began her journey with a B.S. in home economics, but quickly realized she didn’t want to be a teacher. “So I went to Jacksonville State University to fulfill the educational requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.”
“I had my fair share of minor injuries like patellofemoral syndrome and plantar fasciitis and that led to trips to physical therapy, which led me to realize I really enjoyed going to physical therapy,” said Ray. “While I was researching various schools across the country I learned UAB had a strong PT department so I toured the school and the area. I loved everything I saw and submitted my application the next week to be a part of the Doctor of Physical Therapy class of 2011.”
Leslie Simms and Jenny Taylor, UAB Occupational Therapy classmates and alumnae, are board members of Our Hope International. The organization supports the Home of Hope orphanage in Uganda, Africa, through donations and the sale of paper beads handmade in Uganda. The definition of hope, as defined by Simms and Taylor, is not a want to happen or think it can happen. Hope means making it happen.
“We take an annual trip to serve the children, staff and local community in Uganda,” said Taylor, founder of Our Hope International and Jonesboro, Ga., native. "We deliver needed equipment, toiletries, clothing, and encouragment, with our ultimate goal of being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ."
“I administer radio active drugs to people and then image them in our gamma camera,” said Mosquera.
But Mosquera, a 2012 Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) alumna who works for Children’s of Alabama, is actually more like a super hero using cutting edge technology to help diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases.
In January 2013, Keyser followed her own advice once again, leaving Nashville after 15 years to become president of Healthways Hawaii. She is in charge of the market and operations of a unique partnership with Hawaii Medical Service Association-BCBS (HMSA). Through 2021, Healthways is responsible for health management, promotion and prevention for the approximately 700,000 HMSA members. Definitely a non-traditional set up.
It was Melanie Jones' senior year of high school when the subject of nutrition piqued her interest. She remembers her AP biology course briefly discussed nutrition when she realized science is involved in nutrition.
“It was the first time I’d ever realized it goes far beyond ‘simply watching what you eat’ and ‘counting calories,’” said Jones. “I decided to become a registered dietitian because I wanted to make nutrition my career.”
Jones went through the Dietetics Internship in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at UAB and finished in 2012. She said the experience allowed her to see the different areas of the field of nutrition.
The 1999 graduate of the Department of Physical Therapy’s master’s program originally chose PT because it offered more flexibility than most medical professions. She began practicing and teaching yoga during PT school. Her dedication to fitness has been the basis for a steady integration of the two disciplines where she uses yoga techniques to promote healing."
Three years after receiving her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from UAB, LaShonda Peoples saw a need and decided to do something about it. She remembered the out-of-pocket expenses she endured as a second year OT student and in 2008 created the HOTSS Scholarship (Helping Occupational Therapy Students Succeed).
“The scholarship helps second year occupational therapy students afford and prepare for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam, license fees and study materials,” said Peoples. “Students tell me they are grateful for the scholarship considering there are very few available for OTs.”
“I realized I hated what I was doing and the only way to take control of my career was to go back to school and get into a field with more, and varied, career opportunities,” said McCarter.
That’s when the Danville, Va. native discovered the Biotechnology graduate program in the Department of Clinical & Diagnostic Sciences.
As an area manager for IOD Incorporated, a vendor that provides health information services to facilities including St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, Jeannine Teague, RHIA, CPC-A, sees herself as a patient advocate.
“It is my responsibility to ensure that we protect the patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality by following HIPAA laws when releasing information to the different types of requesters that require information for a specific purpose,” said Teague. “In document imaging, it is my responsibility to ensure that we are operating successfully with scanning the paper medical record into the EHR accurately and completely. These two things are very important in the medical field because they can affect the level of care received by the patient if all of their information is not present or accurate when they seek additional care, or need specific information released for another purpose.”
Ellen R. Strunk knew when she graduated from the physical therapy program at UAB in 1991 she would never be bored.
“No two patients are ever the same and no two impairments are exactly alike,” said Strunk. “There are so many possibly venues in which physical therapy exists.”
Working with older adults is her love and it’s given her the opportunity to work in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and outpatient rehab agencies.
“The profession of physical therapy is universal in a lot of ways, but it is unique in its application,” said Strunk. “That is the joy and the challenge of having my degree.”