Olena Mazurenko ‘12

The University of Alabama at BirminghamD68723 28 Mazurenko is an internationally-renowned research university and academic health center, the ideal destination for world-class health education. Olena Mazurenko would know—the globetrotting academic studied in both Ukraine and Germany before travelling to the U.S. to earn her PhD in Health Services Administration.

Now Mazurenko is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches courses in human resource management, strategic management, and introduction to health care systems.

“My perspective is somewhat unique,” Mazurenko explains. “As a physician I have deep understanding of health care delivery from a clinical perspective. As a health care management researcher I have in-depth knowledge of the health care field from a technical point of view.”

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Kara Caruthers '09

Kara CaruthersKara Caruthers with student Sarah TateKara Caruthers didn’t start pursuing her career as a Physician Assistant until she was thirty years old.

“Not that thirty is old,” she insists. “I was teaching as an anatomy instructor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Through that role I had the opportunity to do some teaching in the PA program, which really caused me to explore the PA profession.”

Caruthers, who now teaches in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences and works clinically in the Emergency Medicine Department at UAB Hospital/UAB Highlands, had never considered any profession besides medicine.

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Chuan Wang ‘10

Chuan WangChuan Wang '10 with son, Ian.Former Olympic swimmer Chuan Wang earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2010. Four years later, he’s reconnecting with his Olympic roots by travelling to Beijing, China to serve as the director of a new sports medicine clinic in the Chinese Olympic Training center.

Wang currently works as a clinical director at Advance Rehabilitation in Rockmart, GA. He recently became a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic surgery through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialities, a distinction that less that 10% of all US phsyical therapists can claim. He will begin his new job at the Chinese Olympic Training center this fall.

Wang first discovered physical therapy in 1996, while competing in the Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. “I met a physical therapist who worked for the swimming events,” Wang recalls. “I was very impressed by his skills. Before I met that PT, I only knew that I wanted to be a specialist who could help people recover from injuries. After meeting him, I decided to be a physical therapist.”

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Michelle Jeffcoat ‘94

Michelle Jeffcoat May 2014 3Michelle Jeffcoat began her undergraduate journey in Mass Communications, but quickly switched majors after discovering Nutrition. A graduate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Dietetic Internship and M.S. in Nutrition Sciences program, she’s now harnessing her passion for healthcare in order to mentor the next generation of nutrition specialists.

Jeffcoat came to the UAB School of Health Professions in 1992. “In order to become a Registered Dietitian, nutrition students must complete a 9-month Dietetic Internship to sit for the Registration Exam,” she explains. “My professors at Samford spoke very highly of the program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I liked that the UAB internship had a more clinical focus, as many of the Dietetic Internships at that time focused more on food service.”

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Cheri Nipp ‘12

Cheri NippCheri Nipp is using her knowledge to change the world—starting with the state of Mississippi.

Twenty years after earning her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Nipp returned to school to specialize her knowledge. Now, after earning her Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation and Postprofessional M.S. in Occupational Therapy, she is the sole provider of outpatient low vision rehabilitation services at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Mississippi.

In fact, she’s the reason that the facility has a Low Vision Rehabilitation program at all.

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Kayce Dover '02

Kayce DoverKayce Dover, President and CEO of HIM Connections, LLC, is a successful business leader and owner in the Birmingham area. Just recently, the Birmingham Business Journal named Dover, a graduate of UAB’s Health Information Management and M.S. in Health Informatics programs, as one of the city’s “Top 40 Under 40” for 2014.

“I started my own staffing firm in 2007,” explains 39-year-old Dover. “In 2012, I merged my company with The Coding Center, a division of Doozer Software, Inc. The new firm now operates as HIM Connections, LLC.”

Dover’s company specializes in Health Information Management and Health Information Technology, providing recruitment and staffing services to hospitals and healthcare organizations across the nation. “I use the knowledge I gained at UAB each day when I speak with healthcare professionals about their staffing challenges. My education and experience are critical to understanding the specific needs of the clients and candidates we serve.”

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Kim Bush '76

Kim BushKim Bush, photo courtesy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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.”

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Sheila M. Campbell, PhD, RD

Sheila Campbell 1When asked to describe a well-balanced meal, most people shrug their shoulders and mumble something about vegetables. For Sheila Campbell, PhD, RD, a good meal is much more than the food on a plate: it’s the perfect balance between science and art.

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.”

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Holly Ray

For many people, long distance running is a great time to think and reflect and have epiphanies. Holly Ray, PT, DPT, a native of Starkville, Miss., and a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Doctor of Physical Therapy class of 2011, this was no different and she enjoyed all running from 5Ks to marathons to half-ironman triathlons. However, Ray’s life-changing epiphany occurred while running - but not in the way it occurs to most.
“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.”

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Leslie Simms, Jenny Taylor

Jenny child webJenny Taylor w/child from Home of HopeThe definition of hope is “to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true.”

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."

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