BwB Chris Baker

The latest edition of Breakfast with Blazers features an alumnus from the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Physical Therapy.

Chris Baker, PT, DPT (UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2014), a physical therapist at BenchMark Physical Therapy in Chelsea, shared breakfast and insight with 17 students from the UAB DPT Class of 2018.

“Embrace the chaos of UAB DPT,” said an enthusiastic Baker (appearing 3rd from right in photo). “The faculty do a fantastic job of preparing you for everything to expect when you begin practice. Trust in them, trust in the program, and you will trust yourself on the other side.”

OwenBailey USAHealth COO 2016Owen Bailey, MSHA Class 22, named CEO of USA HealthOwen Bailey, alumnus of the UAB School of Health Professions' Master of Science in Health Administration program (Class 22) and a veteran health care leader who has served as chief operating officer of USA Health since March 2016, has been named chief executive officer and senior associate vice president for medical affairs of the comprehensive academic health care system dedicated to helping people lead longer, better lives.  

In this role, Bailey will be the chief executive responsible for the management and operation of the University of South Alabama hospitals and outpatient centers with a goal of providing high quality, cost-effective, innovative health care.  

University of South Alabama President Tony Waldrop and John V. Marymont MD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the college of medicine in charge of the oversight of USA Health, are delighted Bailey accepted the position.

Alabama PA on Call: Help When You Need ItAlabama PA on Call: Langston, Coleman, MorrissIf you’ve ever lost a job, you’ve heard the clichés – “one door closes, another door opens” or “a fresh start” or “the first day of a new you” – from all your friends.

But what do you tell yourself?

What media mogul Ted Turner, said: “There’s nothing wrong with being fired.”

Or what Apple founder Steve Jobs said: “…it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

And then, even worse, what do you do with yourself?

If you are Sheryll Coleman, PA-C, Linda Langston, PA-C, and Sally Morriss, PA-C, who weren’t fired but simultaneously lost their jobs, you do dinner.

In 2008, Coleman, Langston and Morriss, each alumna of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsPhysician Assistant Studies program, found out the company they worked for was shutting down their Alabama operations in less than a month.

DSC 0030Bert Gavin, PA, Breakfast with BlazersBert Gavin, UAB PA Class of 1974, met with UAB PA Class of 2018 as part of our Breakfast with Blazers series. We are honored to have one of our first graduates of the program join us in the year that we celebrate 50 years of UAB Physician Assistant Studies.

Did you know? UAB has the 2nd oldest PA program in the U.S.


Gavin, who paved the way for PAs in the state of Alabama, talked to the students about how the profession has developed over the years. He also encouraged the students to get involved at the local and state levels because groups like the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants play a significant role.

Michael Matthews receives Kinard Award from Winthrop University President Dan MahoneyMichael Matthews receives Kinard Award from Winthrop University President Dan MahonyMichael Matthews, Ph.D., alumnus of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsPhD in Administration-Health Services program, has been honored by Winthrop University with its top teaching award. On December 17, 2016, Matthews received the Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching as part of Winthrop’s Commencement Ceremony.

Matthews, an associate professor of management, gave credit to his classmates and instructors at UAB for helping him reach this pinnacle achievement.

“My experience at UAB was, and still is, nothing short of amazing,” said Matthews. “The network of MSHA and PhD alumni from UAB is unparalleled and I am fortunate to be a part of this incredible network. Winning the Kinard Award is my greatest professional honor and a direct reflection of those who invested time and energy in me during my academic and industry career and I am eternally grateful.”

Thomas Morris Executive of the YearThomas Morris (pictured, left) named Executive of the YearThomas Morris, a student in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsExecutive Master of Science in Health Administration program, was named Executive Administrator of the Year at the 2016 Healthcare Awards presented by the Gwinnett (Georgia) Chamber. The award is given annually to a professional at the director level or higher who sets the standard through dedication and leadership.

Morris, the Atlanta Market Administrator for HCA Physician Services Group at Eastside Medical Center, beat out nine other finalists to win the top honor. Here is the description of why Morris won:

Carolyn Da SilvaDa Silva with Faculty of the Year awardCarolyn Da Silva, PT, DSc, NCS, alumna of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Physical Therapy, was awarded the 2016 Outstanding Physical Therapy Faculty Award, recognizing merit in teaching, service, and reseach. She is the first UAB alumna to win the William Gould Memorial honor from the Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA).

The award was given to Da Silva during the organization’s annual conference.

“I was surprised and humbled to be given this award. I strive for excellence in my patient, student, and resident- centered work, while continuing to be a lifelong learner,” said Da Silva. “I am sincerely grateful for the mentoring I received from the distinctive faculty and post-professional students at UAB, in addition to the daily support I receive from my professional ‘family’ at TWU.”

Chuck StokesChuck Stokes (MSHA Class 17) EVP/COO, Memorial HermannThe prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, presented annually by the President of the United States, has been awarded to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital. Two alumni of the UAB School of Health Professions’ Master of Science in Health Administration program hold significant roles in the hospital and the health system.

Chuck Stokes (MSHA Class 17) is EVP/COO of the Memorial Hermann Health System, and Kate Willis (MSHA Class 49) is the director of Service Line Operations for Sugar Land Hospital.

“We’ve always seen our overarching strength as ‘family caring for family’ and this recognition doesn’t happen without the commitment and dedication of every member of the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land family,” said Greg Haralson, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land.

Kilgore CAP Kilgore promoted to Lt. ColonelJames R. Kilgore, Ph.D., director of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsPhysician Assistant Studies program, has been promoted to Lt. Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, the official Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

Kilgore, who serves as director of Administration and Personnel for the Southeast Region of the CAP, was promoted on December 1, 2016. The Southeast Region Command supports more than 8,000 members in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.