Physician Assistant students receive white coats

2013 PA WhiteCoatCeremony web2013 PA White Coat CeremonyThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Physician Assistant Program held its White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2015 on Oct. 4, 2013, at the Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium. In front of family, friends, faculty and students, 58 first-year PA students were presented the traditional short white coat by members of the Class of 2014.

The PA Program Director Rick Kilgore, Ph.D., told the class, “We are celebrating the next step in your career that in most cases will define your future. The White Coat Ceremony has many meanings but does symbolize the conversion of a lay person into a member of the healthcare profession.”

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Clinical Laboratory Science Information Session 2/25

CLS labThe UAB Clinical Laboratory Science program hosts an information session Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in SHPB 226. Those attending must email Brianna Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.

Have you ever wondered how doctors diagnose diseases? Do you want to know what happens to your blood sample at your Doctor’s office? Are you curious as to how risk for the development of a heart attack is determined? Welcome to the world inside the medical laboratory, a world where clinical laboratory scientists and other laboratory professionals find answers to these questions and much more.

Clinical laboratory scientists provide critical information in all areas of health and medicine. Whether uncovering diseases such as diabetes and cancer; typing patients and blood products for transfusion; or determining which bacteria is causing a patient’s infection and which antibiotic will be most effective – the practice of modern medicine would be close to impossible without the valuable information provided by these professionals.

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PA students collaborate to serve community health needs

PA DentaQuest 2013Five UAB Schools Collaborate for DentaQuestEvery month students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Physician Assistant Program participate in a health screening as part of an interdisciplinary program at UAB. The School of Dentistry, in partnership with the schools of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Optometry, received a renewal grant through the DentaQuest Foundation to continue a program designed to train healthcare students to work with other professions.

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Six affiliated with SHP earn scholarships

Garvey Zhang NAS Scholarship 2013Tim Garvey, chair of Nutrition Sciences, and Wei ZhangThe University of Alabama at Birmingham National Alumni Society awarded six scholarships to students affiliated with the School of Health Professions. They were recognized at the NAS Scholarship Reception on Oct. 1, 2013.

Amy Clair Grisham, Department of Nutrition Sciences; John R. Hardisty, Physician Assistant Program; and Michael L. Tran, Nuclear Medicine Technology Program; each earned the Dean’s Scholarship. The awards, ranging from $1,000 to $1,500, are for students with a strong academic record who also perform community service.

Caitlyn Mullane, Health Care Management, and Wei Zhang, M.D., graduate student in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, earned the License to Learn Scholarship. The $3,000 award is for undergraduate and graduate students who are Alabama residents with at least a 3.0 GPA.

M. Elizabeth Hendrix, Ph.D., the doctoral program director in the Department of Health Services Administration, was awarded the BBVA Compass Bank Mortgage Graduate Student Scholarship as she works on a master’s in Public Administration. The $2,500 award is given to a graduate student who carries at least a 3.2 GPA and demonstrates solid academic achievement.

The reception was held at the National Alumni Society House.

RT students participate in AIDS Walk

RT 2013 AIDS walk 01Students in the School of Health Professions Respiratory Therapy Class of 2015 recently participated in the 22nd Annual Magic City AIDS Walk and 5K Run. In addition to walking the event, some members of the class volunteered at the registration table to make sure the sign up process went smoothly.

Pictured walking (from left to right) are Jerrica Knight, Lillyvette Ostenson, Ashley Johnson, Jolanda Diggins, Kanesha Thompson.

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42 Students will Race for the Cure

Komen North Central AlaKayla Renner, a second year student with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Physician Assistant program, remembers all too well the first time she became aware of cancer. At the age of 13, her mom’s best friend lost her battle to breast cancer. Unfortunately, her connection to the disease did not end there.

“This is personal for me because my late grandmother and my mom have been diagnosed with cancer,” said Renner, who is the organizer of the “UAB PA’s for the Cure” team. “As a kid I would keep my pink yogurt tops and mail them in to raise money for Susan G. Komen. I have personally seen the support this organization gives to breast cancer victims and I am so grateful for their kindness.”

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UAB Students Highlighted in National Newsletter

The September edition of the American Academy of Physician Assistants Student Academy newsletter featured a first-hand story about the volunteer efforts of some UAB Physician Assistant students. The article, written by second year PA student Amy McCormick, highlights the work done and the lessons learned. Our thanks to Amy for letting us reproduce her article for the SHP website. Here is their story:

McCormick SAAAPA 03Photo Courtesy: Amy McCormickThis summer, the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Physician Assistant Class of 2014 shifted their focus outside the classroom and into the community by donating time to the Jimmie Hale Mission’s Shepura Men’s Center in Birmingham, AL. The class served six meals to homeless men living at the mission, many recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

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School of Health Professions Honors Hiett, Shmerling

Jones Hiett Shmerling webL/R Dean Jones, Tee Hiett, Debbie and Jim ShmerlingThe University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Health Professions dedicated the Debbie and Jim Shmerling Endowed Scholarship in Honor of Tee Hiett at a special ceremony on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. The Shmerling’s $25,000 gift created the permanent endowment scholarship which will assist deserving students entering or enrolled in the Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) Program with preference shown to applicants formally enrolled in the MSHA/MSHI (Master of Science in Health Informatics) dual degree option.

"Debbie and I have discussed how do we want to give back to the people that helped us the most and Tee was the most influential person on me not only when I was in graduate school but also in my career," said Mr. Shmerling, UAB MSHA alumnus (Class 14) and president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado. "He was one of the most demanding faculty members I had at UAB. It didn't feel so good at the time, but it was a good thing because it was important in terms of discipline."

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NMT students given rare, personal tour of cyclotron

NMT Cyclotron 2013.09webNMT Class of 2014The Nuclear Medicine Technology class of 2014 was recently given a rare, personal tour of the University of Alabama at BirminghamComprehensive Cancer Center’s newly installed cyclotron.

“There are not that many people that will ever see the cyclotron because once the door is shut it will not open again unless it needs maintenance,” said Breona Thurman, senior NMT student, (pictured right, bottom row, 2nd from right). “I feel very fortunate.”

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