GSRD 2013 Johnson HollenbeckJessica Johnson and Dana Hollenbeck, 2013 graduates of the UAB Genetic Counseling Program, took home 2nd and 3rd place honors respectively at the 2013 UAB Graduate Research Day. The two School of Health Professions alumni placed in the category Public Health and Engineering.

Johnson, (pictured on the left) from Homewood, Ala., presented research titled “How to Develop an Educational Tool on Hereditary Breast Cancer for Minorities.” The objective of her work was to discover an effective educational strategy to disseminate hereditary breast cancer information to the African American community. Johnson’s study recommends educators use a personal, interactive approach that conveys the message through established community groups and programs.

Hollenbeck, (pictured on the right) from Decatur, Ala., presented research titled “Contribution of Family History on the Incidence of Spina Bifida.” Her study evaluated the current impact of family history on incidence of spina bifida and found a higher incidence of family history, particularly paternal family history, than what had previously been reported.

The UAB Genetic Counseling Program, located within the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, is only three years old and this is the second year in a row that a student placed at the event. Last year, Jamison Beek won first place in the category of Public Health and Social & Behavioral Sciences.
cytologyThe UAB School of Health Profession’s Cytotechnology Program, the only program of its kind in Alabama, celebrates its 50 year anniversary this summer. The event, held in concert with the Cytology Association of Alabama, is at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, at The Club, located at 1 Robert S. Smith Drive in Birmingham.

The keynote speaker is renowned cytotechnology expert Marshall Austin, M.D., Ph.D., whose current areas of research interest include cervical cancer screening, cervical neoplasia risk stratification modeling and risk management and new cervical screening technologies. Austin, a past President of the American Society of Cytopathology (ASCT), will discuss Type I vs. Type II Cervical Cancers and Targeted Educational Rescreening.

kristopher madayThe Journal of American Academy of Physician Assistants published a Continuing Medical Education (CME) article by Kristopher Maday, MS, PA-C, CNSC, an assistant professor and academic coordinator in the UAB Department of Clinical and Diagnostic SciencesPhysician Assistant program. The article, entitled “Understanding electrolytes: Important diagnostic clues to patient status,” reviewed data and research involving the measurement, interpretation and evaluation of electrolytes in clinical practice.

“Electrolytes are one of the most ordered tests in clinical practice, but can be overlooked when numerous labs need interpreting,” said Maday. “My goal with this article was to give clinicians the signs and symptoms of electrolyte dysfunction and how to diagnose those abnormalities before the results of the labs are back.”

A CME article provides one hour of credit to Physician Assistants (PAs) that pass the accompanying quiz. This is Maday’s first CME article published in the Journal of AAPA which only publishes two CME articles each month. The UAB School of Health Professions’ Physician Assistant program is ranked in the Top 25 by U.S. News & World Report.

Anyone interested in reading the article and taking the quiz for CME credit should visit the article webpage at

2013 EXPO Posters GroupTwenty four respiratory therapy (RT) students presented their service learning posters at the 2013 UAB Summer Research Expo. The event, held at the Edge of Chaos, featured students from across UAB and across the country.

The RT students attend one of two asthma camps this summer, either Camp Wheezaway or Children’s Hospital Asthma Camp, as part of their capstone and service learning course. To cover the costs of Camp Wheezaway and to pay the cost of camp for one or two campers, they held fundraisers throughout the year.

Dave Figliuzzi Courtesy Cigna CorporationDavid Figliuzzi, Masters of Science and Health Administration (MSHA) Class 28, is the new executive director of the Cigna Foundation. Figliuzzi, who has been with Cigna for 19 years, will be responsible for guiding the foundation in its effort to support charitable organizations or programs that work to help improve people’s health, well-being and sense of security.

“Philanthropy and service to others is a part of Cigna's DNA,” Figliuzzi said in a company news release. “In my work on our corporate side, I’ve seen personally the tremendous difference Cigna has made in improving individual health. It’s exciting to now be part of the Cigna Foundation’s efforts to help build healthier communities too.”

The Cigna Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2013 and has assisted more than 100 charitable organizations since the October 2012 anniversary date.
stephanie mcgilvrayStephanie McGilvray, MMSc, PA-C, an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Health Professions Physician Assistant Program has been named to the Physician Assistant Foundation (PAF) board of trustees. The PAF, the philanthropic body of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), provides support to the physician assistant community through scholarships and grants.

“As an instructor at UAB, my objective is to help our students succeed; and by serving on the PAF Board, I see this is an invaluable opportunity to directly impact the success of an even larger number of students from across the nation,” said McGilvray, a member of the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences. “I’m excited for the possibilities, and I see this as directly impacting the future of the physician assistant profession.”

McGilvray, who also sits on the AAPA Reimbursement Work Group, will serve a three-year term for the PAF effective immediately. She is also currently serving as a board member at large for the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants (ASPA) and previously served as their president.
dna genetic counselingThe UAB Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences (CDS) announces the creation of a new course that will introduce students to the field of medical genetics. CDS 520: Competencies in Genetics for Health Professionals will examine how genetics impact all aspects of the health industry. The course will also take a look at potential applications of advancements made in the field and how that can affect modern health care.

“The course is designed to give students a distinctive look at the many ways genetics influences lives and show the many applications of genetics across health care,” said Lynn Holt, MS, CGC, assistant professor in the UAB School of Health Professions. “UAB has the only genetic counseling program in the state so this is a unique opportunity that students will not find anywhere else in Alabama.”

The course is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. For more information on the new course call 205-975-4237 (4CDS) or email You can also visit the CDS homepage at The last day to register for the fall course is August, 15, 2013.
Wyatt RonaldBecker’s Hospital Review recently named two UAB Executive Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) program graduates among their “50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety.” Dr. Leigh S. Hamby, MHA, and Dr. Ronald M. Wyatt, MHA, (pictured, right) were chosen for their efforts to reduce harm and ensure safety.

Hamby (E 34, 2000) is CMO and chief quality officer at Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta where he has worked since 2001. He is responsible for oversight of quality, medical staff governance, patient safety and research for the five hospital system with 900 physician physician-hospital organization (PHO).

Wyatt (E 41, 2007) completed a fellowship at the IHI (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) and is currently medical director in the Division of Healthcare Improvement at The Joint Commission in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Wyatt, according to The Joint Commission website, is their lead information and education resource for patient safety; and he works closely with public policy and legislation promoting improvements in patient safety.

The Executive MSHA program is designed to provide comprehensive understanding of health care organizations and prepare students for senior management positions throughout the health field. It is part of the UAB master’s degree program in Health Services Administration which is ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Andrew MetzlerAndrew Metzler, an 18-year-old health care management major from Oneonta, was elected as UAB’s school representative at the Alabama YMCA Collegiate Legislature Conference. Students from across the state, including several from UAB, converged in Montgomery to draft bills and debate legislation.

Metzler was one of six students from UAB who was elected to leadership roles for year’s convention or received an honor. Students interested in participating in next year’s conference or learning more about UAB’s Undergraduate Student Government Association, go to