Doctoral DirectorsCurrent and past HSA doctoral program directors:
Top Row L/R - Hearld, Hernandez
Bottom Row L/R - Duncan, Fottler, Thompson
On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Health Services Administration celebrated 40 years of doctoral education. Together, the PhD in Administration-Health Services program and the Executive Doctor of Science in Administration-Health Services program have graduated 166 researchers, scholars, teachers, and leaders.

“In the early days of this program we created a culture where the students were encouraged to work with one another on their academic papers and that wasn’t being done on a regular basis by many others,” said Myron Fottler, Ph.D., former director of the PhD in Administration-Health Services program. “When I looked at the student poster presentations today I noticed that strategy continues. The program directors that have come in since I left have done a great job and a great service to UAB students and alumni.”

The 40th anniversary event saw almost every program director return to campus to celebrate the numerous achievements by students, faculty and alumni over the years. The directors, as well as the many alumni who returned, toured the new learning spaces in the School of Health Professions Building (SHPB) where the current doctoral students learn and conduct research.Everyone in attendance also received a glimpse of the future – a look at what the next 40 years of doctoral education may bring.

CAHME AccreditedThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) program has been chosen as a recipient of the 2018 CAHME/Cerner Award for Excellence in Healthcare Management Systems Education. The annual award delivered by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education , the premier accreditator  in their field, in partnership with Cerner, one of the nation’s leaders in health care technology, recognizes outstanding education in the use of information technology and management systems in healthcare.

“We are honored by this award, especially because it recognizes how we integrate the important areas of leadership and health informatics in our graduate programs at UAB,” said Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., chair, Department of Health Services Administration. “It also highlights the ways we work closely with the UAB Health System and our many alumni partners in the field to develop future leaders.”

BG HealthcareMgmt2016The MSHA program, ranked second in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report, is the highest ranked program at UAB and is located in the School of Health Professions’ Department of Health Services Administration.

(Reuters Health) - - For cancer survivors, three seasons of home vegetable gardening may increase physical activity, fruits and vegetables in the diet and also enhance feelings of self-worth, researchers say.

Gardening may help cancer survivorsPossibly as a result of these healthy behaviors, gardeners in the small study also tended to gain less weight around their waists compared to their counterparts on a waiting list for the gardening intervention, the study team reports.

It’s estimated there are more than 15 million cancer survivors in the U.S., over two thirds of whom are over age 60, they note in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“For cancer survivors, especially those who are older, we look for lifestyle changes that can help them get healthier but are also holistic and have meaning,” said lead author Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, chair of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“We can send people to the gym, but that isn’t meaningful, and we can counsel them to eat better, but we want it to be more rewarding, and we want it to be long-term,” Demark-Wahnefried told Reuters Health in a telephone interview. “With gardening, we’ve hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

You are when you eat.

A growing number of researchers say limiting the hours during the day when you eat, focusing more on the timing of meals instead of calories, can help dieters burn more fat, improve their health and lose weight.

Lorna Shelton, 58, was not very lively this time last year. The Centralia, Washington native weighed nearly 250 pounds and had trouble walking.

"I had to have both knees replaced, I was walking with a cane," said Shelton.

A traditional approach to losing weight, including substituting fast food for cooked meals and moderate intensity exercise, helped her to lose weight — but not enough.

"After I had gotten 40 pounds off, the next ten pounds seemed to take forever, I needed to do something different," said Shelton.

Valley McCurry Ann Cosby AwardChris Eidson and Valley McCurryValley McCurry, MBA, OTR/L, assistant professor in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Occupational Therapy, received the Ann Cosby Service Award from the Alabama Occupational Therapy Association (ALOTA).

The award is given annually to an advocate “who has made contributions to the advancement of occupational therapy and/or health care” over their career.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award from an organization that I care deeply about,” said McCurry. “I had the pleasure of being able to serve on the board with a group of fantastic, caring volunteers who love OT and our state, and it was really that group of individuals who allowed us to move the profession forward in Alabama.”

McCurry, who has worked as an OT since 1998, is a former president of ALOTA (serving from 2007 – 2014) and is currently the co-chair of their Government Affairs. She served as vice chair of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Affiliated State Association Presidents Council from 2014-2017.

EtaBernerEta Berner, EdDEta S. Berner, EdD, director of the UAB Center for Health Informatics for Patient Safety/Quality (CHIPS/Q), and Bunyamin Ozaydin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Graduate Programs in Health Informatics in the Department of Health Services Administration, are published in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Their Letter to the Editor, titled “Benefits and risks of machine learning decision support systems,” was selected in response to the article “Unintended Consequences of Machine Learning in Medicine” that was published in the August 8, 2017 edition of JAMA.

In the original article, the authors discuss the potential for overreliance on technology which could lead to the “deskilling” – reducing the analytic skills – of physicians. In other words, the move to machine learning would hinder physicians’ ability to recognize inaccuracies of algorithms or errors committed by the systems themselves.

In their 400-word letter, Berner and Ozaydin compare this line of concern to the concerns that arose with the introduction of the blood pressure cuff in the early 1900’s. It took more than 50 years before blood pressure cuffs were routinely used by nurses as they are today.

BBJThe Birmingham Business Journal released its annual “Who’s Who in Birmingham Health Care” list and 19 of the members – led by our Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D. – have connections to the UAB School of Health Professions.

Nearly 1 of every 3 leaders on the BBJ’s influential list are connected to UAB SHP.

Fourteen of those listed are alumni of the School with the other five serving as faculty, or a leadership role, or both.

The BBJ says the people who earned a spot on their list “are shaping one of Birmingham’s most important industries in their own way, and they are also individuals who have helped make the Magic City a global leader in health care.”

Rimmer Coulter Award 2017James Rimmer, Ph.D., Director of the UAB / Lakeshore Research Collaborative and inaugural Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences, has received the 2017 John Stanley Coulter Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM). The Coulter Award, the second highest honor delivered by the ACRM, recognized those who make significant contributions to the field of rehabilitation.

As part of the honor, Rimmer, a professor in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Occupational Therapy, delivered the Coulter Lecture at the ACRM 94th Annual Conference in Atlanta. His lecture, titled Pathway from Acute Rehabilitation to Lifelong Health and Wellness for People with Disabilities, took a closer look at how his work at Lakeshore Foundation empowers exercise and rehabilitation professionals to provide their patients with context-driven health and wellness recommendations needed to self-manage and sustain health across the lifespan.

BEAT study 4A study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, connects traditional aerobic physical activity, like walking, to better sleep for post-primary treatment breast cancer survivors.

The study, titled “Physical Activity and Sleep Quality in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Trial,” is the first large randomized controlled aerobic physical activity study of its kind in breast cancer survivors who had completed primary cancer treatment. This study found participants who received a physical activity program focused on achieving 150 weekly minutes of physical activity – just over 20 minutes per day – reported better sleep quality, less sleep disturbances and less daytime dysfunction (related to fatigue).

“Nearly 1 in 3 breast cancer survivors suffer from poor sleep and poor sleep is associated with greater breast cancer mortality – so research in this area is critical for survivors and those who care about them,” said Laura Q. Rogers, MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM, principal investigator of the study and professor at UAB. “Our findings are significant because the benefits were of sufficient magnitude to reach and exceed the clinically important threshold.”