Bolus Norman webNorman Bolus, president-elect SNMMI-TSNorman Bolus, MSPH, MPH, CNMT, FSNMMI-TS, interim-program director of the UAB Health Physics program and program director of the UAB Nuclear Medicine Technology program, has been elected as the 2017-18 president-elect of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Technologist Section (SNMMI-TS). Bolus’ three year commitment of president-elect, president and immediate past-president began on June 13, 2017.

“As president-elect of the SNMMI-TS, I will focus on three goals that I ran on for this elected position: 1) to change the legal title for nuclear medicine technologists to officially be listed as professionals in the eyes of the U.S. government, 2) increase membership within the society and 3) to support advocacy efforts for the SNMMI-TS which include scope of practice issues within the profession,” said Bolus.

Bolus, an assistant professor in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, was in clinical practice for three years prior to joining UAB in 1989. During his time at UAB he has served in nearly every role possible including lab instructor, teacher, assistant professor and clinical coordinator before being named the NMT program director in 2007. In 2016, Bolus was named interim-program director of and charged with starting the UAB Health Physics program.

Academy for DiversityStudents and faculty of the inaugural diversity in health care academyThe University of Alabama at Birmingham launched the UAB Academy for Addressing Health Disparities through Health Care Leadership on May 30, 2017. The two-week program, dedicated to increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of students in graduate level health care management education and leadership, was created by the UAB School of Health Professions’ Department of Health Services Administration with guidance from the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The inaugural academy class includes eight undergraduates from the UAB Health Care Management (HCM) and UAB Public Health programs.

“We created the academy because health care organizations need a diverse management workforce dedicated to meeting the needs of increasingly diverse patient populations and unfortunately, many graduate programs across the country struggle to attract qualified applicants from underrepresented groups,” said Allyson Hall, Ph.D., academy faculty lead and health policy professor in the UAB Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) and HSA Doctoral programs. “The academy will prepare outstanding UAB students to apply, enter and succeed in competitive health care leadership programs.”

james rimmer lakeshoreJames Rimmer, Ph.D.The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors has approved a $5.8 million grant over the next four years to the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions’ James Rimmer, Ph.D., to fund a study to determine whether people with multiple sclerosis get as much benefit from an exercise-based rehabilitation program delivered via internet and telephone as they do when the therapy is provided in a clinic.

Rimmer, who is director of the UAB / Lakeshore Research Collaborative, where the study is headquartered, and Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences at the UAB School of Health Professions, is a pioneer in exercise and disability research, and was recently awarded more than $10 million for research in this area by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The PCORI project is the first major grant that focuses specifically on the MS community for Rimmer, who has personally been touched by MS through his niece’s living with the condition for the last 20 years in New York City.

FottlersCarol and Myron Fottler at the
2016-17 SHP Scholarship Luncheon
Myron Fottler, Ph.D., who served as program director for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Administration-Health Services program from 1983 until 1999, along with his wife Carol, has established the first endowed scholarship fund for the Ph.D. program located in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Health Services Administration.

The Myron D. and Carol A. Fottler Endowed Support Fund for the Ph.D. Program in Administration-Health Services will support students with tuition, travel fees associated with professional development, or for costs associated with publishing as a sole author or first author.

“UAB gave me my first opportunity as a Ph.D. program director and played such a large role in my career that I wanted to give back to the program that gave me so much,” said Fottler, who is professor emeritus, Health Management and Informatics at the University of Central Florida. “There are many costs associated with an education beyond tuition and we wanted to make sure those costs would not inhibit a student from gaining the foundation that goes with professional development or the confidence that goes with authoring a paper and that is why we established this scholarship.”

david allison group 2017Top, from left: The UAB Strategically Focused Research Center team includes: Kirk Habegger, Ph.D.; Nefertiti Durant, M.D.; Tim Garvey, M.D.; David Allison, Ph.D.; Stella Aslibekyan, Ph.D.; Nengjun Yi, Ph.D.; Cora Elizabeth Lewis, M.D.; Paula Chandler-Laney, Ph.D.; Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D.; Lorie Harper, M.D.The University of Alabama at Birmingham will launch the UAB Strategically Focused Obesity Research Center with a grant from the American Heart Association for $3.7 million over the next four years. The UAB SFOC is one of four sites in the AHA’s Strategically Focused Obesity Research Network that will work together to advance the field of obesity research.

The UAB SFOC will address two major categories of questions: What metabolic abnormalities imprinted in the womb contribute to excess weight gain in offspring that continue into adulthood, and what are the underlying molecular and genetic causes?

“Obesity perpetuates itself from one generation to the next,” said Timothy Garvey, M.D., principal investigator of the SFOC, director of the UAB Diabetes Research Center and chair of the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences. “Mothers with obesity tend to give birth to children with obesity, which continues into adulthood, ready to begin the next generational cycle. While the causes of obesity are complex, events that occur in the womb are particularly powerful and program long-term regulation of body weight, as well as greater risk for diabetes and heart disease.” 

Morris VolkerMorris (2nd from left) also won the 2016 Volker AwardDavid Morris, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, has been named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of APTA (American Physical Therapy Association). The FAPTA honor is the association’s highest category of membership reserved for physical therapists who have “demonstrated unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession.”

Morris, who serves as professor and chair of the UAB Department of Physical Therapy, joins David Brown, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, program director, Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences program, and Emeritus faculty member Dorothy (Dot) Pinkston, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, as the only current FAPTA members in the UAB School of Health Professions.

The APTA also announced the Lucy Blair Service Award, which is given each year to PT members “whose contributions to APTA are of excellent quality.”

The UAB School of Health Professions handed out top honors to faculty and staff at their annual Faculty and Staff Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 10, 2017. The winners of the awards for 2016 are:

Morris VolkerDavid Morris – Joseph F. Volker Award David Morris, PT, Ph.D. – Joseph F. Volker Award 

Dr. Morris, professor and chair, Department of Physical Therapy, earned this award that is given to a regular, full-time faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in and dedication to teaching, distinctive research and other scholarly endeavors, and/or notable service to the School, University and community. 

Amanda Sherman, alumni engagement coordinator, School of Health Professions, former staff member of the Department of Physical Therapy, presented Morris:

“He gives his time, talent, and treasure to UAB, the Birmingham community, and his professional organization. He is always willing to go above and beyond even if this means adding more to his already full plate. One of our alums recently said, ‘He instilled in me to serve your clients and your community and challenged me to learn and keep learning.’ I couldn’t agree more. I am a much better person because I know this outstanding individual; he sets an incredible example for all of us.”

The University of Alabama at Birmingham — Alabama’s leading provider of genomic and personalized medicine — has launched the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative in partnership with HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology to better meet health needs across the state.

The project, funded by a $2 million appropriation from the Alabama legislature to UAB, supports one of the nation’s first statewide efforts to harness the power of genomic analysis to help identify those at high risk for a genetic disease, and provide a basis for continuing research into genetic contributors to health and disease.

aghi graphic smallClick to enlarge

Katie Henley 3MT RegionalKatie Henley wins 3MT Regional ConferenceKatie Henley, a student in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsPh.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences program, has won the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) regional competition hosted by the Conference for Southern Graduate Schools in Annapolis, Maryland.

Henley, who won the inaugural UAB Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition in October 2016, beat out 45 students from across the Southeast to win the regional title. The competition is open to students in any field of research. Henley is a student in the lab of Candace Floyd, Ph.D., and a member of a research team developing new treatments for pain after central nervous system injuries.