UAB School of Health Professions Current News

UAB students green light hope for children with asthma

Gaines Buggs RobinsonUAB students Jennifer Gaines, Quintoya Buggs, Areka Robinson“At first this was just a school assignment,” said Quintoya Buggs, senior Respiratory Therapy student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“But the kids were so energetic and excited to learn, that we just really had a good time,” she added.

Buggs was part of a group of RT students, including Areka Robinson and Jennifer Gaines, from the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences that spent a few days at the Western Area branch of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham teaching children from the Bessemer area how to better control their asthma.

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Real-world experience without real-life consequences

simulation4 sizedOriginal story by UAB Reporter

One patient is having trouble breathing. A new mom is experiencing bleeding. Another patient is having complications from his diabetes. Labs are being run. The intensive-care unit is buzzing with activity.

Behind the scenes, professors and volunteers are in a control room manipulating manikins and monitors. This isn’t a normal day in the ICU; it’s a simulation designed to test UAB health-care students’ ability to communicate effectively and provide better patient care.

“Simulations such as this provide students an opportunity to both test what they have learned and to collaborate within the health-care team, said Penni Watts, R.N., instructor in nursing and faculty lead for the simulation. “The simulated setting allows students to demonstrate their patient care skills before practicing on real patients.”

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MDA Summer Camp by Jennifer Christy, PT, Ph.D.

ASCCA 01Jennifer Christy, PT, Ph.D. and camper“Jennifer, please come to the cabin and rub my legs and my back!” This common request, made by the campers at the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Summer Camp, is music to my ears since I know it is because the kids have been active all day swimming, riding the zip-line, dancing and doing other fun activities that they would not typically do.

I am beyond privileged to serve as the Camp Physical Therapist each year at a week-long camp for children with neuromuscular diseases.

As a new graduate physical therapist in Louisiana I treated children of all ages and abilities who had disorders that affected their movement. My job was to help them to move better, feel better and meet their movement related goals. Among my patients were two brothers with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy who introduced me to a whole new world, the MDA Summer Camp.

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NIH awards $175k to UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative

Written by Bob Shepard, UAB Media Relations

Quad Rider - courtesy InvotekQuad Rider - courtesy InvoTekThe University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Lakeshore Foundation are partnering with InvoTek, Inc. to create a gear and braking device that helps people with disabilities operate a handcycle safely. InvoTek, a research and development company in Alma, Arkansas, has received a $175,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund the development of technology called a Quad Rider to enable thousands of people with high-level spinal cord injury the opportunity to enjoy the health benefits of handcycling.

“Lack of access to fitness and recreation equipment is one of the primary barriers to participating in health-enhancing fitness activities for people with spinal cord injuries,” said James Rimmer, Ph.D. the inaugural UAB School of Health Professions Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences and director of the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative. “The Quad Rider can open up the possibility of promoting a wonderfully engaging form of physical activity for people with high level tetraplegia and help lower their risk of heart disease and diabetes and improve their mental health status.”

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UAB’s Brown named one of inaugural ASCP 40 Under 40

Michelle Brown named to inaugural ASCP 40 under 40Michelle Brown named to inaugural ASCP 40 under 40Michelle Brown, MS, MLS(ASCP)SBB, an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, is named to the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s inaugural 40 Under 40. Brown, the clinical education coordinator in the Clinical Laboratory Science program, is recognized for her achievements and contributions to the medical laboratory professional field.

“The clinical laboratory is a vital member of the healthcare team and I am honored to have been selected as one of the nation’s young leaders,” said Brown, who is 38. “I am thankful to receive this recognition with fellow pathologists, residents, and laboratory professionals accomplishing great achievements early in their careers.”

Brown, listed as a “dedicated educator” by the ASCP, teaches immunohematology, immunology and analysis of body fluids to UAB graduate and undergraduate level students. Prior to joining the UAB School of Health Professions, she spent 10 years in a clinical setting where she also played an active role in the education of residents, nurses and perfusionists in the intricacies involved with transfusion medicine.

She is featured in the July 2014 issue of Critical Values.

Does this trunk make me look fat? Overweight elephants no laughing matter.

elephant sStory by Bob Shepard, UAB Media Relations

African elephants in captivity are getting fat. While the thought of a pudgy pachyderm might produce a chuckle, it is a situation with potentially serious consequences for the species.

“Obesity affects about 40 percent of African elephants in captivity,” said Daniella Chusyd, M.A., a doctoral student in the University of Alabama at BirminghamDepartment of Nutrition Sciences. “Much as we see in humans, excess fat in elephants contributes to the development of heart disease, arthritis, a shorter lifespan and infertility.”

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SHP program is called starting point of Health IT breeding ground

Amanda Dorsey (right) talks to Health IT Outcomes editor-in-chief Ken CongdonAmanda Dorsey (right) talks to Health IT Outcomes editor-in-chief Ken CongdonThe editor-in-chief of Health IT Outcomes calls Birmingham a Health IT breeding ground and says "It all starts with UAB." And he specifically singles out the UAB Health Informatics program in the School of Health Professions.

In the article, titled "Birmingham's Health IT Breeding Ground," Ken Congdon says, "UAB boasts one of the oldest health informatics programs in the United States (established in 1991) and has developed curriculum specifically geared toward producing the next generation of health IT leaders, innovators, and problem solvers."

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2 SHP programs in Forbes’ Top 5 Best Master’s Degrees for Jobs in 2014

Top 10 Forbes Best Master's Degrees for Jobs in 2014

  • #1 Physician Assistant
  • #4 Occupational Therapy
  • #7 Health Administration
Forbes releases its annual list of best master’s degrees for jobs and two of the top five, and three of the top ten, are offered at the UAB School of Health Professions.

According to Forbes, the number one master’s degree for a job in 2014 is Physician Assistant. The UAB Physician Assistant program is ranked in the top 25 by U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate Schools.” The five year National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certification pass rate for UAB PA students is 99 percent.

Coming in at number four on Forbes’ list is Occupational Therapy. The UAB Occupational Therapy program was recently ranked 12th in the U.S. based on student reviews. It also has the only Low Vision Rehabilitation graduate certificate offered solely for occupational therapists.

Ranked 7th among Forbes’ best master’s degrees for jobs is Health Administration. The UAB Master of Science in Health Administration is the School of Health Professions top ranked program, standing at number five in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate Schools for Health Care Management.”

To calculate “The Best and Worst Master’s Degrees For Jobs In 2014,” Forbes used mid-career compensation data and projected employment growth from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… What is it?

UFO 009SHPB UFO is a DJI Phantom 2 droneA spider-looking UFO with four propellers plus green and red lights hovered above the UAB Learning Resource Center this morning capturing the imagination (and paranoia) of many in the surrounding area.

The UFO turns out to be a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Qaudcopter, in other words, it is a drone which captures still photos and HD video. Did we mention some people were a little paranoid?

The drone was actually being used on behalf of G & S Glass & Supplies, out of Pelham, and B.L. Harbert International who constructed the School of Health Professions Building (SHPB). The companies needed to take a closer look at some hard to reach places on the 6th floor and roof of SHPB.

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