DSC 1304(L/R) Tee Hiett, Scotty McCallum, Howard Houser, William Ferniany and Bob HernandezWilliam Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO of the UAB Health System and double alumnus of the UAB School of Health Professions, was named the 2016 UAB National Alumni Society’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Ferniany is a graduate of our #2 in the nation Master of Science in Health Administration (1975) program and our Doctor of Philosophy, Administration-Health Services (1984) program.

"First, I'm thankful for great professors like Dr. Howard Houser, Dr. Tee Hiett and Dr. Bob Hernandez - they really taught me more than they know and I thank them so much for all they did for me," said Ferniany in his acceptance comments. "Finally, if I had not come to UAB I would not have met and married my wife Dana and had two wonderful daughters. So I owe UAB a lot and it really should be me recognizing UAB, not the other way around."

Since 2008, as CEO of the state’s largest employer, UAB Health System, Ferniany has guided the hospital to a top 50 national ranking and constant recognition as one of the best in the U.S. He himself has been named one of Birmingham’s Most Influential by the Birmingham Business Journal and a “Hospital and Health System CEO to Know” by the nationally respected Becker’s Hospital Review.

A nomination letter for Ferniany added:

“Dr. Ferniany is more than a list. He is more than a name. He continues to set the standard for the “UAB Way” – excellence in all endeavors. And when we say he leads the UAB Health System we mean he is a caring, compassionate soul out in front with unique and distinctive ideas about the future of all health systems and all health care.”

SEE MORE: NAS event photos on Flickr


In 2013, Ferniany commissioned the Movi – lift chairs that raise patients and minimize fall risk – and today they are used regularly at UAB Hospital, Kirklin Clinic and the Birmingham VA Hospital.

In 2015, Ferniany spoke out against what was called Alabama’s “slash and burn Medicaid” amendment. He pointed out that this cut could lead to layoffs and closure of hospitals across the state placing the needs of nearly 1 million Alabamians at the forefront of his efforts.

The nomination letter went on to say:

“By definition, distinguished means ‘successful, authoritative, and commanding great respect.’ As you can see, by definition that is Dr. Ferniany both within and around UAB, Birmingham and Alabama. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the UAB Distinguished Alumni Award.”

Ferniany received the award at the UAB National Alumni Society’s 16th annual Alumni Award celebration. Also honored at the event was UAB School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D., who was named the winner of the 2016 UAB Honorary Alumni Award. Jones, who is the longest tenured dean at UAB, received the award given to “a member of the UAB family who has made exceptional contributions to UAB and its programs.”
DSC 1312Harold Jones, Ph.D., and William Ferniany, Ph.D.UAB School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D., is the winner of the 2016 UAB Honorary Alumni Award. Jones, who is the longest tenured dean at UAB, received the award given to “a member of the UAB family who has made exceptional contributions to UAB and its programs” at a ceremony at the UAB National Alumni Society House on Friday, September 30, 2016.

"This is a great institution with great alumni who have accomplished great things," said Jones, who has worked at UAB and lived in Birmingham longer than any other location in his career. "So to be considered an alumni, even from an honorary standpoint, of this institution is truly a great honor and with that it allows me to say confidently - Ever faithful. Ever loyal. Go Blazers!"

Since coming to UAB in 2001, Jones has served on 18 UAB committees and was named chair or co-chair of eight committees. He has shown dedication to UAB leadership having chaired searches for other School’s deans, dedication to UAB philanthropy having chaired the Benevolent Fund campaign and dedication to the future of UAB having co-founded and co-directed the BLAZE Leadership Academy.

“In terms of dedication to UAB campus-wide you will not find someone more willing to stand up than Dr. Jones,” said Jones’ nomination letter. “When asked to serve on the UAB Task Force to Reassess Closure of Football, Rifle and Bowling there was no hesitation in saying yes by Dr. Jones. When asked to chair the Search Committee for Athletic Director there was no hesitation in saying yes by Dr. Jones. It is easy to say no. And too many do that. It is easy to do nothing. And too many do that. Dr. Jones does not say no and he does not do nothing – especially when it comes to UAB.”

Under Jones’ guidance the School of Health Professions has grown to a record 2,000+ students; grown research funding to more than $14 million; grown the number of academic programs ranked nationally to five – including the highest ranked program at UAB (MSHA is ranked #2 in U.S.); and witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount of scholarships to help students attend UAB.

SEE MORE: NAS event photos on Flickr


DSC 1310In terms of UAB spirit there is no other like Jones. The School won the UAB Homecoming Spirit Award every year from 2004 – 2009; won the majority of Building Decoration contests the past 15 years; and won a staggering 12 homecoming awards during the last football homecoming.

The School’s faculty and staff credit the School’s UAB spirit to the tone set by Jones – the only dean to dress up every year (you might not recognize him as Gene Simmons from KISS or Elphaba from Wicked) for the homecoming parade – who is arguably UAB’s biggest cheerleader and most deserved of the 2016 UAB Honorary Alumni Award.

Also honored at the event was William Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO of the UAB Health System and double alumnus of the UAB School of Health Professions. Ferniany, who is a graduate of our #2 in the nation Master of Science in Health Administration (1975) program and our Doctor of Philosophy, Administration-Health Services (1984) program, received the 2016 UAB National Alumni Society’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Blaylock Envision 2016Sarah Blaylock speaks at Envision 2016A record 11 graduates of the UAB Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate program were presenters at the 2016 Envision Conference held in Denver, September 6-10. The multi-disciplinary annual conference, which only accepted 17 occupational therapy presenters, is the premier event for low vision specialists typically offering more than 90 hours of clinical education and research sessions.

"We are so proud of our dedicated graduates who are continuously advancing occupational therapy in low vision rehabilitation through their research, teaching and innovation in clinical practice," said Mary Warren, Ph.D., OTR, SCLV, FAOTA, director, UAB Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate program.

The UAB Low Vision Rehabilitation program is offered totally online and our graduates serve clients in hospitals and clinics across the United States and around the world including Canada, Ireland , Taiwan, and Singapore.

Hernandez Distinguished AwardLemak, Hernandez with Distinguished Service Professor proclamationS. Robert Hernandez, DrPH, has been appointed Distinguished Service Professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions. The position of Distinguished Service Professor is appointed by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees and recognizes a professor’s academic service to UAB and their international accomplishments.

“Bob was an early adopter of extending UAB’s reach beyond the United States and his dedication to improving healthcare around the world has helped place UAB on the international academic map,” said UAB School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D. “Today, he continues to have an unstinting dedication to UAB’s standards of excellence in all of his endeavors and he is a tremendous addition to this prestigious rank.”

Hernandez, an alumni of the UAB Master of Science in Health Administration program (Class 5), serves as director of the Doctoral Programs in Administration-Health Services, senior associate chair for Global Health in the Department of Health Services Administration and director of International Education for the School of Health Professions. He is also the founding director of the UAB Doctor of Science in Administration-Health Services program.

“I have been fortunate to have had wonderful colleagues here at UAB who have shared my interest in improving healthcare delivery not only in Alabama but throughout the world,” said Hernandez. “We have all benefitted from our work with international colleagues as we address complex problems that all healthcare systems face.”

AOM HCM Weech Maldonado FottlerWeech-Maldonado with Fottler at AOM HCMRobert Weech-Maldonado, Ph.D., professor and L.R. Jordan Chair of Health Administration in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Health Services Administration, has been awarded the Myron D. Fottler Exceptional Service Award by the Health Care Management (HCM) Division of the Academy of Management (AOM).

The award, considered by many to be the most distinguished award given by the HCM Division, honors a member that provides extraordinary service to HCM and the profession. Making the honor even more special – it is not required to be awarded annually, but rather given only when someone is identified as a worthy nominee.

“I’m humbled and honored to receive this service award named after Dr. Myron Fottler. Through his mentoring and service to the health care management field, Dr. Fottler has been a role model of exceptional service”, indicated Weech-Maldonado.

Father sonThis new partnership will provide curriculum and training for law enforcement, first responders and more to interact with people who have special needs.The UAB School of Health Professions has partnered with the Interaction Advisory Group to provide curriculum and training to help public service officers — law enforcement, first responders, educators and more — interact safely and effectively with people who have special needs.

The partnership is a unique initiative in which the school has an equity stake in IAG.

“We firmly believe that higher education has no boundaries and should often enter a realm beyond traditional classrooms and coursework that focuses on a personal level of learning that benefits all of society,” said UAB School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D. “We are a school that teaches a wide variety of health care professionals how to improve lives, so it is natural for us to partner with IAG to produce a curriculum for public servants who can ultimately protect lives.”

MSHQS Graduation

On Saturday, August 13, 2016, the UAB School of Health ProfessionsHealthcare Quality and Safety programs made history when the inaugural Master of Science class graduated during UAB’s Summer Commencement.

The MSHQS program, established in 2015, is offered 100 percent online and designed for administrative and clinical professionals who are dedicated to learning quality improvement science and thereby improving themselves and their work environment.

UAB SHP SnapchatEvery orientation we attended we asked students the same question:

"Who is on Snapchat?"

Every orientation provided the same answer:

The majority of students are on Snapchat.

So - that is where we are now.

On Snapchat.

We hope you will enjoy watching us learn as we go. We hope you will include us in your world. And most of all, we hope to keep you informed and entertained.

The way we understand it, you can find us at least three ways:

  1. Username: uab_shp
  2. https://www.snapchat.com/add/uab_shp
  3. Use our Snapcode above

See you on Snapchat!
CHOT Initial EventWeech-Maldonado at initial CHOT planning meetingThe University of Alabama at Birmingham has been approved by the National Science Foundation as an official site for a Center for Health Organization Transformation. UAB was one of only two universities selected for 2016 and is one of only six CHOT University Sites in the United States. The UAB CHOT, an industry-university cooperative research center with a focus of developing innovative solutions to issues challenging the U.S. health care system which will be accomplished by working closely with our industry partners as well as multi-disciplinary collaborations across the University..

“This furthers the School of Health Professions’ strategy of seeking increased influence in addressing societal problems through partnerships with entities outside of the academic setting,” said UAB School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D. “The CHOT is a perfect example of how our School is able to leverage community partnerships in order to make a significant difference in health care and impact people’s lives.”

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