Adrianne SmileyAdrianne Smiley, AOTA Emerging LeaderAdrianne Smiley, a 2nd year student in the UAB Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, is the first UAB student to be accepted to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Emerging Leaders Development Program.

“I am enthusiastic about opportunities to shadow and work with AOTA's national officers on projects that focus on prioritized strategies, such as diversity and advocacy, in efforts to achieve goals outlined in our profession's Centennial Vision,” said Smiley.

In her application essay, Smiley said she was eager to serve the occupational therapy profession and wishes to be actively involved and lead initiatives that contribute to the profession's effort to be a recognized as a powerful, widely recognized, and science-driven profession. She emphasized her experiences in leadership roles within the Birmingham community and even identified areas where she believes she can grow as a leader to best serve the profession.

Miranda Ward parentsMiranda Ward with her parentsMiranda Ward, a third-semester student with a 4.0 GPA in the nationally ranked UAB Physician Assistant program, recently received the Miss America academic award for the state of Alabama. The honor, based on GPA and course difficulty, is given annually to the top scholar in the Miss Alabama competition.

As with many success stories though, Ward’s great accomplishments in life did not come easy. There is a back story. And it is a story that most people would not tell.

“I struggled with an eating disorder starting early in my teen years which continued through my first year of college,” said Ward, who won the Miss Marshall County pageant to qualify for Miss Alabama. “My turning point was one morning when I looked in the mirror and could see the bruises around my mouth from vigorous purging the night before. That’s when it clicked with me that I was killing myself.”

Barstow BethBeth Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTAElizabeth (Beth) Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, received the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Roster of Fellows Award at the recent AOTA Conference and Expo in Nashville. Barstow, an associate professor in the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy, is the fourth faculty member of the OT faculty to earn the honor - that means one-third of the UAB OT faculty are FAOTA.

“Low Vision is a relatively young practice area and Beth has played a significant role in transforming the profession to the primary provider arena so I am thrilled to see her recognized,” said Mary Warren, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, director of the UAB Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate program. “What strikes you immediately, is Beth’s passion for low vision rehabilitation and her desire to promote occupational therapy in the low vision field.”

“First, this honor reflects the fact that others recognize the need to improve and expand services for those with vision impairment which means this can serve as an impetus for further advancement and change,” said Barstow who has taught low vision classes at UAB since 2002. “Second, it is an honor to be recognized by your peers and it shows that my service and work is valued within the occupational therapy profession.”

Larry Hearld lectureLarry Hearld, Ph.D., 2015 Thompson Prize for Young Investigators
Original story by Lacey Meckley, CAE; originally appeared in the AUPHA Exchange

In recognition of his significant contributions to research literature in the field of health services, Larry Hearld, PhD, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators. The Prize was established to honor John D. Thompson, a professor of health administration, who set standards in teaching, commitment to learning, collegial relationships, and health services research which are without peer. It is awarded to faculty from AUPHA members programs whose work, which may be in any of the several fields of disciplines, contributes to knowledge in health services. Dr. Hearld will be presented with the Prize at the AUPHA Annual Meeting this June in Miami, FL.

Dr. Hearld was nominated by Christy Harris Lemak, PhD, FACHE, Professor and Department Chair of the Department of Health Services Administration, and S. Robert Hernandez, DrPH, Professor and Doctoral Program Director, both of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “We strongly support his nomination for this prestigious award because we believe Dr. Hearld exemplifies who and what we seek for future scholars and teachers of health administration.”

2015 Kick Butts Program 03UAB students educate children during
National Kick Butts Day program
“Almost every child personally knew another kid who smoked and several of them said they had already been offered a cigarette.”

Those were the words of Emily Cherry, a senior in the UAB Respiratory Therapy program, after she and 20 classmates spent the day at Gardendale Elementary School. Cherry and every one of her fellow RT students (four spent the day at Pizitz Middle School),  were at the school teaching the children about the harmful effects of smoking as part of the National Kick Butts Day.

“As Respiratory Therapists, one of our most important jobs is to educate,” said Cherry. “It is crucial to inform children about the dangers of smoking while they are young, so that they will make healthy choices early in life.”

Breland HurstBreland, Hurst: 2014-15 UAB Faculty FellowsBryan Breland, DrPH, JD, assistant professor of Health Care Management, and Christina Hurst, interim program director of the Genetic Counseling program, finished their tenure as 2014-2015 UAB Faculty Fellows in Engaged Scholarship in a ceremony held at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

Over the past school year, Breland and Hurst joined nine others in working on this prestigious honor. The academically diverse group represents five UAB schools plus the College of Arts and Sciences.

CLS unpackingCLS Lab move in dayThe dramatic improvements to SHPB learning spaces continue. This week the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program moved into their new laboratory space in SHPB 142. For the past few months the lab has been undergoing a complete transformation with upgrades to everything in the room – including the cabinets and counters.

The new lab has ample room for 48 students – with generous lab space for each, pop-up electrical ports with USB ports and data ports on each table, new projectors, new TV monitors, improved lighting, lockers for students, increased storage area and a separate phlebotomy room. The CLS team even designed the lab to make student access to equipment and instructor access to students easier.

eta bernerEta Berner, professor, Health Informatics programEta Berner, Ed.D., professor in the UAB Department of Health Services Administration, has the first online course to be certified by Quality Matters in the UAB School of Health Professions. She is one of only five in the state of Alabama to earn the certification.

Quality Matters, a nationally ranked peer-review process for online courses, gave Berner’s class, HI 640: Introduction to Health Informatics and Health Care Delivery, 98 out of a possible 100 points.

Elizabeth Fisher, Ph.D., Director of Academic Outreach and the UAB QM Coordinator for the Division of eLearning and professional Studies said, “The QM process is very collegial and student centric. Dr. Berner clearly cares about student success evidenced by her hard work and willingness to seek and embrace continual improvement of her courses.”

Golden Toilet Group webOT students wearing simulation glassesThe UAB Department of Occupational Therapy faculty are renowned for creative lessons designed to prepare students for their career upon graduation.

The idea they had for the OT 677: Foundations in Low Vision Rehabilitation course was to have students design and build restroom signs. The catch though, was that both signs had to be reliably read by people at a distance of 10 feet with 20/200 visual acuity, which is the visual acuity of someone with cataracts. The students wore special simulation glasses so they would understand how difficult it is for people with cataracts to read signs on a daily basis.

“Through creative learning activities, our students are asked to apply concepts from lecture and lab to real life therapy situations," said Beth Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA an OT associate professor.