Jaime Jennings AcademyHealth Presidential ScholarJ'Aime Jennings AcademyHealth Presidential ScholarJ’Aime Jennings, MPA, a doctoral candidate in the UAB Doctoral Program in Administration-Health Services Doctor of Philosophy program, is one of only five students in the United States to earn the Presidential Scholarship for the AcademyHealth Institute on Advocacy and Public Policy.

This scholarship provides students identified as early career producers and users of health services research with an interest in advocacy and policy with financial support to attend the 2015 National Health Policy Conference. During the NHPC, the Presidential Scholars have a unique opportunity to interact with influential policy and thought leaders in health services research.

“I welcome this opportunity to discover how I can contribute to improving our public health system infrastructure at the national level,” said Jennings who is scheduled to graduate in April 2015. “I am truly honored to have been selected by AcademyHealth as a Presidential Scholar at such an early stage in my career.”

tracee synco phdTracee M. Synco Ph.D.Tracee M. Synco, Ph.D., has been named assistant dean of the UAB School of Health Professions Student Recruitment, Engagement and Success. She comes to SHP from the UAB Office of the Provost where she serves as Executive Director for Retention Initiatives and Academic Engagement. She will join the School of Health Professions on Feb. 1, 2015.

Synco, who will also serve as an assistant professor in the School, currently supervises six co-curricular areas for student success at the university level including Disability Support Services (DSS), Service Learning, Study Away, Undergraduate Research, TRIO Academic Services and the University Academic Success Center (UASC). Since opening last fall, the UASC has hosted more than 3,000 UAB students for tutoring, supplemental instruction, academic skills workshops and academic coaching sessions.

“As we continue to grow the enrollment of our undergraduate and graduate programs, we must ensure that we have a strong, diverse student population that will succeed in the classroom, absorb campus life and positively engage our community,” said School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D. “Dr. Synco already has a proven record in student engagement, retention and success at UAB so we are excited and we see limitless possibilities ahead under her leadership.”

2014 UAB Physician Assistant Graduation2014 UAB Physician Assistant GraduationThe UAB Physician Assistant Class of 2014 graduated 54 students on Friday, December 5, 2014. The annual graduation dinner and hooding ceremony was held at the Harbert Center in Birmingham in front of 400 friends and family members.

Patricia Jennings, Ph.D., the retired UAB PA program director, gave the commencement address and highlighted the “personal statement” of each graduate saying this class represented “heart”.

“I promise you that you are not going to be remembered by patients for that great suturing job you did but by how you treated them and cared for them,” said Rick Kilgore, Ph.D., the current UAB PA program director. “You may be proud that you diagnosed a rare disease that everyone else missed, but the patient will care more you listened to them and showed empathy when no one else did. There is a rare quality that all Physician Assistant seem to have that is a ‘caring and compassionate spirit’ that seems to take precedent over everything else. We hope and pray that this spirit which has for many years separated us out from many other practitioners remains at the core of who and what we are.”

Khaled awarded Fulbright NehruKhaled awarded Fulbright-NehruA nutrition professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions is awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award to develop and improve research and teaching efforts in India related to Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Mohammad Khaled, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences, will collaborate with the Department of Physiology at the University of Calcutta, India, to look at Type 2 diabetes mellitus specifically due to Helecobacter pylori (H. pylori) infections which are highly prevalent among Indian populations. This expands research Khaled conducted while a professor at UAB.

“Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease posing great human health threats,” said Khaled. “We see about 50 percent of worldwide populations are infected with H. pylori but more than 85 percent of populations in India have been infected since childhood. So it is of great interest, therefore, to investigate if H. pylori could somehow be linked with T2DM in Indian populations since both of these phenomena are highly prevalent in them.”

DSC 09402014 UAB PT Doctoral Hooding CeremonyThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Therapy held their 2014 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on Tuesday, November 18 at the Alys Stephens Center Jemison Concert Hall. More than 200 family and friends witnessed forty-seven graduates of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program in the School of Health Professions receive their academic hood.

The PT department also used the ceremony to hand out awards. The highest student honor, the Student Service Award, was given to Christie Hart a native of Vestavia Hills. Hart was also awarded the Shirley A. Shaddeau Memorial Scholarship.

SEE MORE: view all photos on the SHP Flickr page

PT ICDI 01I Can Do It You Can Do It program pairs UAB PT students and AIDB Helen Keller School studentsThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Therapy is the first in the state of Alabama to launch the national I Can Do It, You Can Do It (ICDI) program for health promotion for individuals with disabilities. The PT program, housed in the UAB School of Health Professions, has partnered with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition per the recommendation and encouragement of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Student Assembly.

“We are one of the few schools in the country that are offering this program and we are really excited because we want to lead the way in getting more Physical Therapists interested in community health efforts,” said David Morris, Ph.D., interim chair, UAB Department of Physical Therapy. “We know everyone benefits from physical activity and making good nutrition choices but it’s particularly challenging for people with disabilities.”

WATCH: The I Can Do It, You Can Do It program changes lives

Thirty-seven students from the UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy program are working with more than a dozen students at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind’s Helen Keller School. The PT students are helping the AIDB students learn to enjoy physical activity and make healthier eating choices.

Habitat for Humanity home dedicationHabitat for Humanity home dedicationVolunteers from the UAB School of Health Professions helped build a Habitat for Humanity home that was dedicated today in Pratt City. The home, built for La’Tasha, Lyric and Alexis Willis, was part of a joint partnership between Habitat and the UAB Benevolent Fund. Of the 400 volunteers from UAB, more than 120 came from the SHP.

“I am very grateful for the leadership and support that SHP has provided related to volunteers helping to build the house,” said Lisa Higginbotham, program manager, UAB Benevolent Fund. “SHP has a history of strong support of the Benevolent Fund and our UAB community. It’s a true example of leadership by example from the top down starting with your Dean, Dr. Harold Jones, flowing through the faculty and staff to the students.”

SEE MORE: Habitat for Humanity dedication photo album

Students that volunteered included 14 from the Department of Nutrition Sciences, 17 from the Department of Occupational Therapy and 42 from the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences Physician Assistant program. There were also 51 volunteers from SHP faculty, staff and their families.

Beth Kitchin, a featured actress in "Ghost-Writer"Beth Kitchin, a featured actress in "Ghost-Writer"Chew on this – Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., R.D., best known as UAB’s nutrition expert, is a featured actress in the Birmingham Festival Theatre production of “Ghost-Writer.” In the play, novelist Franklin Woolsey dies mid-sentence, yet his secretary Myra (played by Kitchin), continues to type saying she is simply finishing his novel.

Is she taking dictation from the great beyond? Finishing the novel herself? Or does she possess some gift nobody understands? No spoiler alert here – you will need to see the production to find out.

“Ghost-Writer” featuring Kitchin, David Seale (as Woolsley) and Ellise Mayor (as Woolsley’s widow) can be seen Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. from Nov. 6 through 22 at the BFT located at 1901 ½ 11th Avenue South in Birmingham.

This is not Kitchin’s first taste of the theatre or a featured role. Since 1995 she has appeared in more than 30 plays across the state of Alabama including most recently “Beauty of the Father,” “Harold and Maude,” “Death and the Maiden” and “Anna in the Tropics.” Kitchin is an assistant professor in the UAB School of Health Professions Department of Nutrition. She hosts the UAB Nutrition Trends Facebook page and appears regularly on Fox 6 WBRC’s Good Day Alabama.
APTA StudentsUAB PT students at APTA National Student ConclaveFred Gilbert, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Therapy second-year student, has been elected president of the American Physical Therapy Association Student Assembly Board of Directors. He is the first UAB student ever elected to the assembly's top office.

Gilbert (pictured right, holding "n"), who was elected at this weekend's APTA National Student Conclave, told the assembly he will “transform the student assembly by optimizing involvement to improve the student experience.”

Dhara Shah, another second-year UAB PT student, joins Gilbert on the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors as a student (SPT) delegate. She is also the first UAB student to hold that national office. In her statement to the assembly Shah (pictured right, holding "s") said she will conduct webinars and more in her efforts to make sure “ALL students can be involved in legislative decisions.”

The APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors were elected at the National Student Conclave which was held October 30 – November 1, 2014, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gilbert and Shah will serve the 2014-2015 term.