UAB School of Health Professions Current News

Record 38 teams compete at Health Administration Case Competition

HSA Case 02Eventual winner UNC - Chapel Hill presents at
2015 Case Competition
A record 38 universities, including more than 200 students, from across the United States and Canada competed in the 9th annual Health Administration Case Competition. The winning team, for a record third year in a row, was University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The UAB team, consisting of Greg Beliles, Sydney Davis and Sarah Hughes who are all students in the UAB Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program, reached the semi-final round.

The event, held at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham Wynfrey Hotel on February 26 - 27, was hosted by the UAB Department of Health Services Administration and UAB Health System.

The Case Competition takes a real-life problem, in this case it was determining the need to build a comprehensive respiratory center, and asks graduate students from programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education) (CAHME) to best solve the problem. At the two-day competition, the students present their case to leaders from the healthcare industry in multiple rounds.

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AHA president and CEO delivers 11th annual Jordan Lecture

Richard J. Umbdenstock, FACHERichard J. Umbdenstock, FACHE, delivers Jordan LectureRichard J. Umbdenstock, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of the American Hospital Association, delivered the 11th annual L.R. (Rush) Jordan Distinguished Lecture to a crowd of hospital administrators and UAB School of Health Professions alumni and students.

He opened by saying, “Mr. Jordan’s work in integrated healthcare was visionary and his contributions to healthcare leadership education were legendary.”

He then addressed the students from across the country in attendance for the Health Administration Case Competition.

“The passion for collaboration you are showing just by showing up tells me that you are already owning a critical leadership skill,” said Umbdenstock who recently received the American College of Healthcare Executives 2015 Gold Medal Award. “This is so much more of a team sport today than it has ever been, and it will be going forward.”

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Changing Environment Calls for Changing Curricula

*This story was written by Jenn Waters and originally appeared in the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association 2015 E-DITION - our thanks to everyone for generously allowing us to share.

Cecilia Graham, Ph.D., Cerasoli LecturerCecilia Graham, Ph.D., (center) Cerasoli LecturerA concept-based approach to physical therapy education was the message delivered by Cecilia Graham, PT, PhD, during the 18th annual Pauline Cerasoli Lecture on February 6.

“A picture of the physical therapist of the future is emerging,” Graham said. “We envision movement system experts who are leaders, innovators, collaborators, and entrepreneurs who can synthesize rapidly changing information, integrate advances in technology into practice, and have the flexibility to thrive in an evolving health care environment.”

Her vision results in the creation of an exciting but challenging opportunity for educators to prepare future physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

“I decided the time was right to begin a dialogue about future curriculum models in physical therapy,” she said. “I want to help stimulate discussion about what education models would be good [for the profession].”

She asked attendees to think about their experiences as students or clinical educators. “What aspects stuck with you the most? What made some experiences more meaningful than others?”

Graham then identified different factors that affect the need for curricular change. One factor is the information explosion.

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OT students help Firehouse Shelter clients earn jobs

FirehouseUAB OT helps at The FirehouseIt sounded out of the ordinary. UAB Occupational Therapy students spent a day at the Firehouse Shelter, a men’s homeless shelter in Birmingham, working on client’s resumes.

We’ve seen UAB OT students build chairs for disabled children in Uganda. We’ve seen them create affordable solutions for people suffering from injury. But editing resumes?

“Ultimately Occupational Therapy is about helping people reach independence and reach their goals,” said Sarah Tucker, MS, OTR/L, assistant professor in the UAB School of Health Professions. “So helping with resumes is just another example of what OTs do - we help people with life skills.”

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ASCP names Michelle Brown Southeast Region Member of the Year

Michelle BrownMichelle Brown, MS, MLS (ASCP) SBB
ASCP Southeast Member of the Year
University of Alabama at Birmingham assistant professor Michelle Brown, MS, MLS (ASCP) SBB, has been named 2014 Member of the Year, Southeast Region, by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. She is one of only six in the U.S. to be honored by ASCP.

“Ms. Brown’s energy and enthusiasm for the laboratory profession has led her to be called a ‘cheerleader’ of Medical Laboratory Science,” said Lynnette Chakkaphak, MS, MT (ASCP), member of the ASCP Board of Governors. “She shares this enthusiasm with her students, encouraging them to become laboratory leaders and active members of the healthcare team.”

“ASCP is an organization that provides leadership and a strong, cohesive voice for the entire laboratory medicine team,” said Brown who is also the clinical education coordinator in the UAB Clinical Laboratory Science program. “I am honored to be recognized for enhancing the field of Medical Laboratory Science and it is a pleasure to be able to serve the members of ASCP.”

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Health Care Management's online program ranked #1

Story originally appeared in UAB News

The online Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management degree program offered by the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been named the best in the nation by TheBestSchools.org, an independent resourcefor campus and online education.

TheBestSchools.org ranked programs based on academic excellence, types of available classes, faculty strength, rankings and reputation.

awards“Our mission is to develop leaders to shape tomorrow’s health care, and our excellent undergraduate program is an essential part of achieving that mission,” said Christy Lemak, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Health Services Administration. “We take pride in our ability to provide degree completion for students who began in other health-related professions and offer the online format for individuals seeking health care management education from around the state, nation and world.”

“This ranking is recognition of our program’s strengths and will aid in attracting high-performing students, which in turn will have a profound impact on our efforts to prepare the next generation of health care leaders,” said Pamela Paustian, Ph.D., the program’s director. “Many undergraduate alumni continue their graduate education in the health professions, and ultimately this ranking may enhance the breadth and depth of UAB’s impact on health care locally, nationally and internationally.” 

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Weech-Maldonado awarded $1.25 million grant for “high-Medicaid” nursing home research

robert maldonadoRobert Weech-Maldonado, Ph.D.Researchers from the University of Alabama at BirminghamSchool of Health Professions have been awarded $1.25 million by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to better understand the management and market factors associated with high performance among nursing homes that have a high proportion, 85 percent or greater, of Medicaid residents.

Robert Weech-Maldonado, Ph.D., professor and L.R. Jordan Chair of the Department of Health Services Administration, says this five-year R01 grant is for a mixed-methods analysis — using both quantitative and qualitative studies — to study high-Medicaid-resident nursing homes and identify evidence-based, best management practices.

“Nobody has taken a mixed-methods look at why some high-Medicaid nursing homes perform well and others do not,” Weech-Maldonado said. “This grant will enable us to gather quantitative data, such as surveys of management, and find patterns. Following that, we will use qualitative methods, such as interviewing staff, to reveal the complete story about what is really happening inside nursing homes across the United States.”

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UAB professor finds Donaldson Correctional Facility inmates “hungry for information”

Susan Miller MS RD LDSusan Miller, RD, LDSusan Miller, R.D., L.D., assistant professor, in the University of Alabama at BirminghamDepartment of Nutrition Sciences, volunteered to lecture at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility on January 20, 2015. Her visit was part of the UAB Donaldson lecture series providing inmates bimonthly college-level lectures each year from September through May.

“It was just like a regular classroom at UAB where you walk in, greet students, make them feel welcome and make sure they are comfortable interjecting and asking questions – which they did and I was pleased with that,” said Miller, director of the UAB Dietetic Internship Program in the UAB School of Health Professions.

The Donaldson lecture series was created in 1988 by Ada Long, Ph.D., former director of the UAB Honors Program, today known as the UAB Honors College. UAB has sent dozens of faculty members to lecture hundreds of prisoners since then. So far this year, the lecture series has featured Pulitzer Prize winner Joey Kennedy discussing “The Rise and Fall of Journalism” and former UAB Honors Program Director Michael Sloane talking about “Altruism: Genetics and Epigenetics.”

“They are hungry for information. Absolutely hungry for it,” said Miller. “Living in a correctional facility should not restrict anyone from continual learning. They should still have the ability, the capability and the right to learn.”

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MSHA alumnus Williams receives THA highest honor

Story credit to Community Hospital Corporation

CHC announces that President and CEO Mike Williams, alumnus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Master of Science in Health Administration, Class 14, is the 2014 recipient of the Texas Hospital Association’s highest honor, the Earl M. Collier Award for Distinguished Health Care Administration.

The award recognizes distinguished executives’ contributions to, and leadership in, the healthcare industry, as well as their active participation in THA and other industry groups. Williams’ colleagues and clients express how fully he qualifies for the award in the short video you’re about to see.



THA’s bestowal of this award upon Williams indicates how highly he is respected outside the organization, says CHC board chairman Ken Gordon. Williams is a frequent national speaker on the preservation of community hospitals, drawing from his experience growing CHC from a one-employee operation in 1997 to an industry leader with a corporate staff of 60 and hospital clients in 25 states. All told, Williams has 30 years of experience in executive management.

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