react USAFThe University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health ProfessionsRecognition and Evaluation of Autism Contact Training, or REACT, program — a partnership with the Interaction Advisory Group — has been awarded a grant by the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities to train more than 200 United States Air Force security forces and first responders on how to recognize and respond to people with autism as well as other developmental disabilities.

The new training initiative will be held in Montgomery, Alabama, at Maxwell Air Force Base, which is home to the center for professional military education — Air University.

“Security forces are trained to respond to a crisis situation with a certain protocol, but this protocol may not always be the best way to interact with individuals with autism,” said Damon Salter, the chief of training for 42nd Security Forces Squadron. “Because they are usually the first to respond on scene, it is critical they have a working knowledge of autism and the wide variety of exhibited behaviors.”

Spencer BoxesKevin Spencer is an illusionist and artist who has performed magic in front of tens of thousands of people on stages in 34 countries on six continents.

A day ahead of performing his “Theatre of Illusion” at the UAB Alys Stephens Center tonight, he delivered a performance in front of a crowd of only 50, but it was a performance that has the potential to impact tens of thousands of people around the world.

Spencer, who is considered the leading authority on the therapeutic benefits of magic, entertained and educated students in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsMaster of Science in Occupational Therapy program. This workshop was part of a four day residency with UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine, a partnership between the Alys Stephens Center and UAB Medicine

First, he pulled out what appeared to be a simple box and talked about how people can be ‘placed in a box’ by a diagnosis or a condition. As Spencer talked, he kept changing the appearance of the box and magically extracting new boxes.

Norm Bolus Brucer AwardNorm Bolus with the SECSNMMI Brucer AwardNorman Bolus, MSPH, MPH, CNMT, FSNMMI-TS, interim-program director of the UAB Health Physics program and program director of the UAB Nuclear Medicine Technology program, has been awarded the Southeastern Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SECSNMMI) Marshall Brucer Award. This is the highest honor the SECSNMMI can bestow upon a member.

“I am humbled and honored to even be considered for this award much less have it bestowed upon me by the SECSNMMI. I have always worked hard and appreciated the opportunities to give back to my profession as I have always believed in giving and helping to promote what we do in nuclear medicine technology,” said Bolus, a 1989 graduate of the UAB NMT program. “We make a difference in people’s lives every day and I hope that in some small way I have helped contribute in promoting and moving our profession along as well all of these years.”

The SECSNMMI delivered the Brucer Award to Bolus saying “there are few people who, during a lifetime, make a substantial impact on a specialty in medicine as Marshall Brucer did.” Bolus has served SNMMI at all levels including his current tenure as national president-elect of the Technologist Section (SNMMI-TS).

“Norman’s exemplary dedication to the field of nuclear medicine has inspired students and encouraged colleagues for decades,” said Janelle Chiasera, Ph.D., chair, UAB Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences. “This combination of devotion to his industry and passion for his students is evident in his commitment to serve. I congratulate him on what is a much-deserved recognition and honor.”

For the second year in a row, the School of Health Professions' Physician Assistant Studies program wins the annual Gurney Derby!

Public Enemas #1, a team of first-year PA students, took home the trophy when another UAB PA team, Hungry, Hungry, HIPAAs was disqualified after a player fell. Their disqualification led to another team of UAB PA students - the I-V Leaguers - to take home the runner-up plaque.

Watch our YouTube video to see all the action and reaction to an epic battle among three UAB Physician Assistant Studies teams!

robert motl 2017Robert Motl, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Health Professions, developed the exercise program used in the study.Story by Bob Shepard, UAB News

Researchers studying methods of exercise delivery and the effects on people living with multiple sclerosis have been awarded $5.7 million in funding by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

The research represents a collaboration between Robert Motl, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions and associate director of Research for the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative, and Deborah Backus, P.T., Ph.D., director of Multiple Sclerosis Research at Shepherd Center. Gary Cutter, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics at UAB, will run the project’s data analysis core. Motl directs the Mobile Technology Lab of the Rehabilitation Research Resource to Enhance Clinical Trials (REACT) Center based at UAB; Cutter is REACT’s associate director.

The study, “Comparative Effectiveness of an Exercise Intervention Delivered via Telerehabilitation and Conventional Mode of Delivery,” will evaluate the effectiveness of different types of exercise programs for people with multiple sclerosis. The project will compare exercise programs provided at gyms or rehabilitation facilities with a telerehabilitation program available to patients at home. The goal is to increase the accessibility and sustainability of exercise options for people with MS.

“This is an exciting partnership to evaluate whether telerehabilitation delivery is as effective as facility-based delivery,” Motl said. “If it is, it has the potential to break down barriers to exercise for people in remote areas who do not have access to MS experts.”

Brenda Bertrand and Beth Barstow with Provost's AwardsBrenda Bertrand and Beth Barstow
with Provost's Awards
The Provost’s Awards for Transformative Online Courses honored two UAB professors this year – both are School of Health Professions’ faculty members. The recipients are Beth Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, and Brenda Bertrand, Ph.D., RDN, professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences.

Each was chosen unanimously by the Awards Selection Committee. Barstow was honored for the course titled “OT 679 | Foundations in Low Vision II.” Bertrand was honored for the course titled “NTR 601 | Advanced Medical Nutrition.”

“Quality Matters has changed the way that I develop and deliver online courses and I am honored to have my work recognized,” said Barstow, who received Quality Matters certification for her OT 679 course in 2016.

“It is very exciting to be a recipient of this award and I appreciate the Provost’s commitment to support and reward innovative teaching strategies in online education,” said Bertrand, who also won a QEP innovative Teaching Grant for NTR 601 and serves as program director of the UAB Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences programs. “I am also thankful to the SHP Instructional Support Services team for working with me on the redesign of this course.”

Warren Barstow Oculus AwardMary Warren, Beth Barstow with the Oculus AwardThe UAB School of Health ProfessionsGraduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation program received the Envision Oculus Award in recognition of it’s national and international impact on improving the daily lives of persons with low vision. The award, handed out annually since 2010, honors the Department of Occupational Therapy program’s professional collaboration, advocacy, research and education in the field of low vision rehabilitation.

"We were very pleased to be recognized for our efforts to ensure that older adults with age-related eye disease and vision impairment from brain injury receive the high quality rehabilitation services they need to live productive lives,” said Mary Warren, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, director of the certificate program and 2012 Envision Oculus Award winner. “We were the first university program in the United States to provide comprehensive focused education to prepare occupational therapists to provide low vision rehabilitation services and from day one our mission was to ensure that no one could question our graduates’ knowledge, training or credentials."

Tom Hunt Distinguished AlumniDr. Hunt receiving award from Melanie Talbot at the 37th UAB National Symposium for Healthcare ExecutivesThomas R. Hunt, III, MD, DSc, a 2014 graduate of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsExecutive Doctor of Science Degree in Administration-Health Services, is our 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award winner. This award is reserved for those who have achieved distinction through exceptional contribution to their professions and shown a history of excellence in their careers. This is the highest honor awarded to our alumni.

Hunt is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and holds a subspecialty certificate in surgery of the hand.  He is an involved member of numerous national and regional specialty societies. For greater than 15 consecutive years he has been included in a variety of best or top doctor publications and in 2016, he was named by the Houston Chronicle as “Best of the Best in Care” – one of only two hand surgeons to receive that distinction.

Hunt’s medical training and experience spans more than 30 years. He serves as the Chair of the Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he holds the Wilhelmina Arnold Barnhart Endowed Chair in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a tenured professor of Orthopedic Surgery with secondary appointments as professor of Surgery, and Space Medicine.

Patty Perez webPatty Perez, PT, DScPT, President's Award for Excellence in TeachingPatty Perez, PT, DScPT, assistant professor in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Physical Therapy, has been honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The annual UAB honor recognizes those “who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in teaching.”

The article about her honor included this:

According to her colleagues, she “epitomizes excellence in academic teaching,” pairing her knowledge as a clinician with teaching skills developed from more than 15 years in the classroom.