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before afterLisa Toney before, afterUAB Weight Loss Medicine, the only program in the Southeast to offer a multi-disciplinary, medical approach to weight management, has launched to address a consistent rise in the regional rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

The program is a collaborative effort of the UAB Health System, the UAB School of Medicine and the UAB School of Health Professions. The new program began serving patients in early January 2014. It is open to patients who are self-referred or physician referred and provides patients access to top experts and the newest technologies in nutrition with physicians from the departments of Medicine and Nutrition Sciences. It occupies the first and fifth floors of UAB Highlands, 1201 11th Ave. South in Birmingham.

“UAB Weight Loss Medicine serves as a comprehensive resource for those who want to lose weight, maintain weight loss, or prevent excessive weight gain during high-risk medical conditions such as post-injury rehabilitation and breast cancer treatment,” says Amy Warriner, M.D., co-director of the program and associate professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, in the School of Medicine.

Christy LemakChristy Lemak, Ph.D., named new chair of Department of Health Services AdministrationChristy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., has been named chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Health Services Administration. Lemak comes to UAB from the University of Michigan where she serves as director of the Griffith Leadership Center in Health Management and Policy. She is also chief academic officer of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership.

Lemak, a leader in healthcare management, is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives; a board member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, an elected position she has held since 2009; and an expert advisor for the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation. In 2011, she earned the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Academy of Management Health Care Management Division.

Original story written by Clinton Colmenares, photos courtesy Charlie Prince

Simulation-week-studentsUAB faculty learn simulation trainingUAB took a giant step forward toward building a world-class simulation training program for health professionals across campus when 21 participants, including two from the School of Health Professions, completed an extensive week-long course here led by faculty from the Center for Medical Simulation at Harvard.

Simulation training uses mannequins that mimic a multitude of patient conditions and responses in very life-like settings. It provides students real-world scenarios – from how to communicate with patients or concerned family members to emergent situations – in a safe environment. It affords faculty the chance to challenge students and provide immediate feedback.

School of Medicine and UAB Hospital participants represented Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesiology, Infectious Diseases, GI Surgery and the branch campuses in Montgomery, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. Now their charge is to become champions of simulation by developing and leading projects specific to their disciplines.

Christopher Ebner addresses gradsUAB alum Christopher Ebner, OTR/L, addresses OT gradsChristopher Ebner, OTR/L, alumnus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Occupational Therapy, is the occupational therapy supervisor with the Warrior Transition Battalion - Europe. The battalion is responsible for treating service members who are wounded, ill or injured; and preparing them and their family to succeed when they transition back to the armed forces or into civilian life.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, Ebner, who is based in Kaiser Slautern, Germany, was invited back to Birmingham to deliver the graduation address at the OT Class of 2013 hooding ceremony. It was a moving speech the 50 graduates will not soon forget.

GC Sim Lab web 01Dawn Taylor Peterson, Ph.D., monitors simulatorSitting in the clinic room alone with her crying baby is a 20-something year old mother. She does not know it, but she is about to be told that her 10-month-old son who is being evaluated for failure to thrive may also have a genetic condition that could lead to additional health and developmental problems in the future.

Delivering the news is a second-year graduate student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Genetic Counseling Program. This is the first time the student will have the opportunity to deliver this type of abnormal test result during her training as a genetic counselor.

Fortunately for all involved, this is a simulation session where the mother is a standardized patient and the baby is a high-fidelity mannequin. The session provides the genetic counseling class members the opportunity to deliver difficult and complex genetic test information in a realistic, yet supervised environment. Unfortunately, this will not be the last time any of them deliver bad news.

Dana Hollenbeck-2When the University of Alabama at Birmingham Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory decided to hire their first ever genetic counselor they started by meeting with prospective applicants at the 2012 National Society of Genetic Counselors conference in Boston - the logical place to find the best genetic counselors in the United States.

But as it turns out, to find the best they didn’t need to leave Alabama. Or Birmingham. Or UAB. Or University Boulevard. Dana Hollenbeck, who they eventually hired, was a second year student in the UAB Genetic Counseling Program located in the School of Health Professions Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences – a mere three blocks from their headquarters in the Kaul Human Genetics Building.

“Dana was uniquely qualified for this position because of her training as a genetic counselor and her extensive clinical database management experience,” said Lynn Holt, MS, CGC, former director of the UAB GC Program. “She also benefited from having the opportunity to work with other UAB Laboratory Genetic Counselors during her graduate studies. This provided her with an understanding to the specific demands and value of the role within a clinical laboratory.”

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Occupational Therapy's OT 673 and OT 674 classes consider Assistive Technology. When many people think of AT, they picture amazing advances like prosthetic limbs, optical character recognition (OCR) software or speech generating devices.

So when co-instructors Deek Cunningham, MS, OTR/L, and Gavin Jenkins, Ph.D., OTR/L, both assistant professors in the OT department, asked the class to build chairs – using only cardboard, paper, flour and water – as assistive devices. You can imagine what went through the students’ heads.

“I never thought that in OT graduate school I’d be building a chair using paper mache,” said a laughing Merry Grace Harper, an Entry-Level Occupational Therapy student.

Homecoming week at the University of Alabama at Birmingham saw the School of Health Professions walk away with at least 12 awards from various competitions held across campus.

HC Blaze RTBlaze visits RT labMonday, October 28, 2013: Homecoming week began with the Homecoming Kick-Off Breakfast sponsored by the Office of Student Success. More than 300 students, faculty and staff attended the event. This set the tone for the week around SHP and around UAB. At the event, free food and free coffee were only topped by the appearance of the UAB mascot Blaze. He spent an hour entertaining attendees and posing for pictures. Blaze also spent some time checking out all SHP has to offer. From the Physical Therapy labs to the Dean's Office - Blaze did it all. To see Blaze's entire journey click here.

2013.10.11 Ribbon CuttingMelanie Talbot Montgomery, Richard Margison, Donna Hamer, Dean Harold P. Jones, Jon Vice, Mike WilliamsOn Friday, Oct. 11, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) celebrated the new addition to the School of Health Professions Building. Richard Margison, UAB vice president financial affairs and administration, Suzanne Austin, UAB vice provost for student and faculty success and Eric Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Collat School of Business, joined the school Dean Dr. Harold P. Jones in a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the building located at 1705 University Blvd.

In attendance was Mike Williams, president and CEO of Community Hospital Corporation. He is a nationally renowned speaker of and advocate for the preservation of community hospitals. The UAB Master of Science in Health Administration alumnus, Class 14, co-chaired the SHP Building Campaign Committee because he understands the vital healthcare role played by the school and its students.