Top 20 U.S. News & World Report
“Best Healthcare Jobs" for 2014

  • #5 Physical Therapy
  • #8 Physician Assistant
  • #9 Occupational Therapist
  • #14 Clinical Laboratory Technologist
  • #15 Dietitian & Nutritionist
  • #20 Respiratory Therapist

U.S. News & World Report came out with its 2014 list of “Best Healthcare Jobs” and six programs in the School of Health Professions made the top 20 list. That is one more than made the list in 2013.

The article says "as the youngest baby boomers celebrate their 50th birthdays this year, the need to employ qualified health care personnel to both prevent and treat medical conditions intensifies." Ranked at number five for the second year in a row are physical therapists. The position is expected to grow 36 percent, adding more than 73,500 jobs by 2022, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The reported median annual wage for a PT was $79,860 in 2012.

The highest debut in U.S. News' list in 2014 is physician assistants who jump in at number eight. U.S. News says "couple growth projections for 33,300 new jobs with a razor-thin 1.2 percent unemployment rate" then the future for PAs is "quite strong." The median annual salary according to BLS for a PA in 2012 was $90,930.

SAM 940 NormanBolus HalieStephenson ShannonPettwayNorman E. Bolus, MPH, CNMT, Halie Stephenson, Shannon PettwayThe University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a class where students play hide and seek.

However, they are not looking for each other and they cannot see what they are looking for.

The ‘hider’ is a radioactive isotope, which you will remember as a radioisotope from your days in high school Chemistry.

The UAB class, offered by the Nuclear Medicine Technology program, is NMT 421L. And it provides students with a rare, hands-on opportunity to personally use a SAM 940.

“It was very intense using a SAM 940!” said Halie Stephenson, a senior in the NMT program.

The SAM 940, known in the radiation field as the “Defender and Revealer,” is a groundbreaking Radiation Isotope Identifier. It is used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, food and drug inspectors and HAZMAT first responders. It is now a state-of-the-art learning device for students in the UAB NMT program.

OT eye chartUAB Occupational Therapy ranked 12th in U.S.For the second year in a row, the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Occupational Therapy ranks among the best in the United States according to student reviews., surveying current and recent graduate students from September 1, 2012 to April 15, 2014, ranks the UAB occupational therapy program at number 12 in the U.S. Rankings are based on “average score for each program based on the 15 ranking categories.”

The UAB OT department includes the only Low Vision Rehabilitation graduate certificate offered solely for occupational therapists. The UAB Low Vision program has more alumni with the specialty certification in low-vision rehabilitation (SCLV) than all other universities in the world combined.

The department is part of the UAB School of Health Professions which has five programs ranked among the Top 30 in the U.S. according to U.S. News & World Report and National Research Council rankings.
Maday Mentor 07L/R: Maureen LeFevre, Alex Vaughan, Lindsey Whisonant, Maday and Lindsay HaleKristopher Maday, MS, PA-C, CNSC, assistant professor in the School of Health Professions Physician Assistant program, was recognized at the seventh annual Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship. The event, held April 16, honored 13 professors who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Said one student about Maday:

“No matter how busy his schedule, Mr. Maday always makes time for his students. As I struggled with the transition of becoming a full-time student at 29, he provided consistent encouragement. He has been extremely patient with students, spending additional time needed both in and outside of the classroom to reinforce material that may be difficult to grasp.”

Marlene SnowMarlene Snow became the 20th UAB alum to earn SCLVAs of January 2015, there are only 42 Occupational Therapists in the world with a Specialty Certification in Low Vision (SCLV) and 24 of them are alumni of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. All but one of those UAB graduates came from the School of Health Professions Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate program.

“This tells the world that our graduates are the occupational therapy leaders in low vision rehabilitation,” says Mary Warren, Ph.D., OTR, SCLV, FAOTA, director, UAB Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate program. “Because of our success, we are working on becoming a pilot program for fast tracking SCLV applicants. This would mean that UAB graduates automatically skip over some of the steps in the credentialing process and would qualify earlier.”

Past PT Faculty Celebrate Program's 50th AnniversaryL/R: Geneva Johnson, Jo Clelland, Betty Canaan, Cara Adams, Joan BergmanThe UAB Physical Therapy program, which began in 1964, graduated the first class of baccalaureate degrees in 1967 before there was a University of Alabama at Birmingham.

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, the School of Health Professions celebrated the UAB PT program's 50th anniversary with a dinner and reception at The Club in Birmingham. In addition to alumni from nearly every class of graduates, many of the founding members were in attendance including Joan Bergman, the first physical therapist hired by University Hospital, who initiated the UAB PT program.

SEE MORE: pictures from the 50th anniversary event

Carroll Papajohn, MSHA/MBA programCarroll Papajohn, essay winner, MSHA/MBA programCarroll Papajohn, a graduating senior in the Department of Health Services Administration’s MSHA/MBA program, earns first place and a $1,500 scholarship for his essay titled “Rebuilding Bodies, Restoring Lives.”

READ MORE: Carroll Papajohn's winning essay

The essay contest, sponsored by the UAB School of Health Professions’ Dean’s Office and the Office of Student Success, in conjunction with Mr. Michael E. Stephens, the driving force behind the Lakeshore Foundation, is part of the ongoing “Rebuilding Bodies, Restoring Lives” speaker series.

Susan PackaSusan Packa, NACADA Outstanding Advising Award winnerSusan Packa, academic advisor for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Health Care Management and Health Information Management programs, wins the 2014 National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Outstanding Advising Award – Primary Advising Role. She is the first School of Health Professions advisor to win the national Primary Advising Role honor.

“I am so honored to receive this award. I am grateful to the many individuals who have encouraged and supported me in my role,” said Packa. “I am thankful for the opportunities that I have had and the faculty, staff and administrators who have encouraged and supported me. Most of all, I am blessed to have great students to work with every day.”

NACADA assessed the advisors for their student success rate, their interpersonal skills and for supporting NACADA’s core values which include being responsible to their students, their educational community, their institution and higher education.

“In the judgment of the selection committee, you have consistently evidenced the qualities associated with the outstanding advising of students,” said NACADA in a congratulatory letter to Packa.

Packa will be honored and presented with her award in Minneapolis during the NACADA Annual Conference set for October 8 – 11, 2014.
Roland Weinsier Portrait UnveiledRoland Weinsier Portrait UnveiledRoland L. Weinsier, M.D., Dr.PH., who founded EatRight by UAB and authored the groundbreaking Handbook of Clinical Nutrition, was honored by the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a portrait unveiling on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Weinsier, who was professor and chair of the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences from 1988 to 1999, guided the department to a peak #2 ranking in U.S. News & World Report and then went on to direct the UAB Clinical Nutrition Research Center.

David Allison, Ph.D., distinguished professor and director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center, was recruited and mentored by Weinsier. He initially thought there should be a Weinsier Building.