UAB School of Health Professions Current News

New HSA chair talks 1st 100 days and beyond

Christy Lemak, Ph.D., new HSA chairChristy Lemak, Ph.D., new HSA chairChristy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., the newest chair at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, laughed when she was asked to talk about what she plans to accomplish in her first 100 days as head of the nationally ranked Department of Health Services Administration.

Lemak said it is “unrealistic” to think she will come in and start changing things immediately because the department already “has a tremendous reputation and a rich tradition of academic excellence.” So rather than deconstructing something that is not broken, Lemak plans to do some construction – like building bridges.

“We have strong faculty and staff doing tremendous work in teaching and scholarship but I do see room to support their work even more,” said Lemak, who will also serve as a professor for the UAB School of Health Professions. “I firmly believe that together, working across programs, we can take their great work and make it even greater.”


Physical Therapy students win Lakeshore’s Amazing Race

Crockett Scogin Posid Courtney Lochamy Courtesy Lakeshore FoundationPosid, Crockett, Courtney, Scogin and AMBUCS Executive Director Bog Lochamy
Photo Courtesy: Lakeshore Foundation
Four students from the UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy program, Alisa Courtney, James Crockett, Krysta Posid and Will Scogin, won the 2014 Lakeshore’s Amazing Race. Their team, sponsored by AMBUCS Birmingham, beat 29 teams in a race to complete 13 interactive challenges around the Lakeshore Foundation’s 45-acre campus in Birmingham. And they helped the Lakeshore Foundation raise more than $58,000.

The PT team only learned they were competing in the race two days before the event.

“What set us apart from the other teams was our teamwork,” said James Crockett, a first-year student in the DPT program. “The DPT program really emphasizes collaboration through team-based learning (TBL) and that strengthened our ability to work with each other efficiently and effectively.”


UAB students green light hope for children with asthma

Gaines Buggs RobinsonUAB students Jennifer Gaines, Quintoya Buggs, Areka Robinson“At first this was just a school assignment,” said Quintoya Buggs, senior Respiratory Therapy student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“But the kids were so energetic and excited to learn, that we just really had a good time,” she added.

Buggs was part of a group of RT students, including Areka Robinson and Jennifer Gaines, from the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences that spent a few days at the Western Area branch of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham teaching children from the Bessemer area how to better control their asthma.


Real-world experience without real-life consequences

simulation4 sizedOriginal story by UAB Reporter

One patient is having trouble breathing. A new mom is experiencing bleeding. Another patient is having complications from his diabetes. Labs are being run. The intensive-care unit is buzzing with activity.

Behind the scenes, professors and volunteers are in a control room manipulating manikins and monitors. This isn’t a normal day in the ICU; it’s a simulation designed to test UAB health-care students’ ability to communicate effectively and provide better patient care.

“Simulations such as this provide students an opportunity to both test what they have learned and to collaborate within the health-care team, said Penni Watts, R.N., instructor in nursing and faculty lead for the simulation. “The simulated setting allows students to demonstrate their patient care skills before practicing on real patients.”


MDA Summer Camp by Jennifer Christy, PT, Ph.D.

ASCCA 01Jennifer Christy, PT, Ph.D. and camper“Jennifer, please come to the cabin and rub my legs and my back!” This common request, made by the campers at the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Summer Camp, is music to my ears since I know it is because the kids have been active all day swimming, riding the zip-line, dancing and doing other fun activities that they would not typically do.

I am beyond privileged to serve as the Camp Physical Therapist each year at a week-long camp for children with neuromuscular diseases.

As a new graduate physical therapist in Louisiana I treated children of all ages and abilities who had disorders that affected their movement. My job was to help them to move better, feel better and meet their movement related goals. Among my patients were two brothers with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy who introduced me to a whole new world, the MDA Summer Camp.


NIH awards $175k to UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative

Written by Bob Shepard, UAB Media Relations

Quad Rider - courtesy InvotekQuad Rider - courtesy InvoTekThe University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Lakeshore Foundation are partnering with InvoTek, Inc. to create a gear and braking device that helps people with disabilities operate a handcycle safely. InvoTek, a research and development company in Alma, Arkansas, has received a $175,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund the development of technology called a Quad Rider to enable thousands of people with high-level spinal cord injury the opportunity to enjoy the health benefits of handcycling.

“Lack of access to fitness and recreation equipment is one of the primary barriers to participating in health-enhancing fitness activities for people with spinal cord injuries,” said James Rimmer, Ph.D. the inaugural UAB School of Health Professions Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences and director of the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative. “The Quad Rider can open up the possibility of promoting a wonderfully engaging form of physical activity for people with high level tetraplegia and help lower their risk of heart disease and diabetes and improve their mental health status.”


UAB’s Brown named one of inaugural ASCP 40 Under 40

Michelle Brown named to inaugural ASCP 40 under 40Michelle Brown named to inaugural ASCP 40 under 40Michelle Brown, MS, MLS(ASCP)SBB, an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, is named to the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s inaugural 40 Under 40. Brown, the clinical education coordinator in the Clinical Laboratory Science program, is recognized for her achievements and contributions to the medical laboratory professional field.

“The clinical laboratory is a vital member of the healthcare team and I am honored to have been selected as one of the nation’s young leaders,” said Brown, who is 38. “I am thankful to receive this recognition with fellow pathologists, residents, and laboratory professionals accomplishing great achievements early in their careers.”

Brown, listed as a “dedicated educator” by the ASCP, teaches immunohematology, immunology and analysis of body fluids to UAB graduate and undergraduate level students. Prior to joining the UAB School of Health Professions, she spent 10 years in a clinical setting where she also played an active role in the education of residents, nurses and perfusionists in the intricacies involved with transfusion medicine.

She is featured in the July 2014 issue of Critical Values.

Does this trunk make me look fat? Overweight elephants no laughing matter.

elephant sStory by Bob Shepard, UAB Media Relations

African elephants in captivity are getting fat. While the thought of a pudgy pachyderm might produce a chuckle, it is a situation with potentially serious consequences for the species.

“Obesity affects about 40 percent of African elephants in captivity,” said Daniella Chusyd, M.A., a doctoral student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Nutrition Sciences. “Much as we see in humans, excess fat in elephants contributes to the development of heart disease, arthritis, a shorter lifespan and infertility.”


SHP program is called starting point of Health IT breeding ground

Amanda Dorsey (right) talks to Health IT Outcomes editor-in-chief Ken CongdonAmanda Dorsey (right) talks to Health IT Outcomes editor-in-chief Ken CongdonThe editor-in-chief of Health IT Outcomes calls Birmingham a Health IT breeding ground and says "It all starts with UAB." And he specifically singles out the UAB Health Informatics program in the School of Health Professions.

In the article, titled "Birmingham's Health IT Breeding Ground," Ken Congdon says, "UAB boasts one of the oldest health informatics programs in the United States (established in 1991) and has developed curriculum specifically geared toward producing the next generation of health IT leaders, innovators, and problem solvers."