UAB School of Health Professions Current News

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.”

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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."

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2 SHP programs in Forbes’ Top 5 Best Master’s Degrees for Jobs in 2014

Top 10 Forbes Best Master's Degrees for Jobs in 2014

  • #1 Physician Assistant
  • #4 Occupational Therapy
  • #7 Health Administration
Forbes releases its annual list of best master’s degrees for jobs and two of the top five, and three of the top ten, are offered at the UAB School of Health Professions.

According to Forbes, the number one master’s degree for a job in 2014 is Physician Assistant. The UAB Physician Assistant program is ranked in the top 25 by U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate Schools.” The five year National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certification pass rate for UAB PA students is 99 percent.

Coming in at number four on Forbes’ list is Occupational Therapy. The UAB Occupational Therapy program was recently ranked 12th in the U.S. based on student reviews. It also has the only Low Vision Rehabilitation graduate certificate offered solely for occupational therapists.

Ranked 7th among Forbes’ best master’s degrees for jobs is Health Administration. The UAB Master of Science in Health Administration is the School of Health Professions top ranked program, standing at number five in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate Schools for Health Care Management.”

To calculate “The Best and Worst Master’s Degrees For Jobs In 2014,” Forbes used mid-career compensation data and projected employment growth from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… What is it?

UFO 009SHPB UFO is a DJI Phantom 2 droneA spider-looking UFO with four propellers plus green and red lights hovered above the UAB Learning Resource Center this morning capturing the imagination (and paranoia) of many in the surrounding area.

The UFO turns out to be a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Qaudcopter, in other words, it is a drone which captures still photos and HD video. Did we mention some people were a little paranoid?

The drone was actually being used on behalf of G & S Glass & Supplies, out of Pelham, and B.L. Harbert International who constructed the School of Health Professions Building (SHPB). The companies needed to take a closer look at some hard to reach places on the 6th floor and roof of SHPB.

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Dietetic Internship graduates 50th class

DI Class Photo 2013-2014Dietetic Internship Class 2013-2014Congratulations to the UAB Dietetic Internship program. At 10 a.m. on Friday, June 20, 2014, the program in the School of Health Professions graduated their 50th class.

Members of the Class of 2014 include:

Seated L-R: Kerri Pittman, Emily Lawton, Martha Ryals, Anna Bafunno, Amelia Hendrick, Kasey Westerhouse, Haley Shumaker, Lindsay Schulz, Zeithun Abas, Lisa Mastropietro

Standing L-R: Hannah Hardin, Krista Davis, Sara Upton, Caroline Cohen, Megan Scott, Kaeti Lindsay, Manal Naseeb, Emily Moore, Tori Thompson, Caitlin Gaynor, Jennifer Dunn, Kristin Rowland

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UAB PA students reach Top 36 at National Medical Challenge Bowl

Lauren Voss, Ashley Phillips, Liz HazelhurstRight side of screen: Lauren Voss, Ashley Phillips, Liz HazelhurstThe Physician Assistant program in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Health Professions is competitive. It is competitive to get in. It is competitive once you are in. And it is competitive outside as well.

After all, this is the program that won the annual UAB Gurney Derby at Homecoming AND the UAB Intramural Volleyball Championship in 2013.

So it’s only natural that they would compete in the National Medical Challenge Bowl which bills itself as “a friendly competition” at the annual American Academy of Physician Assistants conference in Boston.

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UAB student sits on governing body of SAAAPA

2014 SAAAPA Assembly of Representatives2014 SAAAPA Assembly of RepresentativesAmy McCormick, a second-year UAB Physician Assistant student, recently returned from the AAPA annual conference where she was a member of the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA) Assembly of Representatives. This was the first year the University of Alabama at Birmingham sent an in-person representative.

“It was tedious at times when the debates became lengthy over the semantics of a proposal but overall it was so fascinating to see a group of students come together and agree and disagree civilly,” said McCormick, who graduates from UAB in December. “We were all focused on bringing up ideas and ways to improve our education and our profession and to do it in an organized manner. And I believe that we made a difference.”

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Bottle rocket experiment aims to encourage healthcare careers

Kara Caruthers, far right, leads HCOP instructionKara Caruthers, far right, leads HCOP instruction“What do you like best about science?” asked Kara Caruthers, MSPAS, PA-C, an assistant professor with the UAB Physician Assistant program.

A group of Birmingham-area middle school students responded immediately.

“Compounds!” said one.

“Chemistry!” said another.

“Blowing up things!” said a third.

Caruthers loves seeing this excitement for science and she wants it to continue. And that is why she is involved with the annual Health Careers Opportunity Program which is designed to increase the number of students from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who enter medical and health professions.

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PA team supports Million Hearts

PA Million HeartsPhysician Assistant program at Million Hearts eventIn May, a team from the UAB Physician Assistant program joined the Institute for America’s Health challenge at an event to support Million Hearts’ initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

The PA team, consisting of (pictured right, listed L/R) Alexis Hamilton, Amanda Haas, Brittni Thomas, Jaime Petrosky, Rick Kilgore, Ph.D., Sherri Peete, Meredith Veazey and Catherine Blair, screened more than two-dozen people at the Healthy Living Challenge at the Preserve Town Hall in Hoover.

“This was a nice chance to give back to the community,” said Haas. “Being in school, we don’t have time like we used to, to do volunteer work so this was a good opportunity for service.”

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