UAB School of Health Professions Current News

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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National Symposium for Healthcare Executives adds speakers, announces ACHE seminar

Symposium LogoThe UAB Center for Healthcare Management and Leadership adds nearly 200 years of healthcare leadership experience to the speaker list at the 34th annual National Symposium for Healthcare Executives. Joining keynote speakers Thomas H. Lee, M.D., chief medical officer at Press Ganey and professor at Harvard University, and Anton Gunn, former director of external affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services are:

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SHP Programs Rank Top 20 in Best Healthcare Jobs

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.

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High-Tech hide-and-seek being played in UAB classroom

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.

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UAB Occupational Therapy ranked 12th in U.S. based on student reviews

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.

GraduatePrograms.com, 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 honored for commitment to mentoring

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.”

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Majority of Low-Vision specialists are UAB graduates

Marlene SnowMarlene Snow is 20th UAB alum to earn SCLVThere are only 39 Occupational Therapists in the world with a Specialty Certification in Low Vision (SCLV) and 21 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.”

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