Volker PaustianPamela Paustian, Joseph F. Volker AwardAt the annual Faculty and Staff Awards Luncheon, the UAB School of Health Professions awarded its top honor, the Joseph F. Volker Award, to Pamela Paustian, Ph.D., RHIA, program director of the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management program.

In her introduction of Paustian, Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Health Services Administration, said, “One criterion for this award seems specifically written with Pam in mind as she so clearly shows ‘devotion to guiding students in their intellectual development through the pursuit of truth’ every single day.” Lemak went on to point out that Paustian is a member or chair of more than 25 committees and serves all UAB faculty as secretary of the UAB Faculty Senate.

The Beverly W. Smith Outstanding Employee Award, the top honor for a non-faculty employee, went to Amanda Sherman, MS, alumni affairs coordinator for the entire school. Katie Adams, SHP’s senior director of development, said this in her introduction of Sherman, “Amanda is committed to SHP and more importantly committed to the bettering of lives of others through her work. Amanda embodies the spirit we hope every employee should strive to have and is a true asset to our team.”

SEE MORE: all photos from the SHP Faculty and Staff Awards Luncheon


Teaching MadayKristopher Maday, Excellence in TeachingKristopher Maday, MS, PA-C, CNSC, assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Studies program, earned the Excellence in Teaching Award. The honor was delivered by James R. Kilgore, Ph.D., PA-C, the PA program director, who said this about Maday, “The words you hear often when Kris’ name is mentioned by colleagues are – Facebook, podcasting, blogging and Tweeting – he makes traditional teaching with PowerPoint and lectures sound quite anemic, right? The words you hear about him from students are – awesome, passionate, exceptional and best instructor ever.”

The Excellence in Scholarship Award was awarded to Eta Berner, Ed.D., professor in the Health Informatics program. She is a Fellow in two prestigious organizations – the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) and the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Amanda Dorsey, the Health Informatics program director talked about how Berner is a rock star in their field because of her scholarship work, “When we go to a conference and walk through a convention hall with thousands of people, she is recognized and stopped every three minutes. It’s like being with a celebrity and I just sit back like her handler and nod politely when she introduces me to the elites of our industry.”

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., is a professor and the Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences and winner of the Excellence in Service Award. In presenting the award, Barbara Gower, Ph.D., professor and vice-chair of research in Nutrition Sciences, said "One of Wendy's most noteworthy accomplishments is helping create and update the American Cancer Society's nutrition guidelines for cancer survivors - they are 'the bible' for diet advice for health professionals and cancer patients." Demark-Wahnefried, who also serves as associate director for cancer prevention and control at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, has done landmark research including how gardens help cancer survivors cope, heal and grow and currently serves as chair-elect for the Obesity Society section on cancer.

LEARN MORE: see all the past award winners and learn about each award


The annual SHP Faculty and Staff Awards Luncheon was held Friday, March 11, 2016, at the UAB National Alumni Society House. The 2015-2016 committee, co-chaired by Joseph Garner, Ph.D. and Amanda Dorsey, included Paula Chandler-Laney, Ph.D., Mary Foster, John Lowman, Ph.D., Amanda Sherman and Sarah Tucker.

bmen streamFrom left: Garrett Stephens, Samuel Sullivan IV and Brandon CohillBrandon Cohill, a senior in the UAB Nuclear Medicine Technology program, is one of three students bestowed a new honor — the Green Blazer.

Brandon Cohill, Garrett Stephens and Samuel Sullivan IV were awarded the green blazers for 2016 at the Blazer Male Excellence Network’s Undugu Male Gathering, held Feb. 18 in the new Hill Student Center. Undugu, a Swahili word, translates to “brotherhood.”

Cohill, 23, of Birmingham, will graduate in April with a degree in nuclear medicine technology. Cohill has been an orientation leader, deputy chief of staff of Communications for the Undergraduate Student Government Association, USGA senator for the School of Health Professions, and vice president and president of the Iota Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The recognition he received from BMEN inspired him to push through his final semester of his undergraduate career, he says.

Mark KentMark D. Kent, 2016 Jordan Distinguished LecturerMark D. Kent, FACHE, FACMPE, chief executive officer, Women’s Health Care, P.C., and a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, delivered the 12th annual L.R. (Rush) Jordan Distinguished Lecture on Friday, February 26. The Jordan Lecture is given in Birmingham annually to hospital administrators and UAB School of Health Professions alumni, plus students from across the country and Canada who competed in the annual Case Competition.

Kent told the crowd immediately, "Number one - I'm a failure."

That got everyone's attention and set the tone.

What is Failure?

He explained his dad wanted him to follow his footsteps as a medical doctor yet became a nurse. He was offered a six-figure job at American Express yet turned it down to start his own company.

Speaking directly to the students in the audience, the future leaders of health care, he told them to not worry about failure - to blaze their own trail.

He also said that even though they choose to follow a path unique to them, the true destination of success in health care should not be unique. Everyone should be searching for the best path to better patient outcomes.

1st Place MinnesotaUniversity of Minnesota, 2016 Case Competition Champion with Will Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO, UAB Health System, sponsor of the competitionThe University of Minnesota defeated 37 other teams to win the 10th annual UAB Health Administration Case Competition. Each year, graduate students from CAHME-accredited programs across the United States and Canada travel to Birmingham to compete in this capstone experience.

The preliminary round, held Thursday, February 25, featured all 38 teams in the morning. They were narrowed down to 12 semifinalists that competed in the afternoon.

On Friday, February 26, the six finalists – Army-Baylor University, Saint Louis University, Trinity University, University of Minnesota, defending champion University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and University of Utah – presented one more time to the panel of judges.

The Top 3 finishers were:

  1. University of Minnesota
  2. University of Utah
  3. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Minnesota finished third last year and second in 2013. This is their second championship having won the title in 2010.

The Case Competition, hosted by the UAB Department of Health Services Administration, allows student competitors to test their analytic abilities, teamwork and communication in solving a real-life, real-time case.

The 11th annual event will be held in Birmingham February 22 - 24, 2017.

Stribling StrunkKate Stribling and Ellen Strunk at CSMCongratulations to Kate Stribling, UAB PT ‘11, and Ellen Strunk, UAB PT ‘91, who won major honors at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Stribling, a Physical Therapy Resident at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, was awarded the Carol Gildenberg Dichter Memorial PCS Scholarship. The scholarship was created in 2003 and is designed to fund pediatric physical therapists that wish to earn Pediatric Clinical Specialist (PCS) credentials.

PA IMG 4642 500x320Students from the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program served as panelists and representatives in the 12th annual Integrative Healthcare Summit.

Christophe Jackson, Christy Franklin, Valerie Goodwin, Bellamy Hawkins and Kristen Bourg were members of the “Ultrasound Workshop” student panel on Saturday. Sarah Balladeres, Hawkins and Patterson all participated in the Opening Mixer the previous evening. The trio served as ambassadors for the PA program, the Department of Clinical and Diagnostics Sciences and the School of Health Professions answering questions from students in attendance.

The event, hosted by the UAB chapter of the Student National Medical Association, was co-sponsored by the UAB School of Health Professions.

Chad Epps MDEpps elected SSH presidentChad Epps, M.D., Associate Professor in the UAB School of Health Professions, has been elected President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). The SSH is an international organization dedicated to improving performance and reducing errors in patient care. Epps, who will serve as president for one year, was elected by a vote of over 3000 members.

“SSH is a global member-driven organization that aims to improve healthcare through simulation modalities” said Epps, who also serves as Associate Director for the UAB Office of Interprofessional Simulation for Innovative Clinical Practice (OIPS). “It’s an exciting time to lead the Society as we are implementing a new five year strategic plan to increase visibility of healthcare simulation and bring additional value to our members, institutions, and patients we serve.” 

The SSH recognizes that simulation in healthcare education is a paradigm shift by encouraging all healthcare practitioners – no matter how much experience they have – to gain critical hands on experience in simulated environments without endangering lives.

The UAB OIPS, which was created in 2012, is a joint venture between UAB and the UAB Health System with a mission to improve patient care outcomes by providing simulation-based techniques in education and training for the UAB community.
Original story by Jimmy Creed, UAB School of Nursing

eta bernerEta Berner, Ed.D.The Nursing Informatics-Working Group of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), recently named a research paper by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Health Professions Professor Eta S. Berner, Ed.D., and UAB School of Nursing Professor and Assistant Dean of Clinical Simulation and Technology Jacqueline Moss, PhD, RN, FAAN, one of the five most influential papers in nursing informatics for 2015.

Medication administration errors by nurses in acute-care settings can be deadly so it is vital that those charged with completing such crucial tasks have as much clear information and support as they can get throughout the process. Moss clearly recalls this from her days as an intensive care nurse, and set out to evaluate and enhance the clinical decision support tools for medication administration safety available to nurses in acute-care settings.

Moss, along with Berner, who teaches in the Master of Science in Health Informatics program and is director of the UAB Center for Health Informatics for Patient Safety/Quality (CHIPS-Q), conducted a study that defined three distinct characteristics of the decision support acute-care nurses want to receive in such critical situations.

SNMMI LeadershipCollins, Glasgow and LindarsLoukisha Collins, CNMT, NCT, Krystle Glasgow, MIS, CNMT, NMTCB(CT), NMAA, and Amber Lindars, CNMT, CPMT, all graduates of the UAB Nuclear Medicine Technology program, recently graduated from the 9th annual Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Technologist Section (SNMMI-TS) Leadership Academy.

The SNMMI-TS hosts the two-day session, conducted by SNMMI-TS leadership and key members. The academy curriculum is a combination of lectures and team building exercises. It is designed to develop the attendees’ leadership skills and enhance their ability to evolve into leadership positions within nuclear medicine, molecular imaging and the professional society.

Collins, a former member of the UAB NMT Advisory Board; Glasgow, a teacher and the clinical coordinator for UAB NMT; and Lindars, a past president of the Alabama Society of Nuclear Medicine, were selected based on their involvement in the national SNMMI, the ASNM and the field of nuclear medicine. In addition to their involvement, the three were judged on references and answers they provided to narrative questions from the SNMMI-TS leadership to be chosen to attend the academy.

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