Larry Hearld lectureLarry Hearld, Ph.D., 2015 Thompson Prize for Young Investigators
Original story by Lacey Meckley, CAE; originally appeared in the AUPHA Exchange

In recognition of his significant contributions to research literature in the field of health services, Larry Hearld, PhD, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators. The Prize was established to honor John D. Thompson, a professor of health administration, who set standards in teaching, commitment to learning, collegial relationships, and health services research which are without peer. It is awarded to faculty from AUPHA members programs whose work, which may be in any of the several fields of disciplines, contributes to knowledge in health services. Dr. Hearld will be presented with the Prize at the AUPHA Annual Meeting this June in Miami, FL.

Dr. Hearld was nominated by Christy Harris Lemak, PhD, FACHE, Professor and Department Chair of the Department of Health Services Administration, and S. Robert Hernandez, DrPH, Professor and Doctoral Program Director, both of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “We strongly support his nomination for this prestigious award because we believe Dr. Hearld exemplifies who and what we seek for future scholars and teachers of health administration.”

2015 Kick Butts Program 03UAB students educate children during
National Kick Butts Day program
“Almost every child personally knew another kid who smoked and several of them said they had already been offered a cigarette.”

Those were the words of Emily Cherry, a senior in the UAB Respiratory Therapy program, after she and 20 classmates spent the day at Gardendale Elementary School. Cherry and every one of her fellow RT students (four spent the day at Pizitz Middle School),  were at the school teaching the children about the harmful effects of smoking as part of the National Kick Butts Day.

“As Respiratory Therapists, one of our most important jobs is to educate,” said Cherry. “It is crucial to inform children about the dangers of smoking while they are young, so that they will make healthy choices early in life.”

Breland HurstBreland, Hurst: 2014-15 UAB Faculty FellowsBryan Breland, DrPH, JD, assistant professor of Health Care Management, and Christina Hurst, interim program director of the Genetic Counseling program, finished their tenure as 2014-2015 UAB Faculty Fellows in Engaged Scholarship in a ceremony held at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

Over the past school year, Breland and Hurst joined nine others in working on this prestigious honor. The academically diverse group represents five UAB schools plus the College of Arts and Sciences.

CLS unpackingCLS Lab move in dayThe dramatic improvements to SHPB learning spaces continue. This week the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program moved into their new laboratory space in SHPB 142. For the past few months the lab has been undergoing a complete transformation with upgrades to everything in the room – including the cabinets and counters.

The new lab has ample room for 48 students – with generous lab space for each, pop-up electrical ports with USB ports and data ports on each table, new projectors, new TV monitors, improved lighting, lockers for students, increased storage area and a separate phlebotomy room. The CLS team even designed the lab to make student access to equipment and instructor access to students easier.

eta bernerEta Berner, professor, Health Informatics programEta Berner, Ed.D., professor in the UAB Department of Health Services Administration, has the first online course to be certified by Quality Matters in the UAB School of Health Professions. She is one of only five in the state of Alabama to earn the certification.

Quality Matters, a nationally ranked peer-review process for online courses, gave Berner’s class, HI 640: Introduction to Health Informatics and Health Care Delivery, 98 out of a possible 100 points.

Elizabeth Fisher, Ph.D., Director of Academic Outreach and the UAB QM Coordinator for the Division of eLearning and professional Studies said, “The QM process is very collegial and student centric. Dr. Berner clearly cares about student success evidenced by her hard work and willingness to seek and embrace continual improvement of her courses.”

Golden Toilet Group webOT students wearing simulation glassesThe UAB Department of Occupational Therapy faculty are renowned for creative lessons designed to prepare students for their career upon graduation.

The idea they had for the OT 677: Foundations in Low Vision Rehabilitation course was to have students design and build restroom signs. The catch though, was that both signs had to be reliably read by people at a distance of 10 feet with 20/200 visual acuity, which is the visual acuity of someone with cataracts. The students wore special simulation glasses so they would understand how difficult it is for people with cataracts to read signs on a daily basis.

“Through creative learning activities, our students are asked to apply concepts from lecture and lab to real life therapy situations," said Beth Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA an OT associate professor.

Occupational Therapy StudentsOccupational Therapy Second Year StudentsThe annual UAB Department of Occupational Therapy Service Learning and Research Poster Day was held at the UAB Edge of Chaos on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

“This is a way for them to emulate what is a very common venue for presentations at professional association meetings, but most importantly, it is a way for them and our department to give back to the Birmingham community,” said Christopher Eidson, MS, OTR\L, Assistant Professor for UAB OT. “Students provide invaluable services to our partners, most of which are non-profits, and this event provides the OT community Continuing Education which our practitioners have to do to maintain their license.”

AAHIM Student ForumAAHIM Student ForumMore than 65 students from three universities attended the Alabama Association of Health Information Management Student Forum at the UAB School of Health Professions’ Executive Learning Center. The day-long session covered a variety of topics to prepare the HIM students for the next steps beyond graduation. Lectures included “Compliance: An Alternative to the Traditional HIM Setting,” “Professionalism and Social Media” and “Planning Your Professional HIM Career.”

SEE MORE: see photos from the meeting on the SHP Flickr page

The three institutions, all accredited Health Information Technology and Health Information Administration programs, were Alabama State University, UAB Health Information Management and Wallace State Community College – Hanceville (HIT). The undergraduate students also learned about the Master’s level courses they would qualify for at UAB: Healthcare Quality and Safety (Master’s Degree and Graduate Certificate) and Health Informatics.

InnoHack Courtesy Jesse Parks 02Seth Bynum (left) presenting at #InnoHack2015
(Photo courtesy Jesse Parks)
The #InnoHack2015 asked the question: What can be done to improve health outcomes in Alabama? Ten groups competed for the winning solution, but in the end the real answer may just be to have more events like this.

#InnoHack2015, sponsored by the Baptist Health System and the UAB Department of Health Services Administration, brought together everyone from software developers to engineers to health administrators to students like Seth Bynum, a senior in the UAB Health Care Management program. His team, Community H.U.B. (Health Utilization Base) had never met before they were teamed up at #InnoHack2015.

“It is truly amazing to think that four strangers could come together and in such a short amount of time, propose a solution to one of Alabama’s healthcare barriers that is not only creative and innovative, but also able to be implemented,” said Bynum, who grew up in Fayette, Alabama with a population of around 4,600. “Our idea was to establish a Community H.U.B. that would address the geographic barrier, which is a huge obstacle to Alabama’s many rural residents, through the use of telemedicine with hospital-based specialties.”