UAB School of Health Professions Current News

Jennifer Dingle named AUPHA Boyd Scholar

SHP Flag Bearer Jennifer DingleJennifer Dingle, SHP flag-bearer at 2014 UAB graduationJennifer Dingle, a 2014 graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health Care Management Program, wins a $40,000 scholarship from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA). She is one of only two students in the U.S. to earn the HCA Corris Boyd Scholarship for 2014.

“This scholarship will allow me to work toward my goal of becoming an administrator in a pediatric healthcare facility and providing all patients, regardless of socioeconomic background, especially children, high-quality, evidence-based healthcare,” said Dingle.

The HCA Corris Boyd Scholars program, established in 2006, provides scholarships to two deserving minority students each year. The award is named for Mr. Corris Boyd who “dedicated himself to diversity and excellence in leadership – especially among people of color.”

“I believe she will make a tremendous contribution to the healthcare industry,” said Pam Paustian, Ph.D., RHIA, associate professor and HCM program director. “Jennifer was an outstanding student who was actively engaged in HCM program activities, as well as, research activities. She held student leadership positions at both the University and School level, and participated in the SHP Honors Program.”

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#HigherEducation – UAB instructor Live Tweets classroom intensive

Maday Tweet Wall 01Kristopher Maday with Tweet WallApproximately 6,000 Tweets are sent out every second of every day. That means more than half a million Tweets will be shared in the time it takes you to read, and then Tweet, this story.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers numerous online courses and many include live Twitter chats to engage students who live around the world.

However, one instructor is bringing the online model of learning to the physical classroom.

Erik Qualman, the author of Socialnomics, said, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”

And that is where Kristopher Maday, PA-C, CNSC, an assistant professor in the UAB School of Health Professions Physician Assistant Program, enters the higher education social media scene.

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Mehta chosen Named New Investigator for UAB NORC

Tapan MehtaTapan Mehta. Ph.D., NORC's Named New InvestigatorTapan Mehta, Ph.D., assistant professor of biostatistics in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Therapy, has been selected as the 2014 Named New Investigator for the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC). Each year since 2001, the center leadership selects among the Funded Pilot / Feasibility recipients and then receives approval from the UAB NORC External Advisory Committee prior to making the formal appointment.

Mehta joined the UAB School of Health Professions faculty in 2013 after transferring from his graduate program in Biostatistics at the UAB School of Public Health. According to Mehta's webpage, his research program is focused on aggregating and integrating silos of genomic, epidemiological, and administrative data, to investigate interesting scientific questions, through novel applications of statistical methods, and computing platforms. He is especially interested in pursuing scientific inquiry in topics related to obesity, longevity, disability, and health policy and interventions.

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Laken is 1st from UAB appointed to state respiratory therapy board

Debra LakenDebra Laken, MAEd, AE-C, RRT, CTTS, named to ASBRTDebra Eddins Laken, MAEd, AE-C, RRT, CTTS, associate professor in the Respiratory Therapy Program in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions, has been appointed to the Alabama State Board of Respiratory Therapy by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley.

Laken is the first UAB faculty member to be appointed to the ASBRT board. She is one of five members on the current board, three of which are respiratory therapists. Her four year term began August 5, 2014.

“It is a great honor and privilege to have been appointed to the Alabama State Board of Respiratory Therapy,” said Laken. “I plan to be a good steward of the taxpayer’s money.”

Laken’s role with the board includes setting licensure fees, approving or denying licenses, conducting hearings on revoking licenses as well as attending legislative hearings and board meetings.

The ASBRT’s mission is to protect Alabamians against “unauthorized, unqualified and improper administration of respiratory therapy and from unprofessional or unethical conduct by persons licensed to practice respiratory therapy.”

The UAB Respiratory Therapy Program is housed in the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences.

UAB screens "Twitch," documentary follows 18-year-old's journey testing for Huntington's disease

Twitch Picture Powers2014Kristen Powers, producer & star of documentary "Twitch"“Twitch,” a documentary film chronicling the emotional journey of an 18-year-old as she is tested for a degenerative genetic disease, was screened on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham September 10 at Volker Hall.

The producer and star of the film Kristen Powers attended the screening of her movie, gave a presentation on her journey and Huntington's disease (HD), answered questions from the audience and was guest of honor at a post-event reception held at the Edge of Chaos on UAB's campus.

The film "Twitch" follows her genetic testing for HD, a neurological brain disorder that led to the death of her mother.

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Dish liquid, rubbing alcohol and UAB instructor help kids see their DNA

McWane Students RobbinsCarol Robbins, Ph.D., (right) with McWane campersDeoxyribonucleic acid – better known as DNA – stores all of the information necessary for life and of course is in every living thing.

One item in every living human is mucus, or as a group of middle schoolers at the McWane Science Center Biotechnology Camp would call it, snot.

“See that stuff in the tube that looks like snot? That is DNA from millions of your cheek cells,” said Carol Robbins, Ph.D., laboratory teacher in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Biotechnology Program, and guest instructor at the McWane Camp.

“As you know, your DNA is what makes you, you; so if you take a picture of yourself holding yourself in a tube then you will be taking the ultimate selfie,” said Tabitha Finch, Ph.D., manager of science education at the McWane Science Center and the student’s camp instructor this week.

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UAB students serve others, win honors

Samantha Layer LaVonda Hildreth Katie HarrisSamantha Layer, LaVonda Hildreth, Katie HarrisUAB Respiratory Therapy students did not clown around this summer at Camp WheezeAway. Samantha Layer, LaVonda Hildreth and Katie Harris joined more than 20 other UAB students at the Asthma Camp for Kids at YMCA Camp Chandler.

“The purpose of this camp is to show the kids that they can do anything other children can do,” said Harris. “We also emphasized the importance of establishing a schedule with their respiratory medications, to recognize the signs of an oncoming asthma attack and what to do if they suffer an attack.”

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UAB alumnae co-author book on mobile health technologies

mHealth CoverDonna Slovensky, Ph.D., professor and associate dean, Academic and Student Affairs, UAB School of Health Professions, and Donna Malvey, Ph.D., a fellow graduate of the UAB Ph.D. Program in Health Services Administration are co-authors of a new book on mobile health technologies. The book, mHealth: Transforming Healthcare, was published this month by Springer and covers the global impact of mobile health technologies.

“The idea that something as small as a mobile phone could revolutionize healthcare is mind boggling yet the devices keep getting smaller, faster, more powerful, and oftentimes less expensive,” said Slovensky, administrative director, Healthcare Quality and Safety Graduate Certificate. “As an industry driving a large segment of our economy, healthcare is an obvious direction for technology business development. Our interest was in looking at mHealth from the perspective of many stakeholders and identifying likely points of leverage and potential roadblocks to the widespread adoption required to achieve population health improvement.”

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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.”

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