UAB School of Health Professions Current News
McCurry, who served as ALOTA president from 2007 – 2014, and Eidson, who served as ALOTA government affairs co-chair from 2007 – present, each believe the award was given for their cumulative efforts over the years. During their time in leadership roles, the ALOTA has grown from around 50 members to more than 300. During the same stretch, the chapter’s board grew from five to 16.
“The ALOTA was struggling when we first joined, but together, with help from a lot of good friends, we were able to build a sustainable model, make the group fiscally viable and help others see the true value of membership,” said McCurry. “Every year we are adding new, active members and it has been wonderful to be part of ALOTA’s growth into a group that is impacting our profession.”
“This is a historic day for us and for our students as it is not very often in life you get to be the first at something and we are all proud that they are our inaugural graduates,” said Ted Bertrand, Ph.D., interim BMD program director and associate professor, Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences.
The BMD program was implemented in 2013 to prepare students for health-related graduate and professional study or for entry into the healthcare industry. In only three years, the program has nearly 300 students and is one of the fastest growing majors at UAB.
The award honors “women who have made special contributions to their community through civic, academic or professional involvement and are exemplary role models for today’s girls.” This year the focus was on women in areas related to the Girls Scouts’ core initiatives: financial literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and healthy living.
In the notification letter to Slovensky, Tonya S. Mines, MPA, Director of Development for the Girls Scouts of North-Central Alabama, said, “For many years, Girl Scouts have sought to recognize women who have made a significant, positive impact upon their communities and are exemplary role models for Girl Scouts. We are thrilled to honor you!”
The award will fund her research titled "Carbohydrate Restricted Diet to Reverse Fatty Liver in Adolescents with Obesity." The objective of the Fund is “to provide grants for clinical, hypothesis-driven research that offers substantial promise for meaningful advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of children’s diseases, particularly research that offers broad-based applications.”
The Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award Program is especially interested in supporting the work of such young investigators as Goss who demonstrate excellent potential to achieve advances in improving children’s health.
In the AASPA newsletter SutureLine, Barner provided this personal statement about the honor and her dreams:
I have often found myself traveling to impoverished countries others dare not go to, studying topics most find too difficult, and working in positions where I interact with people who are in extreme mental and physical anguish.
Many people question why I willingly subject myself to this kind of lifestyle. To me, the answer is simple: I have an insatiable desire to serve those in need and look forward to the day when I can help those that have a surgical need. There is nothing more satisfying or rewarding in life than the giving of one’s self to serve and better the lives of others.
After countless hours of volunteering, students in the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy understand that The Firehouse Shelter is much more than a place for people in need to eat. So the students spent a recent day off taking care of little things, like cleaning, and big things, like decorating for the holidays.
“We have a special group of students that recognize there are needs beyond the basics and they want to do more for others,” said Sarah Tucker, MS, OTR/L, assistant professor in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program. “Our students are heading home to spend time with families in warm, festive homes and they wanted to provide as similar an atmosphere as possible for the people they have helped all year long.”
The ceremony included UAB President Ray L. Watts, M.D., UAB Provost Linda Lucas, Ph.D. and UAB Graduate School Dean Lori McMahon, Ph.D. In addition to School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D., the School’s platform party included Macebearer Donna Slovensky, Ph.D., Katie Adams, Peter Anderson, DVM, Ph.D., Janelle Chiasera, Ph.D., Gavin Jenkins, Ph.D., Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., Patrick McNees, Ph.D., David Morris, Ph.D., Midge Ray, Ph.D., Tracee Synco, Ph.D., and Melanie Talbot.
In his address to the graduates, President Watts talked about their future and the future of health care.
The School’s Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D., heads a list of 17 people with SHP ties including:
- Neeysa Biddle, president & CEO, St. Vincent’s Health System (B.S. Admin Health Systems, B.S. Allied Health (currently Health Care Management), MSHA Class 26)
- James Bonner, president, UAB Health Services Foundation (Healthcare Quality and Safety Certificate)
- Susan Brouillette, CEO, Alacare Home Health & Hospice (SHP Dean’s Advisory Board ex-officio member)
- Scott Buchalter, M.D., vice president, chief strategy and quality officer, UAB Health System (medical director, Healthcare Quality and Safety programs)
- Andy Davis, president and COO, St. Vincent’s Birmingham (MSHA Class 34)
- Will Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO, UAB Health System (MSHA Class 9, PhD Program in Health Services Administration)
- Eleanor Howell, Ph.D., dean, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, Samford University (PhD Program in Health Services Administration)
- Harold P. Jones, Ph.D., dean, UAB School of Health Professions
- Kathy Nugent, Ph.D., managing director, UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (faculty member, Biotechnology)
- Anthony Patterson, senior vice president of inpatient services, UAB Medicine (MSHA Class 26, Healthcare Quality and Safety Certificate)
- Keith Pennington, CEO, UAB Medical West (EMSHA Class 48)
- Bob Phillips, president, Shelby Baptist Medical Center (MSHA Class 31)
- Patricia Pritchett, senior vice president of ambulatory services, UAB Health System (Healthcare Quality and Safety Certificate)
- Wesley Smith, CEO, Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (EMSHA Class 34)
- Brian Spraberry, president and CEO, UAB Callahan Eye Foundation (EMSHA Class 32)
- Sean Tinney, senior vice president, COO, UAB Medical West (MSHA Class 33)
- Jeff Underwood, president, Lakeshore Foundation (UAB / Lakeshore Resarch Collaborative)
Each year the BBJ recognizes “dozens of the top names in Birmingham’s health care field.” This year, 17 of the 61 entries – 28 percent – have ties to the UAB School of Health Professions.
The private ceremony is open to family and friends of graduates from the School’s Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Science in Biotechnology, Master of Science in Health Administration (Residential MSHA and Executive MSHA), Master of Science in Health Informatics, Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.
The new SHP graduate ceremony follows a UAB tradition of honoring select graduate programs in advance of the university ceremonies that traditionally confer degrees to more than 2,000 undergraduates at Bartow Arena. For more information on the SHP Graduate Commencement Ceremony please visit http://www.uab.edu/graduate/doctoral-hooding-and-commencement-ceremony.