whitley kelley uab genetic counselingWhitley Kelley
UAB Genetic Counseling
Class of 2015
Whitley Kelley doesn’t make designer babies. Or spend all day breaking bad news to families.

“Misconceptions abound about the role of a genetic counselor, and genetic testing in general,” says Kelley, a 2015 graduate of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsMaster of Science in Genetic Counseling program. She is one of three genetic counselors on staff at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, which includes Meagan Cochran, a 2012 graduate of the UAB GC program who was featured in a 2013 UAB Magazine article “Speaking in Code: Preparing Students for a New Era in Genetic Counseling.”

Kelley’s job is to translate some of the most complex technical achievements of the 21st century into language that anyone can understand. She has a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and was considering becoming a bench scientist before a friend suggested she look into genetic counseling. After some research, she contacted the director of UAB’s master’s program and arranged to shadow some counselors.

“You have to understand both the technical aspects of the science and the emotional challenges of the information you are providing,” Kelley says. “I’m a big nerd at heart, and I was very attracted to the idea of helping translate this cutting-edge science into layman’s terms.”


Cover UAB SHP 2016 Annual Report One School Many LivesClick image to read our Annual ReportWhen you see the word “School” what comes to mind?

An institution? A building? A classroom?

Or do you see your spouse having their life saved by a Physician Assistant? Or your child thriving thanks to an Occupational Therapist? Or your parent regaining independence with a Physical Therapist?

Well, those are all things that happen because of a School – our School. The UAB School of Health Professions is one School that impacts countless lives beyond the classroom. We are one School whose students deliver impactful work outside the classroom. We are one School that takes education further than the classroom.

You will see all that and more in our 2016 Annual Report: One School, Many Lives. We hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoy sharing.

Quorum Prather MillerLucas Prather with Tom MillerLucas Prather, a first-year student in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsMaster of Science in Health Administration program (MSHA Class 52), is the recipient of the inaugural Quorum Scholar in Health Administration. The Quorum gift, spearheaded by Quorum Health CEO Thomas Miller, is the first-ever full ride scholarship in the MSHA program’s 51-year history.

“Taking a step to develop a scholarship for a student in the UAB MSHA program is a more direct way to make sure the program maintains its excellence in this field over the years,” said Miller, an alumnus of the MSHA program (Class 18). “A significant part of my success was related to the education, relations and network opportunities that were provided from UAB and this is a small gift for the many things the program has done for my family.”

The scholarship is a three year full-ride scholarship that covers tuition, fees and professional development experiences. It is the type of life-altering gift that is worthy of the MSHA program that is currently ranked #2 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report – a strong gift for a strong program ultimately attracts even stronger students.

Neeysa BiddleNeeysa Biddle
courtesy Ascension Health
Neeysa Biddle, who earned a B.S. in Allied Health (currently Health Care Management) and an M.S. in Health Administration (MSHA Class 26), announced she will retire as senior vice president, Ascension Health and Birmingham Ministry Market Executive. In that role since February 2015, Biddle has provided strategic and operational leadership for St. Vincent’s Health System.

Biddle’s retirement is effective at the end of this fiscal year on June 30, 2017.

“Neeysa’s commitment, dedication and vision have benefited STVHS; its associates, physicians and volunteers; and the individuals and communities they work together to serve,” said Patricia Maryland, DrPH, president, Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Ascension Healthcare, in a statement to Ascension leaders.

Chen Houser 1087 UAB Campus Webb BuildingClass 1: XIAN Medical University / UAB MSHA program on UAB campus in 1987Trevor Chen was a member of the only class of the UAB School of Health Professions' (SHP) Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) Sino-American Joint Program in 1989. The unique program sponsored by Project HOPE lost its funding when USAID funds were shifted to the Newly Independent States after the demise of the Soviet Union.

The graduation ceremony, held in Shaanxi Province, China, celebrated the combined MSHA Class 15 graduates from UAB and from Xian Medical University (XMU) and received news coverage from China’s national news agency. UAB President Scotty McCallum, DMD, MD, SHP Dean Keith Blayney, Ph.D., Chinese Minister of Health Dr. CHEN Mingzhang and XMU President Dr. REN Huimin, Vice President Dr. SHI Dapu, and Program Director Dr. Howard W. Houser attended this historical event.

And while many may view graduation as the end of education, Trevor, who is known as CHEN Hua in his native country of China, says it was only the beginning. The UAB Sino-American Joint Program altered history – for him and his country.

DHARS HenleyThe inaugural Symposium for DHARS, hosted by the UAB Center for Disability Health and Rehabilitation Science (DHARS), brought nationally recognized disability experts to the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Friday, January 13, 2017.

See More: Symposium Photo Album

The event kicked off with UAB School of Health Professions’ Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D., who challenged everyone to join the newly created Center because more members mean more research and more discoveries.

“Progress in rehabilitation science requires a true interdisciplinary approach where all angles and efforts – technology, community, science, communications and more – are working together and that is why we created the Center for DHARS,” said Jones.

Feldman SueSue Feldman, RN, MEd, Ph.D.Sue Feldman, RN, MEd, Ph.D., Director, UAB School of Health ProfessionsGraduate Programs in Health Informatics, has been appointed to the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) Health Informatics Accreditation Council.

Feldman, associate professor, SHP Department of Health Services Administration, associate professor, School of Medicine, Department of Medical Education, associate scientist, Informatics Institute, was also named to CAHIIM’s Health Informatics Competency Education Workgroup.

“This is a very dynamic time for health informatics as we continue to elevate the professional identity, academic discipline, and competencies of the health informatics professional,” said Feldman. “I am honored to serve on the Health Informatics Accreditation Council with some of the nation’s most respected health informatics thought leaders and contribute to the Health Informatics Competency Education Workgroup by helping to shape the education delivered in Health Informatics programs nationwide.”

Original story from UAB News

eating earlyUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are trying to find out whether changing a person’s eating schedule can help them lose weight and burn fat.

The first human test of early time-restricted feeding, or eTRF, found that this meal-timing strategy reduced swings in hunger and altered fat and carbohydrate burning patterns, which may help with losing weight. With eTRF, people eat their last meal by the mid-afternoon and do not eat again until breakfast the next morning. The findings were unveiled during a presentation at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting  at Obesity Week 2016  in New Orleans, Louisiana.

DavidAllison150x225David Allison, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and ScienceDavid Allison, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Science in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions, is Nature editors’ top pick for this year’s influential expert opinions.

Allison and colleagues’ paper, titled “Reproducibility: A tragedy of errors”, points out mistakes in peer-reviewed papers are easy to find, yet difficult to correct. Allison, along with a team of researchers from his UAB Office of Energetics including Andrew Brown, Ph.D., Brandon George, Ph.D., and Kathryn Kaiser, Ph.D., wrote the paper after spending countless hours attempting to correct errors they found.