Original story by Matt Windsor for The Mix UAB

In the Big Data era, information is plentiful. Insight is harder to come by.

Health apps are a case in point. More than two-thirds of American adults own a smartphone, and 62 percent of those smartphone owners use their devices to look up health information. They have plenty of options: A 2015 study found more than 165,000 health apps available on the Apple and Android app stores — a quarter of them focused on disease treatment and management, with the rest focused on fitness and wellness.

But which of these apps, if any, could a health organization actually recommend to its patients with confidence? What does the research say? Those are questions that Viva Health, the UAB-affiliated insurer, wants to answer. “Viva is interested in using apps to engage its members in more health-promotion activities,” says Robert Weech-Maldonado, Ph.D., professor and L.R. Jordan Chair of Health Administration in the Department of Health Services Administration at the UAB School of Health Professions. “Prevention is a major emphasis in health care, and the more we can use inexpensive technologies to help patients reduce their risk of disease, the better.”

Diane ClarkDiane Clark elected to CAPTEDiane Clark, PT, DScPT, MBA, program director of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDoctor of Physical Therapy program, has been elected to serve on the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. CAPTE is the only accrediting agency for physical therapist programs in the United States.

“I am very honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Commission for the next four years,” said Clark, who will serve as a PT Panel Member for CAPTE. “I look forward to being a part of a group of people committed to ensuring the quality of physical therapy education programs across the United States.”

CTL GroupTen faculty and staff from the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences received the inaugural UAB Innovative Teaching Certificate at a ceremony held in the UAB Center for Teaching and Learning.

The certificates were earned by completing workshops in the Teaching Innovation Series. Participants earned points for attendance and participation as part of a new gamification process designed by the CTL “to apply the psychology of game play to educational settings.”

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The CDS members who earned certificates included:

UAB AE Induction

The Alpha Eta Society, a national honor society for allied health professionals, has 32 new members from the UAB School of Health Professions.

The School is represented by graduate students in their final year of training from the Clinical and Laboratory Sciences program and the Physician Assistant Studies program.

Membership in Alpha Eta is based on maintaining an overall GPA of 3.8 or greater (on a 4.0 scale) for graduate students, community and professional service and demonstration of leadership abilities.

Cheri NippCheri Nipp, Low Vision alumna, Class of '12Cheri Nipp, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, a graduate of the UAB School of Health ProfessionsLow Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate program, has been named to a national task force that has been asked to more clearly define what best practice means in the implementation of programs that serve older individuals who are blind.

The task force, formed as part of a federal Training and Technical Assistance grant, was recently awarded to Mississippi State University. Nipp, who provides outpatient low vision rehabilitation services at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Mississippi, was selected because of her collaborative efforts to bridge the gap between medical and vocational rehabilitation programs in the state.

The federal Training and Technical Assistance grant is funded through the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program. The grant was awarded with intent of improving the administration, operations, and performance of programs for older adults funded through vocational rehabilitation.

You can learn more about Nipp in her UAB School of Health Professions Alumni Spotlight.
Chiasera Williams DuggerJanelle Chiasera, CDS Chair; Lamario Williams; Kari Dugger, BMD Program DirectorLamario Williams, an undergraduate student in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsBiomedical Sciences program (BMD), was chosen as a recipient of a 2016 ASAHP Scholarship of Excellence.

The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) awards the Scholarship of Excellence annually to 12 students across the nation who not only excel in their academic programs, but who also have significant potential to take on future leadership roles in health professions.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to have won this award with such a distinguished group of students," said Williams. "It gives me the confidence to know I can be a leader in the healthcare field as a physician scientist someday.”

Railroad ParkThe UAB School of Health Professions has 17 people, including Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D., named to the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2016 Who’s Who in Health Care.

The article highlights “key powerbrokers” that “you need to know in the Magic City’s medical world.”

Those with SHP ties on the list are:

AOTA LogoThe 2017 AOTA/NBCOT National Student Conclave will be held in Birmingham from November 3 – 4, 2017, marking the first time the American Occupational Therapy Association has hosted a national event in Alabama. Part of the draw is the UAB School of Health Professions’ Department of Occupational Therapy which is ranked 25th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and home to more than 200 occupational therapy students.

“Every Fall AOTA develops a National Student Conclave and while reasonable costs, from the host city, are important – just as important are support from the State Association and the local education program,” said Frank E. Gainer, MHS, OTR/L, FAOTA, CMP, CAE, Director of Conferences, AOTA. “The UAB Occupational Therapy Department and the Alabama State OT Association (ALOTA) are going to be great partners in assisting AOTA in creating a wonderful program for the 2017 National Student Conclave.”

Anwar Almutairi, a second year student in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsPh.D. in Rehabilitation Science program, received a grant from the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association.

The APPT Grant Review Subcommittee recommended that Almutairi receive a $9,908 grant for her project titled “VORC: Vestibular and Oculomotor Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy.”  The funding is for the APPT Mentored Grant Competition.

The letter from Julia Looper, PT, Ph.D., chair of the APPT Research Grant Subcommittee said reviewers thought the grant “has a well though out and well-reasoned hypothesis” and “remarked that this line of research is relevant and important.”