Valley McCurry Ann Cosby AwardChris Eidson and Valley McCurryValley McCurry, MBA, OTR/L, assistant professor in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Occupational Therapy, received the Ann Cosby Service Award from the Alabama Occupational Therapy Association (ALOTA).

The award is given annually to an advocate “who has made contributions to the advancement of occupational therapy and/or health care” over their career.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award from an organization that I care deeply about,” said McCurry. “I had the pleasure of being able to serve on the board with a group of fantastic, caring volunteers who love OT and our state, and it was really that group of individuals who allowed us to move the profession forward in Alabama.”

McCurry, who has worked as an OT since 1998, is a former president of ALOTA (serving from 2007 – 2014) and is currently the co-chair of their Government Affairs. She served as vice chair of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Affiliated State Association Presidents Council from 2014-2017.

EtaBernerEta Berner, EdDEta S. Berner, EdD, director of the UAB Center for Health Informatics for Patient Safety/Quality (CHIPS/Q), and Bunyamin Ozaydin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Graduate Programs in Health Informatics in the Department of Health Services Administration, are published in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Their Letter to the Editor, titled “Benefits and risks of machine learning decision support systems,” was selected in response to the article “Unintended Consequences of Machine Learning in Medicine” that was published in the August 8, 2017 edition of JAMA.

In the original article, the authors discuss the potential for overreliance on technology which could lead to the “deskilling” – reducing the analytic skills – of physicians. In other words, the move to machine learning would hinder physicians’ ability to recognize inaccuracies of algorithms or errors committed by the systems themselves.

In their 400-word letter, Berner and Ozaydin compare this line of concern to the concerns that arose with the introduction of the blood pressure cuff in the early 1900’s. It took more than 50 years before blood pressure cuffs were routinely used by nurses as they are today.

BBJThe Birmingham Business Journal released its annual “Who’s Who in Birmingham Health Care” list and 19 of the members – led by our Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D. – have connections to the UAB School of Health Professions.

Nearly 1 of every 3 leaders on the BBJ’s influential list are connected to UAB SHP.

Fourteen of those listed are alumni of the School with the other five serving as faculty, or a leadership role, or both.

The BBJ says the people who earned a spot on their list “are shaping one of Birmingham’s most important industries in their own way, and they are also individuals who have helped make the Magic City a global leader in health care.”

Rimmer Coulter Award 2017James Rimmer, Ph.D., Director of the UAB / Lakeshore Research Collaborative and inaugural Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences, has received the 2017 John Stanley Coulter Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM). The Coulter Award, the second highest honor delivered by the ACRM, recognized those who make significant contributions to the field of rehabilitation.

As part of the honor, Rimmer, a professor in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Occupational Therapy, delivered the Coulter Lecture at the ACRM 94th Annual Conference in Atlanta. His lecture, titled Pathway from Acute Rehabilitation to Lifelong Health and Wellness for People with Disabilities, took a closer look at how his work at Lakeshore Foundation empowers exercise and rehabilitation professionals to provide their patients with context-driven health and wellness recommendations needed to self-manage and sustain health across the lifespan.

BEAT study 4A study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, connects traditional aerobic physical activity, like walking, to better sleep for post-primary treatment breast cancer survivors.

The study, titled “Physical Activity and Sleep Quality in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Trial,” is the first large randomized controlled aerobic physical activity study of its kind in breast cancer survivors who had completed primary cancer treatment. This study found participants who received a physical activity program focused on achieving 150 weekly minutes of physical activity – just over 20 minutes per day – reported better sleep quality, less sleep disturbances and less daytime dysfunction (related to fatigue).

“Nearly 1 in 3 breast cancer survivors suffer from poor sleep and poor sleep is associated with greater breast cancer mortality – so research in this area is critical for survivors and those who care about them,” said Laura Q. Rogers, MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM, principal investigator of the study and professor at UAB. “Our findings are significant because the benefits were of sufficient magnitude to reach and exceed the clinically important threshold.”

react USAFThe University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health ProfessionsRecognition and Evaluation of Autism Contact Training, or REACT, program — a partnership with the Interaction Advisory Group — has been awarded a grant by the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities to train more than 200 United States Air Force security forces and first responders on how to recognize and respond to people with autism as well as other developmental disabilities.

The new training initiative will be held in Montgomery, Alabama, at Maxwell Air Force Base, which is home to the center for professional military education — Air University.

“Security forces are trained to respond to a crisis situation with a certain protocol, but this protocol may not always be the best way to interact with individuals with autism,” said Damon Salter, the chief of training for 42nd Security Forces Squadron. “Because they are usually the first to respond on scene, it is critical they have a working knowledge of autism and the wide variety of exhibited behaviors.”

Spencer BoxesKevin Spencer is an illusionist and artist who has performed magic in front of tens of thousands of people on stages in 34 countries on six continents.

A day ahead of performing his “Theatre of Illusion” at the UAB Alys Stephens Center tonight, he delivered a performance in front of a crowd of only 50, but it was a performance that has the potential to impact tens of thousands of people around the world.

Spencer, who is considered the leading authority on the therapeutic benefits of magic, entertained and educated students in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsMaster of Science in Occupational Therapy program. This workshop was part of a four day residency with UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine, a partnership between the Alys Stephens Center and UAB Medicine

First, he pulled out what appeared to be a simple box and talked about how people can be ‘placed in a box’ by a diagnosis or a condition. As Spencer talked, he kept changing the appearance of the box and magically extracting new boxes.

Norm Bolus Brucer AwardNorm Bolus with the SECSNMMI Brucer AwardNorman Bolus, MSPH, MPH, CNMT, FSNMMI-TS, interim-program director of the UAB Health Physics program and program director of the UAB Nuclear Medicine Technology program, has been awarded the Southeastern Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SECSNMMI) Marshall Brucer Award. This is the highest honor the SECSNMMI can bestow upon a member.

“I am humbled and honored to even be considered for this award much less have it bestowed upon me by the SECSNMMI. I have always worked hard and appreciated the opportunities to give back to my profession as I have always believed in giving and helping to promote what we do in nuclear medicine technology,” said Bolus, a 1989 graduate of the UAB NMT program. “We make a difference in people’s lives every day and I hope that in some small way I have helped contribute in promoting and moving our profession along as well all of these years.”

The SECSNMMI delivered the Brucer Award to Bolus saying “there are few people who, during a lifetime, make a substantial impact on a specialty in medicine as Marshall Brucer did.” Bolus has served SNMMI at all levels including his current tenure as national president-elect of the Technologist Section (SNMMI-TS).

“Norman’s exemplary dedication to the field of nuclear medicine has inspired students and encouraged colleagues for decades,” said Janelle Chiasera, Ph.D., chair, UAB Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences. “This combination of devotion to his industry and passion for his students is evident in his commitment to serve. I congratulate him on what is a much-deserved recognition and honor.”

For the second year in a row, the School of Health Professions' Physician Assistant Studies program wins the annual Gurney Derby!

Public Enemas #1, a team of first-year PA students, took home the trophy when another UAB PA team, Hungry, Hungry, HIPAAs was disqualified after a player fell. Their disqualification led to another team of UAB PA students - the I-V Leaguers - to take home the runner-up plaque.

Watch our YouTube video to see all the action and reaction to an epic battle among three UAB Physician Assistant Studies teams!