Paustian Hester JonesPam Paustian, Joshua Hester, Dean Harold JonesJoshua D. Hester, MHA, assistant CEO at Gadsden Regional Medical Center and 2011 alumnus of the UAB Health Care Management program, has been named the 2015 School of Health Professions Young Alumni Achievement Award winner. The award is given to those who have graduated with the first degree from SHP within the past 10 years and have made significant professional accomplishments at an early stage in their careers.

In just over two years, Hester has risen from administrative projects coordinator and manager at University of South Alabama Health System, to chief operating officer at Troy Regional Medical Center to his current position within Community Health Systems.

Hester is “…what this award represents.”

“Intelligent, expressive, adaptable, responsible, unassuming, mature, creative, enthusiastic, motivated, emotionally intelligent and all-together excellent – that is how I would describe Josh Hester if I could only use adjectives,” said Pam Paustian, Ph.D., program director and professor, UAB Health Care Management. “I would place Josh in the top five percent of students, now alumni, that I have worked with over my 20+ years in education. He is an ideal example of what this award represents.”

Daniella Chusyd Birmingham ZooDaniella Chusyd at the Birmingham ZooDaniella Chusyd, a student in the UAB PhD Nutrition Sciences program and the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), and Dr. Janine Brown, a reproductive physiologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, have been awarded a grant through the Smithsonian’s Scholarly Studies Awards for Science program titled “Novel assessments of body composition and relation to metabolic status and fat stores in Asian elephants.”

The study will compare female Asian elephants housed in zoos across the United States to female Asian elephants in tourist camps in Thailand. Chusyd says the team is looking at the association between fat distribution and metabolic and reproductive hormones and physical activity levels, and is based on research by Brown on associations between excess body weight and reproductive health problems in zoo elephants.

super scholarOriginal story from UAB News

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Health Professions has been ranked ninth on’s list for top online bachelor’s programs in health care administration.

The Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management degree prepares students for mid-level management positions in a variety of health care settings.

Curriculum for the degree includes five options:

  1. Long-term care administration track
  2. Pre-professional track
  3. Health care management/occupational therapy fast track
  4. General manager track
  5. Clinical manager track

The “smart choice” ranking by SuperScholar was developed to help prospective students find high-quality online programs that fit their schedules and their budgets. Schools were evaluated based on market reputation, flexibility, student satisfaction, accessibility and affordability.

BBJ Melissa Mancini Courtesy Bob FarleyMelissa Mancini, BBJ photo courtesy Bob Farley / F8FPhotoMelissa Mancini, alumna of the Master of Science in Health Administration Class 39, and Evan Ray, alumnus of UAB’s dual MSHA/MBA degree program, have been named to the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2016 Top 40 Under 40.

Melissa Mancini

Mancini, age 36, is the director of strategy and business development at UAB Health System. The BBJ announcement says her role in managing the AMC21 Strategic Plan “will have a transformative impact on UAB and all of Birmingham.” UAB Medicine’s goal is “to become the Preferred Academic Medical Center of the 21st Century” with the AMC21 as their guide.

PA Students MLK 02More than a dozen Physician Assistant Studiesstudents from the University of Alabama at Birmingham spent Monday, Jan. 18, at the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham. It was a day of service to honor the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Often, the UAB PA students donate health related services to help people in underserved areas. However, on this occasion they put aside the stethoscopes and thermometers to grab brooms, mops, dust cloths and more.

The PA students chose the Ronald McDonald House because they provide a home away from home for families whose children are seeking life-saving treatment at UAB Hospital or Children’s of Alabama. These are families that many of the PA students see every day.

Valley McCurry Christopher EidsonValley McCurry, Christopher Eidson
2015 ALOTA Award of Excellence
Christopher Eidson, MS, OTR/L and Valley McCurry, MBA, OTR/L, assistant professors in the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy, shared the Alabama Occupational Therapy Association’s 2015 Award of Excellence.

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.”

Chris Wyatt Olivia Kight Kayla Thompson1st BMD Graduates: Chris Wyatt, Olivia Kight, Kayla ThompsonHistory was made on December, 12, 2015, as the UAB Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences (BMD) program graduated its first three graduates. Olivia Kight, Kayla Thompson and Chris Wyatt were the first from the BMD Program to have their Bachelor of Science degrees conferred at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Fall Commencement Ceremony.

“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. 
Slovensky MacebearerDr. Slovensky, Macebearer at inaugural SHP Hooding CeremonyDonna J. Slovensky, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs in the UAB School of Health Professions, has been chosen to receive the 2016 Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Woman of Distinction Award.

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!”

Amy Miskimon GossAmy Miskimon Goss, PhD, RDAmy Miskimon Goss, PhD, RD, postdoctoral fellow in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) and Department of Nutrition Sciences, is the recipient of a Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award.

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.