Scott Frederick is back in school for the third time for his third career, and this time, he believes he’s got it right. The Indianola, Miss. native graduated from Ole Miss in 1993 with a degree in management. He worked for an insurance company in corporate finance for 10 years when he decided to make a career change into nursing.
“I come from a family with a long line of healthcare professions,” said Frederick. “Getting into healthcare was something I had always wanted to do so I took the plunge.”
He received his nursing degree from Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa in 2004. As he was working as a critical care nurse, Frederick watched the explosion of the healthcare technology. He had the chance to participate in multiple IT initiatives which opened up new opportunities and awareness of the School of Health Professions Health Informatics masters’ program (MSHI).
“I can thank my former boss, Theresa Meadows, who is a graduate of the MSHI program,” said Frederick. “She spoke highly of the program and how it prepared her to be a successful healthcare IT leader. I knew the program would be beneficial in my career and flexible enough to maintain a good work-life balance.”
Because MSHI is an executive program, Frederick is able to continue to work as a healthcare consultant at Dearborn Advisors and take the online classes. He started that job the same week he began the program. The class visits the UAB campus just twice a year. He’s learned the importance of time management especially since he travels.
“I leave on Monday morning and return on Thursday nights,” said Frederick. “I do a lot of reading and homework in the airport or on the plane so having a Kindle has helped tremendously. The search and bookmark functions save valuable time.”
Frederick plans to graduate in 2013 and hopes to open his own firm one day. They say the third time is the charm.
“I believe my background with a blend of nursing, financial/analytical and consulting experience has prepared me for the MSHI program,” said Frederick. “Healthcare technology has been a perfect fit for my skills and experience.”
Marissa Hitson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology when she realized she didn’t have many job prospects with that degree. The Ocoee, Tenn. native remembered a high school teacher had been a medical technologist.
“I remembered her saying how she enjoyed her job due to the laboratory aspect,” said Hitson. “I decided that medical technology would allow me to continue my microbiology training as well as allow me to be a part of the healthcare filed with a focus on the laboratory.”
Hitson has excelled in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program. She won the CLS Outstanding Student and the CLS Scholastic Award this year. She is the outgoing president of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Student Association and led her classmates in community activities such as health screenings with the minority health project and working along with the Birmingham AIDS Outreach. Hitson said her chosen field makes a difference.
“Though you may not be directly involved with patients, it is critical to realize the importance of your job and the impact it will have on other’s lives,” she said.
Hitson realizes that in her current job as a medical technologist in the blood bank at University Hospital in Birmingham. She will continue working there when she graduates on Saturday (Aug. 6) with a masters’ in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
“After graduation, I will take my certification exam,” said Hitson. “I also hope to be able to relax and enjoy no longer being a student.”
As a newlywed, Keith Thomas was looking forward to starting his new married life and graduate school in the UAB Physical Therapy program. But then life took an unexpected turn into fatherhood.
“UAB graciously allowed me to wait a year to begin school to be with my family,” said Thomas.
In that time, he worked as a Physical Therapist Technician at Hueytown Rehab and Wellness, a part of Right Therapy, and confirmed for him this was the best field to go into. Thomas had started his undergrad as a mechanical engineer at UAB but realized he liked the math and science, but not the fact he wouldn’t be working with patients. He ended up receiving a degree in kinesiology from the University of Montevallo to allow him to pursue PT.
“As a PT we must develop ourselves not only intellectually, but socially and emotionally as well,” said Thomas. “You do not want to have a wealth of knowledge and be unable to relate to the numerous patients you will see every day.”
He says the program has allowed him to balance life with his family, especially raising his son Landen, and school.
“The faculty really cares about our success and do everything they can to help us through the program,” said Thomas. “The program is uncompetitive and my classmates work well with each other and help each other in any way possible. I have not heard of or been a part of another education experience where there is so much positive collaboration. “
Thomas has a job waiting for him at his former clinic at Hueytown Rehab and Wellness when he graduates in the fall of 2013. His younger brother is considering PT or physical therapy assistant school. The two may open up their own clinic down the road.
Most two-year-olds don’t have a care in the world except for maybe their favorite toy. Life for Amy Miskimon Goss at the age two was not as simple. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just before she turned two. By the time she was in the first grade, she was giving her own insulin injections three times a day.
“I suppose it's pretty easy to realize you are different from your friends at that age when you have to check blood glucose levels four times a day and take insulin,” said Goss, an Albany, Ga. native. “My parents and doctors made it very clear that to avoid serious complications down the road I needed to have a different lifestyle."
From a young age, Goss knew the importance of reading nutrition labels and practicing health habits long before her peers. Because of the impact nutrition research has had on her life, she realized it was her calling in life.
“My desire is to continue to further the scope of scientific evidence supporting ways to improve the lives of those living with diseases and also supporting means of disease prevention,” said Goss.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics at the University of Georgia. She moved to Birmingham after being accepted into the UAB Dietetic Internship program in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. Goss stayed and completed her master’s degree in clinical nutrition as well. It was during her time here that she realized her love for nutrition research. She is currently working on her doctorate in nutrition sciences under the mentorship of Barbara Gower, Ph.D.
“My research interests were a great fit for the type of research Dr. Gower conducts and the resources available within the department,” said Goss. “My research interests involve hormonal regulation body composition and fat distribution in aging populations.”
Goss wants to continue her research in an academic setting when she graduates.
“As a Registered Dietitian, I also have a background in clinical nutrition which will be a major asset in my future career as a nutrition researcher,” said Goss.
In 2004, Katy Crane was in a major car accident. She broke her left femur and both bones in her right arm as well as receiving severe muscle, tendon and nerve damage. Doctors even said they didn’t think she would have use of her arm again. After multiple surgeries and eight months of occupational therapy, Crane gained back movement and function.
“Although it's not completely perfect, I am 100 percent functional,” said Crane. “I know that this would not be the case without the many hours and the motivation of my OT.”
Those OT’s changed her life, and gave her a career path. It allows the Mobile native to mix the two things she enjoys, helping others and doing mission work. Crane has been on numerous mission trips since high school including Uganda, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia and a month long trip to Kenya
“It is that trip to Kenya that opened my eyes to the tremendous amount of needs around the world and so began my passion and willingness to go and serve people,” said Crane.
She is expected to receive her master’s degree in occupational therapy from UAB in December and plans to work in Argentina with two other colleagues and local OT’s.
“I am passionate about injustice and am happiest when I am in a dirty, hot, mosquito-infested country with 15 orphan children hanging off of me,” said Crane.
The one country that is always on her mind, Haiti, is on her long-term plans.
“Since the earthquake in Haiti, I have taken every chance possible to head down and help in any way possible,” said Crane. “I just returned from my fourth trip down there and look forward to the day when I can use the skills I'm learning in school to help these wonderful people.”