Announcing the first round of CARES at UAB Awardees!

Announcing the first round of CARES at UAB Awardees!

Announcing the first round of CARES at UAB Awardees!

The Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (COERE), in partnership with the UAB Heersink School of Medicine, is pleased to announce the initial CARES at UAB Awardees. In the first round of funding CARES at UAB made 7 awards to funded researchers, for one year. These “extra hands” awards provide up to $50,000 to early-career physician-scientists who have encountered significant challenges to their research progress and productivity due to caregiving responsibilities caused by the pandemic. Awards are intended to support additional personnel, not directly funded by existing research grants, as a means to augment and accelerate the conduct of projects to increase peer review scholarship and submission of extramural grant awards. The overarching goal of CARES at UAB is to support the retention of early-career physician scientists with caregiving responsibilities in academic research positions, while raising institutional awareness, programs, and fostering a culture that recognizes and supports research faculty who are caregivers.

CARES at UAB is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists, along with matching funds from the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, as one of 22 programs nationally supported by DDCF and its funding partners — the American Heart Association, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, John Templeton Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation and the Walden Foundation.

Awardees include physician-scientists from the Department of Medicine Divisions of Infectious Diseases, Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Preventive Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and the Department of Pediatrics Division of Hematology/Oncology.

Ellen Eaton, MD, MSPH, FIDSA
Ellen Eaton, MD, MSPH, FIDSA
Associate Professor
School of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
Chao He, MD, PhD
Chao He, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
Emily Johnston, MD, MS
Emily Johnston, MD, MS
Assistant Professor
School of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Yulia Khodneva, MD, PhD
Yulia Khodneva, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Preventive Medicine
Arora Pankaj, MD, FAHA, FASE
Arora Pankaj, MD, FAHA, FASE
Associate Professor
School of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Disease
Olivia Van Gerwen, MD
Olivia Van Gerwen, MD
Assistant Professor
School of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
Grant Williams, MD, MSPH
Grant Williams, MD, MSPH
Assistant Professor
School of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology

UAB COERE receives funding to support early-career investigators impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

UAB COERE receives funding to support early-career investigators impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

UAB COERE receives funding to support early-career investigators impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists and its funding partners — the American Heart Association, the Burroughs Wellcome FundJohn Templeton FoundationRita Allen Foundation and the Walden Foundation — have awarded the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education, or COERE, more than $500,000 to support early-career investigators whose research funding was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with “extra hands” grants to augment their academic scholarship. 

With matching funds from the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, up to 20 awards will be made during the two-year program to support the research productivity and retention of early-career faculty. This “extra hands” award provides funds for research supplements of up to $50,000 to early-career physician-scientists who have encountered significant challenges to research progress due to caregiving responsibilities caused by the pandemic. In the first round of funding, up to 10 awards will be made to funded researchers, supporting their efforts for up to one year.

Michael J. Mugavero, M.D., COERE director and co-director for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, along with Mona Fouad, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Preventive Medicine, will lead program administration, oversee the budget and resource management, and guide the program implementation and evaluation units. Alia Tunagur, COERE program manager, will serve as program administrator.  

“Prior to COVID-19, efforts were afoot at UAB to address the impacts of caregiving responsibilities on the productivity and well-being of faculty, staff and students, with increased caregiving resources made available during the pandemic,” Mugavero said. “With support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the CARES at UAB Retention Program builds on these efforts and will serve as a transformational catalyst.”  

He added that the “extra hands” grants supported by this program will directly address early-career investigators’ unmet personnel needs to augment their research productivity, addressing a major source of distress exacerbated by COVID-19. 

“The commitment of matching funds from the UAB Heersink School of Medicine will not only increase the reach and impact of this grant award but serves as a harbinger of future policies and programs, informed by our program evaluation, to support the productivity and well-being of physician-scientists with caregiving responsibilities beyond the life of this grant,” Mugavero said. 

Driving Research: an Interdisciplinary, Vibrant, Engaged Network (DRIVEN) Co-Directors Bertha Hidalgo, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Faculty Scholar in the Center for the Study of Community Health and Gregory Payne, MD, PhD, physician-scientist and inaugural recipient of the American Heart Association-Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Career Development Award, Associate Director of the NIH-Funded Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and member of the Physician Scientist Development Office (PSDO) at UAB, will co-lead program implementation of CARES at UAB.

Co-leading the program implementation of CARES at UAB are the two Co-Directors of Driving Research: an Interdisciplinary, Vibrant, Engaged Network (DRIVEN), Bertha Hidalgo, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Faculty Scholar in the Center for the Study of Community Health and Gregory Payne, MD, PhD, physician-scientist and inaugural recipient of the American Heart Association-Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Career Development Award, Associate Director of the NIH-Funded Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and member of the Physician Scientist Development Office (PSDO) at UAB.

Dr. Hidalgo believes “programs like DRIVEN and UAB CARES are catalysts for much needed fundamental changes. They provide the networks and support needed to recruit, but more importantly retain research scholars at UAB. As co-director of DRIVEN, I am eager to work with the UAB CARES team to bring this extra hands support to the inaugural cohort of awardees.”

Leading Program Evaluation is Katherine Meese, PhD, Assistant Professor and Program Director in UAB’s Department of Health Services Administration and Director of Wellness Research within UAB Medicine Office of Wellness. She also leads the National Center for Health Care Leadership Well-Being initiative as the inaugural Chair of the Well-Being Council. During the pandemic, she led UAB Medicine’s evaluation of employee well-being to identify specific needs for various employee sub-groups through an all-employee survey. This data was used to inform university-wide resources and policies, including increased childcare resources.

Dr. Meese said the following “After seeing the distress among our healthcare workers and researchers, along with increased demands of caregiving during the COVID-19 pandemic, I am thrilled that we are able to provide meaningful support to aid in the recovery from this unprecedented time. UAB Medicine is changing the world through groundbreaking research, and I am thrilled that we can support our researchers in getting back to their discoveries. This gift from the Doris Duke Foundation, along with matching funds from UAB Medicine, demonstrates a tremendous commitment not only to our research mission, but to the well-being of those that make this mission possible.”

The initial application cycle opened Nov. 1, 2021, and will close Dec. 10, 2021. Applicants will receive a decision by Dec. 20, 2021, and awards will begin Jan. 1, 2022.

For more information and to apply, click here

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Chu named Vice Chair of Health Services Research and Selwyn M. Vickers Endowed Scholar

Chu named Vice Chair of Health Services Research and Selwyn M. Vickers Endowed Scholar

Chu named Vice Chair of Health Services Research and Selwyn M. Vickers Endowed Scholar

COERE Steering Committee Member, Daniel Chu, M.D., MSPH, FACS, FASCRS, has been named Vice Chair of Health Services Research and Selwyn M. Vickers Endowed Scholar in the UAB Department of Surgery.

Chu will help plan and lead the strategic growth of health services research activity across the department as well as research improvement initiatives. He will also become a member of the department’s senior leadership council.

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Crystal Chapman Lambert, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, ACRN, AAHIVS

Crystal Chapman Lambert, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, ACRN, AAHIVS

Crystal Chapman Lambert, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, ACRN, AAHIVS

COERE Steering Committee member, Crystal Chapman Lambert,PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, ACRN, AAHIVS  is one of thirteen University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing faculty members and alumni who have been named Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing for their significant contributions to health and health care. Crystal joins more than 100 FAANs with a UAB School of Nursing affiliation,congratulations!

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Kaylee B Crockett, PhD

Kaylee B Crockett, PhD

Kaylee B Crockett, PhD

Former AHRQ T32 Trainee and COERE GRIT participant, Kaylee Crockett, PhD, recently received a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development (K23) award from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The $662,578 award will fund Crockett’s research for five years. Crockett is the first full-time faculty member in the department Family and Community Medicine to serve as a principal investigator for an NIH-funded career development award. Congratulations Kaylee!

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Sarah Nafiziger, MD, MSHA

Sarah Nafiziger, MD, MSHA

Sarah Nafiziger, MD, MSHA

Each fall, the UAB National Alumni Society recognizes outstanding alumni and university leaders during the annual Alumni Awards and Recognition ceremony. COERE Steering Committee Member, Sarah Nafziger, MD, MSHA will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to a UAB graduate whose professional and community accomplishments are outstanding. The recipient must be one who is distinguished in his/her profession or other worthy endeavors, has demonstrated a continual interest in UAB, and who is a member in good standing of the UAB National Alumni Society. The recipient’s school or college awards a $4,000 student scholarship the following fiscal year.

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Daniel Chu, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Daniel Chu, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Daniel Chu, MD, FACS, FASCRS

COERE Steering Committee Member, Daniel Chu, MD, FACS, FASCRS was name Associate Editor for Colorectal Surgery for the Journal of Surgical Research. Dr. Chu will start in the fall and will serve a five-year term. Congratulations!

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Allyson Hall, PhD

Allyson Hall, PhD

Allyson Hall, PhD

For the last part of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion's series celebrating Caribbean American Heritage month; the office showcased the breadth of Caribbean American heritage at UAB through three spotlighted individuals, including our Co-Director, Dr. Allyson Hall. 

Dr. Hall received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and obtained her MHA and MBA from the University of Florida.

Over the past 30+ years, she has studied access and systems to care for vulnerable populations and has a long-standing interest in Medicaid. Currently, an emphasis of her work has been on improving the transition of care from hospital to home and reducing care fragmentation. As seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are numerous barriers to healthcare in underserved and minority populations. To share her expertise, Dr. Hall has also been a part of several COVID-19 related projects.

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Olivia T. Van Gerwen, MD, MPH

Olivia T. Van Gerwen, MD, MPH

Olivia T. Van Gerwen, MD, MPH

One of our incredibly talented T32 alum, Libby Van Gerwen, MD, MPH, was chosen to serve as a Koopman Research Mentor to first-year medical student, Willow Bryan! We have no doubts that Libby will excel at this mentorship role and convey her abundance of knowledge and professionalism in the infectious disease field to her mentee! Congratulations to Libby and Willow, best of luck in your new mentor-mentee relationship!

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Michael J. Mugavero, MD, MHSc

Michael J. Mugavero, MD, MHSc

Michael J. Mugavero, MD, MHSc

Congratulations to Dr. Michael J. Mugavero for receiveing the John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship award, presented by AHRQ to faculty members who exhibit integrity, knowledge, guidance, and inspiration throughout their training tenure of T32 fellows/trainees. Dr. Mugavero exemplifies all these qualities, and then some! Congratulations again and we are so proud to work alongside you, Mugs!

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Rachel D. Wells, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL

Rachel D. Wells, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL

Rachel D. Wells, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Postdoctoral Fellow Rachel Wells, PhD, RN, CNL, has received a five-year, $995,155 K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research to optimize an early palliative care intervention for persons with advanced heart failure. Congratulations Dr. Wells!


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Rachel D. Wells, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL

Rachel D. Wells, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL

Rachel D. Wells, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL

Congratulations are in order for Rachel D. Wells, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL, AHRQ T32 Trainee, for her receipt of a K99/R00 award from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). Congratulations Rachel! 

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Sarah Nafziger, MD, MSHA

Sarah Nafziger, MD, MSHA

Sarah Nafziger, MD, MSHA

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Olivia T. Van Gerwen, MD, MPH

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Congratulations are in order for Olivia T. Van Gerwen, MD, MPH, AHRQ T32 Trainee, for her recent manuscript Trichomoniasis and adverse birth outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis being accepted for publication in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Such an impressive accomplishment that will further the field of OBGYN and positively impact patients across the world! 


Anand Iyer, MD, MSPH

Anand Iyer, MD, MSPH

Anand Iyer, MD, MSPH

On Thursday, March 18, 2021, Anand Iyer, MD, MSPH, a T32 Post Doc Alumni of the COERE, was invited to speak at the United States Senate’s Special Committee on Aging! Representing UAB’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, Dr. Iyer spoke about the health disparities among minority groups in his Pulmonary Clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic. He brought attention to the fact that these patients are at highest risk for poor outcomes related to COVID-19 and unfortunately, these individuals are now having the most difficult time accessing a vaccine. Dr. Iyer went on to share three key suggestions to address and overcome the access barriers for vulnerable populations to receive vaccinations. The implications of improving access for these individuals goes beyond the person themselves, but will also have a long-lasting, positive impact on our health system. Dr. Iyer provided invaluable insight from the front line and much needed ideas to lead American Health Care to a much stronger place than pre-pandemic.

“The most vulnerable will not be able to raise their hand and tell us they need help. We must reach out to them.” - Dr. Anand Iyer

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