News & Events

  • Transforming Success: Leadership Sessions with Women Faculty

    “Women throughout the workforce, from all walks of life, are having similar experiences,” says Lisa Graham, Ph.D., “and we feel very compelled to address them.”

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    Lisa Graham, Ph.D., and Julie McDonald, Ph.D., of McDonald Graham LLC, are engaging women faculty in the School of Medicine in their Transforming Success seminars, sponsored by the UAB School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Transforming Success is a series of leadership development sessions aimed at changing the way in which women faculty view success, and their own climb through the ranks of academic medicine. Graham is an organizational psychologist and McDonald is a clinical psychologist; their unique backgrounds and training have spurred them to offer real, meaningful tools to the clients they serve.

    For several weeks throughout the fall of 2017, 19 women faculty members, who were selected to represent their departments at the UAB School of Medicine, will learn how to shift their thinking to better prepare them for success, under the guidance of the psychologists at McDonaldGraham, LLC.

  • Lenora Billings-Harris Leads Unconscious Bias Training for Leadership

    On August 29 and 30, leaders throughout UAB Medicine gathered for workshops on unconscious and implicit bias, led by Lenora Billings-Harris, a world-renowned expert on dealing with bias in the workplace. Deans, department chairs, health system executives, and other key leadership members gathered in Finley Hall to discuss the internal workings of the human mind and how they play into everyday decision-making.

    “Diversity is simply who is on the team,” Billings-Harris explained to a full room of UAB Medicine leaders. “Inclusion is who gets to play.”20170829 143617

    She explained that unconscious bias – the internal preferences, frameworks and perceptions that frame the way each individual views the world – aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, the ability to make quick judgments was essential to survival throughout human evolution. However, unconscious bias becomes damaging when we assume that the judgments we make based on preferences, of which we’re unaware, reflect objective reasoning.

    The business world is replete with examples of excellence achieved through diversity of thought – but the term “diversity” carries with it uncomfortable baggage, Billings explained. People often think of affirmative action or quotas, when in reality it isn’t about either of those things. Increasing diversity increases the types of perspectives around the table, which can provide fruitful turf for new ideas and concepts to take root.

  • Summer Training Programs for Students Boast New and Long-standing Success

    One of the crucial mechanisms to address health disparities, the difference in health outcomes between different populations in the United States, is to train minority researchers and health care providers. Research has demonstrated myriad times that cultivating a healthy, high-quality pipeline for minority scholars, beginning at a young age, can result in greater minority representation in the health professions. 

    This year, the summer training programs for students interested in health care professions have expanded substantially. This is the first summer for both the STEP-UP and SHPEP programs, while the long-standing SEP programP1010009 celebrates its 10th year.

    The Short-Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons, or STEP-UP, is currently in its first year. It’s a research-based program which gives each student 8-10 weeks of full-time research experience. The program pairs 22 undergraduate students with mentors, who guide them through a research program, which includes training in the responsible conduct of research. The STEP-UP Program is a federally funded program managed and supported by the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination (OMHRC) in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The overall goal of STEP-UP is to build and sustain a biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social science research pipeline focused on NIDDK’s core mission areas of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases and nutrition; kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. The program includes the payment of all travel expenses to the annual STEP-UP Research Symposium held on NIH’s main campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Office for Diversity & Inclusion: Academic Year in Review

    The School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) celebrated an active and exciting academic year in 2016-2017.

    With an eye toward increasing and maintaining recruitment and retention among women faculty, the Office for Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) continued its active support of the endeavors of the UAB Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). Through monthly lunch lectures, as well as special networking and recruitment events, AMWA served both as a focal point for women faculty and also as a mechanism for advocacy and activism.2.3.17 UAB Diverstiy Fair web res dms 41

    Women faculty who earned promotion during the year were celebrated in October, at the annual celebration of Women in Medicine and Science. Issues confronting women were discussed in a special lecture and lunch featuring Valerie Montgomery-Rice, M.D., on March 22, which coincided with the School of Medicine’s celebration of International Women’s Day.The ODI facilitated the continued growth and activities of department-specific women’s groups, such as Women in Emergency Medicine, and Women in Surgery, which held its annual program in April.

    Moving forward, the ODI will continue to put forward women faculty as candidates for the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program, in which UAB has always enjoyed strong representation. The ODI will also facilitate the development of junior women faculty through a series of workshops, and continue to interface with the UAB Commission on the Status of Women.

    Intentionally building a climate of diversity and inclusion was a crucial goal of the Office for Diversity & Inclusion in 2016-2017. To this end, the ODI continued to support the UAB School of Medicine Visiting Scholars program, developed more meaningful academic partnerships with Morehouse School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, and began to explore areas of deeper collaboration with these schools.

  • Office for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Welcomes Jenna Blythe-Tija!

    The Office for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (ODMA) is delighted to welcome Jennifer (Jenna) Blythe-Tija, who will be spearheading medical student recruitment programs with the intention of building a more robust and sustainableJenna pipeline to medical school. 

    ODMA seeks to develop and maintain an engaging multicultural learning community that promotes the importance of diversity, social responsibility, ethical leadership, and education through health care, medical teaching, and research. Jenna’s core intent is to enhance outreach, education, and resourceful services for underrepresented student populations so they can best become tomorrow's healthcare leaders. Jenna, along with UAB School of Medicine and other health career professional schools participate in a variety of recruitment visits, presentations, and on-campus tours for students considering medical school.

  • AMWA: the Academic Year in Review

    Since its re-launch at the UAB School of Medicine in fall, 2015, the UAB faculty chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) has been hard at work identifying topics of pressing interest to women faculty, and providing resources to encourage networking and professional development. Through monthly meetings, and a number of working groups that target mentoring and advocacy, AMWA has engaged women in medicine and science at UAB School of Medicine in a myriad ways.

    Over the 2016-2017 academic year, this AMWA chapter, led by President Lauren Walter, M.D., has endeavored to not only provide a wealth of information through monthly topical meetings, but also to encourage individual Doctor and studentconnections not only between faculty members, but between faculty, trainees and students.

    The UAB AMWA chapter’s mission, which is to “promote, recognize, and celebrate women in medicine and science at UAB,” is realized on numerous levels through is components operations.

    Cynthia Brown, M.D., who serves as Mentorship Chair for the AMWA chapter, initiated and coordinated a “networking match” for AMWA members. This unique program connected senior faculty with junior faculty, and faculty with students and trainees, in order to cultivate meaningful mentoring relationships. Mamie McLean, M.D., the Advocacy Chair for the chapter, is engaged in information gathering and initiating conversations regarding dependent care with UAB leadership, a topic of special interest and importance to AMWA members.

  • Women in Surgery Holds Annual Program, April 10-11

    On April 10-11, the UAB Department of Surgery will host its second annual Women in Surgery Program, which aims to help promote community and camaraderie among female surgeons and encourage female undergraduate and medical students to Women in Surgery 1choose surgical specialties.

    “This year the program will focus on networking, mentorship and leadership,” said Dr. Catherine Parker, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Division of Surgical Oncology and co-organizer of the two-day event. “Women are underrepresented in surgical faculty and leadership positions at U.S. medical schools. Through this program, we hope to highlight pathways to success for women in the surgical specialties and encourage undergraduate and medical students to pursue careers in surgery.”  

  • LGBT Health Awareness Week, March 27-31, 2017

    LGBT Health Awareness Week is the last week of March, March 27-31, 2017. This is a week designed to promote LGBT health and bring awareness to the unique health care needs of the LGBT community. The National LGBT Health Education Center LGBT Awareness Weeksuggests that health centers celebrate this week through one or more of the following:


    • Partnering with a local LGBT organization to host or sponsor an event

    • Holding a town hall to get feedback from LGBT patients and community members

    • Organizing grand rounds or training for staff on LGBT health needs

    • Creating a more welcoming environment by having LGBT health posters and brochures in waiting and exam areas, such as the ones available at

    • Directing staff to online training resources available at

  • Student National Medical Association Builds Relationships, Grows Outreach

    Early on Saturday morning, February 25, more than 70 high school and college students gathered on the UAB Campus to learn about the myriad possibilities available to them in the study of health professions. The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) sponsors this annual event, which is dedicated to exposing students from underrepresented populations to a broad spectrum of careers in health-related fields.SNMA Leadership 2017

    The UAB chapter of the SNMA is headed by four second-year medical students: Chisom Ifediba, President; Jarvis Johnson, Vice President; Maurice Asouzu, Treasurer, and Grace Raines, Secretary. Together, these students coordinate the health fairs, educational outreach efforts, and pipeline development programs that characterize the work of the organization.

    “SNMA’s focus on underserved and underprivileged communities drew me to SNMA,” says Ifediba, who serves as the President of the UAB chapter. “We have a unique way of looking at things; we don’t just focus on health disparities, we strengthen the pipeline programs and make sure that individuals can be educated and then go back to serve their communities.”

  • Diversity Fair Showcases the Wealth of School of Medicine Diversity

    On February 3, 2017, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion launched the first annual School of Medicine Diversity Fair, as a celebratory conclusion to Diversity Day. Designed to highlight the diversity of culture, background, and experience present in the UAB School of Medicine, the Fair featured multicultural food booths designed and presented by the departments within the School, as well as UAB Medicine's Marketing and Communications department. 2.3.17 UAB Diverstiy Fair web res dms 15

    The Birmingham Girls Choir and an international jazz band performed, and local artists showcased their artwork. Local slam poets, led by Brian Voice Porter, performed original work. Several hundred School of Medicine faculty and staff, as well as their families, attended the event, filling the lobby and upstairs of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

  • Minority Faculty Reception and Diversity Grand Rounds Highlight Second-Look Weekend

    Light jazz music riffed in the background at the UAB Alumni House as prospective medical residents and current UAB School of Medicine faculty moved through the large ballroom on the evening of February 2. The annual Minority Faculty Reception, held to recognize the crucial contributions of minority faculty at the UAB School of Medicine, was underway at the same time that many departments within the school welcomed back prospective residents for a "second look." 25 medical students considering IMG 0144residencies in 10 School of Medicine departments chatted easily with faculty members while enjoying a buffet. 

    February 2-3, 2017 marked an eventful week's end for the School of Medicine's Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). In addition to the Minority Faculty Reception, on the evening of February 2, the ODI was sponsoring Diversity Grand Rounds, featuring John Ruffin, Ph.D., at noon on February 3, followed by the launch of the School of Medicine's first annual Diversity Fair. 

  • Diversity Fair to Celebrate Diversity Within UAB School of Medicine

    The UAB School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion is delighted to announce its first annual Diversity Fair, to be held February 3, 2017, in the lobby of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Fair will feature booths from various departments within the School of Medicine, which will showcase the diversity within each department. Local musicians, including the Birmingham Girls' Choir, will perform; the work of local visual and performance artists will also be showcased. Light refreshments will provide a window into the culinary stylings of international cultures. 

    "The Diversity Fair is a unique opportunity to celebrate all of the differences that bring us together," says Mona Fouad, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the UAB School of Medicine. "It provides us with a creative way to recognize that diversity is everyone."

    The event is free and open to the public.

  • AMWA Membership Drive Kicks Off Fall Events

    AMWA Doctors Membership DriveOn September 14, the UAB Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) kicked off their fall schedule with a membership drive. From their position near the North Pavilion elevators, Lauren Walter, M.D., Marisa Marques, M.D., and other AMWA members passed out popcorn and fliers and invited faculty of the School of Medicine to sign up to be a part of the organization.

    The UAB Chapter of AMWA meets once a month, usually during the lunch hour, to discuss issues critical to women in medicine and science within the School of Medicine. Open to both M.D.s and Ph.Ds, AMWA endeavors to bring critical and relevant topics to the forefront and help women develop strategies to maximize career and personal success.

    For those who missed the membership drive on September 14, the next AMWA Meeting is scheduled for October 26 at 12:00 noon in West Pavilion D. Boxed lunches are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. On November 14, the regular monthly meeting will feature a special guest speaker: Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirkgraber of Indiana University, who will be delivering a presentation on negotiation skills.

  • Summer Health Enrichment Program Engages Students in Health Care

    Although summer at UAB has a sense of calm, among the health professions students were busy. As the temperature climbed over 95 degrees, the Summer Health Enrichment Program (SHEP) was in full swing, drawing together students from universities and colleges throughout the Southeast. From Miles College to Xavier University to the University of Miami, from Emory University to Auburn to Troy University, students from4 Women all walks of life assembled at UAB for 5 weeks to learn more about the realities of pursuing a career in health care.

    “SHEP identifies promising students and provides them with opportunities to strengthen their applications,” says Brandon Wolfe, Ph.D, Director of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in the School of Medicine. “They also create meaningful connections and networks between like-minded students and health care professionals. In doing so, we strengthen the pipeline to the health workforce.”

    The Summer Health Enrichment Program invites undergraduate students and recent graduates to UAB to delve into numerous health care interests: medicine, rural medicine, dentistry, and physician assistant programs. SHEP students attend workshops and lectures in professionalism, basic science, interviewing skills, clinical and research experiences, and exam preparation. Interactions with physicians, optometrists, dentists and other health care professionals provide a window into those professions; laboratory experiences and community service activities offer real-world experiences.

  • Limdi earns NIH grant for patient-oriented research

    Nita A. Limdi, Pharm.D., Ph.D, a professor in the Department of Neurology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, has been awarded a LimdiMidcareer Investigator Award in patient-oriented research by the National Institutes of Health. The purpose of these awards, known as K24 grants, is to provide protected time to devote to patient-oriented research and to act as research mentors for clinical residents, clinical fellows, and/or junior clinical faculty.

    Limdi, the interim director of the UAB Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute, is engaged in antithrombotic therapy pharmacogenomics research. Antithrombotic - or anticlotting - drugs commonly known as blood thinners, are widely used but can be challenging to prescribe. 

  • AMWA Chapter Gains Momentum

    Anita Clemo nThe UAB chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) formally launched roughly a year ago, at a lunch meeting so full that attendees packed the room, standing where there wasn’t room to sit. Since that time, Chapter President Lauren Walter, MD, with the assistance of the School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, has crafted an organizational structure to engage the most pressing issues facing women faculty at the UAB School of Medicine.

    On May 27, the next steps for UAB’s AMWA chapter were unveiled at a second lunch meeting. Mona Fouad, MD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for the UAB School of Medicine, provided the welcome and introduction, emphasizing the ongoing need for women to collectively advocate for gender equity within their institutions.

  • Brown and Limdi Selected for Prestigious Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program

    Two members of the School of Medicine faculty have been selected as fellows for the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (ELAM) for 2016 - 2017. Cynthia J. Brown, MD, MSPH, and Nita A. Limdi, PharmD, MSPH, PhD,cynthia brown both met the extensive requirements to be accepted into this elite program – two of only 54 members accepted nationwide.

    ELAM is a year-long, part-time fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, and public health. The 2016-2017 class will be the 22nd incoming class for ELAM, which remains the only program in North America committed to preparing women for senior leadership roles in academic health science institutions. ELAM’s mission is of crucial importance when considered in light of the fact that women are substantially less likely than men to achieve the rank of full professor in academic medical institutions, and receive less compensation than men in comparable positions. The higher the rank in academic medicine, the more under-represented women are as a group – comprising roughly 16% of all deans in such institutions nationwide.

  • Celebrating International Women's Day

    Deborah DeasOn March 8, women all over the world recognized International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate the accomplishments of women, past and present, as well as to acknowledge the distance to equality that remains to be traversed. At UAB School of Medicine, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion recognized this landmark day with a Women in Medicine Lecture and Luncheon, featuring Dr. Deborah Deas.

  • Faculty, Prospective Residents Celebrate Minority Faculty Reception

    Minority Faculty ReceptionIn an increasingly global medical environment, the pursuit of excellence through diversity is not a simple accent to the medical profession – it is an imperative. In recognition of this growing reality, the UAB School of Medicine, the SOM’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and the office for Graduate Medical Education combined Second Look Weekend for prospective medical residents with the annual celebration of Diversity Day. The events were launched with a reception on the evening of February 4, which included a pre-reception gathering for minority resident applicants and a Minority Faculty Reception in the Gold Room at The Club.

  • Dr. David Satcher Celebrates Diversity Day with UAB School of Medicine

    Dr Satcher Lecture 1At five minutes to noon on February 5, Spain Auditorium was already filling to capacity as School of Medicine faculty, administration, students, residents and staff gathered to listen to Dr. David Satcher discuss the importance of diversity in medicine as part of the Diversity Day celebration for UAB School of Medicine.

    As School of Medicine faculty, staff, and students settled into their seats, Dr. Mona Fouad, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Medicine, introduced Dr. Satcher. She noted that the native Alabamian became the president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1982 after completing his medical degree and earning a PhD in chromosome genetics. He appeared on the national stage in 1993 when he assumed the position of Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated Satcher to become the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, a position he held until 2002. He currently serves as the Founding Director and Senior Advisor of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine.