GoHomeAgain 275x275Increasingly frail and wary of doctors’ offices and hospitals, Michael Fox’s mother was the type of patient who inspired the 2015 creation of UAB House Calls. UAB House Calls offers a different kind of health care for geriatric and other physically vulnerable patients ages 18 and older by sending physicians and health care professionals to patients’ homes to provide care and treatment they might not otherwise receive.

LostTranslation 275x275Low health literacy is all too common in a large portion of the nation’s population. UAB health care teams and medical trainees are working to fix that.

While researching health literacy in the surgical population, Associate Professor Daniel Chu, M.D., of the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery, and his team found that low health literacy is quite prevalent and exists across every socioeconomic class, race, and geographic origin. However, certain groups are at higher risk for having low health literacy, and this information will help develop more targeted interventions.

RoadTopFive 275x275It began much like a rock band or a startup company: with a handful of true believers gathered in a small, dingy space who were willing to work tirelessly for a future filled with both promise and uncertainty.

This was the scene in 1979 when UAB founded the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). The department consisted of four professors and a staff technician toiling together in Cudworth Building’s windowless basement.

SoundLearning 275x275Ultrasonography is an incredibly useful tool in medicine, particularly in emergency departments. It usually takes under a minute for an ultrasonography tool to assess whether a critically injured patient has time for a CT scan or needs to be rushed directly to the operating room. As the technology advances, it gets cheaper, more portable, and more powerful. Since it uses sound waves, an ultrasound doesn’t put the patient at risk for radiation.

CommunityASO 275x275In his second season as the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s (ASO) music director, Carlos Izcaray was at the top of his game—bringing boundless enthusiasm, ambitious new works, and critical acclaim to the ASO. Then in 2016, he found a suspicious lump in his neck and came to UAB to have it checked. Izcaray was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “It was very scary from day one,” he says.

PregnantWomenAddiction 275x275Kate (name changed for patient privacy) was five months’ along when she found out she was pregnant. She struggled for years with addiction to heroin and prescription drugs but had no idea she was using while pregnant until she failed a drug test during a doctor’s visit.

YoungAlumni 275x275The summer after a student’s first year of medical school is often dubbed the “last summer.” Some medical students spend their “last summer” traveling, saving money, or relaxing at home. Other students take the opportunity to gain valuable research experience, getting a head start on a required part of the medical school curriculum.

SydneyMohr 275x275In August, third-year medical student Sydney Mohr was awarded the 2019 Sara Crews Finley, M.D., Leadership Scholarship, which provides full tuition for the third year of medical school and is renewable for the fourth year. The scholarship is awarded annually to a student who has excelled in academics, service, and leadership. Mohr was recognized at the School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony Aug. 18, where she received a new white coat with a special insignia identifying her as the Sara Crews Finley, M.D., Leadership Scholar.

Hatter 275x275With schoolwork, rotations, research, and community service commitments, most medical students do not have much time for anything else. However, Brittany Hatter, MS2, balances medical school demands with another priority: raising her 15-year-old daughter and two teenaged half-sisters.

“Three weeks before I started medical school, it was just my daughter Tiyanna and me,” says Hatter, a Bessemer native. “Due to circumstances beyond my control, I adopted my two teenage sisters, and now I have three teenage girls. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

YoungAlumni 275x275Each year, UAB and the School of Medicine honor outstanding faculty through a variety of awards. Among the winners are numerous School of Medicine and Joint Health Sciences graduates who carry on UAB’s tradition of excellence in their professional lives as clinicians, researchers, and educators. Here we meet a few alumni whose talents and commitment to care and teaching have been honored in recent years.

NephrologyGifts 275x275Alabama has one of the country’s highest rates of kidney disease, but recent gifts to the Division of Nephrology aim to bolster research efforts, attract and retain key talent in the state, and combat the prevalence of the disease.

Ashita Tolwani, M.D., a nephrologist at UAB and a world-renowned expert on continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), established the Tolwani Innovation Fund in Nephrology using royalties from an anticoagulant solution she developed in 2004 at UAB and patented in 2011. The money will support investigators and researchers studying novel ideas for therapies for kidney-related diseases.

ALZGifts 275x275Alzheimer’s disease is called “the long goodbye” because of its particular cruelties. People with Alzheimer’s disease not only lose their memories and ability to function, but their personalities also often undergo profound changes—a different but no less painful loss for their loved ones. But thanks to the support of philanthropic partners, UAB researchers are untangling the mysteries of the disease with hopes to develop new preventive measures and treatments.

ClaussenALS 275x275For 56 years, Birmingham neurologist Gwen Claussen, M.D., did it all. She chased sunsets in Hawaii, hiked canyon trails in Utah, skied the mountains of Colorado, and basked in the beauty of art and architecture in Italy. She dedicated herself to caring for her patients with ALS—amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—and other neuromuscular disorders. She also devoted her life to sharing adventures with her husband of 32 years, Tom, and being a loving mother to her two adult sons, Matthew and Michael.


AshworthPeds 275x275Growing up, Carolyn Ashworth, M.D., noticed that sick children needed an advocate. Despite having no family members who practiced medicine, Ashworth decided the best way to accomplish her childhood calling was to pursue pediatric medicine.

“Children needed someone to speak for them and someone to focus on their health,” Ashworth says.

ZeigerGifts 275x275Evan Zeiger III always knew his father’s work as a neurosurgeon was life-saving. But he didn’t realize how deeply impactful it truly was until after his parents—H. Evan Zeiger Jr., a 1974 School of Medicine graduate, and Margaret “Peggy” Shook Zeiger—died in a plane crash in 2010. Even nine years later, Zeiger III says their memorial service remains vivid in his memory.

GTKHavasi 275x275Originally from Hungary, Viktoria Havasi, M.D., Ph.D., is a researcher in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. She has been conducting cystic fibrosis research at UAB since 2006. In her downtime, she is on a mission to photograph every mural in the Birmingham area.