The UAB Department of Neurosurgery prides itself on how our employees embody the mission and vision of UAB. Our employees time and again go that extra mile for their patients and colleagues. Below are some recent kudos about our team!

Anna Munger, Eva Gilliam, Jennifer Clements, Kirsten Yelvington, Cassandra Degraffenried and Mckenna Killets

"I want to express my tremendous gratitude to Anna Munger, Eva Gilliam, Jennifer Clements, Kirsten Yelvington, Cassandra Degraffenried and Mckenna Killets. They have contributed enormously to the setup of my lab. Without their help, my lab
and office setup would not have been so smooth and fast. Thank you so much!!" - Dr. Satoru Osuka

Danny Lee

"Danny Lee is a rockstar at getting things completed on time! He has been very helpful with getting participants reimbursed on a very quick timeline. He is very easy to work with and always so pleasant!" - Anastasia Smith

Tori Caudill

"Tori Caudill is doing a great job of being proactive and efficient with her time! She is also quite thoughtful about her colleagues and always makes them feel seen and appreciated!" - Anastasia Smith

Sabrina Famuyiwa

"Sabrina Famuyiwa has done a great job at catching up all of the backlog of a very large registry! She is also on top of one of our very important funded multi-center projects and is making sure all visits are scheduled. " - Anastasia Smith

Dana Belmont and McKenna Killets

"Thank you, Dana Belmont and McKenna Killets, for helping create the Acts of Kindness board." - Amanda Blackwell

Chloe Bunn

"Chloe Bunn taught me how to create a QR code for the Random Acts of Kindness project I was working on! Thank you, Chloe, for helping me learn something new." - Dana Belmont

Dr. Philip Schmalz

"Dr. Philip Schmalz's willingness to relay opportunities to the admininstrative team so that we can improve services for our patients, MDs, APPs and staff. Timely feedback gives us the opportunity to promptly investigate and fix issues." - Donna Bailer

Paula McKenzie

"Paula McKenzie is an incredible APP who consistently and tirelessly gives of herself to provide the best care for our patients. Paula would never ask to be in the limelight, but her dedication, results, and amazing work ethic certainly do shine a bright light on her. Paula, we are so grateful for you!" - Donna Bailer

Jennifer Philpot

"Jennifer Philpot has been a fantastic partner in our department's development efforts. As a young department, it takes time to build a strong giving stream. Jennifer has partnered with faculty and staff alike to lead Neurosurgery's efforts and culture of giving." - Donna Bailer

Danny Lee and Norma Miller

"In July, there was an adverse event for a participant enrolled in one of our investigator-initiated studies and the study was put on hold. There was a tremendous amount of data that had to be collected to be reviewed by the IRB, DSMB and FDA. This led to further questions and the gathering of more and more data. Danny Lee and Norma Miller both work vigorously to get this done and now we are ready to open the study back up to enrollment. Thank you for your hard work and long hours working to get this completed!!" - Donna Dixon

Norma Miller and Natalie Lane

"Norma Miller was made aware of our first BEACH study participant at 7:30am and the participant had to be randomized and given the first dose of the study drug or placebo by 10am. The study's electronic data system managed at Johns Hopkins had a glitch and was not working for our site. Both Norma and Natalie Lane diligently worked through this together with Johns Hopkins, but it was a highly stressful situation. I want them to know how much I appreciate their work that day!!" - Donna Dixon

Brandy Nix

"While submitting a very short notice application, Brandy Nix provided Dr. Nelson with some examples of documents that he wasn't familiar with and he said the examples were very helpful." - Donna Dixon

McKenna Killets

"McKenna Killets is the new program coordinator for several of our neurosurgery research faculty. She has been an absolute pleasure to work with. She is quick to learn and is becoming very comfortable with the ordering processes at UAB. She is also jumping right in with travel coordination. I can't say enough good things about her. She has a great work-ethic and is happy to serve her people. A wonderful addition to our department." - Eva Gilliam

Chloe Bunn

"I have been involved in Resident education and Resident-candidate selection for my entire career. I have served various terms as the UAB Neurosurgery Residency Training Program director, the most recent consecutively from 2000-2018. While I prefer in-person resident candidate visits and interviews, I have never enjoyed the resident interview and ranking process more than this last season, in very large part due to the efforts, guidance, vibrant enthusiasm and leadership of Chloe Bunn. "Kudos" indeed! Thank you." - Dr. Mark Hadley

Cam Roby

"Cam Roby has a good attitude and is very helpful! I can't thank her enough." - Jennifer Lancaster

Kirsten Yelvington

"Kirsten Yelvington is a great team leader. She is cool and collected at all times. She is person who is always giving great advice. Thanks Kirsten!" - Cam Roby

Michel Thomas

"Kudos to Michel Thomas for his excellent work getting the new monthly productivity reports out to individual clinical faculty and continuing to compile data and reports for a recurring monthly summary of productivity metrics for the department." - Donna Bailer

Heather Cheek, Amanda Chambers and Cammie Shoemaker

"UAB Spinal Neurosurgery and UAB Orthopedic Spinal Neurosurgery have recently finalized two very important documents; The Spinal Enhanced Recovery Protocol (ERP) and the UAB Spinal Surgery Education Booklet. While neurosurgery and orthopedic spinal faculty participation and leadership was a constant throughout these processes, the real workforce and consistent drivers of these important initiatives were Heather Cheek, Amanda Chambers and Cammie Shoemaker. Thank you, thank you!

Further, Heather Cheek has revamped our UAB Neurosurgery Spine Board and has consistently contributed to the efficiency of our meetings and the documentation of our proceedings. She is a remarkable contributor to and partner of UAB Spinal Neurosurgery." - Dr. Mark Hadley

Steven Yance and Lori Mehaffey

"Kudos to Steven Yance and Lori Mehaffey for coordinating and supervising the move of our patient referral processes to the clinic." - Donna Bailer

Jennifer Lancaster and Christy Spruiell

"Kudos to Jennifer Lancaster and Christy Spruiell for their excellent work on the semi-annual faculty retreat in December." - Donna Bailer

Anastasia Smith

"Anastasia Smith did an awesome job representing the department at Princeton and Inglenook Elementary Schools during her STEM presentations!" - Savanah Kirchner

Brandy Nix

"Brandy Nix did a fantastic job of stepping up and taking care of last-minute submissions for our faculty during my time of need. Her help is greatly appreciated." - Anna Munger

Jennifer Lancaster

"I would like to thank Jennifer Lancaster for her big contribution to our DEI committee. She is the glue that holds the team together!" - Jianmei Leavenworth

Donna Dixon, Brandy Nix, Tricia Daniel

"Thank you Donna Dixon, Brandy Nix, Tricia Daniel for helping me pull through a funding application on short notice. Sorry about that - but thank you!" - Dr. Nicole Bentley

Anna Munger and Brandy Nix

"Anna Munger and Brandy Nix have been so helpful with my grant applications and account management. They are so patient and really responsible, and are life savers for my last-minute requests! Thank you both!!" - Jianmei Leavenworth

Administrative Team

"Eva Gilliam , Jennifer Lancaster, Cam Roby, Amanda Blackwell, Chloe Bunn and Dana Belmont, Eva Gilliam, Jennifer Lancaster, Cam Roby, Amanda Blackwell, Chloe Bunn and Dana Belmont swooped in to the rescue to help with the bagging, organizing, delivering and mailing of holiday gifts. They kept me from feeling overwhelmed and are always there to get the job done! SO GRATEFUL.

Also to Donna Bailer who let her office be Santa's workshop." - Tricia Daniel

Danny Lee

"Danny Lee is the best co-worker who always helps when needed. He is constantly helping me with computer issues and picking up my slack when I get too much on my plate or overwhelmed in a day. As I write this, he is redacting charts for me to send to a sponsor for safety while I'm preparing for a monitoring visit and an SAE. I know I can always count on him when I can't get everything done by myself and he is so very much appreciated!" - Rhonda Whidden

Jennifer Clements, Kirsten Yelvington, Cassandra Degraffenried and Tammy Sharp

"I would like to thank Jennifer Clements, Kirsten Yelvington, Cassandra Degraffenried and Tammy Sharp for their patience and great help! Without their help, my lab and office relocation would not have been so smooth and fast. THANK YOU!" - Jianmei Leavenworth

David Aldrich and Linda Davis

"In these trying times of increased patient assessment care and demands, increased stresses of patient scheduling, pre-certifications and operative treatments and the attrition of many of our fellow clinical health care providers, I have reviewed my busy practice patterns over the last 24 months. Our numbers remain high, our patients are happy and feel attached, there have been virtually no misses in the orchestration of their care and our treatment outcomes (medical and surgical) remain well above average. Two individuals are primarily responsible for my practice results: David Aldrich, PAC and Linda K. Davis, CRNP. Day in and day out, even when additional demands are hoisted upon them, they both in their individual and exceptional ways have been consistent, committed, strong and true. I am most grateful to you both." - Dr. Mark Hadley

Danny Lee

"Danny Lee has always been on the ball and is prompt in helping with a variety of things from IRB processing, ordering things or getting reimbursed for things that I already ordered. It’s much appreciated." - Matthew Nelson

Jennifer Lancaster, Cam Roby, Dana Belmont and Regan Gaskin

"Jennifer Lancaster, Cam Roby, Dana Belmont and Regan Gaskin were willing to help me during resident applicant interviews on Nov. 9. I cannot thank them enough for checking on me, lending a helping hand and supporting me throughout the day. They all are truly a blessing to work with!" - Chloe Bunn

Elizabeth Dowdy

"Elizabeth Dowdy is always willing to step up and do what needs to be done for the good of the patients and the department. I appreciate all of your hard work, Beth!" - Kirsten Yelvington

Rhonda Whidden and Norma Miller

"Thank you to Rhonda Whidden and Norma Miller for being flexible and accommodating with their busy schedules so that they were able to participate in a lengthy site initiation visit that ran over schedule." - Danny Lee

Amy Finch

"Amy Finch is dedicated to the Children's of Alabama neurosurgery practice and has consistently gone above and beyond for the patients. Thank you for all that you do Amy!" - Kirsten Yelvington

Jennifer Clements, Sherrie Alexander, Matt Nelson, Dana Belmont, Cam Roby, and Amanda Blackwell

"Jennifer Clements, Sherrie Alexander, Matt Nelson, Dana Belmont, Cam Roby, and Amanda Blackwell all did a fantastic job planning and organizing the family day picnic at Oak Mountain! It was so much fun and after it was over, we hiked 6 miles up 50 flights of stairs (per Apple watch) to the King's Chair overlook! Thank you for that Wellness Day!!" - Donna Dixon

Devin Houghtlin

"Since Devin Houghtlin joined the DEI Committee, he's been a great help to us. His enthusiasm is refreshing." - Jennifer Lancaster

Jennifer Clements

"I'm excited to say our first Wellness Family Day Picnic was a huge success! I wanted to thank everyone who helped out, but give a special kudos to Jennifer Clements who went above and beyond to make it a special event for everyone!" - Sherrie Alexander

Eva Gilliam

"Eva Gilliam has stepped up to help support the research faculty during the transitional time. She is always finding solutions and completing new tasks as quickly as possible. I really appreciate everything that Eva does." - Kirsten Yelvington

Anil Mahavadi

"Anil Mahavadi stepped up at the last minute to take extra call to allow all of the PGY 1s and 2s to attend the Women's Leadership Council Dinner in recognition of our newer residents. I very much appreciate his team spirit." - Dr. James Markert

Dana Belmont

"Dana Belmont always has my back and helps me out all the time. She offers to help me without me even having to ask her to help. She's the bomb!" - Martee Dawson

Meg Crew

"Meg Crew always goes the extra mile to get patients what they need. She even tracked down a taxi during high demand to make sure a complicated patient was able to travel to all her needed appointments without having to wait for an escort." Kristen Lamb

Tracy Taylor

"Tracy helps me out with clinic letters I print from home and faxes them for me. She is always agreeable to help with a smile on her face." - Martee Dawson

Martee Dawson

"Martee took the initiative to get Dr. Fisher set up with a new means of dictation without even being asked about it. She is always willing to jump in and help in any way!" - Lori Mehaffey

Galbraith Planners

"Tricia Daniel, Eva Gilliam, Jennifer Lancaster, Dana Belmont, Amanda Blackwell, Cam Roby, Regan Gaskin, Anastasia Smith, Chloe Bunn and Beth Hungerpillar's tremendous effort, collaboration and dedication to the annual Galbraith department event on Oct. 21, are recognized and appreciated!" - Donna Bailer

Department APPs and RNs

"Thank you to the department APPs and RNs for your continuing excellence in patient care, and your flexibility and teamwork during times of coverage shortages. Your adaptability shows teamwork and resilience." - Donna Bailer

Blazer Bolt Participants

"Whether you contributed money, did the virtual run, or came out to support the annual Blazer Bolt ... thank you for participating in this annual event to raise money for brain cancer. Kudos to Drs. Markert, Nabors, Van Meir and members from Dr. Van Meir's lab for doing the 5K, Natalie Dalton and Allie McDuff for doing the walk, Jennifer Lancaster for volunteering, and all others who took part." - Donna Bailer

Cassandra DeGraffenried

"Cassandra Degraffenried has jumped in to help address a threat to our lab operations when our lab manager decided to join another laboratory. She worked hard with HR to rapidly develop a retention offer and, after this effort was ultimately unsuccessful, was quick in posting a new position. I am delighted to report that one of the applicants accepted our offer and will join our team in January." - Erwin Van Meir

Anna Munger and Brandy Nix

"Our lab operation has also been facilitated thanks to the dedication of Anna Munger and Brandy Nix who prepare lab budget projections and navigate our grant submissions with great attention to details for a seamless operation. Very much appreciated!" - Erwin Van Meir

Eva Gilliam

"I would like to thank Eva Gilliam for stepping in when we lost our admin assistant and we had a number of pending issues that needed to be addressed, from reimbursements and ordering supplies for our lab operations to booking travel for lab members to attend a conference." - Erwin Van Meir

Jennifer Clements

"Thank you Jennifer Clements for helping me on short notice with the 3-year renewal of our two IACUC authorizations for our mice work in the lab. The timing of these renewals was unfortunate as they both expired at the same time and we had just lost our lab manager. Jennifer stepped in to help me address the reviewer requests and navigate the online software that has its quirks. I very much appreciated the help when I was in the middle of writing an NIH grant. One of the protocols was just renewed and we hope the second one is not far behind!" - Erwin Van Meir

Amanda Blackwell and Cam Roby

"I would like thank Amanda and Cam for stepping up with me for the Galbraith Breakfast, Lunch and Snack. Cam had FOT on lock and me and Amanda had the Kaul under control. We did 5.56 miles back and forth. We donated leftover food to the OR, they were very Grateful. I appreciate you all." - Dana Belmont

Brandy Nix

“Brandy Nix did a fantastic job submitting multiple grants at the same time. She was very organized and meticulous about the process. Job well done!!” - Anna Munger

Tammy Sharp and Mary Beth Washington

“Tammy Sharp and Mary Beth Washington have an incredible work ethic that helped reconcile and close out our Neurosurgery finances this FY22 for both UAB and HSF.” – Donna Bailer

Dr. Renee Chambers

“Dr. Renee Chambers was willing to get to the root cause of an issue that translates to process improvement for all.” – Donna Bailer

Cassandra DeGraffenried

“Cassandra DeGraffenried got through her first year of UAB and HSF Annual Performance Reviews and merits cycle. It will get easier next year!” – Donna Bailer

Tricia Daniel

“Tricia Daniel helped me get a document notarized by my mom while she was inpatient under Dr. Pritchard’s care. There are not enough words to say about the whole Neurosurgery team. Everyone goes above and beyond to help everyone out! Tricia walked over with me to the hospital, notarized the document and took the time to talk to my mom and make her feel very special. Thank you again Tricia.” – Kim Howell

Michel Thomas

"He had detailed data readily available that we needed in a short time frame for the Department Annual Review. Good work!" - Donna Bailer

Jennifer Lancaster and Christy Spruiell

"For coordinating this year's Department Annual Review report and PPT with the Dean's office. Many staff and faculty in the department also contributed sections to the report, and it was a great team effort."
- Donna Bailer

Dana Belmont

She is always helpful and hardworking. Her energy is infectious and makes my day brighter. Thank you Dana!" - Cam Roby

Martee Posey Dawson

For always being on top of everything and I appreciate her so much!" - Jennifer Lancaster

Eva Gilliam and neurosurgery admin team

"You have a fabulous team in Neurosurgery. Eva was a major help in your absence and jumped right on this." - Nisha Patel, Director of the HSOM Wellness Office

Tracy Rouse, Dr. Riley, and team

"I am beyond grateful for everything that you all have already done and continue doing. I expected to be treated as a patient but truly felt as if I was cared for like family. For the dread of this whole procedure and possible outcomes, every one of your team members eased fears and talked through concerns. I can never fully express how I feel about the entire staff and the upmost respect I have for the way you all do your calling! Dr. Vaughn, Dr. Riley, Dr. Howell and all of the staff surrounding them will always be in my heart and part of this memory I have about a life changing situation! Sending you all much love today, and every day!" - Anonymous patient

Donna Duke Pope

"You’re doing a GREAT job!!! I love your tenacity, desire to learn and how joyful you always seem to be. Keep up the good work over there at COA!" 

Anna Munger

"She has jumped in feet first and is quickly learning the ropes of the OLR world. She is already an asset to our group!"

Jennifer Vice

"She is passionate about providing the best patient care possible and has helped identify barriers and potential pitfalls to scheduling patients at Med West. Thank you for reaching out Jennifer - I truly appreciate all that you do!"

Brandy Nix

"For helping make sure everything was set up appropriately to ensure a smooth Site Qualification Visit (SQV)."
- Danny Lee

Jennifer Lancaster & Christy Spruiell

Did an amazing job transitioning to "point person team" on this year's June faculty retreat preparation and coordination for Dr. Markert and our guest speaker." - Donna Bailer

Aubrey Joyner

"I was stressed about ways to send a mass email. She was willing to help and was fast with her responses. Thank you, Aubrey!" - Cam Roby

Dana Belmont

For planning and executing Dr. Guthrie's retirement party. Also, thanks to others who participated with cake (Alice), and the set up and tear down (several admin staff). Great teamwork!" - Donna Bailer

Tammy Sharp and Mary Beth Washington

"Have completed the HSF FY23 budget and are now doing the FY23 UAB budget. I commend them for their excellent work and attention to detail which always puts our department in a good light with UAB Medicine financial leaders for accuracy of the numbers and preemptive planning for the future year. Fabulous work!" - Donna Bailer

Mary Beth Washington

"For your assistance in preparing the Department’s FY23 HSF & UAB budgets. Your commitment to the budget process while continuing to handle the ongoing day-to-day financial activities is a tremendous endeavor and greatly appreciated." - Tammy Sharp

Dr. Liptrap and Norma Miller

"Congratulations to Dr. Liptrap and Norma Miller for being one of the top 5 sites for enrollment into the MEMBRANE study!" - Donna Dixon

Cameron Roby

"Cam has a good work ethic and takes ownership of her tasks and completes them correctly and timely. She is pleasant to work with and thoughtful." - Jennifer Lancaster

Eva Gilliam

"Eva has gone above and beyond in helping with travel arrangements while I was without an assistant. Very much appreciated!" - Dr. Van Meir

Norma Miller and Rhonda Widden

"A shout out to say thanks to Norma and Rhonda who covered my research studies while I was out December - February on FMLA to care for my Mom!! They did an amazing job of covering for me and making sure my patients were cared for and the data was gotten to all the right places. I appreciate all they did which allowed me to care for my Mom without worries. I have an amazing work family and am grateful for all they did!" -  Mary Jane Avant


Dr. Mark Harrigan

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Harrigan on his "collaborative publication on a study entitled  Educational Intervention in the Emergency Department to Address Disparities in Stroke Knowledge. This study contributes to our body of knowledge addressing health disparities and our mission to increase community stroke education." - Marie-Carmelle Elie, M.D. (Endowed Professor & Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine)

Drs. Daniel Harmon and Michael Zicarelli

Email from patient: "Yes, really liked Dr. Harmon. Fantastic bedside manner and did a great job of explaining things to us and what he wants to do with my wife going forward. Hopefully, he can help alleviate her pain.
Your PA, Michael Z, also did a fantastic job as well. Very polite and didn't mind all the questions we asked. Those are 2 very good Providers and we are lucky to have them at UAB Medicine."

Dr. Anil Mahavadi

“My [family member] was evaluated in the ED by Dr. Anil Mahavadi. I was most impressed with his professionalism, his detailed and comprehensive assessment at the bedside…his skills in communicating his findings and recommendations for a plan of care. Dr. Mahavadi is an outstanding representative of Neurosurgery and reflects well on the training of all the residents in [the] program.” - Letter from Professor Emeritus

Dr. Yasaman Alam

"I am one of the pediatric residents currently on our night float. I believe in giving credit where credit is due and so I wanted to let you know about one of your residents that my team and I believe has gone above and beyond. Dr. Yasaman Alam responds promptly to consults and is pleasant to interact with. She has efficiently seen our consults, discussed findings with families, closed the loop with recommendations, and educated us along the way." - Chloe Meyer (UAB Pediatrics PGY-3)

Kirsten Yelvington

From an email from a patient: "Thank you so much. I really appreciate Kirsten’s work to make this happen. She seems like an outstanding employee and I know you are grateful to have someone like her working for you."

Danny Lee

"Danny did a wonderful job navigating and editing a consent form/ePortfolio in real-time during an IRB Board Meeting. UAB IRB is piloting a real-time review process and Dr. Markert's M032/Pembro protocol was the first to be reviewed/edited in this format."

Dr. Andrew Hale (PGY-1 Resident)

" Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Hale for receiving the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Schulman Award. Over 1,430 abstracts were submitted for presentation at the 2022 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting. Award winners were carefully selected by the AANS Scientific Program Subcommittee and will present their findings in Philadelphia."

Dr. Thomas Staner

"A few months ago I was searching Amazon for a textbook and came across Dr. Staner’s book. I have Kindle access so I downloaded the book (free) and read it on flight back from Chicago. I enjoyed it! (even reviewed it on Amazon)"

Dana Belmont

"Dana exhibited true team spirit by recognizing a challenge, then volunteering her unique skill set to pitch in, despite it being outside the current scope of her duties."

Kara Shaffer

"Kara has done a phenomenal job in supporting Dr. Godzik during this transition."

Donna Bailer and Jennifer Lancaster

"For taking charge and accomplishing everything they did to make for a successful retreat."

Tanisha Bristow

"For obtaining pre-certifications for procedures and surgeries, scheduling surgeries, obtaining consents, etc for the last two months without her teammate."

Rhonda Whidden

"Shout out to Rhonda for quickly enrolling an ENRICH subject on Super Bowl Sunday!"

Eva Gilliam

"Since her start date in October 2021, Eva Gilliam has been tremendously steadfast in digging me out of the backlog created when I took on multiple staff positions in the last half of 2021 due to staff vacancies. Eva's work ethic and dedication is incredible."

Dana Belmont

"Dana volunteers and steps up to help whenever she is needed and does so with an amazing, positive attitude. Thank you, Dana!"

Eva Gilliam

"For her work on an Endowed Professor submission to the Board of Trustees to name Dr. Van Meir."

Dr. Matthew Nelson and Shannon Hall

"For arranging a complimentary breakfast for the team."

Eva Gilliam and Donna Dixon

"They did an incredible job in helping Amanda Blackwell with Dr. Godzik's CCTS application.

Dr. Harrigan

"His leadership in driving the change in leveling the Neuro ICU occupancy."

Drs. Bentley and Guthrie

"They have been essential in helping Dr. Harrigan in the mission to level Neuro ICU occupancy."

Rhonda Widden

"Rhonda's attention to detail and excellent patient interactions are outstanding when approaching potential research participants."

Beth Dowdy

"Beth is always willing to step in and help. Her attention to detail and her compassion for our patients makes for an amazing work ethic!"

Eva Gilliam, Christy Spruiell, Amanda Blackwell, Dana Belmont, Jennifer Lancaster, Javazhanee Joseph, Thomas Dillard, and Mary Beth Washington

"For their awesome teamwork. They collectively pulled together to order, bag, and deliver the holiday gift jackets!"