January 25, 2023

Tita named Mary Heersink Endowed Chair in Global Health

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tita endowed chairDr. Tita with Drs. Heersink and AgarwalAlan T. N. Tita, M.D., Ph.D., associate dean for Global and Women’s Health and inaugural director of the Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health was recently named the Mary Heersink Endowed Chair in Global Health.

Tita is a professor in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and senior vice chair of Research and Innovation for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also serves as director of the UAB Center for Women’s Reproductive Health.

A leader in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, maternal-fetal medicine, and perinatal epidemiology, Tita strives to find solutions to shared global health challenges through research and innovative approaches. Tita is dedicated to providing excellent education for the next generation of health workers globally.

The Heersink School of Medicine communications staff sat down with Dr. Tita to discuss his new endowed chair position.

Q: What is the purpose of the Mary Heersink Endowed Chair in Global Health position?

To borrow from President Watts, there are two primary reasons for endowed positions. First is to recognize the work of the faculty member named to the chair, as it is one of the highest honors a faculty member can achieve at UAB. Secondly, the spendable funds generated by the endowment support the holder’s work and advance research by funding projects or people, work by trainees, and travel to professional meetings and conferences that foster collaboration and advance scholarly work. The Mary Heersink Endowed Chair will advance global health work in these ways.

Q: What does this endowed chair mean for the Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health?

It is one feather in the cap of the Institute. Although administered through my home department in OB/GYN, the endowed chair enhances the profile of global health as an ongoing priority for the SOM. The spendable funds will support efforts and the initiatives that promote the mission of the institute.

Q: What does this position mean for you?

It is truly an honor to be both the inaugural holder of the endowed chair and director of the institute named in honor of Mrs. Heersink. Specifically, the endowed chair will galvanize the work of our teams and the goal of the institute to improve global health outcomes.

Q: What teaching, research, and/or service activities do you hope to accomplish in this position?

I will focus on core activities that advance the goals of the Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health including 1. Engaging with faculty and trainees to develop scholars in global health through a degree program and fellowships in global health, 2. Collaborating with our partner countries and organizations to have a platform for multi-country collaborations across missions including research and telehealth, and 3. Promoting opportunities that enhance and facilitate bidirectional global health engagement including seminars, symposia, and administrative facilitation.