April 26, 2023

New DEAL program recognizes and develops UAB administrative professionals

Written by

DEAL 2UAB holds its administrative professionals in the highest regard. April 26, 2023, is Administrative Professionals’ Day – allowing us to recognize and celebrate our administrative professionals while also highlighting the administrative resources offered by UAB. Most recently, the Developing Emerging Administrative Leaders (DEAL) program was established to offer development opportunities for current administrative professionals through training experiences and networking, to assist administration with their career paths and plans of advancing within UAB and UAB Medicine.

The DEAL program takes a multidisciplinary approach to expose promising UAB staff members to the essential components of administrative and management positions across UAB, including leadership development, human resources, finance, research, education, and clinical initiatives. By giving administrative professionals an opportunity to network and connect, the program aims to recruit, retain, and build a pipeline of administration at UAB.

“DEAL is not a leadership development program in terms of leadership skills,” says Cynthia Joiner, Ph.D., MPH, R.N., assistant professor and vice chair of the Department of Medicine and principal investigator of the grant that funded DEAL. “Instead, we are trying to introduce administration to different career paths in an academic center, potentially helping them grow into administrative leadership positions.”

In 2022, a Health Services Foundation General Endowment Fund grant allowed the implementation of DEAL. Initially receiving an excellent turnout of 88 applications, the program accepted 28 members for its first cohort. Once a month for 10 months, program members meet in-person to network and discuss different topics. The first cohort started in February of this year.

“It is an incredible honor to have been selected for the first cohort of the DEAL program,” says Lindsey Evans, program manager II of the Department of Urology and DEAL participant. “One of the many things that drew me to UAB was the complexity of UAB and UAB Medicine. It’s exciting to be a part of a program that is bridging the gap for emerging leaders to better understand how all the pieces fit together. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from our seasoned leaders and develop alongside fellow administrators throughout UAB.”


Administrative Recruitment and Retention

The recruitment and retention of administration, in addition to faculty, is key at UAB. With no other program like it at the university, DEAL offers employees an opportunity to learn how they can not only become more efficient in their current job but also how aspects of their job may correlate with other opportunities and career paths at the institution.

“We want participants to be able to connect their current jobs to different areas across UAB – clinical activities, research, education, human resources, and more,” says Joiner. “We want to help employees find their skill sets and see where else they apply.”

By creating these connections and helping participants learn where their expertise lies, DEAL could substantially increase administrative retention at UAB.

“Helping people realize that certain skills can apply in different areas and to different roles can affect retention of these employees for the overall win of UAB,” says Ryan Outman, M.S., executive administrator of the Department of Family and Community Medicine and one of the program’s leaders. “We want to help people communicate with others during this training and think outside of the box. We are excited to show our colleagues different ways they can grow professionally within the institution.”

The first cohort of DEAL includes administration from various areas of UAB, including the Heersink School of Medicine and UAB Medicine. In the future, leaders of the program hope to increase the number of applicants from all schools across UAB.

“We will heavily consider feedback from participants and speakers during our first year,” said Outman. “I’m very optimistic that the program will continue to be well-received and gain excitement and interest of other employees.”

DEAL is a prime example of UAB’s investment in its administrative professionals and their development. As the program develops, potential employees will see the university’s priority of its administrative employees and their opportunities for connection and growth outside of a singular area. The ability to move around and advance within the institution will encourage current employees to remain with UAB for years to come.

DEAL’s Program Leadership team is made up of administration from across UAB, including Cynthia Joiner, Ph.D., MPH, R.N., assistant professor and vice chair, Department of Medicine; Rachelle Hall, director, Finance Shared Service, Heersink School of Medicine; Lakisha Mack, MBA, senior associate dean, Finance & Administration, Heersink School of Medicine; Ryan Outman, M.S., executive administrator, Department of Family and Community Medicine; Nisha Patel, MSHA, MBA, director, Wellness & Administration, Heersink School of Medicine; Molly Wasko, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for Research, Innovation & Faculty Success, Collat School of Business; Shane Wiley, MBA, executive administrator, Department of Medicine; Jennifer Wilson, division administrator II, Department Medicine; and Alesha Matthews Isbell, MSHQS, LSSGB, clinical research coordinator II, Department of Medicine Clinical Research Enterprise and program manager for DEAL.


Congratulations to DEAL’s inaugural cohort:

Jamie Black | UAB/Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative, Center for Engagement in Disability Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health Professions
Jennifer Clements | Department of Neurosurgery, Heersink School of Medicine
Kayla Cooney | Patient Healthcare Coordination Center, University of Alabama Health Services Foundation
Ashley Davis | Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, Heersink School of Medicine
Mary Coleman Dobbins | Department of Medicine, Heersink School of Medicine
Jennifer Dunn | Professional Education, Collat School of Business
Lindsey Evans | Department of Urology, Heersink School of Medicine
Michelle Feese | Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health, Center for Women’s Reproductive Health/Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Heersink School of Medicine
Brooke Gleason | Department of Nutrition Sciences, School of Health Professions
Monica Henderson | Department of Pathology, Heersink School of Medicine
Jonett Ivory | Clinical Informatics
Dylan McDonald | Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Heersink School of Medicine
Alexandria Elliot Morgan | Heersink School of Medicine
Renie Moss | Department of Genetics, Heersink School of Medicine
Seth Noble | Department of Neurology, Heersink School of Medicine
Elizabeth Patton | Marketing & Communications, UAB Medicine
Adrienne Fowler Payne | Department of Family and Community Medicine, Heersink School of Medicine
Meagan Reagan | Department of Pediatrics, Heersink School of Medicine
Brian Riddle | Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, UAB Medicine
Holly Simpson | Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship/Department of Pediatrics, Heersink School of Medicine
Julia Smith | Department of Medicine, Heersink School of Medicine
Jennifer Spears | Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Heersink School of Medicine
Jason Turner | Department of Pediatrics, Heersink School of Medicine
Coy Tyler | Perioperative Services, UAB Medicine
Ayana Underwood | Department of Health Policy and Organization, School of Public Health
Monica Vasiliu | Division of Nephrology/Department of Medicine, Heersink School of Medicine
Stephanie Walters | Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Heersink School of Medicine
Kirsten Yelvington | Department of Neurosurgery, Heersink School of Medicine


Employees interested in applying for the second cohort can expect applications to open later this year.
For more information on DEAL, visit sites.uab.edu/deal.