July 26, 2023

March Milestones at UAB

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In March 2023, UAB celebrated the Medical Alumni Association’s 50th Annual Medical Alumni Weekend, the 70th Anniversary of Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the 15th Anniversary of UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center. These milestones serve as an excellent opportunity to look at where we started and a reminder to look forward to all we wish to achieve.

Medical Alumni Association 50th Annual Medical Alumni Weekend

March 10-11, the Medical Alumni Association (MAA) celebrated its 50th Annual Medical Alumni Weekend at Volker Hall and Hilton Birmingham at UAB. 

The Medical Alumni Association (MAA) serves all medical school graduates, residents, fellows and current and past faculty from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine as well as any of its related entities.MAA Weekend 2

The Annual Medical Alumni Weekend offers alumni the opportunity to gather, reminisce over their time at the School of Medicine, learn from each other and influence the next generation of medical professionals. 

It hosts activities such as Continuing Medical Education programs, an awards luncheon, various lectures, board meetings and class reunions. 

Mini Medical School, a key feature of Medical Alumni Weekend, invites alumni back to campus to gain a firsthand glimpse of current admissions, curriculum and training practices.

The MAA also provides other programs like Dine with the Docs to develop mentorships between alumni and current medical students and the Commencement Path of Honor to reflect on the Hippocratic Oath statement and involve Legacy family members in the commencement ceremony.

The weekend celebrated 50 years of fostering and strengthening connections between medical professionals throughout Alabama to create a better health care system for the state.

70th Anniversary of Birmingham VA Medical Center

The Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center celebrated its 70th anniversary March 16.

The Heersink School of Medicine serves as the primary clinical affiliation of the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Health Care System (BVAHCS) and the two organizations have a longstanding symbiotic partnership. Birmingham VA

“UAB is an integral part of the BVAHCS health care delivery team and is an essential part in providing the highest quality care to Veterans,” said Emily Smallwood, a public affairs officer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “BVAHCS has developed numerous partnerships with UAB in the areas of research, quality scholars and training of healthcare professionals.”

Every year 700 physician residents and 115 medical students rotate throughout the BVAHCS. The BVAHCS also has affiliations with the UAB Schools of Nursing, Dentistry, Optometry and Health Professions.

The 70th Anniversary of the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center represents and celebrates decades of our successful partnership in health, groundbreaking research, a commitment to raising the bar in veterans and employee experience and a greater future that strives for better listening, change and excellence.

15th Anniversary of UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center 

2023 marks the 15th anniversary of the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center (UCDC). 

The UCDC had humble beginnings, born from the dreams of those from UAB, Children’s of Alabama and members of the Birmingham Community to bring a world-class diabetes research center to the heart of the diabetes belt. The UCDC was founded to bring diabetes research, research-driven clinical care and education to Birmingham and thereby ultimately impact even the most rural parts of Alabama and beyond.UCDC

Today, the UCDC is comprised of more than 200 faculty members from 10 different schools and many departments at UAB. It serves as the umbrella for various research programs and large awards such as the P30 Diabetes Research Center (DRC) and U01 Human Islet Research Network (HIRN) from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and provides resources, a collaborative platform, and an active education program.

Faculty research autoimmune Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, diabetes complications, beta cell biology, oxidative stress, signaling and metabolism as well as diabetes risk factors, epidemiology, intervention studies, outcomes research and drug discovery.

15 years later, the UCDC has achieved an international reputation for its breakthroughs in translating discoveries from the bench to the bed side, while it is still fulfilling its mission to perform cutting-edge research, train future clinicians and researchers and develop novel treatment approaches. With additional discoveries in the pipeline and the launch of a new phase of growth, the UCDC aims to truly change the landscape of diabetes care.