ArendThe University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has taken a momentous step in recognizing and celebrating excellence in the field of Women's Oncology. Effective September 7, 2023, the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System officially appointed Rebecca C. Arend, M.D., MSPH, as the inaugural holder of the Dr. James and Vicki Orr Endowed Professorship in Women's Oncology.

The Dr. James and Vicki Orr Endowed Professorship in Women's Oncology was formally established by the UAB Board of Trustees through a resolution adopted on April 8, 2022. This endowment is a fitting tribute to the memory of Dr. James Orr, Jr., and Vicki Hale Orr, two individuals who made significant contributions to healthcare and education.

James Orr, Jr., M.D., a native of Norfolk, Virginia, was a distinguished alumnus of the University of Virginia, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1971 and a Doctor of Medicine in 1976. He furthered his medical training at UAB, where he completed an internship, residency, and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology in 1982. Dr. Orr's time at UAB played a pivotal role in launching his illustrious career, which included over a hundred peer-reviewed articles, numerous published abstracts, books, book chapters, manuals, and dozens of presentations.

Vicki Hale Orr graduated from Southern Arkansas University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She went on to have a successful 25-year career in accounting, specializing in healthcare accounting and eventually serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Naples Community Hospital. After retiring in 2013, Mrs. Orr ventured into a second career as a jewelry designer, receiving training at the prestigious Stewart's International School for Jewelers.

The appointment of Dr. Rebecca C. Arend as the inaugural holder of this distinguished professorship is a well-deserved recognition of her remarkable journey and achievements. A native of Houston, Texas, her academic and professional journey is nothing short of impressive. She graduated from Columbia University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts and earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2008. Her journey then led her to UAB, where she completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia Presbyterian in 2012, followed by a research fellowship at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2013 and a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at UAB in 2015. In 2019, Dr. Arend completed her Masters of Science in Public Health at the University of Alabama School of Public Health.

Dr. Arend's career has been marked by excellence, both as a clinician and scientist. She has received numerous national awards for her groundbreaking work in Women's Health and Gynecologic Oncology. Her expertise spans various facets of the field, including extensive research, clinical trial design and participation, manuscript publications, book authorships, published abstracts, oral presentations, poster abstracts, and invited lectureships. Dr. Arend's work has not only advanced the science of medical practice in the evaluation and therapy of patients with gynecologic malignancies but has also gained international recognition.

Furthermore, Dr. Arend has demonstrated exceptional commitment to education and training within the Heersink School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Her mentorship of young physicians and physician-scientists from across the nation and around the world, particularly those with a keen interest in Gynecologic Oncology, is a testament to her dedication to shaping the future of healthcare.

Arend’s exceptional contributions to the field of women's oncology and her dedication to education and mentorship, the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama at Birmingham has approved her appointment as the Inaugural Holder of the Dr. James and Vicki Orr Endowed Professorship in Women's Oncology.

This resolution will be permanently recorded in the annals of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System, ensuring that Dr. Arend's achievements and the enduring legacy of the Orr family are forever etched in history.