See how Blazers are working well in midst of COVID-19 crisis

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During UAB’s limited business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are highlighting employees who are continuing their mission-critical work — remotely or among the few employees still present on campus.

Some may be familiar, and others may be new to you. All of them set an example of resilience and UAB’s shared values of accountability, collaboration and excellence and achievement. If you would like to highlight a member of your unit or your unit as a whole, please submit a publicity request with the details and a photo.

University Relations | Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures | UAB Transportation
Health and safety professionals | Education Abroad | Radio services | American Sign Language interpreters
Blazer Kitchen | University Writing Center | UAB Police | School of Dentistry | Bill and Matt Mayfield
Department of Medicine faculty | UAB Information Technology | Student Involvement and Leadership
College of Arts and Sciences advisers | School of Public Health | Hospital Maintenance

  • University Relations spreads the word to help contain disease
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  • University Relations spreads the word to help contain disease

    Members of the University Relations team, which includes public relations professionals, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, web editors and social media coordinators, are hard at work compiling and disseminating information on the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequences for the UAB community, not just to our employees and students, but to the city, county, state and nation.

    Teams in University Relations are writing updates and FAQs for UAB’s central COVID-19 information site, uab.edu/coronavirus, and working to facilitate appearances  by UAB’s clinical and faculty experts in national outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, NBC News, the Weather Channel, MSNBC and the Washington Post. They are updating news media daily with key need-to-know information about COVID-19 and host live, online, interactive press conferences about the novel coronavirus with university leadership and UAB Medicine experts. In addition, University Relations staff are helping to communicate about UAB’s limited business model and remote academic instruction changes to Blazers both on and off the campus.

  • University Relations spreads the word to help contain disease

    Members of the University Relations team, which includes public relations professionals, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, web editors and social media coordinators, are hard at work compiling and disseminating information on the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequences for the UAB community, not just to our employees and students, but to the city, county, state and nation.

    Teams in University Relations are writing updates and FAQs for UAB’s central COVID-19 information site, uab.edu/coronavirus, and working to facilitate appearances  by UAB’s clinical and faculty experts in national outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, NBC News, the Weather Channel, MSNBC and the Washington Post. They are updating news media daily with key need-to-know information about COVID-19 and host live, online, interactive press conferences about the novel coronavirus with university leadership and UAB Medicine experts. In addition, University Relations staff are helping to communicate about UAB’s limited business model and remote academic instruction changes to Blazers both on and off the campus.

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Spanish faculty lend their expertise to community messaging

Professors of Foreign Languages and Literatures Lourdes Sánchez-López, Ph.D., and María Antonia Anderson de la Torre, Ph.D., took a break from transitioning their courses to remote instruction to provide ad-hoc translation services for University Relations. Relevant information at uab.edu/coronavirus is available in Spanish language, including FAQs, patient information and mental health resources; Spanish-language versions of infographics are also available.

“I’m grateful for being able to help a little bit,” Anderson de la Torre said. “The real heroes are out there saving lives.”

“There is no need to thank us,” Sánchez-López agreed. “We are doing our job. We need to thank all the health care workers and scientists who are taking care of people. A lot of families do not speak English, so it is critical to make this information available to them — so the whole country wins.”

 

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  • University Relations spreads the word to help contain disease
  • UAB Transportation drivers roll on despite altered routes, schedules

    Clockwise, from bottom left: Blazer Express drivers Maureen Mack, Makeba Truitt, Shameka Hammonds and Michael Gibbs and Groome Transportation General Manager Derrick Harper have been hard at work operating UAB’s Blazer Express and paratransit services during UAB’s limited business operations. While the Silver and Blue routes are running normally with the exception of the Collat School of Business stop, the Gold, North Green, South Green and Purple routes have all been suspended. The Safety Escort service and Blaze Ride are continuing service.

    In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, UAB Transportation implemented enhanced cleaning protocols for all Blazer Express buses, adding in wiping down hand rails and handles hourly on top of their already rigorous traditional cleaning protocol.

    “There is nothing more important than health care and the safety of our passengers,” Harper said. “We have followed the guidelines of UAB Medicine since the COVID -19 pandemic was announced and will continue to do so. We have also raised our levels of maintaining a clean and healthy environment in our equipment and awareness for our passengers and drivers. As changes have taken place, our staff has been flexible to support the needs of our client. We will persevere through this difficult time.”

  • UAB Transportation drivers roll on despite altered routes, schedules

    Clockwise, from bottom left: Blazer Express drivers Maureen Mack, Makeba Truitt, Shameka Hammonds and Michael Gibbs and Groome Transportation General Manager Derrick Harper have been hard at work operating UAB’s Blazer Express and paratransit services during UAB’s limited business operations. While the Silver and Blue routes are running normally with the exception of the Collat School of Business stop, the Gold, North Green, South Green and Purple routes have all been suspended. The Safety Escort service and Blaze Ride are continuing service.

    In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, UAB Transportation implemented enhanced cleaning protocols for all Blazer Express buses, adding in wiping down hand rails and handles hourly on top of their already rigorous traditional cleaning protocol.

    “There is nothing more important than health care and the safety of our passengers,” Harper said. “We have followed the guidelines of UAB Medicine since the COVID -19 pandemic was announced and will continue to do so. We have also raised our levels of maintaining a clean and healthy environment in our equipment and awareness for our passengers and drivers. As changes have taken place, our staff has been flexible to support the needs of our client. We will persevere through this difficult time.”


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  • Health and safety professionals collaborate on COVID-19 testing site

    On March 23, the first community COVID-19 testing site began testing patients as the result of a partnership between UAB, the Jefferson County Department of Health and other area hospitals. Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they may have had contact with someone who has tested positive for it can call 205-975-1881 and be screened by a medical provider to be given an appointment. Appointments scheduled 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. seven days per week; results should be available in 3-4 days.

  • Health and safety professionals collaborate on COVID-19 testing site

    On March 23, the first community COVID-19 testing site began testing patients as the result of a partnership between UAB, the Jefferson County Department of Health and other area hospitals. Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they may have had contact with someone who has tested positive for it can call 205-975-1881 and be screened by a medical provider to be given an appointment. Appointments scheduled 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. seven days per week; results should be available in 3-4 days.

  • Health and safety professionals collaborate on COVID-19 testing site

    On March 23, the first community COVID-19 testing site began testing patients as the result of a partnership between UAB, the Jefferson County Department of Health and other area hospitals. Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they may have had contact with someone who has tested positive for it can call 205-975-1881 and be screened by a medical provider to be given an appointment. Appointments scheduled 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. seven days per week; results should be available in 3-4 days.

  • Health and safety professionals collaborate on COVID-19 testing site

    On March 23, the first community COVID-19 testing site began testing patients as the result of a partnership between UAB, the Jefferson County Department of Health and other area hospitals. Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they may have had contact with someone who has tested positive for it can call 205-975-1881 and be screened by a medical provider to be given an appointment. Appointments scheduled 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. seven days per week; results should be available in 3-4 days.

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Education Abroad supports students during stressful travel, reacclimation

UAB’s Education Abroad team has worked tirelessly since late January to respond to the novel coronavirus situation, says Ashley Neyer, director (pictured, top right). The team evacuated 25 students on six continents within the past month, connecting with each student to assist in securing immediate return to the United States, verify their well-being during transit and arranging academic accommodations upon return.

The evacuation of each student required the Education Abroad team to remain on-call 24/7 for more than 30 days to answer questions and make travel arrangements. When UAB implemented international travel restrictions in early March, the Education Abroad team stayed after hours to answer calls from students and parents, many of whom were waking to evacuation news. Education Abroad team-members also visited with each canceled spring-break study-abroad group to hear their questions and provide support.

“No matter each individual’s position, everyone rallied together to serve the students and parents,” Neyer said. “The team has stood beside each student to ensure their unexpected return went well and that they felt supported.”

Also pictured are Education Abroad team-members Camryn Durham, top left, and Felicia Baltzell. 

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UAB radio services aid public health at COVID-19 testing site

A partnership between UAB Radio Paging and WBHM, Birmingham’s public radio station, has been instrumental in helping UAB, the Jefferson County Department of Health and other area hospitals launch the first community COVID-19 testing site, which opened March 23. Radio Paging, which manages UAB and UAB Medicine two-way radios, paging and web-paging and assists with emergency management communications, along with WBHM and other broadcast partners helped establish a low-power radio signal at the testing site to give patients important testing instructions through their radio when tuned to 90.7 FM.

The broadcast requires daily maintenance and updates from Radio Paging personnel, who are alternating their remote and on-campus duties and continuing 24/7 on-call technical support for UAB and UAB Medicine paging services.

“The implementation of this radio system was no minor operation, for it required specialized equipment, multiple site visits to assess for proper equipment placement and an effective system design to provide prime radio signal transmission,” said Thomas Manthei, Radio Paging manager.

The announcement was produced by WBHM, plays on a continuous loop in both English and Spanish and is limited to the testing site location.

“Because of WBHM, we were able to move quickly on getting this set up as it required special permission from the Federal Communications Commission,” said Michael Krall, WBHM program director.

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  • ASL interpreters help UAB deliver vital information to deaf communities


    American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters Jan Clendenon (pictured, slide 1) and Angelica Dill (pictured, slide 2) have worked as contract employees for years in the hospital and clinics providing patients with interpretation. Now, they provide interpretation services on-call for UAB’s press conferences, which are aired via Facebook Live.

    “I’m thankful to be able to help in some small way and grateful that UAB recognizes the importance of providing such critical information to all the members of our community,” Clendenon said. “For the majority of our deaf community, English is their second language. It’s vital to provide equal access to communication through their native language, ASL.”

    That access to information is guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dill says — and she, too, is grateful for UAB’s dedication to providing information to everyone, including people who communicate via ASL.

    “Right now, it is even more crucial that no one is left out of vital information being presented at press conferences, city council meetings, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention briefings and on other platforms,” Dill said. “We often see live videos being streamed without captions, White House news conferences without an ASL interpreter and other vital information circulating without any presence of accessibility.

    “I applaud UAB for ensuring that their deaf patients and deaf citizens who use ASL as their primary language have access,” she continued. “It is definitely recognized and appreciated in our community.”
  • ASL interpreters help UAB deliver vital information to deaf communities


    American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters Jan Clendenon (pictured, slide 1) and Angelica Dill (pictured, slide 2) have worked as contract employees for years in the hospital and clinics providing patients with interpretation. Now, they provide interpretation services on-call for UAB’s press conferences, which are aired via Facebook Live.

    “I’m thankful to be able to help in some small way and grateful that UAB recognizes the importance of providing such critical information to all the members of our community,” Clendenon said. “For the majority of our deaf community, English is their second language. It’s vital to provide equal access to communication through their native language, ASL.”

    That access to information is guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dill says — and she, too, is grateful for UAB’s dedication to providing information to everyone, including people who communicate via ASL.

    “Right now, it is even more crucial that no one is left out of vital information being presented at press conferences, city council meetings, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention briefings and on other platforms,” Dill said. “We often see live videos being streamed without captions, White House news conferences without an ASL interpreter and other vital information circulating without any presence of accessibility.

    “I applaud UAB for ensuring that their deaf patients and deaf citizens who use ASL as their primary language have access,” she continued. “It is definitely recognized and appreciated in our community.”

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  • Blazer Kitchen serves up meals during coronavirus crisis

    UAB’s on-campus food bank continues to feed employees, students and patients during limited campus operations by distributing pre-packed bags of food 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays in the Hill Student Center and via drive-thru at Medical Towers noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays.

    More than 190 shoppers — 30 of them new — have shopped at the Blazer Kitchen locations since March 18; that is more than 6,100 pounds of groceries — or about 5,100 meals, says Lisa Higginbotham, manager of the UAB Benevolent Fund, which operates Blazer Kitchen.

    “Food insecurity isn’t an issue that just disappears when a crisis arises,” Higginbotham said. “In most cases, it’s exacerbated. It is our duty to continue serving Blazers in need during these uncertain times.”
  • Blazer Kitchen serves up meals during coronavirus crisis

    UAB’s on-campus food bank continues to feed employees, students and patients during limited campus operations by distributing pre-packed bags of food 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays in the Hill Student Center and via drive-thru at Medical Towers noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays.

    More than 190 shoppers — 30 of them new — have shopped at the Blazer Kitchen locations since March 18; that is more than 6,100 pounds of groceries — or about 5,100 meals, says Lisa Higginbotham, manager of the UAB Benevolent Fund, which operates Blazer Kitchen.

    “Food insecurity isn’t an issue that just disappears when a crisis arises,” Higginbotham said. “In most cases, it’s exacerbated. It is our duty to continue serving Blazers in need during these uncertain times.”

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University Writing Center tutors help students grow where they are

When remote instruction began March 24, the University Writing Center sprang into action with distance-tutoring sessions and online services for students. Writers who need assistance can upload a paper and receive feedback or chat one-on-one with a tutor at any stage of the writing process.

The UWC has worked with more than 300 students in more than 470 virtual sessions, and 92% of students have rated their sessions as excellent or very good.

“The Writing Center is doing an awesome job helping students,” one student wrote. “They are reachable all the time, and tutors are very flexible in accommodating students.”

The center’s mission, says Director Jaci Wells, remains the same, whether they are helping students in-person or via distance tutoring.

“In the UWC, we simply love working with student writers and helping them grow,” she said. “I’m very proud of how well we have managed the transition to virtual instruction and how effectively the tutors continue to help students become stronger, more confident writers.”

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  • UAB Police adapts to COVID-19 in keeping campus safe


    UAB is invested in keeping its students and employees safe — and that hasn’t changed in the face of limited campus operations. In addition to regular patrols and law-enforcement activities, many UAB Police officers are assisting at the community COVID-19 testing site, which opened March 23, and help implement the new visitor-access policies in UAB Hospital.

    UAB Police quickly adopted health department guidance to promote health and safety. Each officer is equipped with personal protection equipment (PPE), including a face mask, face shield, gloves and hand sanitizer, and each officer has disinfectant spray for use within their vehicle before beginning a shift. If arrests are made, says Captain Kenneth Spencer, who works in the patrol division, the vehicle is once again disinfected.

    “We have directed our officers to be vigilant when doing traffic stops as well,” Spencer continued. “We have informed them to wear the issued PPE when conducting all traffic stops. We want everyone to be as careful as possible when coming into contact with the general public.”

    Spencer said that precautions such as washing his hands and disinfecting surfaces and items have become almost second nature to him.

    “I’ve adapted to the new normal since the university implemented steps to help curb the coronavirus’ impact,” Spencer said. “If I come in contact with anyone, I make sure I have on a mask and gloves. When I come back into the building, the first thing I do is head to the bathroom and wash my hands and face. I use hand sanitizer much of the day as an extra precaution. It’s a habit that all of us will have to adapt to — there’s no way around it, because we don’t know the unknown.”

    UAB Police and Public Safety Associate Vice President and Chief Anthony Purcell said the department’s ability to maintain safety while adjusting to many changes on campus has been inspiring.

    “I am incredibly proud of everyone in our department for their continued dedication to our campus community,” Purcell said. “UAB has taken proactive steps to fight the pandemic withalternative learning, limited business and aggressive social distancing, and our team has adapted well to promote safety in the midst of changing campus dynamics.”
  • UAB Police adapts to COVID-19 in keeping campus safe


    UAB is invested in keeping its students and employees safe — and that hasn’t changed in the face of limited campus operations. In addition to regular patrols and law-enforcement activities, many UAB Police officers are assisting at the community COVID-19 testing site, which opened March 23, and help implement the new visitor-access policies in UAB Hospital.

    UAB Police quickly adopted health department guidance to promote health and safety. Each officer is equipped with personal protection equipment (PPE), including a face mask, face shield, gloves and hand sanitizer, and each officer has disinfectant spray for use within their vehicle before beginning a shift. If arrests are made, says Captain Kenneth Spencer, who works in the patrol division, the vehicle is once again disinfected.

    “We have directed our officers to be vigilant when doing traffic stops as well,” Spencer continued. “We have informed them to wear the issued PPE when conducting all traffic stops. We want everyone to be as careful as possible when coming into contact with the general public.”

    Spencer said that precautions such as washing his hands and disinfecting surfaces and items have become almost second nature to him.

    “I’ve adapted to the new normal since the university implemented steps to help curb the coronavirus’ impact,” Spencer said. “If I come in contact with anyone, I make sure I have on a mask and gloves. When I come back into the building, the first thing I do is head to the bathroom and wash my hands and face. I use hand sanitizer much of the day as an extra precaution. It’s a habit that all of us will have to adapt to — there’s no way around it, because we don’t know the unknown.”

    UAB Police and Public Safety Associate Vice President and Chief Anthony Purcell said the department’s ability to maintain safety while adjusting to many changes on campus has been inspiring.

    “I am incredibly proud of everyone in our department for their continued dedication to our campus community,” Purcell said. “UAB has taken proactive steps to fight the pandemic withalternative learning, limited business and aggressive social distancing, and our team has adapted well to promote safety in the midst of changing campus dynamics.”
  • UAB Police adapts to COVID-19 in keeping campus safe


    UAB is invested in keeping its students and employees safe — and that hasn’t changed in the face of limited campus operations. In addition to regular patrols and law-enforcement activities, many UAB Police officers are assisting at the community COVID-19 testing site, which opened March 23, and help implement the new visitor-access policies in UAB Hospital.

    UAB Police quickly adopted health department guidance to promote health and safety. Each officer is equipped with personal protection equipment (PPE), including a face mask, face shield, gloves and hand sanitizer, and each officer has disinfectant spray for use within their vehicle before beginning a shift. If arrests are made, says Captain Kenneth Spencer, who works in the patrol division, the vehicle is once again disinfected.

    “We have directed our officers to be vigilant when doing traffic stops as well,” Spencer continued. “We have informed them to wear the issued PPE when conducting all traffic stops. We want everyone to be as careful as possible when coming into contact with the general public.”

    Spencer said that precautions such as washing his hands and disinfecting surfaces and items have become almost second nature to him.

    “I’ve adapted to the new normal since the university implemented steps to help curb the coronavirus’ impact,” Spencer said. “If I come in contact with anyone, I make sure I have on a mask and gloves. When I come back into the building, the first thing I do is head to the bathroom and wash my hands and face. I use hand sanitizer much of the day as an extra precaution. It’s a habit that all of us will have to adapt to — there’s no way around it, because we don’t know the unknown.”

    UAB Police and Public Safety Associate Vice President and Chief Anthony Purcell said the department’s ability to maintain safety while adjusting to many changes on campus has been inspiring.

    “I am incredibly proud of everyone in our department for their continued dedication to our campus community,” Purcell said. “UAB has taken proactive steps to fight the pandemic withalternative learning, limited business and aggressive social distancing, and our team has adapted well to promote safety in the midst of changing campus dynamics.”

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  • Dentistry delivers emergency services to patients, PPE to providers


    A small team of employees from the UAB School of Dentistry is still operating on campus, providing emergency dental services to patients in need — many of whom would present at local emergency departments without their services, says Lynne Jarreau, communications director.

    Dentistry employees screen each person who enters the building for coronavirus symptoms; entrants have their temperature taken and complete symptom questionnaires. In the first photo, David Clanton, DMD, assistant professor of endodontics (left), and Dean Russell Taichman, DMD, DMSC, stand behind a screening table manned by clinical staff. In the second, associate professor Edward Bradford, DDS, works with clinical staff to man a screening table.

    The school has also donated dozens of boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) to UAB Hospital, totaling 4,900 isolation gowns, 4,300 surgical masks and 320 boxes of gloves. In the third photo, Perng-Ru Liu, DDS, DMD (left), and administrative assistant Angela Rembert stand with donation items; Taichman gives a thumbs-up near PPE donations in the fourth. Rembert helped load the donated PPE into a truck in the fifth photo.

    "Within moments of our school’s shift to limited business operations, Dr. Liu sprang into action," Taichman said. "He immediately went to work coordinating the emergency dental clinic team and organizing the PPE donations. He even personally went room-by-room through the school to locate boxes of gloves, masks and gowns. He has become a School of Dentistry hero."
  • Dentistry delivers emergency services to patients, PPE to providers


    A small team of employees from the UAB School of Dentistry is still operating on campus, providing emergency dental services to patients in need — many of whom would present at local emergency departments without their services, says Lynne Jarreau, communications director.

    Dentistry employees screen each person who enters the building for coronavirus symptoms; entrants have their temperature taken and complete symptom questionnaires. In the first photo, David Clanton, DMD, assistant professor of endodontics (left), and Dean Russell Taichman, DMD, DMSC, stand behind a screening table manned by clinical staff. In the second, associate professor Edward Bradford, DDS, works with clinical staff to man a screening table.

    The school has also donated dozens of boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) to UAB Hospital, totaling 4,900 isolation gowns, 4,300 surgical masks and 320 boxes of gloves. In the third photo, Perng-Ru Liu, DDS, DMD (left), and administrative assistant Angela Rembert stand with donation items; Taichman gives a thumbs-up near PPE donations in the fourth. Rembert helped load the donated PPE into a truck in the fifth photo.

    "Within moments of our school’s shift to limited business operations, Dr. Liu sprang into action," Taichman said. "He immediately went to work coordinating the emergency dental clinic team and organizing the PPE donations. He even personally went room-by-room through the school to locate boxes of gloves, masks and gowns. He has become a School of Dentistry hero."
  • Dentistry delivers emergency services to patients, PPE to providers


    A small team of employees from the UAB School of Dentistry is still operating on campus, providing emergency dental services to patients in need — many of whom would present at local emergency departments without their services, says Lynne Jarreau, communications director.

    Dentistry employees screen each person who enters the building for coronavirus symptoms; entrants have their temperature taken and complete symptom questionnaires. In the first photo, David Clanton, DMD, assistant professor of endodontics (left), and Dean Russell Taichman, DMD, DMSC, stand behind a screening table manned by clinical staff. In the second, associate professor Edward Bradford, DDS, works with clinical staff to man a screening table.

    The school has also donated dozens of boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) to UAB Hospital, totaling 4,900 isolation gowns, 4,300 surgical masks and 320 boxes of gloves. In the third photo, Perng-Ru Liu, DDS, DMD (left), and administrative assistant Angela Rembert stand with donation items; Taichman gives a thumbs-up near PPE donations in the fourth. Rembert helped load the donated PPE into a truck in the fifth photo.

    "Within moments of our school’s shift to limited business operations, Dr. Liu sprang into action," Taichman said. "He immediately went to work coordinating the emergency dental clinic team and organizing the PPE donations. He even personally went room-by-room through the school to locate boxes of gloves, masks and gowns. He has become a School of Dentistry hero."
  • Dentistry delivers emergency services to patients, PPE to providers


    A small team of employees from the UAB School of Dentistry is still operating on campus, providing emergency dental services to patients in need — many of whom would present at local emergency departments without their services, says Lynne Jarreau, communications director.

    Dentistry employees screen each person who enters the building for coronavirus symptoms; entrants have their temperature taken and complete symptom questionnaires. In the first photo, David Clanton, DMD, assistant professor of endodontics (left), and Dean Russell Taichman, DMD, DMSC, stand behind a screening table manned by clinical staff. In the second, associate professor Edward Bradford, DDS, works with clinical staff to man a screening table.

    The school has also donated dozens of boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) to UAB Hospital, totaling 4,900 isolation gowns, 4,300 surgical masks and 320 boxes of gloves. In the third photo, Perng-Ru Liu, DDS, DMD (left), and administrative assistant Angela Rembert stand with donation items; Taichman gives a thumbs-up near PPE donations in the fourth. Rembert helped load the donated PPE into a truck in the fifth photo.

    "Within moments of our school’s shift to limited business operations, Dr. Liu sprang into action," Taichman said. "He immediately went to work coordinating the emergency dental clinic team and organizing the PPE donations. He even personally went room-by-room through the school to locate boxes of gloves, masks and gowns. He has become a School of Dentistry hero."
  • Dentistry delivers emergency services to patients, PPE to providers


    A small team of employees from the UAB School of Dentistry is still operating on campus, providing emergency dental services to patients in need — many of whom would present at local emergency departments without their services, says Lynne Jarreau, communications director.

    Dentistry employees screen each person who enters the building for coronavirus symptoms; entrants have their temperature taken and complete symptom questionnaires. In the first photo, David Clanton, DMD, assistant professor of endodontics (left), and Dean Russell Taichman, DMD, DMSC, stand behind a screening table manned by clinical staff. In the second, associate professor Edward Bradford, DDS, works with clinical staff to man a screening table.

    The school has also donated dozens of boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) to UAB Hospital, totaling 4,900 isolation gowns, 4,300 surgical masks and 320 boxes of gloves. In the third photo, Perng-Ru Liu, DDS, DMD (left), and administrative assistant Angela Rembert stand with donation items; Taichman gives a thumbs-up near PPE donations in the fourth. Rembert helped load the donated PPE into a truck in the fifth photo.

    "Within moments of our school’s shift to limited business operations, Dr. Liu sprang into action," Taichman said. "He immediately went to work coordinating the emergency dental clinic team and organizing the PPE donations. He even personally went room-by-room through the school to locate boxes of gloves, masks and gowns. He has become a School of Dentistry hero."

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  • Father-son duo takes on coronavirus from UAB Hospital Command Center


    Bill Mayfield, emergency preparedness manager for UAB Medicine, and son Matt Mayfield are working together to ensure UAB is as ready as possible for any new developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. In Bill’s role as liaison officer in the command center, he maintains communications with local, state and federal organizations for situational awareness and resource needs.

    “Preparing and responding to emergencies is just second nature,” Bill said. “It is a mindset that was instilled in me by my parents and other mentors all the way back to the Cuban missile crisis” — and it’s one that has been passed down to a new generation with Matt.

    The younger Mayfield, who works as an emergency preparedness intern in the command center and is graduating from UAB May 2 with a bachelor’s in public health, is no stranger to helping out in a crisis. He has skills in incident management, hazardous materials, public health and fire service — he serves as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Helena and is a certified emergency medical technician.

    Bringing Matt onto the team was an easy decision for everyone, Bill explains. The command center team was discussing the potential need to deploy tents outside emergency rooms, and they realized they’d need another set of hands to make it happen.

    “We identified that we would need at least one additional trained person to help with this process, and Matt’s skillset was ideal for this task,” Bill explained. “He readily volunteered and fit right in as part of the team.”

    For Matt, the transition onto the emergency preparedness team was part of an overall transitional phase, including his impending job search following graduation and UAB’s move to remote instruction.

    “One day I was preparing for finals and graduation, and over spring break I switched to testing and deploying inflatable decontamination tents and powered air-purifying respirators in between online classes,” Matt said.

    And though the two share a father-son bond, Bill says the entire command center team shares a special connection, too:

    “We are a part of UAB, and we move forward as one.”

    LEXI COON / University Relations
  • Father-son duo takes on coronavirus from UAB Hospital Command Center

    Bill Mayfield, emergency preparedness manager for UAB Medicine, and son Matt Mayfield are working together to ensure UAB is as ready as possible for any new developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. In Bill’s role as liaison officer in the command center, he maintains communications with local, state and federal organizations for situational awareness and resource needs.
    “Preparing and responding to emergencies is just second nature,” Bill said. “It is a mindset that was instilled in me by my parents and other mentors all the way back to the Cuban missile crisis” — and it’s one that has been passed down to a new generation with Matt.
    The younger Mayfield, who works as an emergency preparedness intern in the command center and is graduating from UAB May 2 with a bachelor’s in public health, is no stranger to helping out in a crisis. He has skills in incident management, hazardous materials, public health and fire service — he serves as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Helena and is a certified emergency medical technician.
    Bringing Matt onto the team was an easy decision for everyone, Bill explains. The command center team was discussing the potential need to deploy tents outside emergency rooms, and they realized they’d need another set of hands to make it happen.
    “We identified that we would need at least one additional trained person to help with this process, and Matt’s skillset was ideal for this task,” Bill explained. “He readily volunteered and fit right in as part of the team.”
    For Matt, the transition onto the emergency preparedness team was part of an overall transitional phase, including his impending job search following graduation and UAB’s move to remote instruction.
    “One day I was preparing for finals and graduation, and over spring break I switched to testing and deploying inflatable decontamination tents and powered air-purifying respirators in between online classes,” Matt said.
    And though the two share a father-son bond, Bill says the entire command center team shares a special connection, too:
    “We are a part of UAB, and we move forward as one.”

    LEXI COON / University Relations
  • Father-son duo takes on coronavirus from UAB Hospital Command Center

    Bill Mayfield, emergency preparedness manager for UAB Medicine, and son Matt Mayfield are working together to ensure UAB is as ready as possible for any new developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. In Bill’s role as liaison officer in the command center, he maintains communications with local, state and federal organizations for situational awareness and resource needs.
    “Preparing and responding to emergencies is just second nature,” Bill said. “It is a mindset that was instilled in me by my parents and other mentors all the way back to the Cuban missile crisis” — and it’s one that has been passed down to a new generation with Matt.
    The younger Mayfield, who works as an emergency preparedness intern in the command center and is graduating from UAB May 2 with a bachelor’s in public health, is no stranger to helping out in a crisis. He has skills in incident management, hazardous materials, public health and fire service — he serves as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Helena and is a certified emergency medical technician.
    Bringing Matt onto the team was an easy decision for everyone, Bill explains. The command center team was discussing the potential need to deploy tents outside emergency rooms, and they realized they’d need another set of hands to make it happen.
    “We identified that we would need at least one additional trained person to help with this process, and Matt’s skillset was ideal for this task,” Bill explained. “He readily volunteered and fit right in as part of the team.”
    For Matt, the transition onto the emergency preparedness team was part of an overall transitional phase, including his impending job search following graduation and UAB’s move to remote instruction.
    “One day I was preparing for finals and graduation, and over spring break I switched to testing and deploying inflatable decontamination tents and powered air-purifying respirators in between online classes,” Matt said.
    And though the two share a father-son bond, Bill says the entire command center team shares a special connection, too:
    “We are a part of UAB, and we move forward as one.”



russell titer inside

Clinical faculty share effects of coronavirus on Alabama communities with UK counterparts

Associate Professor of Medicine Stephen Russell, M.D., and Assistant Professor of Medicine KeAndrea Titer, M.D., presented a seminar titled “The Effect of COVID-19 in Alabama” via Zoom webinar to the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh April 15.

This past year, Russell and Titer collaborated with Andrew Elder, MBChB, president of the RCPE, on a bedside medicine initiative, and Elder visited campus to present during the Department of Medicine’s Medical Grand Rounds in April 2019. When he assumed the presidency in March, Elder reached out to Russell and Titer, who also are practicing physicians, to learn about the effects of the novel coronavirus on Alabama communities.

The impact of Covid-19 in Alabama during the first four weeks of the pandemic revealed long-standing health disparities in Alabama communities, Russell says. The two physicians shared their collective experiences of providing care in hospital and outpatient settings, touching on issues such as personal protective equipment and communicating via telehealth.

“When it comes to the impact of Covid-19 in Alabama, Southern writer William Faulkner was correct: ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past,’” said Russell, quoting from “Requium for a Nun.”

“Alabama's history illuminates both present health disparities and future hopes for resilience from coronavirus,” he said.

See the presentation online.

ed ramsey inside

UAB IT workers keep campus plugged in during limited business operations

From printing checks to maintaining mobile devices for hospital staff, UAB IT employees who continue to work on campus are performing critical work for campus and the Health System.

Ed Ramsey, computer system administrator for UAB IT Desktop Services, who celebrated 30 years of service to UAB this year, still reports to his office at the Administration Building nearly every day. His work maintaining mobile devices and UAB’s TechTools program ensures that employees have the equipment they need, whether they are on campus or working remotely.

Ramsey also oversaw distribution of a limited number of loaner devices for students when UAB initially began working and learning remotely.

Members of UAB IT’s Desktop Services team also are reporting to campus on a rotating basis to fulfill emergency equipment needs and respond to urgent incidents. Technicians are responsible for configuring desktop and laptops and provisioning equipment for remote work. At least one technician is on campus every day.

To help protect employees, UAB IT has implemented a number of safety measures, said Jamie Witter, director of IT Client Services. Technicians work in separate rooms and alternate through the schedule to reduce their time on campus. Equipment hand-off processes are in place to adhere to social-distancing guidelines, and equipment is sanitized using wipes and gloves.

UAB IT’s Data Center and check-printing operations also are operational.

Payments still need to be made to individuals, and UAB IT staff must actively monitor the Data Center and its services, including identity management and business-critical applications, to ensure they are operating under optimal conditions.

lauren cotant

Cotant develops programs, supports student orgs virtually

Lauren Cotant, assistant director for Leadership and Service in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, has continued to identify opportunities to support student leaders and organization-members since limited business operations began. She has engaged more than 1,100 student-organization leaders and members though an Instagram TV miniseries, developed a virtual recognition ceremony for the UAB Student Excellence Awards and led the development of a three-part virtual training for 80 student leaders. Currently, she is facilitating monthly roundtables through her new “Student Organization Leaders Unite!” series.

“Lauren’s contribution to the virtual co-curricular experience has allowed students to develop competency in the areas of communication, digital technology, critical thinking and problem-solving, professionalism and leadership,” said Jennifer Griffin, director of Student Involvement and Leadership. “She’s proven that co-curricular engagement is not only possible in a virtual environment, but can have a positive impact on our students. She has truly gone above and beyond in ensuring our students don’t experience any gaps in support and service during this time of virtual operations.”

advising BTS inside

CAS advisers reassure students, foster relationships during remote instruction

Disruption has been difficult for many students who were in class one minute and online the next. Fortunately for the College of Arts and Sciences, two advisers who recently earned recognition from the National Academic Advising Association are here to help.

For Deborah Littleton, who advises criminal justice students and those minoring in American studies, forensic psychology, forensic science, human rights and legal affairs, the adjustment to remote advising is challenging, at times, but rewarding. She primarily uses Zoom, telephone and email, which the students seem to be enjoying, to maintain consistent contact with them and ensure they feel supported.

“I think students like the Zoom sessions and the telephone sessions,” said Littleton, who received NACADA’s Outstanding Advising Administrator Award Certificate of Merit. “It makes them feel connected to us. Emailing students to reassure them we are still working and are here for them and encouraging them to ask questions with all the new policies in place helps alleviate their anxiety.

Littleton’s colleague, Whitney Woodard, who advises students neuroscience and pre-neuroscience students, says her transition to remote advising was made trickier by the presence of a new colleague, her 2-year-old son — who sometimes makes surprise appearances during her Zoom meetings.  Woodward works hard to maintain relationships with advisees, many of whom are disappointed with the abrupt changes in their lives.

“Sometimes students just want to know they have someone in their corner or someone to vent to, and I wanted to be that person for them,” said Woodward, who received NACADA’s Outstanding Advising Award Primary Advising Role Certificate of Merit. “My philosophy of advising is built around relationships, and having established those relationships with my students, they are comfortable coming to me during this stressful and unique time.

“The thing they probably don’t know is that I needed them during this time of isolation just as much as they needed me. I’m beyond thankful UAB has given me the opportunity to serve students in this capacity,” Woodward said.

SOPH homeless safety BTS inside

Public Health, community partners promote volunteer safety during pandemic

The impact of community spread on people experiencing homelessness has the potential to be more severe, because the population is especially vulnerable due to underlying medical conditions and inadequate access to hygiene facilities, safe lodging and health care.

In partnership with the Jefferson County Department of Health, the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency and the Alabama Fire College, the School of Public Health created a specialized training video, available on YouTube, detailing best practices for volunteering safely at homeless shelters and meal service providers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The training outlines the basics of COVID-19 transmission — who is most vulnerable to infection, when and how to wear personal protective equipment and clean to prevent contamination — and provides guidance on how to volunteer safely during the pandemic.

Their recommendations? Ask service agencies about the risks involved with volunteering, allow extra time for health screenings and continue to practice social distancing while interacting with others. And be sure to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days following a volunteer shift.

facilities BTS may 2020 inside

Hospital Maintenance continues work in areas caring for COVID-19 patients

Jimmy Branch, maintenance supervisor (left), and Chip Cooley, a general mechanic on Branch’s team, and other members of UAB Hospital Maintenance have been hard at work keeping hospital facilities in working order despite altered operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Branch says Cooley, who maintains some units and floors in Spain Wallace Tower, West Pavilion and the Medical Education Building, has been especially conscientious during the past several months in a work area that spans several units caring for COVID-19 patients. No two days look the same for Cooley, who often can be founded changing lightbulbs or fixing leaks, Branch says.

“The biggest change to his duties on the COVID units is that he doesn’t go in the room with the patients,” Branch explained. “One of the units in his area was the first COVID-19 unit at UAB. He was spending a lot of time there when all of this was very new and scary and none of us knew exactly how it was going to work out. He did not hesitate to go there and did his job to the best of his abilities given the situation.”

 

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