The UAB School of Health Related Professions has a new name: UAB School of Health Professions.

The change was approved April 6 by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees and formally endorsed June 16 by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

Removing “Related” speaks volumes about the school’s rapidly evolving mission, said Dean Harold P. Jones. “For some time, we have been moving away from programs focused on basic health professions technical training at the associate or certificate levels, toward providing more advanced opportunities — at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels — for students pursuing leadership careers in the health professions.

“Our programs are not just related to health, they’re integral to it.”

Jones added that this change reflects a nationwide trend among similar top-rated health-professions schools, which have seen their basic curricular offerings shift to community colleges.

“This means more efficient use of the state’s precious higher education resources,” Jones said. “By not duplicating excellent community college training programs that now are available to Alabama’s students, we can concentrate on offering higher-level health-professions programs, a number of which are unique within the state.”

Created in 1969 by the Alabama State Legislature, the UAB School of Health Professions (SHP) is one of the largest health-professions schools of its type in the nation, with 21 innovative programs at the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degree levels within six departments: Critical Care, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences; Health Services Administration; Nutrition Sciences; Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.

The school’s mission focuses on preparing health-care professionals for service in medically underserved areas of Alabama and assuring consistent academic and clinical training in a medical center setting. U.S. News & World Report ranks several SHP programs among the nation’s top 25; research funding is rapidly approaching $8 million; and SHP ranks first among similar schools in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and holds the record for 26 consecutive years in either first or second place.