SHP Snapshots 50 Years Cover 600In 2019, UAB celebrated its 50th anniversary. We took this opportunity to celebrate our history (which began a few years before UAB was UAB) with a journey back in time to relive the moments, the discoveries, the fashions and the hair that defined 50 years of UAB and our School.

We take you from the days way back when UAB was just an "extension center" to today where UAB has 100+ buildings on 100+ Birmingham city blocks with 22,000+ students and 23,000+ employees.

In this issue of Snapshots, we take you decade-by-decade to reveal the unique impact our people have had, and continue to have, on our campus, our community and healthcare.

And we look to the future - to the next five decades and the year 2069. Our alumni share their hopes about the changes they hope to inspire, plus their wishes about the things they hope never change - those little things that make our School special.

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Cover Snapshots Spring 2019It is always interesting to see buzz word descriptions finally catch up with the great work of our alumni. Take Amanda Phillips for example – converting cars for children to use is today’s “life hack”; or Rusty English – who became a “value proposition” himself; or Jennifer Taylor Agricola – with “transformative” work for a Ugandan orphanage; or Gigi Carter – causing “disruption” with her plant-based workplace efforts; or Chris and Megan Davis taking “functional fitness” beyond client expectations.

But if you look beyond the catchy phrases and you drop the labels, you see one word that defines each of these – as well as the majority of School of Health Professions’ alumni – versatility.

In this issue of Snapshots we look at the ability of our alumni to successfully and simultaneously adapt, solve complex problems, and accomplish a variety of goals. We hope their stories inspire you, the way they’ve inspired us.

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SHP Fall 2018 Snapshots CoverWe always use the word family to describe our alumni. We truly feel a bond from our years together as we watched you grow as a person and develop as a leader. Then one day you graduated and left.

Now, we know you’ll be home for the holidays. Maybe not your SHP home, but still, home. While this may trigger fond memories of the past, we really hope it compels you to look ahead. We put together the feature in this Snapshots issue (page 6) to help you make the most of your future time with your family this holiday and all future holidays. Enjoy!

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SHP Snapshots Heroes Issue Cover Summer 2018Inside our latest e-Magazine you will see how many of our alumni are real life heroes -- mere mortals doing extraordinary things at various times for ordinary reasons – like the fact that many are just doing their job. You will also see that just doing their job does not mean that what they do is just a job. Serving others is a passion for our heroic helpers. You will also see alumni awards, updates and more in our Summer 2018 issue. Thank you for reading!

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Snapshots Fall 2017 CoverInside our latest e-Magazine you will see how the generosity of our alumni with their time, treasure and talent impacts our students and ignites the future of health care. This is a look at the strength of numbers and the power of giving back. We hope you are inspired by these stories of compassion and success.

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Snapshots Spring CoverScroll down below and you will see expanded versions of the individual articles from the Spring 2017 SHP Snapshots.

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USAHealth UABUAB alumni with USA Health
L/R STANDING: Howard Holcomb, USA Health (MSHA Class 19), Liz Kirby, USA Health (MSHA Class 42), Casey Daniel, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute (MPH, XX), Philip Meador, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute (MSHA Class 46), Alice Johnson, USA Health (MSHA Class 43)
L/R SEATED: Sam Dean, USA Medical Center (MSHA Class 39), Becky Tate, USA Physicians Group, Owen Bailey, USA Health (MSHA Class 22), Chris Jett, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital (MSHA Class 42), Ashton Creel Hennig, USA Resident (MSHA Class 50), Thad Phillips, USA Health (MSHA Class 33; MSHI, 2003)


There are as many as 10 of our alumni in leadership roles in various areas of USA Health in Mobile. They range from soon to be retiring Physicians Group CEO Becky Tate (MSHA Class 12) to Children’s & Women’s Hospital Administrator Chris Jett (MSHA Class 42) to newly named USA Health CEO Owen Bailey (MSHA Class 22).

“There is just a synergy in how UAB develops students and how USA develops leaders that works well together,” said Bailey. “We have UAB graduates that span four decades, from MSHA Class 12 to MSHA Class 50, as well as team members who have been promoted at USA for decades – the longevity of each are a testament to the program’s lasting excellence and our health system’s commitment to excellence.”

Childs Play 01FRONT ROW L/R: Kerri Bailey (OT, 1985) and Susan Jones (OT, 2004)
BACK ROW L/R: Keisha Patterson (OT, 2004), Brooke White (OT, 1991) and Rachel Ashcraft (OT, 2011)
Kerri Bailey (OT 1985) started Child’sPlay Therapy Center with her friend, Deborah Boswell, who was serving patients with speech pathology needs through her company, Professional Speech Services of Alabama. Bailey had served as an OT in a school setting for more than 14 years and had practiced as an OT for more than two decades.

In 2007, Child’sPlay began as two rooms of occupational therapy care inside adjacent to Boswell’s practice. Today, it consists of three full-size locations (Hoover, Chelsea, Huntsville), on-location care in public and private school systems, and early intervention services. These locations employ 16 UAB OT and PT graduates and frequently have aspiring or current UAB OT and PT students shadowing or working in clinical rotations.

“We have a student in one of our facilities almost daily,” Bailey said, “allowing students to shadow and train in our facility is part of giving back to the profession, we were all students at one point in time and without the investment in us by others, none of us would be where we are today.”

EW Motion 01 3EW Motion Team
FRONT ROW L/R: Leigh Ellen Cowart (PT, 2016); Caroline Faught (PE, 2015: KIN); Mike James (PE, 2008); Becca Lee (PT, 2014); and Hilary Young (PT, 2016)
BACK ROW L/R: Aaron Sherrill (PT, 2016); Stacey Gresham (PT, 2009); Katherine Stone (PT, 2009); Ally Edwards (PT, 2014); Ethan White (PT, 1993); Mike Eskridge (PT 1992: EDU 1989); Stacey Cole (PE, 2011); Allison Schmidt (PT, 2013: BME, 2010); Chris Pierson (PT, 2016); and Kendell Jno-Finn (PT, 2007)


The E (Mike Eskridge, UAB PT 1992) in EW Motion Therapy is a UAB PT alumnus. So is the W (Ethan White, UAB PT 1993). So are 13 other EW Motion Therapy physical therapists. And so are two PTAs and three members of the company’s fitness staff.

“For us, UAB PT is a slam-dunk because we know what we are getting – quality students and alumni who are well prepared and perform well,” said Jon Delk (UAB PT 1999), COO, EW Motion Therapy. “The culture of excellence at UAB transfers to our mission and philosophy.”

NMMC Group 01North Mississippi Medical Center
FRONT ROW L/R: Liz Dawson and Kim Tutor
BACK ROW L/R: Rob Rogers, Ellen Friloux, Philip Raper, French Forbes, T.J. Adams, Alison Allen Gilbert and Gerald Kimbrough


North Mississippi Medical Center has a long history of hiring and developing UAB SHP graduates and identifying high potential employees to become UAB SHP graduates. As a clinical rotation site for our PT students, a residency site for our MSHA students and an organization that supports employees through our Executive Master’s in Health Administration program – NMMC showcases their commitment to developing leaders and improving healthcare. Across our School, their reputation precedes them.

“I chose NMMC for my residency because of the culture of the organization,” said French Forbes, MSHA Class 50. “The employees are committed to bettering the lives of patients and the tenure of their careers within the organization is inspiring. Many alumni have been here for 15+ years.”

packhealth uma and maziMazi Rasulnia and Uma SrivastavaMazi Rasulnia refuses to do things the same way everyone else does just because everyone else is doing it.

Perfect example – health care.

Health care is basically designed for people with acute conditions in need of short-term treatment like injuries and illnesses.

Rasulnia designed his company, Pack Health, to care for people with any of 14 chronic conditions (long-term) like asthma, COPD, heart disease and diabetes.

He co-founded Pack Health with Will Wright in 2013, as more and more startup companies were focusing solely on digital solutions. Rasulnia and Wright decided to go less digital to provide an alternative to the growing trend of healthcare via an App.

Sylvia Young 01RTRichard Hammett (MSHA Class 27); Carolyn Myers (MSHA Class 48); Leslie Butts (MSHA Class 49); Sylvia Young (MSHA Class 19) and Ryan Simpson (MSHA Class 31)Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) – Continental Division/HealthONE is led by Sylvia Young, MSHA Class 19, a 32-year veteran of the organization. HCA, like UAB SHP, believes in developing leaders that will shape the future of health care.

Under Young’s leadership, the division has taken residents from the MSHA program, supported employees, including UAB SHP alumni, through the company’s leadership development program and invested time and resources in keeping talent to ensure a strong leadership pipeline.

UAB MSHA alums are currently running some of the largest hospitals in the division including Swedish Medical Center which is led by Richard Hammett, CEO, MSHA Class 27, and Ryan Simpson, COO, MSHA Class 31. Both Hammett and Simpson have served as mentors to residents during their time at the organization and after.

EnvisionKaren Kendrick (LVR, 2011)Karen Kendrick (LVR, 2011) is a visionary.

When she realized the options for collaboration and information sharing were scarce for low vision students and practitioners, she decided to change that. So Kendrick created a network that allows low vision specialists and students to share ideas and strategies, collaborate on projects and more.

When she realized that hardly any Low Vision practitioners accepted entry-level OT students, she decided to change that. The Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center, where she has worked since 2004, is in Wichita, Kansas – more than 800 miles away from Birmingham. However, she regularly accepts entry-level OT students from UAB.

“UAB is unique in the OT world because students spend an entire semester learning about low vision rehabilitation,” said Kendrick, who is primary occupational therapist for Envision. “Most universities do not dedicate this time so I find UAB OT students are better prepared for work in low vision rehabilitation.”

TherapySouthRTIn the early 1990s, Alan Spooner, PT, DPT (PT, 1999) spent a couple years at UAB causing people pain as a linebacker for the football team. Today, Spooner is still a member of a team loaded with Blazers – the TherapySouth team, which is home to more than 30 UAB alumni.

“You could easily say physical therapy is a team sport and that there is a team culture permeating across TherapySouth,” said Spooner, service director, TherapySouth Fultondale/Gardendale. “If a problem requires more thought or more assistance then we bring in the teammate who is best suited to help us reach our team goal.”

PT SolutionsRT“Culturally, PT Solutions’ mission of exceeding expectations and focus of providing therapists both a culture of advancing clinical care and personal growth has aligned historically well with the UAB PT program,” said Dale Yake (UAB MSPT 1992), founder and CEO of PT Solutions.

Yake, who was one of the 2016 UAB Excellence in Business winners, understands personal growth, professional development and exceeding expectations. He understands those three things do not live in the hearts of every physical therapist. He also understands those three things are not taught in every physical therapy program.

But most importantly, he understands those three things are found in the soul of UAB PT.

Champion Rehab East Glen Therapy Team HalloweenChampion Partners in Rehab is one of the largest contract therapy companies in Alabama, providing comprehensive rehabilitation (occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech language pathology) to patients in a variety of settings across the state. The company, co-founded in 1999 by Myra Bolton (OT, 1984), started as a handful of committed professionals and has now grown to more than 500 employees including Stacey Rhodes (OT, 2002), who leads as the Corporate Director of Operations.

Champion Partners in Rehab collaborates closely with the UAB SHP family by offering clinical rotation and shadowing sites for OT and PT students and hiring both recent and seasoned graduates.

Beth Whitehead HealthActionsRTBeth Whitehead (PT, 1972)Physical Therapy alumna and HealthActions co-founder Beth Whitehead (PT, 1972) says what she learned back then at UAB, is what is still taught on campus today: your education does not end when you finish school.

And since founding the company in 1981, Whitehead and HealthActions’ co-founder Debbie Powell have strived to develop themselves, their employees and their staff to be “their best” in all they do through continuing education that is available to everyone.

“We provide APTA membership to all licensed staff and our practice aligns with its vision and strategies,” said Whitehead. “Additionally, we maintain a learning environment that promotes ongoing mentorship as well as continued education opportunities in house and externally that promotes clinical skills, clinical reasoning and professionalism.”

The folders lining the shelves of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Histocompatibility Lab represent people — husbands and wives. Children and veterans. Mothers and fathers. Friends and strangers.

Divyank SainiDivyank SainiDivyank Saini There are no faces attached to the folders, but there are names. There are ages. And, there are stories. Stories of need, and stories of hope. The folders represent more than 3,500 Alabamians and others from the Deep South waiting for a transplant that will — at the least — improve their lives, and — at the most — save them.

For Divyank Saini, a UAB lab technologist and one of 17 employees who work behind the scenes at UAB Hospital to bring hope to those waiting on heart, lung, kidney, liver and other transplants, interpreting lab samples to see which folder would match which just was not quite enough. Earlier this year, Saini — known as Div by his colleagues — decided to donate a kidney to someone in need as part of the UAB Kidney Chain. The chain, which celebrates its three-year anniversary this December, has seen 67 patients receive a transplant since it began at UAB Hospital in 2013.