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Award Nomination Deadline

All alumni award nominations must be completed and submitted by Sunday, July 12 to be considered. 

HLAA Alumni Awards

We created the HLAA Alumni Awards to recognize singular individuals who characterize excellence, dedication and virtue as health care leaders. The winners are the best-of-the-best of 5,000+ graduates of the Department of Health Services Administration.

Established in 1965, our mission is to develop leaders to shape tomorrow’s health care. Our values include excellence, collaboration, respect, integrity, and diversity, equity & inclusion. These are also the values held by our HLAA members.

Alumnus/Alumna of the Year

The HLAA Alumnus/Alumna of the Year Award recognizes outstanding leadership by alumni of the HSA Department’s programs in all sectors and work settings. The honor reflects the breadth of our 5,000+ alumni working in medical group management, post-acute care, pharma, insurance, hospitals and health systems, academia, and more.

Qualifying candidates must be at least 10 years post degree or 10 years in senior management. They must also demonstrate outstanding leadership in their work, contribution to the field, participation in local/state/national health care organizations/associations, community service, and active support of UAB students and alumni. 

  • Winners
    • 2022 Dr. Nir Menachemi (PhD 2002)
    • 2021 John A. Kueven
    • 2019 Lori D. Moler
    • 2018 Sylvia S. Young
    • 2017 Gordon B. Ferguson
    • 2016 Teresa C. Shufflebarger
    • 2015 I. William Ferniany
    • 2014 Martin C. Nowak
    • 2013 Melissa M. Mancini
    • 2012 Vance M. Chunn
    • 2011 William T. Richardson
    • 2010 James R. Burkhart
    • 2009 Sandra B. Thurmond
    • 2008 Michael C. Tarwater
    • 2007 Otis L. Story, Sr.
    • 2006 John D. Church
    • 2005 Alfred G. Stubblefield
    • 2004 Larry S. Sanders
    • 2003 Michael D. Williams
    • 2002 Ronald S. Owen
    • 2001 Neeysa D. Biddle
    • 2000 Howard P. West
    • 1999 David L. Gray
    • 1998 Larry W. Throneberry
    • 1997 Michael E. Garrigan
    • 1995 James L. Decker
    • 1994 John N. Robbins
    • 1993 S. Robert Hernandez
    • 1992 Jesse O. Weatherly, III
    • 1990 Charles A. Faulkner
    • 1988 Gary M. Glasscock
    • 1987 I. William Ferniany
    • 1986 Jon E. Vice
    • 1985 Robert C. Chapman

Emerging Leader of the Year

The HLAA Emerging Leader of the Year Award recognizes outstanding leadership by alumni of the HSA Department in all sectors and work settings. The honor reflects the breadth of our 5,000+ alumni working in medical group management, post-acute care, pharma, insurance, hospitals and health systems, academia, and more.

Qualifying candidates must be at least five and less than ten years post degree. They must also demonstrate outstanding leadership in their work, contribution to the field, participation in local/state/national health care organizations/associations, community service, and active support of UAB students and alumni. 

  • Winners
    • 2022: Tallee Williams Taylor (MSHA Class 49)
    • 2021: Caroline Sarratt (MSHA Class 45)


The following honors are not annual awards, they are only delivered when an alumnus or alumna accomplishes significant achievements.

Unsung Hero Award

The Unsung Hero Award shows appreciation to alumni who instill pride in our Department and raise awareness in the field about what UAB HLAA members are accomplishing. This award will especially highlight the silent heroes who all too often go unrecognized and unsung. We wish to acknowledge how these individuals heighten the profile of their organizations, communities, and the HSA Department. This is an award that will inspire others to follow in the hero's path.

We are seeking evidence that a HLAA member is making the world a better place above and beyond what is required in any way that matters. Some examples include, but are not limited to community service, excellence in the workplace and other contributions to society.

  • Winners
    • 2022: Anisa Xhaja (MSHQS 2016)
    • 2021: Sarah M. Nafziger, MD (MSHA Class E53)

Inclusive Excellence Award

This award recognizes HLAA members who demonstrate leadership in the area of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency. We define diversity broadly to include issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and any other way that individuals or communities are excluded from the health system or experience disparities in that system.

The winners will demonstrate leadership and achieve measurable results in diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency in their organizations, community and/or the field. They will also actively engage in supporting UAB students and alumni individually, through the program, HLAA and/or Department. They must also demonstrate our Department’s values and a commitment to improving health and health care and creating organizations where all can thrive.

  • Winners
    • 2021: Jared M. Fitzpatrick (MSHA Class 48)