Rodgerick Williams SHP 2017 Alumni Service AwardRodgerick Williams, alumnus of the Department of Health Services Administration’s Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management program and Master of Science in Health Administration (Executive), is the winner of the 2017 UAB School of Health Professions’ Alumni Service Award.

The award is given annually to SHP alumni who demonstrate continuing extraordinary service. Williams has done this regularly to UAB as well as the local, state and national level.

“Service is essential to health care leadership and Rodgerick exemplifies service in everything he does,” said Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., chair, Department of Health Services Administration. “He is a great role model for current and future students.”

Most recently, Williams was asked to be an advisory committee member for the recently created UAB Academy for Addressing Health Disparities through Health Care Leadership, a two-week program dedicated to increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of students in graduate level health care management education and leadership. But Williams went beyond his role as an advisor and taught classes at the academy. He also went beyond his role as a teacher and took the students on a daylong tour exploring Birmingham’s underserved areas to help the students see first-hand and better understand the health problems and obstacles facing these communities.

"Healthcare should be preventive and start before a patient seeks care at a hospital," said Rodgerick Williams, Division Director at Community Health Systems. "Opportunities to provide healthcare are available throughout the community; and in order to improve healthcare for the populations we serve, we have be forward thinking and be reflective of the populations we serve so we can understand their needs."

Williams serving in Key WestWilliams serving in Key WestIn 2017, after Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, caused catastrophic damage to Florida, Williams travelled to Key West to help. Williams and a colleague verified which medical equipment was safe and functional for use at the Lower Keys Medical Center. He also spent time in the Key West community helping the many people who were impacted by the hurricane that caused approximately $6.5 billion in property damage across the U.S.

In 2008, Williams moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and began working for Community Health Systems (CHS), and in 2011, he moved to Gadsden and was promoted to Division Director for CHS. In 2017, his office was transferred to Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham. Today he supervises daily activities for Biomedical Electronics Technicians at 70 hospitals and their related clinics in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia. He also assists with the 35 hospitals and their associated clinics in Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

While his career takes him across the southeast and beyond, Williams remains loyal to his commitment to his community. Since 2014, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Gadsden and Etowah County. He also serves on the board of Thirteenth Place, Inc., a Gadsden non-profit that provides shelter for youth in homeless crisis situations.

Williams is also loyal to his roots in west central Alabama. He and his wife created Organization ARAP, which stands for Against Racism Aggression and Poverty. Their non-profit organization works to give back to his childhood community of Eutaw, Alabama, in Greene County. He has organized a bike drive at Christmas time for children in need and is in the process of planning a fruit tree orchard and a community garden to promote healthier food choices.

Williams is partnering with the Greene County Extension Office and the CDC with childhood obesity reduction initiatives for the funding for the fruit tree orchard and a drip irrigation system.

“We have voices in health care positions, where many times the underserved do not have a voice. It is up to us as health care leaders to lead the community to better healthy choices,” said Williams. “Some say kids won't eat healthy and they won't get off the electronics and engage in physical activities, but we have proven that if you plant fruit trees and provide bicycles, the children will ride their bicycles and eat fresh fruit from the fruit trees we plant."

The School of Health Professions has delivered this award annually since 2014. Williams is the first alum of the Department of Health Services Administration to win the honor. His extraordinary service to UAB as well as the local, state and national level is an inspiration to all.