Derrick L. Miles, MSHA Class 34, was a wunderkind in the acute care world. By age 31, he was CEO in the Pavilion at Northwest Texas Healthcare System. However, his passion for his family, his drive for new opportunities and the unexpected loss of his cousin to sickle cell propelled Miles to pursue his dreams.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this came to life in order to provide UAB PT second-year students an opportunity to participate in providing physical therapy via telehealth.

Rocky and Amelia Barnes established the Barnes Family Endowed Scholarship. In a recent Q&A session, Rocky told us how he ended up at UAB, what advice he gives students today, and why he supports UAB PT: "I felt the need and obligation to give back to the program that has given so much to me."

"I want you to know that every day I think of you collectively and individually, as I know you are doing battle in the trenches every day and night without end. On the one hand, I feel proud because we know the stuff you are made of and we know your resilience, passion and dedication to your life’s work. On the other hand, I wish I could see and talk with you individually to assess your situation and provide whatever guidance and support I can.

Since I cannot, I want to express to you that we have faith in your dedication and we wish you well in the battle to conquer this equal opportunity destroyer! I want to assure you that we have confidence and faith in your ability to do so. Have faith, this too shall pass.

As always take care of your patients first, your staff second, your family and yourself, especially yourself. Let us hear from you and God Bless."

Howard W. Houser, PhD
Professor Emeritus
UAB Department of Health Services Administration