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Programs News Joseph H Huffstutler February 09, 2018

william featheringillWilliam W. Featheringill, a key contributor to Birmingham’s ascent as an internationally recognized center for health care, has been honored by one of his former companies with a UAB scholarship in his name.

The William W. Featheringill Scholarship in Health Informatics, established by his daughter Elizabeth Pharo, was endowed by SuccessEHS to honor Featheringill’s legacy as a visionary in health informatics.The endowment will support students in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsMaster of Science in Health Informatics program.

“My dad and I always thought it was unreal to have a school in Birmingham with the perfect graduates for our business and for years we relied on the UAB MSHI program graduates to fill positions with highly trained people that could help us be first to market with new health IT products,” said Elizabeth Pharo, daughter of William Featheringill and chair of Momentum Telecom. “I knew he would want to give back to the place that provided us people like Tiffani Collins – who is the solutions director at PointClear Solutions – and so many others that were perfect for the support we needed and who were a match for our company mission.”

”On behalf of the faculty, we are very grateful for this generous gift from the Featheringill family,” said Sue Feldman, director, Graduate Programs in Health Informatics. “We are committed to recruiting and educating students who will develop and use health informatics solutions to contribute to the greater good in healthcare and further the innovative thinking so evident by Mr. Featheringill.”

Featheringill, who passed away in 2012, was a Birmingham investor, a healthcare entrepreneur and an Alabama venture capitalist. As co-founder and president of Private Capital Corporation, he managed Complete Health, which became Alabama’s largest HMO under his leadership.

He chaired SuccessEHS, an electronic health record (EHR) and practice management company that is part of Greenway Health today, before he passed away. He also served as chair of Momentum Business Solutions; director of Southern Research Institute; managed Macess Corporation; and served on the boards of Altec Industries, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals and Citation Corporation.

It was Featheringill’s foresight in the area of EHRs and health informatics that led to this endowed scholarship for the UAB MSHI program.

The MSHI program, the only one of its kind in Alabama, produces graduates who understand how vital health information is to an organization in terms of expertise and workflow for caregivers and the organization, , as well as the potential impact– it can have on patient outcomes.

“This endowed scholarship will help us recruit the very best students to our nationally recognized MSHI program,” said Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., chair, UAB Department of Health Services Administration. “The Featheringill family’s generosity will enable UAB faculty to develop leaders who will shape tomorrow’s health care locally and around the world.”

Featheringill understood all of this better than anyone, so it is fitting that his name and his legacy are now part of a UAB endowment in the health informatics field.

“SuccessEHS was my dad’s final deal – he passed away suddenly while we were building the company – so this is all dedicated to him,” said Pharo. “All his life he wanted to create new applications for the people rather than the money – his passion was helping others and a scholarship in his name will help others for generations to come.”

The Featheringill Scholarship in Health Informatics will be awarded annually to a student in the MSHI program, which is housed in the Department of Health Services Administration, on the basis of merit as well as financial need. They must also have an overall 3.0 grade point average in course curricula. And in a nod to Featheringill’s inventiveness, the student must demonstrate academic promise and achievement in health informatics.

“I am glad UAB has a special place for health IT and it is an honor to have my dad’s name associated with an MSHI program that is producing high caliber graduates,” said Pharo. “There are so many opportunities for technology and automation in the industry to improve health care. My one hope is that together we can fix our broken healthcare system.”

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