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Students/Faculty News Kevin Storr December 11, 2023

Eta Berner Jane Banaszak HollEta Berner with Jane Banaszak-HollThe Department of Health Services Administration mourns the recent passing of Eta S. Berner, Ed.D., University Professor Emeritus, who taught in the M.S. in Health Informatics program and served as director of UAB Center for Health Informatics for Patient Safety/Quality (CHIPS-Q).

Berner was a member of UAB faculty from 1986 until her retirement in 2022. Even in retirement, she continued to teach as an adjunct faculty member and conduct research as an investigator on grants.

Over the course of her UAB career, she held formal appointments in several units outside of the School of Health Professions including the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education, College of Arts and Sciences, Heersink School of Medicine, UAB Informatics Institute, and School of Public Health.

“Eta was a much-loved member of our department family – everyone was touched on a daily basis by her kindness,” said, Jane Banaszak-Holl, Ph.D., chair, Department of Health Services Administration. “We are truly grateful for every moment we shared with Eta, and we will miss her deeply.”

In 2020, she was awarded the Joseph F. Volker Award as the top faculty member in the School of Health Professions. And as an educator, Berner was always a forward thinker who was one of the first to embrace online teaching. In 2015, she was the first in the School of Health Professions to have an online course certified by Quality Matters. She was also the first ever at UAB to win the Provost’s Award for Transformative Online Courses – an award that recognizes those who “exemplify best practices and innovation in online education.”

Berner was a mentor to numerous students over her career. Whether serving as an advisor of a Capstone project or chairing a dissertation, she was known for being a tough audience. Even so, her students loved her and knew the extra effort she demanded was worth the results. Many students came back to UAB time and again to thank Berner for her impact on their careers.

A life-long scientist, Berner was dedicated to research and discovery. In 2016, she won the Excellence in Scholarship Award, which is awarded to the top researcher in SHP. Over her career, she produced more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, edited four books, delivered 50 invited presentations, and participated in or led nearly 50 extramurally funded activities.

Berner was recognized as a global industry leader having been named a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (1999), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (2006), and the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (2018 – 2019).

So many have reached out to ask how they can honor Dr. Berner. With the support of her family, the Department has set up an HI scholarship fund to accept gifts in her memory. As you know, she made a lasting impact on each student she taught and was a mentor to many over her career, so we feel a scholarship fund is a most fitting tribute.

Please click here if you wish to donate. Your generosity will ensure Dr. Berner continues to make a difference in the lives of HI students.

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