A young student wearing a UAB mask is holding a phone with the COVID-19 tracker app open.

During this global public health crisis, the UAB School of Public Health (SOPH) is striving to continue its mission: to make positive and lasting change in the public’s health. Faculty have participated in media interviews answering critical questions around coronavirus related to their areas of expertise. Investigators are exploring scientific aspects of the pandemic and have formed research working groups to increase efficiency and interdisciplinary collaboration. Others are working on important issues in the community, such as locally relevant disease modeling, guidance and training, and community support. We invite you to read more about what the UAB School of Public Health has been doing during the COVID-19 outbreak here.

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Forecasting the Epidemic

SOPH faculty are leading the development of locally relevant disease modeling.

  • From March, 2020 - August, 2021, Drs. Andrew Rucks and W. Jack Duncan created graphs that plotted the daily then weekly path of COVID-19 in Alabama and Jefferson County (home of UAB). These graphs show the total number of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations on any given date. The data were extracted from the ADPH Dashboard.

    View the Alabama and Jefferson County Daily COVID-19 Path

  • Dr. Suzanne Judd developed a Jefferson County COVID-19 community-based disease outbreak model and provided it to the JCDH.
  • Dr. Jerry McGwin has developed a model for the UAB Health System to predict the trajectory and characteristics of COVID-19 patients to aid in UAB's personnel and resource management and planning. In addition, he has developed a model to predict the trajectory and characteristics of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals in Jefferson County and in the state of Alabama to aid in resource management and planning. This work has been done in collaboration with Drs. Emily Levitan and Russell Griffin. Drs. McGwin and Griffin are also in charge of COVID-19 analytics for the UAB Health System. The forecast is subject to change as the model is updated with new data. The models are based on the observed trajectory to date as well as the trajectories in other parts of the world.

 

COVID-19 Roundtable

Every week, a large group of SOPH Faculty and Staff meet on Fridays for the COVID-19 Roundtable Meeting. These meetings include COVID-19 forecasting updates, important news as well as relevant presentations by faculty and staff from both within the SOPH as well as UAB Medicine or other units on campus. View the Roundtable meeting archive here.

 

SOPH in the Media

CBS 42

Alabama respiratory therapist compares healthy lungs versus COVID-19 infected lungs
SOPH Expert: Russell Griffin

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WalletHub

2021's States that Vaccinate the Most
SOPH Expert: Henna Budhwani

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Reckon

‘There are no microchips’: What to do about delta, kids, vaccines and misinformation
SOPH Expert: Henna Budhwani

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AL.com

Amid virus surge, rising vaccination rates offer hope
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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WHNT

WATCH: UAB offers new way of looking at COVID-19 vaccine by examining past shots for diseases
SOPH Expert: Dean Paul Erwin

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Los Angeles Times

With Delta surging, America is dangerously divided over vaccines
SOPH Expert: Henna Budhwani

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AL.com

Different politics, same doubts: Why African Americans and conservatives in Alabama have low vaccination rates
SOPH Expert: Henna Budhwani

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MPR News

The latest on COVID-19 and the delta variant
SOPH Expert: Bertha Hidalgo

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The Atlantic

The Threat of an Unvaccinated South
SOPH Expert: Henna Budhwani

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Yahoo Finance

‘Likelihood of reaching herd immunity at this point is fairly low’: Epidemiologist
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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Fox News

Alabama closes COVID vaccine sites as state demand plateaus
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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VnExpress

Not time yet for Vietnam to 'live with' Covid: experts
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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Yahoo Finance

We’re a good 18 months away before there’s enough vaccine to stop COVID-19’s worldwide spread
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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Yahoo Finance

June 10th is when 'we’re going to know what happens from all these people getting together'
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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CBS 42

WATCH: UAB professor addresses COVID-19 vaccine safety, efficacy
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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AL.com

Will incentives help boost COVID-19 vaccines in Alabama?
SOPH Expert: Bertha Hidalgo

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Yahoo Finance

It’s ‘good to lift’ COVID-19 restrictions right now: UAB Epidemiologist
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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WZDX

Health experts say Alabama could reach 'normality' as early as June
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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Alabama Newscenter

Health officer of Alabama’s largest county says COVID-19 war rages on

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Yahoo Finance

A big hit to the vaccine campaign": Doctor on Johnson & Johnson's vaccine delivery plunge
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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Forbes

‘Psilocybin Service Centers’ In Oregon Will Explore And Exploit The Therapeutic ‘Magic’ Of Magic Mushrooms
SOPH Expert: Peter S. Hendricks

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Visit the SOPH in the Media archive

 

Articles and Manuscripts

View All COVID-19 Academic Publications

 

What has the SOPH been doing during the COVID-19 outbreak?

In the Community

""SOPH faculty are serving as a sounding board/think tank for the Jefferson County Department of Health: 

SOPH Faculty are providing evidence-based decision making and guidance regarding orders for isolation, quarantine, sheltering in place, testing, etc. These efforts include Dean Paul Erwin and Drs. Suzanne Judd, Lisa McCormick, and Kevin Fontaine. Students will be assisting JCDH in doing COVID-19 contact tracing and disease reporting.

""SOPH faculty are leading the development of locally relevant disease modeling:

Dr. Pia Sen and colleagues used socio-demographic-economic data at the Census Tract level as well as public insurance data to rank all Alabama Census Tracts based on estimated COVID-19 risk, illustrating risk distribution across the state, for the four most populous Alabama counties, and for the city of Greater Birmingham. Estimates of the population at-risk in each county and the number of people who may require hospitalization under different hypothesized infection rates were computed and compared to the number of hospital beds available in each county. Results were shared with Jefferson County Department of Health and Alabama Medicaid.

""We are partnering with agencies to provide online guidance and training:

We have led in partnering with the Birmingham Housing Authority (BHA), providing a two-hour webinar on communicating about COVID-19 to BHA residents (Drs. Shauntice Allen and Faith Fletcher, with additional facilitation by Maria White and Chris Simma). Additional webinars — broadcast/streamed live through Facebook – are being planned for other vulnerable populations.

Dr. Lisa McCormick and Elena Kidd, MPH, developed a training module in partnership with JCDH, Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency, and the Alabama Fire College. Narrated by Meena Nabavi, MPH, it targets those volunteering to keep critical infrastructure in place, including those volunteering in homeless shelters and for meal service providers that are engaging in emergency feeding operations across our community. This training, “COVID-19 Volunteer Safety Training,” is accessible online through Alabama Fire College Online Courses. Anyone can access the training, but you must first create an account. You cannot view this course as a guest.

""We are pursuing scientific investigation:

Dr. Paul Muntner and the Office of Research have formed working groups to brainstorm lines of COVID-19 scientific inquiry. Groups were tasked with identifying public health research needs and assembling teams and strategies to meet those needs. Working groups were organized according to the Social-Ecological Model in order to address pressing public health research questions across the spectrum: from the genetics and genomics of the virus and psychological responses to ‘stay at home’ messaging to the analysis of patterns in Twitter data related to COVID-19. The UAB Institutional Review Board for Human Use (IRB) is reviewing and approving early studies and at least two research proposals have been submitted for extramural funding. All SOPH faculty, staff, and students are invited to join the weekly COVID-19 Virtual Journal Club to discuss seminal COVID-19 findings and stay abreast of the latest scientific developments.

Hear the SOPH Panel Discussion on COVID-19 Research

In the School

Dean Erwin has been providing a weekly video and e-mail for all SOPH faculty, staff, and students, summarizing new information on the outbreak, communications from the Provost’s and President’s offices, UAB policies, etc. This video is a synopsis of the COVID-19 Round Table meeting of leadership in the SOPH, which takes place every Friday at 11:00 a.m.

SOPH has held two Town Hall gatherings for our students via Zoom. The first focused on tips for successfully transitioning to online learning. The second was an open forum to hear students’ perceptions of communication and support from the school. At both Town Halls students have provided valuable feedback and innovative ideas for how we can support them during this time. In particular, students have pushed us to increase visibility of the positive things they are doing during the pandemic and to make a special effort to celebrate graduating students.

Weeks before the transition to online learning, we began preparing faculty with a series of frequency asked questions (FAQs) and tips on best practices in online education. Additional expert consultants have been added to the Instructional Design Group to support faculty, and eLearning presented a tailored webinar on best practices to more than 20 of our faculty recently. Many faculty have incorporated new pedagogical approaches in their courses and have redesigned assignments to focus on connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and their course content.

The School’s Emergency Management Team met daily for one week, every other day the next week, and now meets weekly. Chaired by Paul Wolf, it reviews communications received and sent, new/changing policies, activities with JCDH and ADPH, updates/changes to our Continuity of Operations Plan, and other matters related to COVID-19.

 

Videos

ARC IPC: COVID-19 in Children, Podcast with Dr. David Kimberlin
September 23, 2021

About: Standard Precautions and Beyond: Conversations in Infection Prevention and Control. Dr. David Kimberlin, Professor and Co-Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, joined the podcast to discuss COVID-19 in pediatric patients, how to keep children safe from the Delta variant and to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines for children.

ARC IPC: COVID Insights from Alabama, Seminar with Dr. Rachael Lee
September 1, 2021

About: This seminar is hosted by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control Training and Technical Assistance (ARC IPC). Rachael Lee, M.D., MSPH, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and healthcare epidemiologist for the UAB Health System, will be sharing insights on the state of COVID in Alabama, including vaccination rates and vaccine hesitancy, current trends in hospitalizations and deaths, and current variants. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of presentation.

OPHP Seminar: The Impacts of COVID-19 on the Homeless Population
November 5, 2020

About: Ms. Carrie Leland, Executive Director at Pathways: A Woman's Way Home, presents on the mission and work of Pathways Home, a United Way agency that provides a range of services for homeless women and children. She shares challenges and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as discuss how the pandemic has impacted future planning and service delivery.

Moderated by: The Office of Public Health Practice, School of Public Health

OPHP Seminar: The State of COVID-19 in Alabama
September 3, 2020

About: The number of coronavirus cases reported in the United States topped 5 million on August 9, 2020. This tally had doubled since late June and, as of August 10th, accounts for approximately a quarter of all cases reported worldwide.

Moderated by: The Office of Public Health Practice, School of Public Health

COVID-19'S Impact on Food and Shelter Insecurity
May 11, 2020

Panelists include:

  • Amanda Storey, Executive Director of Jones Valley Teaching Farm
  • Carrie Leland, Executive Director of Pathways: A Woman's Way Home

Moderated by: Shauntice Allen, PhD, and Faith E. Fletcher, PhD.

COVID-19's Impact on Women: A Conversation with Medical and Public Health Experts
April 27, 2020

Panelists include:

  • Zoe Julian, M.D., MPH, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UAB School of Medicine
  • Tamera Coyne-Beasley, M.D., MPH, Division Director of Adolescent Medicine, UAB School of Medicine

Moderated by: Shauntice Allen, PhD, and Faith E. Fletcher, PhD.

COVID-19's Impact on the Black Community: A Conversation with Health Experts and Faith Leaders
April 6, 2020

Panelists include:

  • Rev. Dr. Christopher Hamlin, Tabernacle Baptist Church, UAB 1917 Clinic
  • Dr. Thomas Beavers, New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church
  • Dontrelle Young-Foster, Housing Authority of the Birmingham District
  • Dr. Selwyn M. Vickers, Dean of the UAB School of Medicine

Moderated by: Shauntice Allen, PhD, and Faith E. Fletcher, PhD.

SOPH Coronavirus Panel Discussion with Experts from JCDH and UAB
February 7, 2020

Wesley G. Willeford, Medical Director of Disease Control at the Jefferson County Department of Health and an infectious disease physician, provides an update on the 2019 Coronavirus while Jianming "James" Tang, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, UAB Schools of Medicine and Public Health, presents Racing Against Time to Save Health Workers in the 2019-nCoV Front Lines.