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The Sparkman Center for Global Health has had a busy couple of weeks with visitors coming from across the country and world! We have welcomed our guests working on studies in Kenya, both the Jamii Bora Study as well as the MOTIVATE Study. Aside from our staff at Sparkman – Dr. Turan and Anna Helova – and UAB doctoral students Liza Kimbo and Pam Musoke – we welcomed Dr. Lynae Darbes, Associate Professor in the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities and Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences from the University of Michigan and Co-Principal Investigator for the Jamii Bora Study. We are also expecting Dr. Zachary Kwena, Site Principal Investigator with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), at the end of October. We also welcomed Dr. Leslie McClure, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Drexel University; Kevin Owuor, Statistician and Evaluations Advisor for the Centre for Health Solutions (CHS) in Nairobi, Kenya; and Dr. Lisa Abuogi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado - Denver. Dr. Maricianah Onono, Medical Doctor and Research Scientist with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and University of California, San Francisco and Dr. Peter Memiah, Assistant Professor in Public Health at the University of West Florida are also working with these groups.  

What are these studies?

What is the Jamii Bora Study? The purpose of the study is to develop and pilot-test a home-based intervention to facilitate safe HIV testing and disclosure within pregnant couples in order to increase use of prevention-of-mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) and family health services in Kenya. Jamii Bora is Swahili for Better Community. Click here to read more: http://www.uab.edu/sparkmancenter/news/367-new-r01-grant.

What is the MOTIVATE Study? The MOTher Infant Visit Adherence & Treatment Engagement Study seeks evidence-based strategies to promote women’s adherence to ART and retention of mothers and their babies in PMTCT care continuum. It is rigorously testing two evidence-based interventions community mentor mothers & personalized mobile text messaging to maximize ART adherence and retention in care. Here is a MOTIVATE Study presentation made by our visitor Mr. Kevin Owuor.



Pictured above from left to right are Dr. Lynae Darbes, Anna Helova, Pam Musoke, Liza Kimbo, and Dr. Janet Turan. This group of women have been working on the Jamii Bora Study.



Pictured above from left to right are Dr. Janet Turan, Dr. Lisa Abuogi, Dr. Leslie McClure, and Kevin Owuor. They are visitors for the MOTIVATE Study.



Pictured above is Dr. Leslie McClure during her seminar of "Design and Analysis of Cluster Randomized Trials".



Pictured above is Kevin Owuor during his seminar of MOTIVATE Study as seen in the links included.



Pictured above is Dr. Lisa Abuogi during her seminar of "Finding what works: Implementing Science and Capacity Building to Optimize HIV Care in Kenya".




November 5, 2018

Time of departure to SIFAT:

7:30 a.m.

Directions to SIFAT

Transportation and lunch will be provided on behalf of the SOPH Undergraduate Education office and the Sparkman Center for Global Health.

Time of arrival back to UAB:

No later than 6:30 p.m.

2018 SIFAT Day Trip


At this time, registration for the Fall 2018 SIFAT Day trip has closed. Thank you. 

The UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health’s Interim Director, Dr. Janet Turan and the Center’s Director of Caribbean Programs, Dr. Henna Budhwani visited Saint Lucia in September 2018 to support a two-day workshop on Tailored Motivational Interviewing (TMI) designed to improve rates of disclosure of high-risk behaviors (e.g., unprotected sex, sex work, etc.) in HIV and STI clinical settings across the island. Dr. Sylvie Naar, Endowed Distinguished Professor at Florida State University College of Medicine, developed the training. Mr. Maurice Bulls, with Behavior Change Consulting, facilitated the workshop with Dr. Naar.

Who attended the workshop?

Attendees included representatives of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Saint Lucia Ministry of Health, Saint Lucia Bureau of Education, AIDS Action Foundation, United and Strong, and Saint Lucia HIV and STI testing clinics.

2018 Sept St. Lucia 3

Pictured Above are Dr. Turan, Dr. Budhwani, and Dr. Naar with TMI trainees

What is TMI?

TMI is an evidence-informed intervention that rages from brief single sessions to multiple sessions delivered at a public space, medical clinic, office, or client’s home. TMI is based on Motivational Interviewing (MI), in which there is a collaborative and more conversational style of communication for strengthening a person’s (patient’s) own motivations and commitment to change or guiding a person to change, rather than directing him or her. In our implementation, TMI is tailored to target behaviors relevant to HIV prevention and care in high-risk populations considering cultural contexts unique to Caribbean settings. The TMI toolkit includes tools, procedures, materials to support intervention delivery and worksheets for each of the seven modules. These seven modules include:

            -Module 1 - Introduction

            -Module 2 - MI Spirit

            -Module 3 - Managing Counter Change Talk and Discord

            -Module 4 - Recognizing and Reinforcing Change Talk

            -Module 5 - Eliciting Change Talk

            -Module 6 - MI Processes

            -Module 7 - Implementation

Workshop participants attended an initial TMI 2-day training workshop; a select group of participants will complete four individual coaching session by phone or via Skype over the upcoming three months. Ongoing fidelity using the Coach Rating Scale will be monitored.

Reference: Naar, S., Cahil, S. (Ed.), Goldhammer, H. (Ed.), Marc, L. (Ed.), Keuroghlian, A. (Ed.) Tailored Motivational Interviewing An Implementation Toolkit. Behavior Change Consulting; 2018.


This workshop was supported by the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health, Florida State University, and the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition.

More information

The Tailored Motivational Interview Implementation Toolkit can be found here.

2018 Sept St. Lucia 2

Pictured Above are Dr. Budhwani, Dr. Naar, and Dr. Turan. They facilitated TMI training sessions while in Saint Lucia. 


2018 Sept St. Lucia 2

Pictured Above is Dr. Sylvie Naar facilitating one of the modules from the toolkit. 

Sparkman Center Program Director, Anna Helova, Visits Panama

A group of UAB faculty, staff and Anna Helova traveled to Panama City and Chitre, Panama from August 19-24, 2018. The visiting colleagues included:

        -Dr. Suzanne Austin, Senior Vice Provost & Senior International Officer

        -Dr. Lisa McCormick, Office of Public Health Practice, School of Public Health

        -Dr. Majd Zayzafoon, Assistant Provost, International Affairs, School of Medicine

        -Ms. Meena Nabavi, Office of Public Health Practice, School of Public Health

During this visit Anna Helova and the others met with University of South Florida (USF) Health Office – Dr. Arlene Calvo and Ms. Aracely Quintero – to facilitate future programs for UAB Students including the UAB Faculty-Led trip to Panama and Exploring Population Health for Summer 2019. Other future plans include research and internship opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, facilitated by the Sparkman Center for Global Health. For more details on PUH 496/696 view information below. 


The UAB colleagues visited historically and culturally significant sites, urban and rural communities, and community-based organizations. They also visited health care centers, hospitals, and schools to help better understand the community needs, learn the historical and contemporary public health issues, and how public health systems are working to solve the health issues affecting Panama today. Listed below are the different sites and locations visited by the team.


Old Town Panama  Panama City (old town)

Panama 1 Remedios Elementary School in Chitre, Panama

City of KnowledgeCiudad del Saber (City of Knowledge) located across from the Panama Canal from the Pacific side


Panama 10Chitre Ministry of Health

Panama 4Las Mananitas Health Center

Panama 13Hospital el Vigia in Chitre, Panama