June 8, 2021

Dr. Alan Blum, the Gerald Leon Wallace, M.D., Endowed Chair of Family Medicine for The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, was invited by The Lancet to provide commentary for an article about the rising toll of smoking worldwide. Blum is also director of the UA Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society. The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal. According to the Lancet article: “The number of smokers worldwide has increased to 1.1 billion in 2019, with tobacco smoking causing 7.7 million deaths. Of particular concern are the persistently high rates of smoking among young people, with over half of countries worldwide showing no progress in reducing smoking among 15-24 year olds.” In commentary he co-authored with Dr. Ransome Eke, faculty in the UA College of Human Environmental Sciences, Blum said the tobacco industry continues to survive and thrive. “And, like a mutating virus, it adapts to legislative and regulatory attempts to hinder the sale, promotion, and use of its products. …Any hope for ending the tobacco pandemic lies in the commitment of every health professional to make smoking prevention, smoking cessation, and relapse prevention a top priority.” Read the full commentary Here.

Dr. John McDonald was named chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences. McDonald, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at CCHS, has served as interim chair for the past year. McDonald is also a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist at University Medical Center, which is operated by CCHS, and has served as the College’s OB/GYN Clerkship director since 2008. He is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In addition to his academic and clinical positions, McDonald is also involved in the education and training of the College’s medical students, residents, and OB/GYN fellows. McDonald graduated from UA with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in tax accounting. He earned his medical degree at the UAB School of Medicine and completed residency training at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. “Dr. McDonald has been a role model to our faculty, students, patients and community. His tireless work ethic and dedication to the College and University have been remarkable. He has done an outstanding job in his interim role as department chair and no doubt will continue to do great work in this important department of our College,” said Dr. Richard Friend, dean of CCHS.