College hosts weekend for donors and alumni


Donors, alumni, College faculty and their families gathered at a tailgate on the Quad Saturday, Oct. 26.

The College of Community Health Sciences thanked its donors and alumni for their support with a weekend of festivities in late October, including a cocktail party and a University of Alabama football tailgate. 

The weekend  kicked off  with the semi-annual meeting Friday, Oct. 25, of the College’s Board of Visitors, a group of 33 volunteers, including  alumni, donors and other friends of the College, whose purpose is to assist the College in the development of relationships and partnerships with communities within Alabama and organizations at the state and national levels; strategic planning to advise the College on long-range planning; assisting the College in securing financial resources; and leadership to provide opportunities for medical students and residents.

The Board met at NorthRiver Yacht Club before joining a group of more than 100 donors, alumni and College faculty and staff for a cocktail party at Whispering Cliffs, a residence of board member Susan Austin-Warner, ScD, and her husband, Jack Warner.

The home, built in 1979 by Jack Warner, houses much of the Warners’ collection of early American art and set the stage to merge art and medicine at the annual party.

The next day, on Saturday, Oct. 26, donors, alumni, College faculty and their families gathered at a tailgate on The University of Alabama Quad in preparation for the Alabama versus Tennessee football game.

Dean Rick Streiffer, MD, commented on the weekend saying, “It was great fun, great content, great people, great discussion and great football!” 

Graduating medical students honored at convocation

Thirty-one medical students who completed their third and fourth years at the College were honored May 17 at Senior Convocation, which was held at the Hotel Capstone on The University of Alabama campus.

Emad Elsamadicy (left), Senior Class President, 2012-2013, Tuscaloosa Campus, poses with Lea Yerby, PhD, assistant professor in Community and Rural Medicine, after the Senior Convocation May 17.

Emad Elsamadicy (left), Senior Class President, 2012-2013, Tuscaloosa Campus, poses with Lea Yerby, PhD, assistant professor in Community and Rural Medicine, after the Senior Convocation May 17.

The College provides the last two years of clinical training for a portion of medical students enrolled at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, which is headquartered in Birmingham. The 31 students were among 169 who graduated from the School of Medicine during a ceremony in Birmingham on May 19.

Members of the College’s Class of 2013 were introduced at the convocation by Cathy Gresham, MD, the College’s associate dean for Medical Student Affairs, and Heather Taylor, MD, associate director of Medical Student Affairs. “I don’t think we could be prouder of a group of physicians we are sending out into the world,” Taylor said.

The convocation keynote address was given by Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox, who recalled that during the 2011 tornado that devastated the city, average citizens came together and helped one another. “The people we serve are often teaching us lessons that we can hold dear for the rest of our lives,” he said.  

 Awards were also presented:

Awards Given by Academic Departments

Robert F. Gloor Award in Community Medicine, for excellent performance in Community and Rural Medicine – Emad Elsamadicy, MD

Family Medicine Award, for excellence in Family Medicine – Jason Clemons, MD

William W. Winternitz Award in Internal Medicine, for outstanding achievement in Internal Medicine during the third and fourth year – Chris Rigell, MD      

Neurology Award, for outstanding academic and clinical performance during the Neurology Clerkship – Brooke Bell, MD

Pediatrics Recognition Award, for outstanding interest and ability in helping parents and their children reach their full personal, social and educational potential – Adam Scott, MD

Adolescent Medicine Recognition Award, for recognition of interest and skill in working with the adolescent population – Shaundra Harris Blakemore, MD

Peter Bryce Award in Psychiatry, for excellence exhibited by a medical student both academically and clinically during his/her Psychiatry Clerkship – Kevin Greer, MD, and Chris Rigell, MD

Finney / Akers Memorial Award in Obstetrics and Gynecology, for outstanding academic and clinical success in Obstetrics and Gynecology – Emad Elsamadicy, MD, and Krishna Shah, MD

Dr. William R. Shamblin Surgery Award, for the highest scholastic achievement during the third-year Surgery Clerkship – Jessica Grayson, MD, and Chris Rigell, MD

Glasgow-Rubin Citation for Academic Achievement, awarded by the American Medical Women’s Association to recognize female class members graduating in the top 10 percent of their class – Jessica Grayson, MD

Larry Mayes Memorial Award, for a rising senior to complete an international elective or an elective in an underserved area of this country – Brittney Anderson, MD

Student Research Award, to recognize the pursuit of one or more research projects leading to a presentation or publication during the clinical years of medical training – Kevin Greer, MD

Scholastic Achievement Award, for superior performance in the clinical curriculum – Chris Rigell, MD

William R. Willard Award, for outstanding contributions to the goals and mission of the College of Community Health Sciences as voted by the College faculty – Chris Rigell, MD

Magna Cum Laude – Jessica Grayson, MD, Chris Rigell, MD

Cum Laude – Kevin Greer, MD


Awards Given By Students

Faculty Recognition Award (Junior Year), for outstanding contributions to undergraduate medical education during students’ junior year – Heather Taylor, MD     

Patrick McCue Faculty Recognition Award (Senior Year), for outstanding contributions to medical education during students’ senior year – A. Robert Sheppard, MD

Resident Recognition Award, for outstanding contributions to undergraduate medical education – Maury Minton, MD

James H. Akers Memorial Award, for a graduating senior to recognize dedication to the art and science of medicine as voted on by the senior class – Chris Rigell, MD.

The Next Dr. Patch Adams – Adam Scott, MD

Most Hours Logged Sleeping in a Hospital – Jonny Kentros, MD

Most Likely to Skip a Mandatory Meeting – Osameude Osemwota, MD

Most Likely to See Your Patients Before You Did – Jessica Grayson, MD

The Super Style Award, for the student who always arrived well dressed and groomed – Brandy Milstead, MD, Katie Gates, MD, and Jason Clemons, MD

Medical Student Recipient of Rural Health Lecture Award

Daniel Partain, a third-year medical student, is the recipient of The University of Alabama Institute for Rural Health Research’s first annual William A. Curry, MD, Rural Health Lecture Award.

Partain is a student at The University of Alabama School of Medicine. He is completing his clinical training at the College. For the training of medical students, the College is a branch campus of the School of Medicine.

The award honors a third- or fourth-year medical student at the Tuscaloosa campus who demonstrates an academic interest in rural medicine and is engaged in rural research or scholarly activity in a rural setting. The award is designed to encourage medical students to pursue experiences in rural medicine.    

As part of the award, Partain spoke during a breakout session at the 14th Annual Rural Health Conference, The Weight of our Rural Communities: Partnering to Reduce Obesity, which will be held Feb. 20 at the University’s Ferguson Center Student Union. He will also receive a plaque and a $150 honorarium. 

This year’s Rural Health Conference ( focused on obesity and featured speakers in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and clinical aspects of obesity. Partain’s lecture was titled “The Obesity Epidemic in Fayette County, Alabama.”

Partain earned a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin. He is expected to complete his medical degree in 2014.

While a student at the University of Wisconsin, Partain completed a Senior Honors Research Thesis at the Carbone Cancer Center that focused on adults with Melanoma and children with Neuroblastoma. He also worked as a research assistant at the center, assisting with research in tumor microenvironment, immunotherapy and combined therapies with natural botanical products.

Partain is active in community service projects. He works with Hospice of West Alabama and previously provided health care at a student-operated free clinic to indigent patients in Birmingham, Ala. 

William Curry, MD, is a former dean of the College of Community Health Sciences and founder of the annual Rural Health Conference. He currently serves as associate dean of Rural and Primary Care and a professor of Internal Medicine at The University of Alabama School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham.

The annual Rural Health Conference is attended by health care professionals, community leaders, government officials and representatives of faith-based organizations who come together to hear from prominent speakers and share critical information and knowledge about health disparities that impact rural Alabama. 

On Rounds Celebrates Forty Years of the College

Celebrate forty years of the College of Community Health Sciences with this commemorative edition of On Rounds. On Rounds is a semiannual publication of The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences/School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa Campus. 

40th Anniversary of the College of Community Health Sciences

The College of  Community Health Sciences will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. All alumni are encouraged to visit us for an entire weekend of events on April 20th and 21st.