College faculty selected as fellow for Academic Leadership Development Program

Dr. Caroline Boxmeyer

Dr. Caroline Boxmeyer, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the College, was selected as a fellow for the 2017-2018 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program.

The fellowship program is an opportunity for faculty to prepare for advanced academic leadership roles within the SEC and beyond. The program brings together faculty fellows from each SEC campus to provide higher-education specific leadership and management training.

“I feel fortunate to have been selected for this program, which will allow me to interface with academic leaders from across the SEC and to learn the ins and outs of effective leadership in higher education,” said Boxmeyer.

The 2017-2018 program will take place at two different SEC campuses in the fall and spring, and will consist of three-day workshops focused on developing academic management skills. Through this program, Boxmeyer will also participate in The University of Alabama’s 2017-2018 class of Leadership University. She said she looks forward to bringing back new knowledge and skills to the College.

Graduating medical students celebrated at College convocation

Twenty-nine graduating medical students were honored at Senior Convocation, hosted by the College of Community Health Sciences May 19 at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Now physicians, the students are beginning their residency training in programs across 17 states.

The University of Alabama School of Medicine students completed their third and fourth years of clinical education at the College, which also functions as the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus for the School of Medicine. All students spend their first two years of medical school at the School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham, and then receive their clinical education at either the Birmingham campus or one of the regional campuses – Tuscaloosa, Huntsville and Montgomery.

The Tuscaloosa Regional Campus students also received awards at the Convocation from faculty, clinical staff and their peers. Scholarships were also presented.

On Saturday, May 20, the students joined their 158 classmates for commencement in Birmingham.


Awards given at Convocation:

Department and College Awards:
Robert F. Gloor Award in Community Medicine
Dr. Jessica Powell
Awarded for excellent performance in Community and Rural Medicine

William Owings Award in Family Medicine
Dr. Jessica Powell
Awarded for excellence in Family Medicine

Recognition of Rural Medical Scholars

Drs. Daniel Stanley, Scott Thomas, Jessica Powell, Amanda Turner Shaw and Caitlin Tidwell
Family/Rural Medicine Preceptor’s Award
Dr. Larry Skelton
Awarded annually to a community preceptor in Family Medicine/Community and Rural Medicine who exemplifies excellent teaching and role modeling for students.

William Winternitz Award in Internal Medicine
Dr. Steve Allon
Awarded for outstanding achievement in Internal Medicine during the third and fourth years. This student possesses an exceptional wealth of knowledge, is able to integrate the pathology of disease with the physiology of clinical skills, and practices with empathy, compassion and a desire to improve the patients with whom he or she comes in contact.

Neurology Award
Dr. Scott Thomas
Awarded for outstanding academic and clinical performance during the Neurology Clerkship.

Pediatrics Recognition Award
Dr. Maria Gulas
Awarded for outstanding interest, ability and the reflection of pleasure in helping parents and their children reach their full personal, social and educational potential.

Peter Bryce Award in Psychiatry
Dr. Caitlin Tidwell
Awarded for excellence exhibited by a medical student both academically and clinically during his/her Psychiatry Clerkship. This award is presented in honor of Dr. Peter Bryce, who was appointed the first superintendent of Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa. He and his wife, Ellen Clarkson Bryce, were cornerstones for Tuscaloosa society and tenacious advocates for people who experience mental illness.

Finney/Akers Memorial Award in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Chelsea Turgeon
Awarded to a student achieving outstanding academic and clinical success in Obstetrics and Gynecology. This award is presented in honor of former medical students James H. Akers and Teresa K. Finney.

William R. Shamblin, MD, Surgery Award
Dr. Julia Stiegler
Awarded to a student with the highest scholastic achievement during his or her third-year Surgery Clerkship. Dr. William R. Shamblin, a Tuscaloosa native and former Chair of the Department of Surgery, spent years educating medical students and Family Medicine residents. This award continues in his honor.

Interprofessional Excellence Award
Dr. Scott Thomas
This award recognizes the medical student who has best demonstrated excellence in communication skills, respect for staff and patients, and a commitment to working as an effective member of the health care team.

Larry Mayes Research Society Scholars
Drs. Chelsea Turgeon and Andrew Watson

Official Fellow Members:
Drs. Danielle Fincher, Caroline Watson, Reaves Crabtree, Julia Stiegler and Roshmi Bhattacharya

Student Research Award
Dr. Jessica Powell
Recognition of the pursuit of one or more research projects leading to a presentation or publication during the clinical years of medical training.

Scholastic Achievement Award
Dr. Caroline Kennemer
Awarded for superior performance in the clinical curriculum.

William R. Willard Award
Dr. Danielle Fincher

Established by the Bank of Moundville, this award is presented for outstanding contributions to the goals and mission of the College of Community Health Sciences as voted by the College faculty.


Faculty, Resident and Student Awards as determined by the graduating class
Faculty Recognition Award
Dr. Joseph Wallace
Awarded for outstanding contributions to undergraduate medical education during students’ junior year.

Community Preceptor Heroes Award
Drs. Bradley Bilton, Julia Boothe, Scott Boyken, Scott Davidson, Charles Gross, William Lenahan, Quinton Mathews and JD Shugrue
Awarded to community preceptors for outstanding contributions to undergraduate medical education.

Patrick McCue Award
Dr. A. Robert Sheppard
Awarded for outstanding contributions to undergraduate medical education during students’ senior year.

Resident Recognition Award
Dr. Blake DeWitt
Awarded for outstanding contributions to medical education.

James H. Akers Memorial Award
Dr. Nathan Sherrer
Awarded to a graduating senior for dedication to the art and science of medicine.


College Scholarships
Dr. Benjamin Collins Maxwell Endowed Scholarship
Dr. Ben Lee
Dr. Benjamin Collins Maxwell was a pioneer in Family Medicine practice who trained many Tuscaloosa medical students and family medicine residents in his practice in Atmore, Alabama. He was renowned for the degree of interest, patience and compassion he had for his patients. This scholarship was endowed by Dr. David and Mrs. Regina Maxwell to honor the legacy of Dr. Maxwell and of all primary care physicians, and to support the Rural Medical Scholars Program and academic excellence within the College of Community Health Sciences. Priority is given to graduating medical students who plan to practice rural primary care in Alabama, with a special consideration for students from Escambia County and the Rural Medical Scholars Program.

Reese Phifer, Jr., Memorial Foundation Scholarship in CCHS
Dr. Jessica Powell
The Reese Phifer Jr. Memorial Foundation Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually to promote the education of medical students at the College of Community Health Sciences/University of Alabama School of Medicine-Tuscaloosa Regional Campus. The Foundation was established by Mr. and Mrs. Reese Phifer in 1967 in memory of their son J. Reese Phifer, Jr., a student at The University of Alabama who died in 1964. The Foundation established the scholarship fund in 2014. Priority is given to current fourth-year medical students who intend to complete their residency at The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency, which the college operates, and who have an interest in spending part of their residency training in Fayette, Alabama.

Robert E. Pieroni, MD, and Family Endowed Scholarship
Dr. Danielle Fincher
The Robert E. Pieroni, MD, and Family Endowed Scholarship was established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert Pieroni to support medical students intending to enter primary care.

Rural Medical Scholars recognized at convocation

Ten students who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities were recognized April 23 at a convocation for the Rural Medical Scholars Program, which is operated by the College of Community Health Sciences.

The program is exclusively for rural Alabama students and includes a year of study, after students receive their undergraduate degree, that leads to a master’s degree in Rural Community Health and early admission to the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Rural medical Scholars spend the first two years of medical school at the School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham and then return to the College for their final two years of clinical education. The 10 graduates begin medical school this summer.

“Our mission is to produce physicians for rural Alabama who are leaders in their communities,” said Dr. John Wheat, founder and director of the Rural Medical Scholars Program.

State Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville, Alabama, a former chair of the Senate Health Committee, provided the keynote address. He stressed to the student how important they will be to the communities where they will one day practice.

“In addition to providing medical services, a rural physician opens economic opportunities for communities. You can’t put a value on a rural physician, it means everything. You provide life to a community.”

Also during the convocation, the Rural Medical Scholars Program Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. Nathan Smith, who served as an assistant dean for Students and Admissions at the School of Medicine for many years and who is now a professor and vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry there.

“Rural is close to my heart,” he said, noting that he was raised in Rockledge, Alabama. “Of all that I did as assistant dean of admissions, I am most proud of my involvement with the Rural Medical Scholars Program, and I am grateful for all that has been accomplished through these programs.”

Emily Sutton, a junior at UA majoring in Biology who has participated in other Rural Pipeline programs, received the Rural Alabama Health Alliance Student Award. “I love this program – its mission and purpose. I’m thankful for the program investing in me.”

Partners of the Rural Medical Scholars Program were also recognized: Dr. Charles Nash, vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the UA System; Dr. James Jackson, professor emeritus of Education in Medicine in the Department of Medical Education at the School of Medicine; and the Alabama Farmer’s Federation Women’s Leadership Division.

The convocation was held at the Hotel Capstone on the UA campus.

Graduating Rural Medical Scholars:

  • Veronica Coleman of Butler
  • Rebecca England of Demopolis
  • Andrew Seth Griffin of Centre
  • Jessica Luker of Camden
  • Dustin Marshall of Coaling
  • Colby James of Empire
  • Brionna McMeans of Fort Deposit
  • Johnny Pate, Jr. of Moundville
  • Madison Peoples of Hamilton
  • Madilyn Tomaso of Barnwell

McKinney to advise student group

Dr. Robert McKinney, assistant professor of Social Work for the College, was tapped as the faculty advisor for the Carl A. Elliott Society, a student-led, community service based organization at UA that works to better society through social justice and community service.

The Elliott Society is named in honor of the late Carl Atwood Elliott, a former UA Student Government Association president who later became an Alabama congressman in the US House of Representatives. His political principles were based on assisting the needy, racial tolerance and educational opportunities. His efforts in Congress focused on education and he co-authored The Library Services Act of 1956 and the National Defense Education Act of 1958.

Avery honored by medical association

Dr. Dan Avery, director of Medical Student Recruitment and Scholarship for the College and a professor of Community Medicine and Population Health, received a Distinguished Service Award from the Medical Association of the State of Alabama earlier this month.

Avery received the honor for his work with MASA’s Council on Medical Education Committee. The council reviews, evaluates and approves hospitals and other health care institutions in Alabama to provide continuing medical education courses and credits.

At the College, Avery also serves as medical director and medical review officer for the Laboratory and X-ray Department at University Medical Center, which the College operates. He is professor and division chief of Pathology, and is medical director for the College’s Institute for Rural Health Research. He is a professor and former chair of the College’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Weida completes fellowship, elected to Council on Medical Education

Dr. Jane Weida, associate professor of Family Medicine for the College and associate director of its Family Medicine Residency, completed a fellowship with the National Institute for Program Director Development in March. The fellowship is awarded by the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors.

As part of the program, fellows engage with and learn from seasoned program directors and family medicine educators and leaders. The NIPDD fellowship model seeks to enhance knowledge and skills and to mentor fellows to become effective residency directors.

In addition, Weida was elected the District 7 representative to the Council on Medical Education. The council recommends educational policies to the American Medical Association House of Delegates, and recommends to the AMA Board of Trustees the appointment of representatives to medical education organization, accrediting bodies and certification boards.

The Council on Medical Education focuses on issues and initiatives related to undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, continuing medical education and professional development.

Payne-Foster receives UA scholar award

Dr. Pamela Payne-Foster, associate professor of Community Medicine and Population Health for the College, received a 2017 Distinguished Community-Engaged Scholar Award from UA’s Council on Community-Based Partnerships.

Each spring semester, the council recognizes students, faculty, staff and their community partners for excellence in community-based research. The Distinguished Community-Engaged Scholar Award recognizes a faculty member, student and community partner for public service and engagement efforts that have improved the quality of life in Alabama over an extended period.

Payne-Foster, who is also deputy director of the College’s Institute for Rural Health Research, was the faculty recipient. The student recipient was Joon Yea Lee, a doctoral student in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, and Dr. Billy Kirkpatrick, executive director of West Alabama AIDS Outreach, was the community partner recipient.

Payne-Foster studies the spread of HIV in the South. Her current research focuses on developing an anti-stigma curriculum for African-American churches in rural Alabama. She hopes her work will educate congregations about HIV/AIDS and reduce the stigma around the disease.

Chief residents named for 2017-18 academic year

Three resident physicians in the College’s Family Medicine Residency were selected chief residents for the 2017-2018 academic year. They are Drs. Steven Kelton, Brianna Kendrick and Natalie Kuijpers.

Residency Director Dr. Richard Friend says the three have demonstrated academic and clinical excellence as well as an ability to work well with team members. They were selected by their peers.

The College’s residency is a three-year program that provides specialized training in the discipline of family medicine. The residency is the second largest family medicine residency in the nation and one of the oldest.

Kelton received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He earned a master’s degree in Adolescent Education from D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York. He earned his medical degree from the Medical University of the Americas in Nevis, West Indies.

Kendrick received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Louisville in Kentucky. She completed medical school at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Pikeville.

Kuijpers received her bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, Canada, and a degree in X-ray technology from Eastern Ontario School of X-ray Technology. She earned her medical degree from St. George’s University in Granada, West Indies.

The three will replace current chief residents Drs. Shawanda Agnew, Carrie Coxwell and Blake DeWitt.

Geno, Robinson selected for emerging leaders fellowships

Dr. Ed Geno, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the College of Community Health Sciences, and Dr. Cecil Robinson, an associate professor and director of Learning Resources and Evaluation for the College, were among faculty chosen nationwide for the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine’s Emerging Leaders Class of 2018.

The competitive STFM fellowship provides training, tools and support to new faculty and those transitioning to leadership roles. During the yearlong fellowship, participants take on leadership roles and connect with accomplished leaders who share tips on motivating others and handling difficult people and situations. Participants also lead a team in completion of a leadership project and present the results at the 2018 STFM Annual Spring Conference.

Geno, works with the College’s family medicine residents in minor surgery and hospital medicine. He attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine and completed residencies in general surgery and family medicine at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans. He also taught in the Ochsner Family Medicine Residency.

Geno has practiced obstetrics as well as minor procedures and clinic and hospital medicine. He serves as a national advisory faculty member for the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics.

Robinson works with undergraduate and graduate medical educators and administrators at the College to examine, assess and improve educational practices, processes and outcomes. He also works to advance interprofessional education among health faculty and professionals at UA.

Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a doctorate in educational psychology certificate in cognitive science from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Robinson previously was an associate professor of educational psychology for the Department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling at UA’s College of Education.

Longtime College supporter honored for contributions to community

Madeleine Hill, a longtime supporter of the College of Community Health Sciences and an alumna of UA’s School of Social Work, was honored at the 2017 Central Alabama Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon earlier this month.

Hill received the Karen LaMaoreaux Bryan Lifetime Achievement Award during the luncheon, held at the Harbert Center in Birmingham. The Women of Distinction Awards are presented to honor women who have made special contributions to their communities through civic, academic or professional efforts and who are exemplary role models for girls and young women.

Hill and her husband, Dr. William Winternitz, an internist and longtime CCHS faculty member, provided a significant gift to the College for a Geriatrics initiative that provided the initiative for establishing a Geriatric Fellowship at CCHS.

“There is an acute need for any viable medical school to address the surge in (the aging) population that we are experiencing,” Hill said at the time. She and her husband said they hoped their contribution would help the College create awareness about the need for the study of Geriatrics to deal with the distinct issues of older adults, and to promote care of their health. They also expressed hope that their efforts would help the College, which also functions as a regional campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, attract future medical students and resident physicians interested in practicing Geriatrics.

Hill has a degree from Huntingdon College and a Master’s in Policy and Planning from The University of Alabama School of Social Work. She has served as a consultant to United Way of West Alabama and Tuscaloosa City Schools.

She helped establish Hospice of West Alabama, one of the first hospices in the state. She also served as the executive director of West Alabama AIDS outreach.

Hill was the founding president of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity and was a founding member of Tuscaloosa’s One Place board of directors. She was named a Pillar of West Alabama by the Community Foundation of West Alabama, and she received the Howard Gundy Award for Exceptional Service to the School of Social Work by The University of Alabama.