Coordinator of UA-Pickens County Partnership joins College

May 31, 2016

Wilamena Hopkins has joined the College of Community Health Sciences as the project coordinator for the UA-Pickens County Partnership, an effort that seeks to provide sustainable health care for the rural county and “real world” training for UA students. The partnership of UA and Pickens County and its medical center will allow students in medicine, nursing, social work, psychology, health education and other UA disciplines to gain practice from internships and other learning opportunities in Pickens County, and the rural county will gain additional health resources. Hopkins will be located primarily in Pickens County at its medical center and will direct and facilitate overall development, oversight implementation and administration for the project and serve as a liaison into the community and promote the partnership and its projects to the people of Pickens County and the UA community. Approximately $600,000 was obtained from the Alabama Legislature in 2015 for the project, and the funds will be used for projects that address health needs in Pickens County, for fellows to serve in health-related capacities in Pickens County and for the project coordinator. Four recent UA graduates have been selected for a one-year fellowship that will provide opportunities to serve in health-related capacities in Pickens County. The projects that address an identifiable health issue or priority within the Pickens County community must involve UA faculty, students and a Pickens County community organization or similar entity. The grant projects include: 1. Disseminating the Power PATH mental health preventive intervention to Pickens County Community Action Head Start Program Principal Investigator: Dr. Caroline Boxmeyer, associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at CCHS Co PIs: Dr. Ansley Gilpin, assistant professor of psychology at UA, and Dr. Jason DeCaro, associate professor of anthropology Collaboration: Pickens County Community Action Head Start Program 2. TelePlay: Connecting physicians, families and autism professionals to increase early autism identification in Pickens County PI: Dr. Lea Yerby, assistant professor of Community and Rural Medicine at CCHS Co PIs: Dr. Angela Barber, assistant professor of Communicative Disorders and the clinical research director of Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic at UA Collaboration: Dr. Julia Boothe, family medicine physician in Pickens County 3. Improving Pickens County Residents’ Knowledge of Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes PI: Dr. Michele Montgomery, assistant professor at the Capstone College of Nursing Co PI:  Dr. Paige Johnson, assistant professor at the Capstone College of Nursing Collaboration: Pickens County Community Action Committee & CDC, Inc., Pickens County Board of Education, Pickens County Head Start, and the Diabetes Coalition 4. Development of a Rural Family Medicine Residency in Pickens County PI: Dr. Richard Friend, director of the College’s Family Medicine Residency Collaboration: Jim Marshall, CEO of Pickens County Medical Center; Deborah Tucker, CEO of Whatley Health Services 5. Pickens County Medical-Legal Partnership for the Elderly PI: Gaines B. Brake, staff attorney with the Elder Law Clinic at The University of Alabama School of Law Collaboration: Jim Marshall, CEO of Pickens County Medical Center 6. Improving Access to Cardiac Rehabilitation Services in Pickens County PI: Dr. Avani Shah, assistant professor of Social Work at UA Co PI: Dr. Jonathan Wingo, associate professor of Kinesiology at UA Collaboration: Sharon Crawford Wester, RRT, Cardiopulmonary Rehab Pickens County Medical Center 7. Alabama Literacy Project PI: Carol A. Donovan, professor of special education and multiple abilities at UA Collaboration: Jamie Chapman, Superintendent of Pickens County Schools 8. Bringing Healthy Food options and ease of preparation home to our senior adults PI: Jennifer Anderson, director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UA Co PI: Suzanne Henson, dietitian and assistant professor in Family Medicine at CCHS Collaboration: Anne Jones, Pickens County Family Center and Mayor Joe Lancaster, City of Carrollton, Alabama