The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

1 week ago

Alabama-created GuideSafe partners with Pathcheck and National Key Server in global fight against COVID-19

(UAB/Contributed)

COVID-19 is a global problem but three major pieces of technology – the GuideSafe app, the Pathcheck platform and the National Key Server – are now the world’s “triple threat” for preventing exposure to and the spread of the disease.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham on Nov. 19 announced its partnership with the PathCheck Foundation, founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to include the university’s anonymous and encrypted COVID-19 exposure verification technology created for GuideSafe in PathCheck’s own exposure notification app. The partnership will enable other states and countries to best leverage the Google Apple Exposure Notification app as the nation and world continue to develop tools for tackling the pandemic.

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“Several states have expressed interest in using the verification technology we developed as part of our GuideSafe multitool platform through the PathCheck platform, and we are delighted to be able to provide this exposure verification technology to help make it easier for other states to resolve problems we have already solved,” said Sue Feldman, professor and director of graduate programs in health informatics at UAB. “Our hope is that this is just the beginning of the expansion of the use of the UAB-created technology, and that it will be available to everyone very soon.”

GuideSafe – a multitool platform developed by a team of experts at UAB to combat COVID-19 – launched its exposure notification app in Alabama in August. To date, more than 150,000 Alabamians have downloaded the app with a total of 375 positive COVID-19 notifications generated statewide.

PathCheck’s platform has been adopted for official apps in five U.S. states and territories, and three nations. PathCheck will work with jurisdictions to provide UAB’s verification code innovation.

The intellectual property for these innovations is being offered by UAB nonexclusively to other states, and more are anticipated to join soon.

“We are excited to bring UAB’s innovation to other states and countries as we seek ways to help us all navigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ramesh Raskar, associate professor of Media Arts and Sciences, director of the Program on Distributed and Private Machine Learning at MIT and founder of the PathCheck Foundation.

PathCheck Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization working to build digital solutions for public health through open source software, standards and public health programs that help contain the pandemic, restart the economy and protect individual freedom and privacy.

Releasing the GuideSafe exposure verification technology to PathCheck will have a direct benefit on Alabamians, said Brian Rivers, associate vice president and chief technology officer at UAB.

“By allowing other states to use the verification technology, if Alabamians who utilize the GuideSafe app are exposed to people from other states who are also using the PathCheck app, that exposure notification would work in those cases and both parties would be notified,” Rivers said. “You don’t have to have both apps on your phone. If you’re an Alabamian, all you need is the GuideSafe app.”

Considering that PathCheck has already been adopted by five states, other territories and countries, this partnership – in which UAB offers the verification intellectual property nonexclusively to others – helps PathCheck to work more broadly to provide a more streamlined method of exposure verification that does not involve human intervention.

Supported by federal coronavirus relief funding, the GuideSafe Exposure Notification App was built by UAB with support from Birmingham-based MotionMobs in active collaboration with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and integrating Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System.

The technology protects personal privacy and data while anonymously alerting a user of possible exposure to someone who later tests positive for COVID-19. GuideSafe app notifications can arm users with information needed to quarantine or seek testing and treatment – all while guarding user privacy.

For more information and a list of GuideSafe Exposure Notification App-specific FAQ’s, visit guidesafe.org.

GuideSafe meshes with National Key Server for better protection

Beginning today, every Alabamian using the GuideSafe app for ongoing COVID-19 exposure and monitoring received an extra layer of protection as the app synchronized with the Association of Public Health Laboratories National Key Server.

By connecting with the National Key Server, the GuideSafe app will be able to download codes or “keys” from all other states with an exposure notification app on the National Key Server. It will enable GuideSafe users to continually benefit from exposure notifications as they travel across state lines to other states that have connected their technology to the National Key Server.

“Many states rolled out their own exposure notification app with keys on multiple, unlinked servers by state agencies, which made it difficult to send exposures for interactions between individuals using apps from different states,” UAB’s Feldman said. “This interoperability gap was solved by the APHL’s creation of a National Key Server. It will allow more streamlined interoperability of exposure notifications between the Alabama Department of Public Health and other state agencies, creating a tremendous benefit to GuideSafe app adopters.”

GuideSafe participates in Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification System (ENS)​, and the APHL helps deliver that groundbreaking technology to public health agencies across the United States. An essential element of exposure notifications is a unified digital language for communication, or exposure notification “keys.” Rather than having each state and territorial public health agency bear the burden of building and hosting its own key server, a national key server, hosted by APHL on the Microsoft Azure Cloud, securely hosts the keys of those affected users. This enables exposure notifications throughout the country by ensuring that users can find out when they may have been exposed by users from other states.

“The ability to connect to the National Key Server is yet another remarkable achievement to help guide, protect and inform the people of Alabama,” said Dr. Karen Landers, district medical officer for the ADPH. “The free GuideSafe app gives anyone with a smartphone the power to inform ourselves and those around us of potential exposure to COVID-19 safely and securely. To be able to do this now while traveling to the District of Columbia and 12 other states – with more states to come as more are added to the national server – gives each one of us who use GuideSafe additional information, which means it gives each of us as individuals additional power as we continue to navigate this pandemic.”

When someone downloads the GuideSafe app and then tests positive for COVID-19, they can upload their positive test through the app, which then notifies the ADPH. Subsequently, if you were within 6 feet of a person for 15 minutes or more who tested positive – and that person reports their positive test to the app – the ADPH will notify you through the GuideSafe app that you have had a potential exposure. By connecting to the National Key Server, that notification is now extended beyond Alabama.

“The beauty of the app is that it knows to alert you because it exchanged keys with the now-infected person, who also downloaded the app and reported his or her positive case,” Rivers said. “Now that GuideSafe is connected to the National Key Server, it can exchange these keys with other Google and Apple exposure notification technologies created by other states that are also connected to the server so that those who may have been exposed to the virus find out as quickly – and securely – as possible.”

Alabama was an early adopter of exposure notification technology. The Alabama Department of Public Health tapped UAB to design an exposure notification app as part of Gov. Kay Ivey’s efforts to provide a robust platform of COVID-19 testing, symptom monitoring and exposure. Ivey directed $30 million of federal relief money for the initiative, and GuideSafe was among the first exposure notification technologies available in the United States when it launched Aug. 17.

“We are excited for Alabamians that we have proactively created this tool, GuideSafe, that puts us on the front end of helping people confidently regain mobility across states in our nation,” said Rajesh Pillai, director of Identity and Access Management and Integrations Enterprise at UAB and key collaborator from the university with the APHL. “If we are following evidence-based pandemic health protocols that we know work – masking, maintaining social distance, washing hands frequently – and utilizing GuideSafe, it should give us an extra element of confidence as individuals. And if we are notified by the app that we have a potential exposure, it gives us vital information that enables us as citizens to act in a responsible manner and protect our immediate community.”

For more information and a list of GuideSafe Exposure Notification App-specific FAQs, see guidesafe.org.

This story originally appeared on the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s UAB News website.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

1 month ago

Anthony Fauci, Kathleen Neuzil address UAB’s virtual COVID-19 Research Symposium

(White House/Flickr, University of Maryland School of Medicine, YHN)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, one of the world’s most influential research scientists and advocates in vaccine development and policy, delivered keynote addresses to more than 2,000 trainees, faculty, staff and invited guests today as part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s virtual COVID-19 Research Symposium.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave the symposium’s kickoff keynote address where he was welcomed and introduced by “my good friend, Mike Saag” (UAB professor and infectious diseases researcher Michael Saag, M.D.), whom he thanked for the invitation to speak to the university. Fauci spoke for almost 20 minutes on the public health and scientific challenges of the historic COVID-19 pandemic and what is next – which he hopes is a vaccine candidate in the very near future.

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“I can predict, I believe with some degree of certainty, that by the end of November to the beginning of December, we will know – based on the size of the trial and rate of infections that are ongoing in this country – if we will have a safe and effective vaccine,” Fauci said. “I feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a safe and effective vaccine even though you can never make absolute predictions when it comes to vaccinology.”

Neuzil, director for the Center for Vaccine Development and professor in the departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, concluded the symposium with a second keynote address highlighting the work on national COVID-19 vaccines.

Neuzil noted in her talk that “UAB has been a major player” in vaccine trial design and execution due to the leadership role played by UAB faculty in groups including the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium and HIV Prevention Trials Network.

“The fact that two prominent national leaders such as Dr. Fauci and Dr. Neuzil were keynote speakers at the UAB COVID-19 Research Symposium speaks not only to the importance and timeliness of the topic but also to the critical role that UAB is playing in the effort to combat this pandemic,” said Christopher Brown, Ph.D., vice president for Research at UAB.

UAB is involved in more than a dozen clinical trials testing potential therapies for COVID-19. Numerous research projects have been funded in part by the Urgent COVID Research Fund, a philanthropic support fund established in late spring. UAB launched a second round of urgent, high-impact COVID-19 research funding in August. A list of 22 clinical trials UAB is currently involved in is available at Clinicaltrials.gov. UAB also has been part of the development of remdesivir, along with the NIH, and tested a COVID-19 vaccine candidate created by Altimmune Inc., in which the preclinical data recently showed effectiveness.

The COVID-19 Research Symposium highlighted SARS-CoV-2 research and clinical trials, including global vaccine development, basic science surrounding COVID-19, therapeutics and population health. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Moderators and presenters throughout the day included Frances Lund, Ph.D., Charles H. McCauley Professor and Chair in the Department of Microbiology; Paul Goepfert, M.D., director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic and professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases; Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., director in the Division of Infectious Diseases; Nathan Erdmann, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases; Sixto Leal, M.D., Ph.D, director of Clinical Microbiology, Fungal Reference Laboratory, and assistant professor in the Department of Pathology; Kent Keyser, Ph.D., associate vice president for Research; Kevin Harrod, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine; Steven Rowe, M.D., director of the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center; Andrew B. Crouse, Ph.D., director of Research and Operations at the Institute for Precision Medicine; Mona Fouad, M.D., senior associate dean of Diversity and Inclusion; and Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine at UAB and dean of the School of Medicine.

The symposium was open to all trainees, faculty and staff at UAB and special guests by invitation.

Organizers of the conference were Tika Benveniste, Ph.D., senior vice dean for Basic Sciences; Matt Might, Ph.D., director of the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute; Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., director in the Division of Infectious Diseases; and Kent Keyser, Ph.D., associate vice president for Research.

This story originally appeared on the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s UAB News website

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 months ago

Jock Allen, NHRA mechanic who inspired many during COVID-19 battle, discharged from UAB Hospital

(UAB/Contributed)

Ervin “Jock” Allen spent 32 days at UAB Hospital battling COVID-19, including 24 of those days on a ventilator. Today, Allen breathes on his own. And he went home this week to continue his recovery.

The 28-year-old Jasper native is lead technician for Steve Johnson Racing, a Birmingham-based National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) team. Allen has captured the spirits of many people in Alabama and beyond sincd he was admitted to the hospital in May. His mother, Candace Allen, a health care worker, was admitted to the hospital prior to her son after contracting COVID-19. She died May 18. Allen’s sister (also a health care worker), brother and fiancée also tested positive but have since recovered.

“When I get home, I just want to get outside and feel some fresh air,” he said. “It’s been a scary, happy and sad experience all at once. It’s a blessing that I get to walk out of here and start my new journey.”

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With Allen’s permission, Johnson has been chronicling his teammate’s journey on the Steve Johnson Racing Team Facebook page. Allen has developed a legion of fans and supporters in the motor-sports community and beyond. A GoFundMe page was set up to help with the family’s expenses as they battled COVID-19. A JockStrong.com webpage complete with #JockStrong branded T-shirts and masks also was established to help the family.

Allen spent a large portion of his time at UAB in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). It is there where the sickest COVID-19 patients are treated and where the majority are on ventilators.

“Less than 10 percent of all patients who have to be put on a ventilator end up staying on it more than 21 days,” said James Stout, director of Quality Assurance and Patient Safety in UAB’s Special Care Unit. “What we have seen here on UAB’s COVID-19 unit with Jock is an extremely well-educated super team inside the Medical Intensive Care Unit performing miracles. Then they transition the patient to us so we can help them wean off the ventilator. It’s an incredible achievement to see a patient who has fought for so long be able to leave here and go home and continue their recovery.”

After Allen was admitted to UAB, he was medically paralyzed for several days, as nurses frequently flipped him over to help get oxygen into his blood. He was in shock early in his treatment. When he was finally able to come off the ventilator, Allen required a tracheotomy while his lungs were healing. He was weaned off the ventilator in the Special Care Unit, where he spent 10 days recovering before the tracheotomy tube was removed.

“He was in the ICU for about three weeks and very sick for a couple of those weeks,” said Dr. Tracey Luckhardt, a UAB School of Medicine pulmonary critical care physician and director of the Special Care Unit. “Once he finally turned the corner and his lungs started healing from the coronavirus infection, he’s done really well. He’s been getting very aggressive physical therapy, and occupational therapy has done amazing with him. He’s had a very remarkable recovery.”

It is not lost on Allen that he initially thought COVID-19 was dangerous only for older adults, particularly those with other health problems. Allen hopes the severity of his illness will make other younger adults take the coronavirus more seriously. He is encouraging others to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands frequently.

“I was that guy who didn’t think I could get it this bad. I even told my boss when this first started happening that the people who were getting it bad were elderly people,” Allen said. “I had no previous health problems. I don’t smoke. I have a drink maybe once a month. I was completely healthy. But I’m here. I’m young. And I just didn’t think young people can get it this bad, but you can. It’s very real and eye-opening.

“I don’t remember a lot of what happened while I was here, but I do know the staff at UAB took really good care of me,” he said. “I can remember being calmed down by a nurse when I was scared in the ICU a couple of times. Then they told me when I first got in (the special care unit) they were going to push me, so be ready. And they did. They always came by and checked on me. They were great.”

For UAB’s staff in the MICU, Special Care Unit and other critical care areas, watching Allen leave the hospital healthy lifted their spirits.

“Our critical care staff, especially in the MICU, have been working so hard for the past three months,” Luckhardt said. “We’ve had a lot of really sick patients –way more than we are used to dealing with. These patients take a long time to get better. There are a lot of setbacks. When we have a patient who gets better and is able to leave the hospital, that’s a huge win for us. It feels good for the team, and we really need to rally around those wins because it’s been a long three months with some really sick patients.”

This story originally appeared on the UAB News website.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

8 months ago

Mask reprocessing: How one Alabama hospital works to conserve PPE through coronavirus crisis

(UAB/Contributed, YHN)

Medical and administrative leaders within University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital gathered in early March to address what — at the time — seemed like more than an imminent threat. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion.

Some personal protective equipment, or PPE, was going to run out, and it was going to run out fast.

N95 respirators, face shields, gowns, gloves and other supplies were a concern. Seven weeks later, the unease is still very real even though the surge in novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, patients in central Alabama and at UAB Hospital has not been as overwhelming as feared. The fact is that personal protection equipment was in short supply well before the world was turned upside down by the spread of COVID-19.

And it still is.

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One of the biggest supply concerns at UAB and hospitals beyond has been and continues to be N95 respirators, a protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles — critical protection for health care workers treating patients with COVID-19.

After two weeks of discussion and simulations that began at the beginning of March, UAB has adopted and is currently implementing three different sterilization strategies to reprocess N95s. The strategies include V-PRO sterilization, bioquell hydrogen peroxide machine decontamination and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation.

“These are unusual times for all health care workers across the nation. We’re facing a pandemic, and we don’t have the supplies available to care for these patients,” said Rachael Lee, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB School of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases and the hospital’s health care epidemiologist. “Every hospital is looking at ways to safely reprocess their respirators so that we can protect our health care workers and provide the care we need to provide to these patients. What we’re doing has the best available evidence with it and research behind it, and I feel confident that what we’re doing is the right pathway until we can get a steady stream of N95s coming back into the system.”

When will that happen? According to Laura Kowalczyk, vice president of Supply Chain Services for UAB Medicine, replenishing the supply of N95 respirators and some other equipment is going to be a struggle that will stretch over a period of months.

“Our challenges aren’t on the horizon. They are now. And what we need is no different from that of our peers around the country,” Kowalczyk said. “Nationally we are all struggling. It’s certainly going to continue to be an issue for us, and we anticipate its being an ongoing issue well into the summer and early fall.”

That is why the N95 reprocessing strategies enacted at UAB are vital. They are helping to extend use of N95s and have, for now, kept the hospital from running out of masks at an accelerated rate.

Since the hospital began the three decontamination techniques March 21, more than 8,000 N95 respirators have been reprocessed for use multiple times. N95s can potentially be reprocessed and reused up to 10 times, as long as they continue to hold their seal to the face.

“Our health care providers write their names on their N95s, and after units are done using them, they are collected and sent to a processing area where they go through the sterilization process,” said Frank Sortino, a UAB Medicine administrator and a leader in the N95 decontamination efforts. “As long as the mask continues to fit their face properly and securely, they can wear them. Our health care providers know to look for any defects. If there are defects, the provider can throw the mask away and get a new one.”

The V-PRO technique has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Research at Duke University and the University of Nebraska proved the efficacy of the bioquell and UV techniques.

“All of these processes decontaminate or sterilize the masks, and there is no coronavirus on them,” Lee said. “The biggest concern we have is to make sure the mask still works as a respirator after the decontamination process is complete. That’s where we’re being careful, in making sure the masks continue to fit to the face and that we can continue to use them. As we’re flattening the curve, the hope is that we will be able to open up and get back to business as usual; but there is a concern we will continue to see patients with COVID-19. Based on that, we have to be prepared. Talking to our logistics team, it sounds like those N95 masks are going to continue to be delayed coming into our health care system. We’re going to have to be able to extend our supply as much as we possibly can. We will likely continue this into the foreseeable future until we have a steady supply of N95 respirators.”

(Courtesy of UAB)

8 months ago

Nurses on the frontlines of coronavirus pandemic find new ways to care for patients, families

(UAB/Contributed, YHN)

Shelby Roberts, a registered nurse in UAB Hospital at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, recently saw a patient on her medical intensive care unit fighting to live, and struggling to do so.

The patient’s family wanted to be by their loved one’s bedside, but it just was not possible. Not in these times, when a novel coronavirus we know as COVID-19 prevents even medical caregivers from providing care in a way they are accustomed to. Unfortunately, it also demands that family members do what they could never imagine doing when a loved one is battling to live — be at home.

So Roberts, one of the nurses who has been caring for the most critically ill COVID-19 patients in UAB Hospital’s Medical Intensive Care Unit — and dressed head to toe in her personal protective equipment — grabbed her phone.

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Roberts put the phone in a plastic bag, went into the patient’s room and called the patient’s immediate family. They merged in more family to the call.

And then, they sang.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound …

“I just held the phone up near her ear so she could listen, and I held her hand,” Roberts said. “She wasn’t really coherent, and the whole thing was just so sad. These patients are so sick, and their loved ones can’t be there with them in their time of need. We are trying to provide comfort, and that’s been hard, because we are not able to be with them as much as we would like to be. But, still, we can be there, and it is rewarding to be with these patients when nobody else can be.”

While the frontline nurses acknowledge the physical and emotional challenges they have faced thus far caring for COVID-19-positive patients during this coronavirus pandemic, Roberts and two of her UAB nursing colleagues — Jake Perkins and Taylor Floyd — all say they could not see themselves doing anything else.

“This is something I feel like I was called to do,” said Floyd, a nurse on the internal medicine unit taking care of acutely ill, or less critical, COVID-19-positive patients. “Our patients battling this, they have a lot of fear of the unknown. Their family members do, too; but in speaking with them, they just have a lot of appreciation. They really appreciate all we are doing, and we appreciate the patience they have with us.”

When asked if this situation was similar to other infectious disease patients he has had to care for, the only comparison Perkins said he would begin to compare it with would be caring for tuberculosis patients, another highly infectious disease risk for health care workers. Caring for TB patients requires a high use of personal protective equipment, just as with COVID-19 patients.

But Perkins, a 2018 graduate of UAB’s School of Nursing, may care for one or at the most two TB patients at any given time. UAB Hospital has had more than 46 patients under investigation for or hospitalized with COVID-19 every day since March 24, including highs of 136 in March and 118 in April. More than half of those diagnosed with COVID-19 have typically required ICU care. Some patients who have been under investigation for COVID-19 also require ICU care before their diagnosis is known.

“It’s a challenge because the rules change every day as more is learned about this,” Perkins said. “I’m working with people who have been nurses for more than 20 years, and they’re learning. We’re all in the same boat, because there is no familiarity with it. It’s like being a new nurse. But I could not ask for a better staff to do this with. We are helping and supporting each other and learning together.”

The nurses all say the community support they have received through the Meals for Heroes program, notes of encouragement from area children, the artwork provided by UAB Arts in Medicine and other acts have been uplifting and appreciated.

“The fact that people have felt so appreciative when, truly, I’m just coming in to do my job, it has really made a difference,” Floyd said. “We have friends, family members, other units in the hospital and then the people we don’t know who have reached out and sent food and goodie bags, and we’ve seen the messages on the sidewalks. It’s all very rewarding and makes it — I’m not going to say worth it because there are a lot of things that make it worth it, but it does make you feel appreciated.”

As far as being hailed heroes for their work, Perkins appreciates the sentiments but says he is hesitant to embrace the title. After all, he is taking care of patients — and that is what he wants to do.

“This is all I could see myself doing, so as far as the health care hero label, I’m not sure,” he said. “I think it’s hard to know the difference we’re making right now. All I can think about is how hard it is for these patients to be here alone, and how my voice, my face, is the only contact they are going to get for a long time.

“A lot of the time in our critical care unit setting, patients may not always be able to understand what’s going on, and before all this happened, just the touch or the voice of a family member or a loved one is enough to settle someone that may not be coherent. So I don’t know that the term ‘hero’ makes that feeling come to mind, but that’s when I’ve felt the most heroic I think is what I’m trying to say — when I have been able to have that moment with the patient that is longing for a loved one or someone to be there with them.”

Watch:

(Courtesy of UAB)

2 years ago

UAB ranked No. 1 young university in the U.S.

(UAB)

The University of Alabama at Birmingham[uab.edu] has been ranked the top young university in the United States and No. 10 worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2018 Young University Rankings.

Times Higher Education’s university rankings are among the world’s most comprehensive, balanced and trusted — a vital resource trusted by academics, students, their families, industry and governments globally.

“This prestigious recognition directly reflects the dedication and hard work that our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community supporters have contributed to build tremendous, growing momentum in every pillar of our mission in less than 50 short years,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “I celebrate and share this tremendous honor with everyone in the UAB community, as well as with those who came before us and built the strong foundation from which we continue to effect positive, global change.”

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The full rankings are available online [timeshighereducation.com].

Times Higher Education ranked 250 institutions from 55 countries in this year’s Young University Rankings, which explores the same rigorous 13 performance indicators as the overall Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings — with young universities measured across their teaching, research, citations, international outlooks and industry incomes. However, the methodology has been carefully recalibrated, with less emphasis on reputation since younger universities are still building their reputations. Times Higher Education defines a young university as aged 50 years or under.

UAB, which spans more than 100 city blocks — roughly a quarter of downtown Birmingham — will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019. With nearly 21,000 students and more than 23,000 faculty and staff, UAB has become the largest single employer in Alabama, with an annual statewide economic impact exceeding $7.15 billion. It boasts many nationally ranked programs, including 13 graduate programs ranked in the top 25, according to U.S. News & World Report.

With annual research spending exceeding $562 million, UAB continues to create new knowledge and solve critical worldwide issues as a leader in federal research funding — ranking 23rd (top 4 percent) nationally and eighth (top 2 percent) among public institutions in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

UAB Hospital, the centerpiece of the UAB Health System, is among the 20 largest hospitals in the United States. UAB Hospital’s American College of Surgeons Verified Level 1 Adult Trauma Center is the only one of its kind in Alabama and sees more than a million patient visits a year. The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals report listed 10 of UAB’s medical specialties in the nation’s top 50 programs of their kind, and UAB has the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Alabama and a five-state region.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)