2 years ago

Dr. Martina Bebin is a 2019 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact

Dr. Martina Bebin fights for those unable to fight for themselves – in the fight for their lives. As a professor of neurology at UAB and a pediatric neurologist at North Alabama Children’s Specialists in Huntsville, Dr. Bebin spends her days caring for the youngest and most impressionable minds in our state.

She strives to make a difference in the future of neurological care. Serving on the Board of Directors for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and as the co-director of the UAB Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) clinic, Dr. Bebin oversees the comprehensive care of individuals suffering from a rare, multi-system genetic disease that causes benign tumors to form in vital organs.
Despite the rarity of the disease, Dr. Bebin makes it one of her missions to contribute to advances in treatment for the 50,000 individuals in the United States and more than one million worldwide diagnosed with TSC.

In 2013, Dr. Bebin’s contribution to TSC research earned her the Manual R. Gomez award, an annual honor presented to the individual who has made significant breakthroughs in TSC research, from the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.

The award was particularly special for Dr. Bebin.  Dr. Gomez was instrumental in her career by encouraging her pursuit of pediatric neurology and served as her mentor during her residency at the Mayo Clinic.

“I have had tremendous mentors, specifically, Dr. Manuel Gomez, Dr. Fritz Dreifuss and Dr. David Standaert, throughout my career that provided me with unique opportunities and the encouragement to pursue clinical research ideas that could have tremendous impact for thousands of children with neurologic disabilities,” Bebin told Yellowhammer News.

In addition to her incredible work with TSC, Dr. Bebin is a member of the Department of Neurology and Epilepsy Center at UAB and a member of the Child Neurology Society Legislative Affairs Committee. Her primary research interest is the early identification of epilepsy in infants, particularly discovering new therapies and treatments for these children.

Most recently, Dr. Bebin has collaborated with HudsonAlpha to pinpoint a previously unknown case of a serious seizure disorder most common in babies, potentially opening the door to new diagnostic and treatment options for infants who show signs of epilepsy.

Dr. Bebin and other scientists worked to assemble enough cases to link their discoveries. The initial patient was enrolled in HudsonAlpha’s Clinical Exploratory Research (CSER) project. The project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, aims to identify the genetic causes of undiagnosed conditions.

Dr. Bebin recognizes the value of her UAB family for playing a large part in her path. When asked what factors contributed to her success she states, “The value of being on faculty at UAB for 25 years and developing the collaborative research efforts across an array of research disciplines within UAB, HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology and TSC Clinical Consortium.”

Outside of Dr. Bebin’s incredible contributions to neurology, she was a five-time All-American member of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Women’s Swimming Team, where she obtained her undergraduate degree.

Dr. Bebin later earned her medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, her MPA from Harvard University, and completed her residency work at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.

She also attributes her career achievements to a specific milestone on her educational journey.  Bebin took a mid-career step outside of medicine to pursue a Master’s degree at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. This translated into a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship in the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee under the leadership of then Chairman Senator Mike Enzi.

“This step allowed me to develop a 360-degree perspective of healthcare and I can better serve my patients,” Bebin stated.

In addition to her skill in swimming, Dr. Bebin has been a “Vizsla enthusiast for over 20 years and loves all aspects of dog sports.” She and her husband, Rick, enjoy spending time hunting with their 2 Vizsla in North Alabama.

When asked about her support system, Dr. Bebin reflected on being told to ‘aim high and never give up’ by her parents.  “My fabulous parents provided structure, discipline and the steadfast encouragement to pursue [my] passions in life with humility and empathy,” she said.

Her love for her family is evident and Dr. Bebin values the true partnership she finds in her closest relationships, “Fred Bickley is my husband of over 20 years and we appreciate and encourage each other in our pursuits. My lovely sister, Mary Ellen Warner, is the best source of support, love and encyclopedic resource for all my questions.”

Dr. Bebin is grateful to be recognized among such an incredible group of women and looks forward to continuing her work on behalf of Alabama’s children.

“This is a tremendous honor and a wonderful surprise to be recognized with this group of accomplished women in our state. It is also a great motivator to continue to pursue my efforts to improve the lives of children in Alabama,” she said.

Yellowhammer News is proud to name Dr. Martina Bebin a 2019 Woman of Impact.

The 2nd Annual Women of Impact Awards will celebrate the honorees on April 29, 2019, in Birmingham. Event details can be found here.  

Erin Brown Hollis is an author and speaker. Her latest book, The Remarkable Housewives of the Bible is available on Amazon. Follow Erin on Instagram @ErinBrownHollis ; Facebook  @ErinBrownHollis ; or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis.

 

 

 

5 hours ago

Ivey lights official state Christmas tree – ‘Merry Christmas to each of you’

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Friday took part in the traditional annual lighting of the official State of Alabama Christmas Tree located on the steps of the capitol.

“Let this be a year you do a little bit more, and give a little bit more,” said Governor Ivey to those assembled.

“Merry Christmas to each of you and to all families across Alabama,” she added.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed introduced Ivey at the ceremony and praised her “steady leadership” during a tumultuous year. Ivey later thanked him for his “dedicated leadership” of Alabama’s capital city.

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Around 200 citizens braved temperatures in the mid-40s to take in the lighting ceremony. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, masks were required for attendance at the ceremony.

“I’m incredibly grateful we’re able to safely keep this Christmas tradition alive,” Ivey said of the circumstances.

Alabama’s 2020 tree was donated by Robbins Taylor, Sr. of Lowndes County. The Eastern Red Cedar is 35 feet tall and required a crew from the Alabama Department of Transportation for its installation.

Major General David J. Francis, commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, reminded the crowd in attendance that the Christmas standard “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” was written from the perspective of a soldier forced to be away from home during World War II.

“This is a great reminder to remember all our service members, including the members of the greatest generation, the deployed members who will not be with their loved ones this holiday season, and the many who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” Francis added.

“Christmas is a direct reminder of the hope we find in Jesus Christ,” mentioned the governor, who makes her Christian faith a mainstay of her public persona.

“Through the birth of a baby boy over two thousand years ago, we can find salvation, peace, and purpose in our lives,” Ivey continued.

“For many of us, including myself, that hope and faith has been what has guided us through these difficult challenges of 2020,” she told the public.

“May God continue to bless our state,” the governor concluded.

Watch:

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

7 hours ago

Palmer: Pelosi, Democrats prioritize pot legalization over COVID-19 relief

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) raised eyebrows this week by calling the House of Representatives into session and pushing through votes on legislation that would legalize marijuana and ban private ownership of exotic animals — known as the “Tiger King” bill.

Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) released a scathing statement on Friday decrying Pelosi’s prioritization of these bills over much-needed COVID-19 relief for the American people.

“Speaker Pelosi and her clueless Democrat colleagues have proven over and over again that their top priorities do not include the hardworking Americans who need help to get through this pandemic,” Palmer said.

“This week, their prioritization of pot legalization while people are struggling is a stunning display of partisan politics and shows just how out of touch Democrats are with the American people,” he continued. “The timing of this bill not only reflects a disregard for the businesses that need further relief funding, but also for the rampant mental health and drug overdose issues exacerbated by the pandemic.”

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Entitled the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act), the marijuana legalization passed the House on Friday by a vote of 228-164. The only Alabama representative to support the measure was Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07), a Democrat.

“Federal surveys show that since the coronavirus arrived in the U.S., depression and anxiety have been on the rise, with a concerning 75% of young adults now struggling with at least one mental health or drug problem,” Palmer explained. “The Center for Disease Control has also predicted that the U.S. could see 75,500 drug overdose deaths in 2020 if recent trends hold. Pelosi’s pot bill is even more unconscionable with these concerning facts in mind, especially as it ignores common sense safety measures around marijuana use, and also funnels taxpayer dollars to the marijuana industry and convicted drug dealers. In short, the bill would grant easier access to a gateway drug for already vulnerable and struggling people.”

The Central Alabama congressman concluded, “Furthermore, at a time when we should be helping people with employment opportunities, this bill would move us in the wrong direction. Companies with drug-free work environments, many of them also hazardous work environments, should not and will not employ people who might come to work drug-impaired, endangering themselves and others. I hope we don’t waste more opportunities next week for needed relief.”

Palmer, as the chair of the Republican Policy Committee, is the fifth-highest ranking member of the House GOP.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

8 hours ago

WWII vet finishes fight with COVID-19, turns 104 the next day

A World War II veteran in Alabama was released from the hospital this week after a battle with the coronavirus. He turned 104 years old on his first day back home.

Major Wooten, the veteran in question, has become something of a minor celebrity in recent years for his joyful approach to life at his advanced age.

Wooten turned heads in recent years during his trip to Normandy to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Similar lines cheered his return to the airport and his exit from the hospital earlier this week.

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An ardent Alabama fan, Wooten again made headlines earlier this year when Nick Saban gave him a call after a health scare in the spring.

RELATED: Nick Saban surprises 103-year-old WWII veteran with Facetime call

Wooten is from Cullman and was cared for at Madison Hospital during his fight with COVID-19.

His exit from the hospital has garnered attention across the nation, with the Associated Press publishing a widely circulated story and ABC’s World News Tonight featuring Wooten in a segment.

Watch employees of Madison Hospital sing Happy Birthday to Major Wooten:

 

Major Wooten turns 104!

Mr. Major Lee Wooten won his battle with COVID-19 in time to be home to celebrate his 104th birthday. Mr. Wooten, who is a veteran and warmly known as “Pop Pop,” is described by his granddaughter as “their family’s treasure.” Please join us in wishing Mr. Wooten a very, happy birthday!

Posted by Madison Hospital on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

9 hours ago

Alabama receives over $50M from Dept. of Interior for energy produced in state

The State of Alabama is receiving $50.29 million from the federal government as a disbursement for energy that was produced in a federally owned area of the state.

Alabama’s funds come as part of a $1.81 billion payout to 34 states announced by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt on Friday.

The revenue sent to states Friday “was collected from oil, gas and mineral production on federal lands within the states’ borders and from offshore oil and gas tracts in federal waters adjacent to their shores,” according to a release from the department.

Virtually all of Alabama’s portion of the money was generated by offshore drilling, per the data available on an Interior Department web portal.

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Alabama’s payment was ninth highest in the nation. New Mexico took the top spot with $706.96 million followed by Wyoming, Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah and Mississippi.

American Indian Tribes received $1 billion as part of the process; 100% of the revenue from the energy generated on their lands.

“[T]hese disbursements also go right back to the states and Tribes where the energy was produced, providing critical funding for schools, public services, conservation improvements and infrastructure projects that create good-paying American jobs,” said Bernhardt on Friday.

The over $50 million announced as on its way to Alabama on Friday is the state’s total for fiscal year 2020 that ended September 30. It is the largest amount the state has received under the disbursement policy in the last decade.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

11 hours ago

Aderholt tests positive for COVID-19, is asymptomatic

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) on Friday announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19 but is displaying no symptoms.

Aderholt originally went into quarantine on November 15 after learning he had been in close contact with someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Right after completing his 10-day quarantine period, Aderholt’s wife, Caroline, tested positive and he once again went into quarantine.

Under new CDC guidelines that allow for a seven-day quarantine if followed by a negative test result, Aderholt on Thursday received a COVID-19 test to ascertain if he could exit quarantine and resume voting on the House floor.

“I fully expected to receive a negative test, because I have felt, and continue to feel fine, and have no symptoms. Unfortunately, I received word Friday morning that my test came back positive. After speaking with the Attending Physician for Congress, I will continue to isolate,” he advised in a statement.

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Aderholt also said that his wife has recovered from the virus after experiencing mild symptoms.

During his original quarantine, Aderholt had isolated himself away from his wife and the rest of his family.

The dean of Alabama’s U.S. House delegation, Aderholt is a senior member of the Committee on Appropriations, including serving as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science and as a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee and the Defense Subcommittee.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn