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.

 

 

 

2 hours ago

Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator taking applications for 2021 class

Startups from around the world are encouraged to apply for the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator 2021 class.

In its second year, the innovative program, located in Birmingham, seeks early-stage startups focused on emerging energy technologies. Areas of interest include smart cities, electric grid resiliency and sustainability, industrial electrification, connectivity and electric transportation.

The class will run for 13 weeks and include 10 companies. Through their participation in Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator, startups will receive seed investment, business coaching and mentorship through Techstars’ worldwide network of business leaders.

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At the end of the 90 days, the program will culminate in Demo Day, a public pitch event on Dec. 9.

“We had a fantastic first year, made successful through the hard work and creativity of our inaugural class, even during a pandemic,” said Nate Schmidt, Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator’s managing director. “If you have an energy tech startup, you simply don’t want to miss out on the amazing opportunities and relationships this accelerator will provide your business.”

Techstars Alabama is supported by Alabama Power, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Alabama Department of CommerceAltecPowerSouth and the University of Alabama. They play a key role in the accelerator process, with the common goal of growing the number of startup companies based in Alabama and making the area a hub of innovation activity.

The application deadline is May 12. For more information, visit the Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator program page at Techstars.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

3 hours ago

VIDEO: Gov. Ivey extends mask mandate, lottery could be an option as gambling bill languishes, Merrill backs off ‘no excuse’ absentee balloting and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Did Governor Kay Ivey make the right decision when she extended the mask mandate?

— Is the Alabama Legislature going to look to move forward with the lottery if they can’t get a more comprehensive gambling bill?

— Why did Secretary of State John Merrill support and then retract his support for “no excuse” absentee voting?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by Matt Murphy of Talk 99.5 in Birmingham to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” at Alabama Democratic Party Chairman and State Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) for not following through on his plan to make the party more relevant in Alabama.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

6 hours ago

Mo Brooks: Stopping H.R. 1, amnesty keys to winning in 2022 midterms — ‘Then we will be able to neuter Joe Biden’

FLORENCE — With the third month of the 117th Congress now underway, House Democrats have pushed forward in their efforts to pass H.R. 1, which would impose so-called reforms to the country’s voting system.

Also among the priorities for Democrats, who control the White House, House and Senate, are immigration measures that could include amnesty for illegal aliens.

During an appearance at the Shoals Republican Club on Saturday, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) panned those efforts and said he hoped to stymie the progress of House Democrats on those two fronts.

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Brooks told those in attendance that if Republicans could prove successful in those efforts, it would set the GOP up for wins in the 2022 midterm elections and hamstring President Joe Biden’s push to promote a left-of-center agenda.

“We’ve got to stop H.R. 1, and we’ve got to stop the amnesty and citizenship that Joe Biden has promised,” he said. “If we do those two things, then we’re going to take back the House in 2022. I hope we will take back the Senate in 2022. And then we will be able to neuter Joe Biden over the next two years if we control the House and Senate and set the stage as well for us taking back the White House in 2024 with whoever our nominee may be.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

8 hours ago

2021 Birmingham Heart Walk goes virtual

COVID-19 has forced many nonprofits to shift gears in their fundraising efforts and the American Heart Association (AHA) is no exception. The AHA’s 2021 Birmingham Heart Walk has been reimagined as a digital experience this year to maintain necessary safety protocols due to the ongoing pandemic.

Through the event design, AHA is striving to get more people moving in Birmingham while continuing to raise life-saving funds and keep participants safe in the process. The Birmingham Heart Walk is Saturday, June 12, from 9-11 a.m. and participants can walk from anywhere.

Leading up to the event, participants are encouraged to track their activity through the “Move More Challenge” using the free Heart Walk activity tracker app that can be downloaded from Apple or Google Play. Once registered, users have 30 days to log minutes, and any activity counts. Top movers and fundraisers will be recognized on Heart Walk day.

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“The American Heart Association holds a special place in my heart,” said Southern Company Vice President of Technology David Coxwho will chair the walk for the second time. “They have done so much for my family and for my daughter, Emily, who was born with multiple congenital heart defects. I’m pleased to partner with this outstanding organization in their efforts help our community connect and stay active as we adapt to this virtual world.”

More than 600,000 Americans die each year from heart disease, and the risks have only been compacted by the pandemic. Among COVID-19 hospitalizations, 40% are heart or stroke patients, so this year, donations from the Heart Walk will help fast-track COVID-19 research and train front-line workers in addition to the many other research projects and resources funded by the AHA.

Fundraising and activities for the Heart Walk are beginning to ramp up as the warmer months approach.

“Now is the time to sign up, lace up and start fundraising for the 2021 Birmingham Heart Walk,” said Hannah Carroll, Heart Challenge director of the Birmingham AHA. “Signing up now ensures you won’t miss any of the fun this year, like Rally Days and our new activity tracker.”

On Feb. 18, Cox hosted a virtual kickoff for business leaders in the Birmingham area who will be fielding teams at this year’s Heart Walk. He encouraged counterparts to begin their fundraising efforts by saying, “We’re here for a reason – to fight for a world of longer, healthier lives.”

To view Emily’s story, click here. To learn more about the 2021 Birmingham Heart Walk or to create a team, click here.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

11 hours ago

Schoolyard Roots growing stronger, smarter kids in Alabama

When kids participate in the life of a garden, they see the complete cycle of growing food, cooking and preparing it to eat. School gardens are exciting places for kids to learn basic academic subjects, too.

The Tuscaloosa community came together more than 10 years ago to develop a garden-based learning program called the Druid City Garden project, now called Schoolyard Roots.

Schoolyard Roots employs a full-time teaching staff that provides garden lessons for students, as well as professional development training for teachers. The school gardens provide an outdoor experience rare to many students. They are more likely to make healthy choices and try new foods. Students gain a sense of responsibility, to collaborate and work together as a team.

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“When we see a child’s health and education improve, we know that we’re not only investing in that child’s life today – we’re helping them build a better future,” said Nicole Gelb Dugat, interim executive director. “Schoolyard Roots builds community through food. By increasing access to fresh, locally grown produce, we empower our community to make healthy and sustainable food choices.”

In March 2020, the impact of COVID-19 significantly affected the teaching community. Almost immediately, the Schoolyard Roots team began distributing produce from its gardens directly to local families. By the end of last year, the program had distributed more than 750 pounds of fresh garden vegetables to the community.

“We stewarded our gardens as fresh-air sanctuaries, where children and adults could relax, refocus and reconnect,” said Dugat. “Through it all, we shared vegetables and flowers. We cultivated moments of peace and learned together. We could not have done any of it without our incredible community of supporters.”

They found hope and inspiration in the small miracle of seeds planted by the students. Gardens bring joy, peace and courage in times of struggle. And gardens remind us to have hope for new growth and what is to come.

Schoolyard Roots partners with Tuscaloosa-area elementary schools to bring learning to life through teaching gardens. The nonprofit works in 11 elementary schools across Tuscaloosa County.

Its mission is to build healthy communities through food with the Gardens 2 Schools program.

Gardens support and encourage healthful eating as a key component of children’s physical wellbeing, which can aid their academic and social success, too. The garden is woven through many aspects of a school’s curriculum and adapted for different grade levels.

“The Gardens 2 Schools program cultivates curiosity,” Dugat said. “The program teaches the students how to work together (and) learn self-reliability and compassion.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)