Feb. 6, 2007
Media Contact: Deborah Lucas
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB School of Business will launch the new Medical Equipment and Supplies Distribution track in the school’s highly successful Industrial Distribution Program, one of only two degree-granting programs in the Southeast that provides students with both business and engineering classes, following approval Friday, Feb. 2, from the University of Alabama Board of Trustees.
Industrial distribution (ID) is responsible for one in seven jobs in the Southeast. ID, the business that moves goods through the supply chain from producers to retailers and other end users, is a $3.5 trillion a year business in this country, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
The new Medical Equipment and Supplies Distribution track, which will begin classes in September, will combine business classes with courses in human anatomy, chemistry and health care systems. According to a recent article in BusinessWeek, the 12-month average number of jobs in wholesale medical equipment and drugs increased by 45,000 from July 2001 to July 2006.
“The health care industry has added almost 2 million new jobs in America over the last five years,” said Thomas DeCarlo, Ph.D., professor and the Ben S. Weil Endowed Chair of Industrial Distribution. “With the continuing aging of the U.S. population and greater supply of health care availability for all Americans, this industry will continue to grow rapidly. The type of jobs that our students will be engaging will range from pharmaceutical sales to medical equipment sales and everything in between.”
The new track builds on the success of the UAB ID Program’s engineering track, which has a near 100 percent placement rate for new graduates, and the school’s collaborations with UAB medical enterprises.
“We are uniquely positioned to offer business education that integrates the latest industry demands of the growing health care industry,” said Robert Holmes, Ph.D., dean of the UAB School of Business. “UAB’s medical enterprise is recognized around the world for its innovations in research and health care delivery. As the business school in the heart of this medical center, we can draw on that expertise, as well as those companies that provide health care related products and services to help us initiate new programs.”For example, Holmes said, the MBA for Scientist degree program was designed for students who have completed graduate degrees in science or technology fields such as biochemistry, biology, biomedical engineering, cell biology, computer science, engineering genetics, medicine, microbiology, pathology, physics and physiology.
The Initiative for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship program offers academic courses and seminars on new venture creation and financing. It is a collaborative initiative among the engineering, medical and business schools at UAB and the UAB Research Foundation and Southern Research Institute (SRI).
“This new medical track in the ID program will set a standard for medical sales, which is now nonexistent,” said James P. Thomas, UAB alumnus and president of Stratus Orthopedic Supply Inc., which specializes in durable medical orthopedic equipment. “Many large companies have a sales training program for new hires, but there is nothing out there for the many smaller companies that have great dominance in the industry. This program will set a standard not only for graduates seeking jobs, but also for the industry. It is very much needed.”
The UAB ID Program began in 1990 and is a joint degree program between the schools of business and engineering. By offering business and basic engineering classes, it prepares men and women for sales, marketing, operations and mid-management positions with manufacturers, contractors, wholesalers, industrial distributors and many other end users of industrial products. Starting salaries average $40,000 - $50,000 annually. Local companies include Mayer Electric Supply Co. Inc. and Dudley C. Jackson Inc.
“We have a long list of industry support from companies and individuals like Charles and Patsy Collat of Mayer Electric, who endowed the Ben S. Weil Endowed Chair of Industrial Distribution, and Ken Jackson who has provided tremendous scholarship support,” said Kristen Craig, ID program coordinator. “Now that we have board approval for our new track, we will begin aggressively working with our industry partners who helped develop it. Soon we will be announcing internships and scholarships.”
For more information on classes and/or becoming an industry partner contact Kristen Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medical Equipment and Supplies Distribution