The expansion of knowledge in medicine and dentistry created a greatly expanded need for many types of allied health personnel. To increase the effectiveness of existing programs in allied health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and to provide a broad base upon which new programs could be established to meet the state's health professional needs, the School of Community and Allied Health Resources was established by the Alabama legislature in 1969. In 1976, the name was changed to the School of Public and Allied Health and, in 1978, to the School of Community and Allied Health (SCAH). It became the School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) in 1987. In 2006, the word "related" was dropped from the name and the school became known as School of Health Professions (SHP).
The need to educate allied health personnel for the delivery of health care has long been recognized by UAB. As early as the mid-1940s, formal courses were established in the University of Alabama Hospital to educate personnel in medical technology, radiologic technology, and other fields. The formation of SHRP brought together the programs which had been conducted by the University of Alabama Hospital and other UAB units, including the former School of Health Services Administration; Nutrition Sciences; and the Department of Allied Health Sciences, formerly part of the College of General Studies. The Department of Nutrition Sciences is a joint department of the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Professions.
The School of Health Related Professions' Regional Technical Institute for Health Occupations (later called the Alabama Junior
College/SHRP Linkage Program) was organized in 1971 to educate health technicians and was developed in collaboration with the State of Alabama Department of Education. The linkage program made it possible for a student to attend any of the state junior colleges or other approved colleges and universities for prerequisite, nontechnical courses and then transfer to UAB for technical study. The graduate who fulfilled requirements of both the college and the then SHRP was awarded an associate degree by the affiliated linkage institution and a certificate by UAB. As a result of increased program availability in Alabama's junior and community colleges as well as the SHRP strategic planning decision to concentrate on baccalaureate and graduate programs, the Linkage program was discontinued with the last classes enrolling Fall, 1993.
The goal of the School of Health Professions is the education of health personnel who will improve the services in health care and the systems through which these services are provided. In keeping with the mission of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the resources and programs of the school are dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarly activity and to service to the institution, the community, and the professions represented by programs of the school. The goal of the school and the mission of the university are supported through the following:
- recruiting and retaining highly qualified faculty;
- affording ongoing opportunities for faculty growth and development;
- requiring faculty to remain contemporary in their areas of professional expertise;
- encouraging faculty to participate in their respective clinical practices, research, and professional organizations;
- attracting and selecting the most qualified students;
- offering high quality classroom and practical learning experiences for students;
- cultivating efficient resource utilization through teamwork and appropriate collaboration among health disciplines;
- providing opportunities for students' professional, personal, and social growth;
- offering instruction for self-improvement or career changes to the traditional and nontraditional student;
- providing assistance toward appropriate placement of graduates;
- providing the environment to develop research protocols and grant proposals and to implement research appropriate to the faculty members' disciplines;
- encouraging and recognizing the research/scholarly efforts of the faculty;
- attracting and selecting the most qualified graduate research students;
- fostering an environment for the conduct of high quality research;
- encouraging participation in scientific meetings, seminars, symposiums, and scholarly writings;
- conducting continuing education which updates health practitioners and stimulates professionalism;
- initiating or modifying programs to be responsive to projected needs for cost-effective health care;
- developing health care resources for underserved areas regionally and internationally;
- assisting disadvantaged persons to enter and successfully complete health care education programs;
- fostering faculty and student participation in organizations and agencies whose activities have an impact on health care delivery systems and education;
- encouraging consultation for organizations and agencies that can benefit from the expertise of the faculty; and
- promoting faculty participation in organizations and committees of the school and the university.
This section was updated on January 29, 2002.
The academic units of SHP are critical care, diagnostic and therapeutic sciences, health services administration, nutrition sciences, occupational therapy, and physical theapy.
The Department of Critical Care offers programs of study leading to the Master of Nurse Anesthesia* and the Bachelor of Science in respiratory therapy and surgical physician assistant.
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences
The Department of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences* and the Bachelor of Science in cytotechnology, medical technology, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy/radiologic sciences, and radiography/radiologic sciences.
Health Services Administration
Through the Department of Health Services Administration, SHP offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Health Administration* and the Master of Science in Health Informatics.* Bachelor of Science degrees may be earned in health sciences and health information management. The Doctor of Philosophy in Administration-Health Services* and a coordinated M.S.H.A.-M.B.A. program in Health Administration* are conducted jointly with the UAB School of Business.
The Nutrition Sciences Department offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition,* a Dietetic Internship,* and the Doctor of Philosophy in Nutrition Sciences.* This SHRP department functions in cooperation with the UAB Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. It offers clinical training for medical and dental students, house staff, and other health professionals. Service functions of the department include diagnostic laboratory procedures and clinical consultations for patients in the various hospitals of the UAB Medical Center. It conducts clinical research as well as research in nutritional biochemistry and food composition.
The Department of Occupational Therapy offers the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy*—one track for professional
preparation and one track for postprofessional work in occupational therapy, and a graduate certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation.
The Department of Physical Therapy offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)*—for professional preparation and the Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy (DScPT) for postprofessional work in physical therapy.
*Information concerning graduate programs is also in the UAB Graduate School Catalog. All graduate degrees are awarded by the Graduate School.
The Susan Mott Webb Nutrition Sciences Building at 1675 University Boulevard houses SHP Administration, the Department of Nutrition Sciences, the Department of Health Services Administration, and other SHP programs.
The Learning Resource Center Building (LRC) at 1714 Ninth Avenue South houses research laboratories and part of the Department of Nutrition Sciences. This building is also equipped with a student learning resources center and state-of-the-art classroom facilities.
The School of Health Professions Building opend in December, 2001, and is located at 1705 University Boulevard. Programs in the departments of Critical Care, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy as well as SHP Student Services are housed in this building.
The clinical facilities of the University of Alabama Hospital, the Birmingham VA Medical Center, and other affiliated hospitals and clinics in or near the UAB Medical Center are utilized extensively in the programs of the School of Health Professions. Altogether, these facilities represent almost every medical specialty. This provides an educational resource unavailable elsewhere in Alabama for the education of health professionals. In addition, affiliations have been established with clinical facilities throughout Alabama as well as other parts of the Southeast and the United States.