College of Community Health Sciences

The primary responsibility of the educational programs of the College of Community Health Sciences is to contribute to the improvement of health care in Alabama, emphasizing primary care, population health and rural community health. The programs of the College are designed to increase the accessibility and availability of health care and to improve its quality through research, education, and service.

Undergraduate Minor in Rural Community Health

The undergraduate minor in Rural Community Health provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to complete coursework in health care, health policy, and epidemiology, with a particular focus on rural communities.  For more information about the minor, contact:  Dr. James Leeper, 205-348-1355 or jleeper@cchs.ua.edu or Professor Susan Guin, 205-348-6196 or smguin@ua.edu

Rural Medical Scholars Program

The Rural Medical Scholars Program prepares outstanding rural scholars for family medicine or primary care practice in Alabama. Scholars selected to participate in the program, which is exclusively for students from rural Alabama, enroll in preparatory courses at The University of Alabama (the Master of Science in Rural Community Health). Upon completion of their studies, they must meet the requirements for admission to medical school. Students matriculate two years at The University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham for the basic medical sciences component of their curricula and then return to Tuscaloosa to the College for the clinical clerkship years, where they are also involved in special medical experiences that include rural preceptorships. For more information about the Rural Medical Scholars Program, contact: Dr. James Leeper, professor and director of educational programs, College of Community Health Sciences, 205-348-1355 or jleeper@cchs.ua.edu.

Family Medicine Residency

The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency, which is operated by the College of Community Health Sciences, was founded in 1973 and today is among the oldest and largest such residencies in the country. Through the educational programs of the residency, the College fosters the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to create outstanding physicians capable of providing high-quality, continuing, comprehensive and patient-centered care. Through its residency, the College also offers fellowship programs for family medicine physicians in obstetrics, hospital medicine, geriatrics, sports medicine, behavioral health, pediatrics, and rural public psychiatry.

For information regarding graduate programs offered by the College of Community Health Sciences, please visit the college's graduate catalog page

The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences in Tuscaloosa also functions as a regional campus of The University of Alabama School of Medicine (UASOM), providing the clinical years of education to a portion of UASOM medical students. All medical students complete their first and second years at the School of Medicine’s main campus in Birmingham and their third and fourth years at any one of UASOM’s four campuses – Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, and Montgomery. Upon completion of all four years of medical school, students are awarded the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from The University of Alabama School of Medicine.

Medical students completing their clinical years at the Tuscaloosa campus form long-term learning relationships with experienced, practicing physicians and mentors and provide comprehensive care of patients over time and through different points in their health care journey. A portion of third year clinical rotations are integrated to allow for continuity of patient care. Additionally, students receive elective credit through a unique course that integrates their daily clinical experiences with physician leadership, population medicine, and health policy.

The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency, which is operated by the College of Community Health Sciences, was founded in 1973 and today is among the oldest and largest such residencies in the country. Through the educational programs of the residency, the College fosters the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to create outstanding physicians capable of providing high-quality, continuing, comprehensive, and patient-centered care. Through its residency, the College also offers fellowship programs for family medicine physicians in obstetrics, hospital medicine, geriatrics, sports medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, and rural public psychiatry.

Objectives

A primary responsibility of the College of Community Health Sciences is to contribute to the improvement of the health of Alabama, with an emphasis on primary care, rural communities, and underserved populations. The educational programs of the College are designed to increase the physician workforce, the availability and accessibility of health care, and to improve its quality.

The College:

  • Provides the clinical years of medical education and training (third and fourth years) for a portion of medical students enrolled at UASOM.
  • Offers a Primary Care track and a Rural Medical Scholars track for medical students enrolled at UASOM
  • Offers a Master of Science in Population Health
  • Offers a Master of Science in Rural Community Health
  • Offers an undergraduate Minor in Rural Community Health
  • Operates a Family Medicine Residency
  • Works with UASOM to integrate medical education programs with non-medical aspects of health care delivery.
  • Provides training sites and internships for students in interprofessional disciplines such as clinical psychology, nursing, social work, pharmacy, clinical dietetics, health education, athletic training, and health care management.
  • Offers shadowing and scribe opportunities for pre-med students.
  • Makes available expertise in medical and health sciences to undergraduate and graduate education programs at The University of Alabama, and offers courses in medicine and health sciences to enrich University students’ education by relating it to health, health care, and the health care delivery system.

Faculty

Administrative Officers
  • Richard Friend, MD, Dean (Interim)
  • Thaddeus Ulzen, MD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Caroline Boxmeyer, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Martha Crowther, PhD, Associate Dean for Research (Interim)
  • Thomas Weida, MD, Chief Medical Officer
  • David Nichols, Chief Operating Officer
  • Allison H. Arendale, Chief Financial Officer
  • Grier Stewart, MD, Director, Medical Education
Department Chairs
  • John C. Higginbotham, PhD, Community Medicine and Population Health
  • Jane Weida, MD, Family, Internal and Rural Medicine (Interim)
  • Kristine Graettinger, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Thaddeus Ulzen, MD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
  • Karen Burgess, MD, Pediatrics
  • Joseph C. Wallace, MD, Surgery
Faculty
  • Daniel Avery, MD
  • Gregg Bell, Ph.D.
  • Brett Bentley, MD
  • Maryam Bidgoli, Ph.D.
  • Alan Blum, MD
  • Lilanta Joy Bradley, Ph.D.
  • Caroline Boxmeyer, PhD
  • Karen Burgess, MD
  • John Burkhardt II, PsyD
  • Jennifer Clem, MD
  • Cecily Collins, MD
  • Martha Crowther, Ph.D.
  • Nathan Culmer, Ph.D.
  • Sandra Daley, MD
  • Jared S. Ellis
  • Tamer Elsayed, MD
  • Pamela Foster, MD, MPH
  • Mary Louanne Friend, Ph.D.
  • Richard Friend, MD
  • H. Joseph Fritz, MD
  • Scott Fulgham, MD
  • Brian Gannon, MD
  • Charles Geno, MD
  • Marisa Giggie, MD, MPA
  • Kristine Graettinger, MD
  • Abbey Gregg, Ph.D.
  • Susan Guin, MSN, CRNP
  • Anne Halli-Tierney, MD
  • Andrew Harrell, MD
  • Randi Henderson-Mitchell, Ph.D.
  • Suzanne Henson, MS, RD
  • John Higginbotham, Ph.D.
  • Catherine Ikard, MD
  • Drake Lavender, MD
  • Connie Leeper, MD
  • James Leeper, PhD
  • Charles Lehman, MD
  • Bennie Lucy, MD
  • John McDonald, MD
  • Olivia May
  • Robert, McKinney, Ph.D.
  • Mercedes Morales-Aleman, Ph.D.
  • William Owings, MD
  • Raheem Paxton, Ph.D.
  • Sara Phillips, MD
  • Jean Pointon, MD
  • Stretch Reed, MD
  • Cecil Robinson, Ph.D.
  • James Robinson, MD, Endowed Chair
  • Nancy Rubin, PsyD
  • Robert Sheppard, MD
  • Catherine Skinner, MD
  • Robert Slaughter, MD
  • Elizabeth Smith, CRNP
  • Earl Ray Stewart, MD
  • Grier Stewart, MD
  • Richard Streiffer, MD
  • Heather Taylor, MD
  • Cynthia Tyler, MSW
  • Thaddeus Ulzen, MD, FRCP(C), DFAPA
  • Joseph Wallace, MD
  • Jane Weida, MD
  • Thomas Weida, MD
  • John R. Wheat, MD
  • Nelle Williams
  • Andrea Wright
  • Lea Yerby, PhD