Alabama Maternal and Child Health Leadership Network

Trainees' Stories


Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC)

I think the Faculty is exceptional (very nice, very helpful, provided guidance, challenged me).

Laurie Finger
Nurse Trainee, 2009

I truly enjoyed my time at the PPC and I can say in no uncertain terms that it is because of the UAB PPC program (and mentors) that I now have my dream job at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. I would recommend this program to any student who is to work within the pediatric field…

Kim Baxter, RD, MS, LDN, CSP
Nutrition Trainee, 2007-2008
Pediatric Pulmonary Nutritionist, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

The PPC opened my eyes to the world of research. I really did not know much about it until I became a trainee. Now, it’s what I do every day with patients who have Cystic Fibrosis. I am truly thankful for my time in the PPC and the doors that it opened for me!

Katie Brand, MAE
PPC RT Trainee 2013/2014, Clinical Trials Administrator


Center of Excellence in MCH Education, Science & Practice

SPH Stories

Evelyn Coronado Interis, MPHI was fortunate to work with several faculty as a graduate research assistant, which allowed me to apply what I learned in the classroom and was valuable work experience that helped me secure jobs after I left UAB. At my current position, I constantly use skills gained in the program, from analyzing qualitative and quantitative data to select state priorities and develop action plans for Title V block grant reporting; to working with partners to develop, implement, and evaluate programs; to identifying and promoting evidence-based initiatives that will better serve our populations. So even beyond the subject matter expertise gained in the program, all the biostatistics and methodology courses, all the writing, the presentations and so on have been invaluable and have absolutely prepared me for working in PH. I can honestly say that I’m very satisfied with the education I received at UAB.

Evelyn Coronado Interis, MPH
CoE Trainee, 2011-2013

From the start of my MPH program I knew I wanted to work at the state level, and that is exactly where I am! I must add that after my initial phone interview for the FIMR position, they quickly called and requested that I come to visit their Department. At that meeting, they informed me that they were really impressed with my knowledge of the MCH field and public health in general. I want to thank each of you for the critical role that you played in preparing me for this position. Your help came in the form of class lectures, internship recommendations, assignment critiques, support to obtain funding for conferences, general advice, etc. I could go on and on about the different ways that you all affected my education! I hope that my strides in MCH continue to make our department proud!

Breana Lipscomb, MPH

Being a part of the Maternal and Child Health Training Grant in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy in the School of Public Health has been an amazing experience. The program has provided some very fulfilling opportunities and strengthened my connection with UAB and its community. The MCH training grant has allowed me to explore myriad campus activities and establish valuable networks in my field. As an online student, the MCH training grant program has provided an outlet to facilitate meaningful relationships and the feeling of an on-campus experience.

Anna Layton, BA
CoE MPH/MSW Trainee, 2015-Present

Nursing (previously funded)

Leadership Education in Child-Health Nursing (LECHN)

LECHN has given me the opportunity to really fine tune my research interest through close interaction with peers and faculty interested in child health.

Jeannie Rodriguez,

Jeannie Rodriguez is a PhD student residing in Atlanta, Georgia who received her BSN from Mercer University Georgia Baptist College of Nursing and her MSN from Emory University. Jeannie is certified as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care and currently works as needed at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Hughes Spalding. Jeannie is co-chair of the Student Network for the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS). She was previously an instructor at Emory University in their Primary Care Pediatric Advanced Nursing Practice Program. Jeannie is married and has two young boys.

Her dissertation is focusing on infant feeding practices, weight gain and blood pressure in toddlers born very preterm. Jeannie plans to pursue an academic position in nursing upon graduation from the PhD program.

LECHN has meant a rare educational experience for which I will always be grateful. In addition to providing necessary funds to continue my doctoral education, LECHN has provided learning opportunities above and beyond what I would have been afforded within the traditional program. The opportunity to meet nursing leaders and researchers, the exposure to funding sources and other academic institutions, as well as the support of the LECHN faculty have all assisted in my growth as a doctoral student and as a future child health nurse leader.

Elizabeth Gulledge, MSN, RN

Betsy D. Gulledge, RN, MSN, received a BA in psychology from Auburn University in 1992. She graduated with an ADN from Southern Union State Community College in 1995 and immediately began practicing in the area of mental health. After several years of working at a free-standing psychiatric facility, Ms. Gulledge went on to pursue a BSN (2002) and MSN (2005) from Jacksonville State University. She is currently an instructor of nursing at Jacksonville State University where she teaches Community Mental Health, Leadership, Communication of Ethical Issues, and Pharmacology.

She graduated in December 2010, and her dissertation focused on Biobehavioral Health examining self-concept, sedentary behaviors, and blood pressure in middle school children. She is now director of the BSN program at Jacksonville State University.


Maternal & Child Health Pipeline Training Program (MCHPT)

The MCH Pipeline Training program has been a major help to me. All throughout my undergraduate career I was not sure of what my career choice was in healthcare. After becoming a part of the MCH program, I developed an interest for maternal and child health and nursing. Within the program, Mrs. Catrina Waters prepared me for moving into the direction to pursue a degree in nursing and work in underserved communities. The program offered a lot of career networking opportunities and ways to excel professionally. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Glenda Smith, a nurse practitioner from UAB. I was able to have mock interviews and resume and personal statement preparation. The MCH Pipeline Training program has been a major help in assisting me in finding my passion in healthcare. I would strongly recommend it to anyone.

Caroline Stewart

Ms. Caroline Stewart has been accepted into the University of Alabama at Birmingham Accelerated Masters Program in Nursing. Caroline is a very dedicated and academically successful young lady. She has participated in the ASU Pipeline Training Program for 3 ½ years. She is a native of Racine, WI. Caroline currently lives in Birmingham, AL. She is a biology pre-health major. She has maintained 3.0 or above G.P.A. in her years at Alabama State University. She is a member of Beta Kappa Chi National Honor Society and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.


Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Program

LEAH Stories

Rebekah Savage, MDIn the multidisciplinary clinic that is a part of the LEAH Training Program, I am able to learn from colleagues in psychology, social work, nursing, and dietetics in the co-management of patients with complex medical and psychosocial needs. This experience has provided a wonderful training opportunity for me.

Rebekah Savage, MD
LEAH Medicine Trainee 2013-2016

Rebekah Savage, MDBeing able to participate in adolescent specific content and get a better understanding of adolescent issues has been great. Also working in an interprofessional team was a great environment. Everyone always discusses the importance of Interprofessional Education, but this was the first time that I was able to work so closely with the other disciplines and to get their first hand recommendations on individual cases.

Imelda Reyes, DNP, MPH, CPNP, FNP-BC
LEAH Nursing Trainee 2013-2014

Rebekah Savage, MDI hope that through LEAH I will enhance my leadership skills and utilize the multidisciplinary framework to gain diverse skills and perspectives on adolescent psychological, medical, nutritional, and social health.

Jasmine Ruffin
LEAH Social Work Trainee 2014-2015

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Project Photos

Trainee Networking Session

Trainee attendees, 2017

Trainee Attendees, 2017

The Life Course Game, 2017

The Life Course Game, 2017

The Life Course Game, 2017

The Life Course Game, 2017

LEND Program

Valisia Davis, MSN, CRNP, 2010

Valisia Davis, MSN, CRNP, 2010

ACQUIREc OT, Jackie Brunson, 2010

ACQUIREc OT, Jackie Brunson, 2010

Former Trainee and Current OT, Candace Davis, 201

Former Trainee and Current OT, Candace Davis, 2010

2008-2009 Audiology Trainee,

2008-2009 Audiology Trainee,
Laurie McDaniel

PPC Program

2002-2003 PPC Trainees - Rookie Gage (RN), Monica Stalling (RT), Amy Coody (SW), Mario Quiambao (RT), Sue Deshpande (NUT), and Katrina Davenport (SW)

9/23/15 MCH Trainees Networking & Brainstorming Session – the UAB Edge of Chaos

Future Leaders: Bridgett, Haley and Sarah: 2007-08 UAB PPC Trainees

2012-2013 PPC Trainees (left to right) Shelley Lauderdale, RN; Camilla Gaines, SW; Melanie Jones, RD; Jabril Cooper, RT; Haley Beech, SW