Archive for the ‘UAB School of Public Health’ Category

>Western Tribune column August 19, 2009 Billy Cox

August 20, 2009

>

This is my column from the Western Tribune this week

Billy Cox was a hero to many then, and is still a hero today.
In 1987 Billy received a diagnosis that at the time signaled an almost sure death sentence. He tested positive for HIV. Within a few years he had developed AIDS, and by 1994 Billy had passed away.
During those early years of the AIDS epidemic most patients were silent about the disease and felt marginalized by their community.
Not Billy. He became a crusader and those who knew him saw him as energetic and optimistic, even when most would not be able to find that kind of spirit.
Shortly before his death, determined that a change was needed in the way AIDS patients and gay people were treated, Billy offered his final disability check to start a foundation in his name which helped to direct community resources and talents to help those with HIV/AIDS.
By sharing his experience and teaching those around him how to care for him, he changed the way people with HIV/AIDS were treated and a new dimension in caretaking began, as care teams of volunteers formed to assist those in need. The 1917 Clinic at UAB developed networks of teams that have helped people all over the state.
Now Billy has been honored by having a scholarship dedicated in his name at the UAB School of Public Health. The scholarship will go to students with an interest in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender public health issues.
The dean of the school, Dr. Max Michael, says the scholarship may be the first of its kind in the nation.
This comes at a time when the achievements of LGBT persons are being recognized across the country. Just last week, tennis legend Billie Jean King and former San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk were presented the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama. They received their awards, along with 14 others, not because of their sexual orientation, but because they were “agents of change.”
Billy was an agent of change as well.
Bessemer can be proud of Billy, a 1975 graduate of MacAdory High School and president of his senior class. How many can say that they helped change the way a disease is looked at and the way those with the condition are treated? And now he has an endowment in his name that will help future public health providers make advances in fighting it.
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>Three Things of Significance

December 15, 2008

>Three things of great significance happened Saturday. Other things happened that are important as well. Barack Obama named a cabinet member. Joe Biden got a dog. Auburn named a coach. But these three things hit close to home, not in order of importance.

1. I graduated from UAB.
2. We had our Christmas Party.
3. My neighbor’s house burned to the ground.

1. I earned a Masters degree in Public Health, with an A in every course. I’m not trying to brag, but that is the best set of grades of all three of my degrees. What does the future hold? We will see.

2. We served up a bunch of Cajun food and desserts and raised several hundred dollars in gifts and money for two needy families. The final tally is not in, as we are still collecting donations through Monday, December 15.


3. This house was known throughout Bessemer as one of the premier historical homes. Known as the G. H. Stevenson House in the South Bessemer Inventory, the home belonged to Glenn Shadix who moved back to Bessemer about a year ago. Saturday it burned. Glenn thankfully was not in the house when the fire started, and is physically OK. The cause has not been determined.

Here is a picture of the fire in progress.

Here is what remains.

Here are some pictures taken after the fire. From indoors…you are not supposed to see the sky.
Still smoldering Sunday…the BFD returned.
The Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association members have you in our thoughts and prayers, Glenn.

Bessemer mourns the loss of this beautiful home and for Glenn, of the loss of so much of his personal belongings.

Jamaica: After Dean

August 23, 2007

We did not venture out Sunday night after the storm because gusts were still occuring and things could still be falling and flying. Also, there was debris and nails and power lines down and even with flashlights (torchlights they say) it didn’t seem safe.

So Monday morning we ventured out. Palm trees are made for hurricanes, because few were down. Their leaves were shredded and some of the leaves broken or stripped off, but the trunks were standing, and they will survive. This is outside our room. Deciduous trees seemed to suffer more.

Wooden manmade structures are not made for hurricanes, as this arbor did not make it.

It takes a strong wind to blow a chain link fence over…seems like the wind could just go through it.

These chunks of wood almost made it through the fence

We use chain saws…they use machetes. The guy on the bike is security.


The streets of Kingston were littered with debris and downed power lines. but the Kingston residents are right back in business, as this fruit stand has reopened and has a customer. People have to eat.

Small shrubs and flowers did not fare well. Before and after. I think this one will be blooming again before summer ends.

But the day we left the sun rose on beautiful tropical Jamaica tempting us to find a a way to stay. But that temptation didn’t last, and soon we were on our way to the airport. Once there, power outages (don’t you think a generator at an airport would be a good idea?) caused delays and frustation among the hundreds of passengers. But the airline employees had the upper hand,and held their composure even though they had to process each passport and write out each ticket by hand.

The air was still and hot and the waiting areas were dark and we sat for a couple of hours with ipods and cameras. We sweated and we waited with the masses.


Finally our flight number was announced and we made our way to the plane, confident that within a few hours we would be home.

>Jamaica: After Dean

August 23, 2007

>We did not venture out Sunday night after the storm because gusts were still occuring and things could still be falling and flying. Also, there was debris and nails and power lines down and even with flashlights (torchlights they say) it didn’t seem safe.

So Monday morning we ventured out. Palm trees are made for hurricanes, because few were down. Their leaves were shredded and some of the leaves broken or stripped off, but the trunks were standing, and they will survive. This is outside our room. Deciduous trees seemed to suffer more.

Wooden manmade structures are not made for hurricanes, as this arbor did not make it.

It takes a strong wind to blow a chain link fence over…seems like the wind could just go through it.

These chunks of wood almost made it through the fence

We use chain saws…they use machetes. The guy on the bike is security.


The streets of Kingston were littered with debris and downed power lines. but the Kingston residents are right back in business, as this fruit stand has reopened and has a customer. People have to eat.

Small shrubs and flowers did not fare well. Before and after. I think this one will be blooming again before summer ends.

But the day we left the sun rose on beautiful tropical Jamaica tempting us to find a a way to stay. But that temptation didn’t last, and soon we were on our way to the airport. Once there, power outages (don’t you think a generator at an airport would be a good idea?) caused delays and frustation among the hundreds of passengers. But the airline employees had the upper hand,and held their composure even though they had to process each passport and write out each ticket by hand.

The air was still and hot and the waiting areas were dark and we sat for a couple of hours with ipods and cameras. We sweated and we waited with the masses.


Finally our flight number was announced and we made our way to the plane, confident that within a few hours we would be home.

No Prob, Mon

August 22, 2007

We arrived in Birmingham around 10:30 last night from Kingston, Jamaica, all safe and accounted for. The local media has picked up this story, and today (the first day of classes for us at UAB’s School of Public Health) we held a press conference for them. You will hear students interviewed (and read in the paper), and see some pictures tonight (Wednesday) on TV. But only here will you get the true inside story on how we survived hurricane Dean. The satellite view was from NOAA and the graphics were from AccuWeather.


Really, all the interviews are truthful, and we never felt that our lives were threatened by the storm because our hosts from UWI Mona were trained in hurricane preparedness as were many of the students. The higher ups were aware of the storm as it was approaching, and did try to make arrangements for us to leave, but counting the San Diego State students there were about 30 people to move, and it couldn’t be done.

We were glad to stay and complete our work in Kingston. We will benefit from the experience of the field work, and we will benefit from experiencing a category 4 hurricane together. So I think our group will benefit from this course more than any group in the past.

I will post stories about the storm and our work over the next few days. People seem to be most interested in the storm, so I will start there.

I said we never felt threatened, but in truth, Red Stripe and Appleton Estates helped ease the anxiety as the storm approached and pounded down on us.


Customary it seems in the United States is to spray paint plywood or sheets with messages for the approaching storm. We were low on sheets and used no plywood, but I sacrificed a shirt for the cause. It must have worked, because something made Dean slightly change his course and stay off the coast, if only for a few miles.

The winds at UWI were estimated to be 100-120 mph. The noise was bothersome, and came in with unpredictable frequency, from winds building in intensity over about 4 or 5 hours, then maintaining high intensity for a couple of hours, followed by several hours of decreasing intensity with unexpected strong bursts. There was lots and lots of rain, I’m not sure how much, I haven’t seen the reports.

The day after the storm we assisted a little in cleaning up the area around our part of the campus, and in the afternoon a group went out to Mona Commons, a community they had done some previous work in and assisted them with recovery. They also delivered several hundred dollars of school supplies that we had brought for that community. I will put some “after” pictures on here tomorrow.

>No Prob, Mon

August 22, 2007

>We arrived in Birmingham around 10:30 last night from Kingston, Jamaica, all safe and accounted for. The local media has picked up this story, and today (the first day of classes for us at UAB’s School of Public Health) we held a press conference for them. You will hear students interviewed (and read in the paper), and see some pictures tonight (Wednesday) on TV. But only here will you get the true inside story on how we survived hurricane Dean. The satellite view was from NOAA and the graphics were from AccuWeather.


Really, all the interviews are truthful, and we never felt that our lives were threatened by the storm because our hosts from UWI Mona were trained in hurricane preparedness as were many of the students. The higher ups were aware of the storm as it was approaching, and did try to make arrangements for us to leave, but counting the San Diego State students there were about 30 people to move, and it couldn’t be done.

We were glad to stay and complete our work in Kingston. We will benefit from the experience of the field work, and we will benefit from experiencing a category 4 hurricane together. So I think our group will benefit from this course more than any group in the past.

I will post stories about the storm and our work over the next few days. People seem to be most interested in the storm, so I will start there.

I said we never felt threatened, but in truth, Red Stripe and Appleton Estates helped ease the anxiety as the storm approached and pounded down on us.


Customary it seems in the United States is to spray paint plywood or sheets with messages for the approaching storm. We were low on sheets and used no plywood, but I sacrificed a shirt for the cause. It must have worked, because something made Dean slightly change his course and stay off the coast, if only for a few miles.

The winds at UWI were estimated to be 100-120 mph. The noise was bothersome, and came in with unpredictable frequency, from winds building in intensity over about 4 or 5 hours, then maintaining high intensity for a couple of hours, followed by several hours of decreasing intensity with unexpected strong bursts. There was lots and lots of rain, I’m not sure how much, I haven’t seen the reports.

The day after the storm we assisted a little in cleaning up the area around our part of the campus, and in the afternoon a group went out to Mona Commons, a community they had done some previous work in and assisted them with recovery. They also delivered several hundred dollars of school supplies that we had brought for that community. I will put some “after” pictures on here tomorrow.