University of Alabama at Birmingham

Leadership Education in Pediatric Nutrition
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
Department of Pediatrics

view map
Value Map: DOC | PPT

Project Director

Bonnie A. Spear, Ph. D.
Adolescent Medicine
1600 7th Avenue, South
Birmingham, AL 35233-1711
(205) 939-6299


To improve the health of infants, children and adolescents and their families through

1) Training the pediatric nutrition workforce by providing long-term training in pediatric clinical and public health nutrition and

2) providing continuing education to nutritionists and health care providers of various disciplines in the area of pediatric nutrition, health promotion/disease prevention and behavioral counseling.

Core Values and Guiding Principles

Academic Programs

MS program in clinical nutrition with pediatric nutrition focus
MA program in health education or exercise physiology with adolescent nutrition focus
MPH in MCH or Health Behavior with pediatric nutrition focus

PhD in Health Promotion, Disease Prevention (Combined program of UAB School of Public Health, UAB School of Education and UA School of Education (Tuscaloosa)
Research Areas include: eating disorders, health disparities, school based interventions (nutrition/physical activity/smoking prevention), behavioral counseling.

UAB Dietetic Internship

Intensive Course in Nutrition for Infants, Children and Adolescents:
This is week-long course with over 20 speakers covering all aspects of pediatric nutrition. Participants are pediatric practitioners from throughout the United States.

Distance Learning

Pediatric Update: A yearly satellite teleconference on hot topics in pediatric nutrition. 2004 will be the 12th annual teleconference. Average viewers- 250 sites with 5,000-6,000 viewers.

“Growing an Adolescent”- adolescent growth and development course that is used for core curriculum in LEAH, LEND, School of Nursing as well as the Nutrition Training Grant. This WEB-CT course is utilized by Public Health and CRS staff.


Professional Societies

American Dietetic Association
PNPG- Board of Directors
Chair, Competitive Foods Task Force- Developed Association legislative position for the Child Reauthorization Act
Expert consultant for the MCHB Cooperative Agreement for Partners in Program Planning for Adolescent Health (PIPPAH)- a coalition of 7 professional organizations designed to improve health of adolescents.

American Academy of Pediatrics
Co-chair, Middle Childhood Expert Panel, revising Bright Futures guidelines for health care for infants children and adolescents

Society for Adolescent Medicine
Scholarship and Grant Committee

MCH Funded Program Initiatives, UAB

Interdisciplinary training in Title V programs: LEND, LEAH, PPC, SPH
MCH Collaborative Network established for all MCHB training programs to work collaboratively in training and research. Currently, all programs are working together to develop a regional initiative on youth in transition.

State Title V programs: Each quarter all funded Title V programs throughout the state meet to share information and work together for training and services. These programs include: LEND, LEAH, PPC, SPH, LEPN, State Title V, CRS, Medicaid, Historically black colleges, MCHB funded Ryan White, etc.

Clinical Programs

University of Alabama, Department of Pediatrics in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital of Alabama have formed Children’s Hospital System

Clinical Services/Experiences include:

In-patient and out-patient in one of 26 sub-specialty services (GI, pulmonary, endocrine, sports medicine, hematology/oncology, eating disorders, allergy, renal, HIV/AIDS, genetics/inborn errors of metabolism, juvenile justice, etc)

Primary Care clinics (General Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine, Public Health)

Community clinics in rural underserved areas (Black Belt of Alabama)


Only children’s hospital in Alabama- primary referral for all pediatrics

Nationally known faculty in adolescent medicine, pediatric pulmonary, developmental disabilities, and pediatric GI

14 advanced level pediatric dietitians who provide training to variety of students in clinical nutrition

Seven one-year nutrition fellowships (stipends and tuition support) in adolescent medicine, pediatric pulmonary, developmental disabilities (including inborn error of metabolism, general pediatrics, hospital pediatrics, and General Clinical Research Center (GCRC).

Relationships to Non-Traditional Communities

Collaboration with Historically Black Universities to address health disparities

NIH funded Health Disparities Grant (joint UAB, Alabama State University)- nutrition and physical activity intervention in rural schools

HRSA Ryan White funding to improve services to HIV/AIDS pediatric patients in Alabama through rural services and investigative research.

Nutritional and Health Care of adjudicated youth

Public Health Networks

State Department of Health and State Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS)

Coordinating the development and writing of the Alabama State Plan for nutrition and physical activity- with special emphasis on addressing the rising rate of childhood obesity.

Core committee member of the State CRS Transition Team to address the needs of special needs youth transiting into adult systems. Plans are underway to develop training for health professionals in both the pediatric and adult systems.

National Adolescent Health Initiative- Coordinating with Alabama Department of Health (Title V agency), National AAP, State Health Department, UAB Division of Adolescent Medicine and University of South Alabama Department of Pediatrics to develop an adolescent health state plan addressing the 12 critical health objectives for adolescents (nutrition and physical activity are 2 of the objectives).

Comments are closed.

Back To Top