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  • October 4th, 2021

BEST BETS

UA CENTER TO SPUR CONVERGENT DRUG INNOVATION, DELIVERY – Drawing upon expertise from across campus, a new center at The University of Alabama will help overcome obstacles keeping drug therapies that show promise in the lab from translating to an effective treatment for patients. The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama recently approved forming the Center for Convergent Bioscience and Medicine with research dedicated to developing novel therapies for immuno-inflammatory diseases by adopting an integrated approach combining innovative drug delivery strategies with new drug-discovery and drug-repurposing. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu

UA LEADING INVESTMENT TO ADDRESS RURAL HEALTH INEQUITIES – The University of Alabama will spearhead a more than $4 million initiative to improve health care equity by helping underserved communities in the state be more resilient to health disparities, many exposed during the pandemic. The grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health will target populations that experienced COVID-19 health disparities among high-risk and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minorities and rural communities. The two-year project will be led by the UA Center for Economic Development. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu

UA PROGRAMS WELCOME STUDENTS STUDYING RURAL HEALTH CARE – The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences recently welcomed the 2021-2022 class of its Rural Medical Scholars and Rural Community Health Scholars programs for students studying to become rural physicians or considering other health careers. Watch for a press release or contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.

BAMA THEATRE AND DANCE IS BACK ON STAGE! The University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance returns to the stage this 2021-2022 season for live, in-person performances. The Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre, or ARDT, hits the stage Oct. 6-8 at the UA Dance Theatre in the English Building on the UA campus. ARDT, which is celebrating its 30th season, is a concert of five dance performances, varying widely in style, each choreographed by a different nationally acclaimed dance faculty member. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications, at jamon.smith@ua.edu.

CURRENT COMMENT

CHANGES TO FED-BACKED FLOOD INSURANCE ENCOURAGES DISASTER RESILIENCE – Looming changes to flood insurance will raise rates for some policyholders in Alabama, but, on the whole, the changes are good public policy, said Dr. Lars Powell, director and senior research professional of the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research. “The changes match rate to risk so people with a greater chance of having large losses pay higher premiums and vice versa,” Powell said. “It also increases incentives for people and businesses to protect their property from flooding and allows the government to allocate resources toward flood mitigation projects, instead of subsidizing insurance.” About 1,700 flood insurance policyholders will see rate increase greater than $20 next year as part of the changes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Flood Insurance Premium rating system known as Risk Rating 2.0, scheduled to go into effect for new policies on Oct. 1. To schedule an interview with Powell, contact him at lars.powell@cba.ua.edu.

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The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.