/ 2024 Alabama Primary Care Summit

2024 Alabama Primary Care Summit

January 25, 2024
8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Primary Care

January 25, 2024

Join us on January 25, 2024 for the 2024 Alabama Primary Care Summit hosted by the Alabama Statewide AHEC program. This year’s Summit will focus on “Recruiting, Training and Retaining a Healthcare Workforce”. We look forward to dynamic discussions on strategies to enhance primary care delivery, addressing issues like workforce shortages, rural and underserved care, and policy implications. AHEC Scholars are encouraged to join us!

We look forward to advancing Alabama’s healthcare with you!

Register Here

UAB Hilton


808 20th St S, Birmingham, AL 35025

(205) 933-9000

Click here to book with a discounted rate and use code 3286



Dr. Anupam Agarwal is Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean, Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He served as Executive Vice Dean for the Heeersink School of Medicine (2014-2022) and served as the Director for the Division of Nephrology from Jan 1, 2008 to Sept 30, 2021. He also serves as the Program Director of the NIH/NIDDK funded O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research. He has graduate faculty status in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Pathology and Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology at UAB.




Dr. Irfan M. Asif is the associate dean for primary care and rural health and professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is certified in family medicine and sports medicine. Dr. Asif hopes to bring infectious enthusiasm for everything family medicine and sports medicine, including the ability to provide excellence in patient care, to be outstanding educators, to always strive for quality improvement, and to provide service in a number of venues. The Department of Family Medicine is a recognized leader in primary care and Dr. Asif envisions that the department will be a home for faculty, learners, and staff across the United States who have the ambition, ability, and motivation to collaborate with their colleagues at UAB to make it the most exciting academic medical center in the country. In his role as associate dean for primary care and rural health, Dr. Asif is working with UAB Heersink School of Medicine leadership, UAB regional campuses and other key partners in Alabama and beyond to improve the primary care pipeline and address disparities in health outcomes, including in rural communities and in urban underserved areas.


Dr. Bramm was raised in Huntsville and after undergraduate and graduate school obtained his MD at the University of South Alabama, completed a surgery internship in Mobile and did extra work in pediatrics and obstetrics. Dr. Bramm then practiced general medicine, ER medicine and obstetrics in Centreville, Mississippi, a largely African American town with a population of 1200. He then completed a residency in Family Medicine and had a suburban practice for 25 years joining the UAB faculty in 2015. His interests are in rural and population health and he is the author of “And so it Goes” a medical memoir of education and rural practice.




Dr. Bryant C. Cline is a native of Jackson, MS. He is proud alumnus of Alabama A&M University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology Pre-Med degree in 2007. He went on to complete a dual-degree program, first obtaining a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Logan University in 2011 and in 2012 a Master of Science Degree in Sports Science & Rehabilitation.
Prior to joining the ACCS, Dr. Cline had nine years of experience in higher education administration serving as a program director, clinical coordinator, and lead instructor for Health Science & Allied Health Programs at Trenholm State Community College and Virginia College at Birmingham. He also had five years of experience working in the healthcare field, including his humble beginnings at Huntsville Hospital where he served as a phlebotomist/lab technician to start his healthcare career. In 2021, Dr. Cline was appointed as the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Director of Health Programs. He currently oversees 26 health science programs offered by 22 of the 24 Alabama Community Colleges. Dr. Cline also serves as the ACCS liaison for several state and national agencies including the Alabama Board of Nursing, the Alabama Department of Health, Alabama Nursing Home Association, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, and the American Red Cross. Dr. Cline holds several health science certifications which allow him to educate and practice in a variety of health science and mental health fields.


Mrs. Becky Cornelius obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Troy University in 2001 and in 2016 obtained her Master’s of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Adult Health and Gerontology. Her bedside nursing experience is in a variety of departments including medical/surgical, newborn nursery, emergency, and surgery. Beginning in August of 2005 she started teaching Health Science education at her alumni –Luverne High School. Becky then obtained her career technical teaching certification through classes completed at Athens State University. She served as the lead Health Science Instructor for all of Crenshaw County Schools where she enjoyed teaching high school students interested in pursuing a career in the medical field and was an integral part of the Health Science program relocating to a hospital based career academy. She served as a local HOSA -Future Health Professionals advisor for fourteen years where she and her students conducted activities such as health screenings, job shadowing, internships, competitions at the state and international level, and credentialing in a variety of health occupations. In May of 2019, Becky made a career change to the AL State Department of Education as a Health Science Education Specialist in the Career & Technical Education/Workforce Development Department where she also serves as the AL HOSA State Advisor. She assists over 200 Health Science programs in the state to prepare future healthcare workers. She was chosen as the Department’s Employee of the Quarter for the Spring of 2022.


Dr. David Hicks is a board-certified family medicine physician and serves as Health Officer at the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH).  At JCDH he served as Deputy Health Officer, Incident Commander for JCDH’s COVID-19 response efforts, and was Medical Director of Adult Health & Family Planning.

Before working at the health department, Dr. Hicks oversaw five clinic locations as Chief Medical Officer at Birmingham Health Care. He also has provided medical care in various settings, including urgent care clinics, correctional facilities, and an academic health system. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Chairman of Alabama’s STD Medical Advisory Council, and a member of Alabama’s Rural Medical Service Awards Advisory Board. Dr. Hicks is a Leadership Birmingham graduate, Freshwater Land Trust Red Rock Committee member, Kiwanis Club of Birmingham member, and UAB School of Public Health’s Community Engagement Council associate. In 2021, he received the NAACP Metro Birmingham Branch’s Community Trailblazer Award.

Dr. Hicks earned a Master of Public Health degree in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and was a National Institutes of Health Fogarty MIRT Program research trainee at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  He later earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his Family Medicine residency at Christiana Care Health System where he also served as Chief Resident.


Joyce Jeter, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, brings over three decades of diverse healthcare experience to her role as Director of Licensure, Practice, and CE Providers at the Alabama Board of Nursing. With an MSN in Administration/Adult Health from Troy State University and a BSN from Tuskegee University, Joyce has exhibited leadership across various sectors, including her tenure as Director of Licensing, Continuing Education, and Nurse Consultant at the Alabama Board of Nursing. Her background spans roles in nursing administration, hospice care, clinical service direction, hospital management, home health, mental health coordination, and military nursing. Notably, she served as an Active-Duty Staff Nurse/Charge Nurse in critical care and orthopedics during her military service and later as a Captain in the Inactive Army Reserve. Joyce’s commitment to ongoing professional development is evident through her involvement in school nursing research, continuing education initiatives, and membership in prestigious nursing societies Joyce is an adept professional in nursing practice regulation, public speaking, and standards of nursing practice, consistently contributing her expertise to the advancement of healthcare.

Christy B. Knowles, PHR, SHRM-CP, has been in the Human Resources profession for 25 years.  She currently serves as Chief Human Resources Officer for Coosa Valley Medical Center where she has worked for over 20 years. She has served on the regional workface development Board, East Alabama Works since 2010 and was appointed to the Alabama Workforce Council in July of 2017, currently serving as Vice-Chairman.  She also serves as the Health Science TAC Officer for the Alabama Committee on Credentialing and Career Pathways. Her most coveted role is that of CeCe to her grandchildren Carsyn and Camden. 




Dr. Raquel Mazer is an Associate Professor specializing in Behavioral & Population Sciences in the School of Dentistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She holds a position as a scientist at UAB, conducting research in the School of Dentistry’s Global Center for Craniofacial, Oral and Dental Disorders, as well as in the School of Medicine’s Minority Health & Research Center and Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Additionally, Dr. Mazer serves as the Director of the Division of Behavioral & Population Sciences in the School of Dentistry, showcasing her multifaceted contributions to academia and research.




As the Director of Curriculum Design for the Alabama Community College System Innovation Center, Brandi Merrill leads a dynamic curriculum development and design team in the creation of cutting-edge skills training courses. Before her work at the Innovation Center, Brandi spent eighteen years as a Program Director for the Baptist Medical Center School of Ultrasound and Echocardiography and the Program Director for the Ultrasound Program at Trenholm State Community College in Montgomery, Alabama. Preceding her career as a Program Director, she also served as a Clinical Instructor for both Radiology and Ultrasound Programs. These roles would eventually lead to her passion for teaching and skills training. With a Master of Health Science and Higher Education Concentration, Brandi brings over twenty years of expertise in instructional design, skills training, and healthcare training development in a higher education setting. Brandi’s commitment to excellence has earned her accolades such as the Chancellor’s Award of Excellence and participant in the ACCS Instructional Leadership Academy. Her extensive experience includes serving as a guest lecturer for the University of Alabama Birmingham Family Medical Residency Program, the Alabama Society of Radiologic Technologists, and most currently she is serving as Dissertation Committee Chair for the College of Health Sciences at Faulkner University.


Nick Moore serves as the director of the Governor’s Office of Education and Workforce Transformation (GOEWT) under the leadership of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. Moore is focused on aligning Alabama’s education and workforce programs, implementing Alabama’s state longitudinal database system, establishing Alabama’s non-degree credential quality and transparency system, and curating a competency-based education and skills-based hiring system in Alabama. Under Nick’s leadership, the GOEWT is working to establish a learning and employment record, a skills-based job description generator, and a human-centered public workforce system designed to assist Alabamians with overcoming benefits cliffs and other barriers to entering the workforce. Nick holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University Extension School and a Master of Public Policy from Cornell University.



Jeremiah Newell, Ed. L.D., is the CEO of the Mobile Area Education Foundation (MAEF) and the visionary Founder of MAEF Public Charter Schools. With a distinguished career, he formerly served as the Chief Executive Officer of MAEF Public Charter Schools, where he played a pivotal role in shaping the educational landscape. Jeremiah is recognized for his significant contributions, having designed, founded, and led Alabama’s first public charter school, Accel Day and Evening Academy. His leadership and dedication underscore his commitment to advancing innovative and impactful education initiatives in the Mobile area.




Farrell Turner began his career with St. Luke’s Episcopal and Texas Children’s Hospitals in Houston; was CFO at South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel, Mississippi; and has served as interim CEO and CFO in a number of small rural hospitals in the South. He now serves as CEO with Physicians Care in the Camden Thomasville area of Southwest Alabama helping to lead the six-site Federally-Qualified Look-Alike Health Center. He is a subject matter expert in Rural Health Clinics, especially provider-based RHCs. He was educated in Alabama public schools, received a Bachelor’s degree at The University of Alabama College of Commerce and Business Administration in Accounting and Health Care Management, and a Master’s in Finance at the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He is a CPA, a certified coder, and a Fellow with the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He is President and Past President of the Alabama Rural Health Association and serves on the State Association Council of the National Rural Health Association. He has been chapter President of the Anniston-Gadsden and Oxford Chapters of the American Academy of Professional Coders.





Thank you to our sponsors!




For questions regarding sponsorships, please contact Alia Tunagur at atunagur@uab.edu



The Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Center is funded in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration, the federal agency charged with training health professionals and improving health care for people who are geographically isolated, economically disadvantaged or medically vulnerable. The contents of this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.