Pathology Pioneer's Legacy Lives On
"Dr. Adams invested in our mission of providing the highest quality of pathology education, and the benefits of his investment are evident in the quality of our residents and our program."
Dr. Robert Adams and Dr. Theodis Buggs Jr.
Through the loyal support of the late Robert B. Adams, M.D., the UAB Department of Pathology has received an enduring commitment to advancing excellence in pathology education, training, and technology. A renowned pathologist who passed away in 2014, Dr. Adams is well remembered as a driving force for promoting quality pathology services as well as a committed School of Medicine alumnus and benefactor.
"Dr. Adams' dedication to our department has laid the foundation for continued support of pathology education at UAB, says C. Bruce Alexander, M.D., professor and vice chair of the Department of Pathology and residency program director. "He invested in our mission of providing the highest quality of pathology education, and the benefits of his investment are evident in the quality of our residents and our program."
A Birmingham native and 1956 graduate of the Medical College of Alabama, now the UAB School of Medicine, Dr. Adams became a pioneering force in pathology in the state, serving on the Department of Pathology faculty from 1961 to 1964. He became the first pathologist at the former Montgomery Baptist Hospital (currently Baptist Health), and established tow Schools of Medical Technology in Alabama, graduates of which are now spread across the globe. DR. Adams also served as the associate director of surgical pathology at UAB Hospital. According to W. J. Many Jr., M.D., Dean of the UAB Montgomery Regional Medical Campus and the Virginia Loeb Weil Endowed Professor in Medical Education, "DR. Adams was the consummate professional-passionate about his work and exacting in his standards. Moreover, he was always committed to helping the next generation of young pathologists and all physicians in training learn and grow. Through his continued active participation in lifelong learning, Dr. Adams served as a role model to students and residents. He was a pillar of the Montgomery medical community, and indeed physicians across the state benefited greatly from his knowledge, expertise, and generous spirit, and will continue to do so long into the future.
An enthusiastic supporter of the School of Medicine and the Medical Alumni Association, Dr. Adams was a longtime member of the MAA Board of Directors, serving as president for two years. "His steadfast participation in alumni affairs demonstrated his continued, lifelong interest in education and supporting quality pathology services in the state of Alabama, " says Dr. Alexander.
In 2003, Dr. Adams and his wife, Jean, established the Adams Education Fund, which provides gran support for UAB pathology residents. "This fund was created out of DR. Adams' desire to stimulate research interest among pathology residents," says Dr. Alexander. "This resource has allowed our residents to pursue grant-supported, peer-reviewed scholarly activity in and around their regular rotations. In this way, the fund has given our residents flexibility and has enhanced our department's research focus within graduate medical education."
In a generous expression capping a lifetime of support for the School of Medicine, Dr. and Mrs. Adams made a planned gift in 2013 to establish the Dr. Robert B. Adams Endowed Chair in Pathology. Dr. Alexander says endowed positions such as these help to establish a leadership role in the discipline of pathology, which provides more than 65 percent of data in a patient's chart. "They also ensure continued education to patients and health care workers regarding the important role of pathology and laboratory medicine in patient care," he says.
He adds that Dr. Adams' core mission can best be described as a devotion to patient care through advancing the highest quality of pathology education and technology within the state. "His legacy of giving has helped to ensure that his life's mission will continue."