March 31, 2022

Fellow Spotlight: Rachel Skains, MD, MSPH

Rachel Skains, MD, MSPH; is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with an Instructor Fellow appointment in the Department of Emergency Medicine (EM) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Skains is an early-stage investigator focused on improving healthcare efficiency and mitigating disparities in the acute care of older adults through patient-centered outcomes research, establishing geriatric emergency care guidelines/protocols through quality improvement initiatives, and translating aging research evidence to practice of Geriatric Emergency Medicine. Dr. Skains’ interest in cognition and aging stems from her undergraduate training in Neuroscience, working as a clinical research coordinator at Carolinas Neuromuscular/MDA-ALS Center, and serving as a NC Albert Schweitzer Fellow. After graduating from Wake Forest School of Medicine (2016), she completed her EM residency at UAB (2019) followed by a Clinical Research Fellowship focused on Geriatric EM (GEM) while pursuing a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in Clinical and Translational Science from the UAB School of Public Health (2021). Dr. Skains was awarded the AHRQ NRSA T32 Postdoctoral Scholar Fellowship in the UAB Health Services Research Training Program (2020-2022), in addition to funding through the UAB Integrative Center for Aging Research pilot grant program. Furthermore, Dr. Skains was a physician champion for the UAB – Highlands Geriatric ED Committee, which received Level 1 accreditation (2021), completed the UAB Geriatric Scholar Interprofessional Program (2019-2021), and was recently elected the first Fellow board member for the GEM Section of American College of Emergency Physicians (2021-2023). Dr. Skains is also leader of the Medication Safety Committee to update the national Geriatric ED Guidelines and serves as a reviewer for the Level 3 Geriatric ED Accreditation (GEDA) program. Finally, Dr. Skains served as Fellow on a NIH/NIDA-funded proposal to test the effectiveness of a clinical decision support intervention to improve the adoption of buprenorphine in the ED (2019-2021). Dr. Skains will be an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment at UAB and the Birmingham VA Medical Center (BVAMC) after completing her research fellowship.