Physician Education: Bridging Clinical Research and Patient Care

Faculty Profile

Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Internal Medicine Clerkship Co-Director, University of Alabama at  Birmingham School of Medicine

Medical Director of Informatics, Health System Information Services, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Topics of Professional Interest:

Medical Informatics

Infectious Diseases, HIV/AIDS

Honors and Awards:
  • Egresado Destacado 2011 Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo (INTEC).  Highest honor awarded to alumni from INTEC Medical School (2011)
  • Selection, NIH Summer Institute for Mobile Health June 2011.
  • Faculty inductee to University of Alabama at Birmingham Alpha Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha. November 2008.
  • J. Claude Bennett Award for Excellence in Research by an Associate Fellow.  24th Annual Department of Medicine Trainee Research Symposium March 5, 2008.  Univ of Alabama at Birmingham.
  • Excellence in Information Integrity Gold Award non-Profit Winner 2007.  Awarded by the Information Integrity Coalition, IL, USA.  Designed and implemented a program to enhance the quality of information recorded by providers in electronic medical records at the University of Alabama at Birmingham 1917 HIV/AIDS Clinic.  Selected from a field of more than 50 national and international nominees. 
  • Best Teaching Fellow in Medicine 2005-2006.  Department of Medicine Univ of Alabama at Birmingham.
  • Donelly Award June 2003.  Award given by faculty to resident displaying the qualities of an exemplary internist.  Univ of Virginia Roanoke-Salem Internal Medicine.
  • Best Intern of the Year 2000-2001.  Univ of Virginia Roanoke-Salem Internal Medicine.
  • Awarded the Dedication of the XXXI Bio-Intec Meeting July 1996.  Only active student ever granted this distinction.  Received for effecting significant changes in and selfless dedication to furthering medical student research.
  • Pasante Estrella Award, November 1994.  First recipient of award presented for outstanding work during six month rural and urban community service rotation.

Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo (INTEC); Doctor in Medicine – Magna Cum Laude, 7/1991-8/1996
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB); Master of Science in Public Health; August 7, 2010.

Board Certified in Internal Medicine 2004-2014
Board Certified in Infectious Disease 2008-2018

Univ of Virginia Roanoke-Salem; Internal Medicine Resident; 7/2000-6/2003

Selected Publications:
  1. Willig JH. Impact of education on intestinal parasite reinfection rates. Science and Society 23:3:341-342, 1998.
  2.  Espinal G, Willig JH. Incidence of Blastocystis hominis in students of Fray Ramon Pane Elementary school. Science and Society 23:3:338-341, 1998.
  3. Bagchi S, Kempf M, Westfall AO, Maherya A, Willig JH, Saag MS. Can routine clinical markers be used longitudinally to monitor antiretroviral therapy success in resource limited settings? Clin Infect Dis 2007; 44(1):135-138.
  4. Mugavero MJ, Lin HY, Allison J, Willig JH, Chang P, Marler M, Raper JL, Schumacher J, Pisu M, Saag MS. Failure to establish HIV care: Characterizing the “no show” phenomenon. Clin Infect Dis 2007; 45:127-30.
  5. Willig JH, Westfall AO, Allison J, van Wagoner N, Chang P, Raper JL, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. NRTI dosing errors in an outpatient clinic in the electronic medical record era. Clin Infect Dis 2007; 45:658-61.
  6. Building enterprise information sharing: A collection of case studies. HIMSS Whitepaper, February 2008. Available at:
  7. Tan R, Westfall AO, Willig JH, Mugavero MJ, Saag MS, Kaslow RA, Kempf MC. Clinical outcome of HIV-infected antiretroviral-naïve patients with discordant immunologic and virologic response to highly active antiretroviral therapy. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2008; 47:553-58.
  8. Willig JH, Jackson DA, Westfall AO, Allison J, Chang P, Raper JL, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. Clinical inertia in the management of LDL abnormalities in an HIV clinic. Clin Infect Dis 2008; 46:1315-18.
  9. Willig JH, Sadasivam RS, Tanik MM. A conceptual framework for personalized and mobile health care. Integrated Design and Process Technology, June 2008. Conference Proceedings 11th Annual Society for Design and Process Science Transdisciplinary Conference.
  10. Willig JH, Abroms S, Westfall AO, Routman J, Adusumilli S, Varshney M, Allison J, Chatham A, Raper JL, Kaslow RA, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. Increased regimen durability in the era of once daily fixed-dose combination antiretroviral therapy. AIDS 2008; 22:1951-60.
  11. Robison LS, Westfall AO, Mugavero MJ, Kempf MC, Cole SR, Allison J, Willig JH, Raper JL, Wilcox CM, Saag MS. Short-term discontinuation of HAART regimens more common in vulnerable patient populations. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2008; 24:1347-55.
  12. Willig JH, Ulett KB, Lin HY, Routman JS, Abroms S, Allison J, Chatham A, Raper JL, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. The therapeutic implications of timely linkage and early retention in HIV care. AIDS Patient Care STDS 2009; 23:41-49.
  13. Mugavero MJ, Lin HY, Allison J, Giordano TP, Willig JH, Raper JL, Wray NP, Cole SR, Schumacher J, Davies S, Saag MS. Racial disparities in HIV virologic failure: Do missed visits matter? J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2009;50:100-56.
  14. Mugavero MJ, Lin HY, Willig JH, Westfall AO, Ulett KB, Routman JS, Abroms S, Raper JL, Saag MS, Allison J. Missed visits and mortality in patients establishing initial outpatient HIV treatment. Clin Infect Dis 2009; 48:248-56.
  15. Kelley CF, Kitchen CMR, Hunt PW, Rodriguez B, Hecht FM, Kitahata M, Crane HM, Willig JH, Mugavero MJ, Saag MS, Martin JN, Deeks SG. Incomplete peripheral CD4+ cell count restoration in HIV-infected patients receiving long-term antiretroviral treatment. Clin Infect Dis 2009;48:787-794.
  16. McKinnel J, Lin HY, Nevin C, Willig JH, McFarland G, Genz M, Raper JL, DeLaitsch LL, Mrus JM, Klaskala W, Mugavero MJ, Saag MS. Early virologic suppression with three-class experienced patients: 24 week effectiveness in the Darunavir outcomes study. AIDS 2009 Jul 31;23(12):1539-46.
  17. Willig JH, Echevarria J, Westfall AO, Iglesias D, Henostroza G, Seas Carlos, Mugavero MJ, Allison J, Paz Jorge, Hernandez F, Tomatis C, Saag MS, Gotuzzo E. Durability of initial antiretroviral therapy in a resource constrained setting and the potential need for zidovudine weight-based dosing. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2010;53:215-221.
  18. Willig JH, Sinkala M, Sadasivam RS, Albert M, Wilson L, Mugavero M, Msidi E, Brande S, Nikisi J, Stringer J, Tami I, Henostroza G, Gathibhande V, Menke J, Tanik M, Reid S. Design and process development for smart phone medication dosing support system and educational platform in HIV/AIDS-TB programs in Zambia. November 2009, Conference Proceedings 12th Annual Society for Design and Process Science Transdisciplinary Conference.
  19. Willig JH, Nevin CR, Willig AL, Burkhardt JH, Raper JL, Schumacher JE, Johnson VA, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. Cost ramifications of increased reporting of detectable plasma HIV-1 RNA levels by the Roche COBAS Ampliprep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 version 1.0 viral load test. JAIDS 2010 Aug 1;54(4):442-4.
  20. Willig JH, Saag MS. HIV/AIDS: The only thing constant. J Natl Med Assoc. 2009 Dec;101(12):1299-300.
  21. Baffi CW, Aban I, Willig JH, Agarwal M, Mugavero MJ, Bachman L. New syphilis cases and concurrent STI screening in a Southeastern US HIV Clinic: A call to action. AIDS Patient Care and STDs 2010 Jan;24(1):23-9.
  22. Willig JH, Routman JS, Westfall AO, Abroms SR, Varshney M, Adusumilli S, Allison JJ, Savage KG, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. Comparative efficacy versus effectiveness of initial antiretroviral therapy in clinical trials versus routine care. Clin Infect Dis 2010; 50(4):574-84.
  23. Mckinnell JA, Willig JH, Westfall AO, Nevin C, Allison JJ, Raper JL, Mugavero MJ, Saag MS. Antiretroviral prescribing patterns in treatment-naïve patients in the U.S. AIDS Patient Care and STDs 2010; 24(2):79-85.
  24. Crane PK, Gibbons LE, Willig JH, Mugavero MJ, Lawrence ST, Schumacher JE, Saag MS, Kitahata MM, Crane HM. Measuring depression and depressive symptoms in HIV-infected patients as part of routine clinical care using the 9-item patient health questionnaire. AIDS Care, 2010, 22:7, 874-885.
  25. Willig JH, Lawrence ST, Crane HM, Ye J, Aban I, Lober W, Nevin CR, Batey DS, Mugavero MJ, McCullumsmith C, Wright C, Kitahata M, Raper JL, Saag MS, Schumacher JE. Routine self-administered, touch-screen computer based suicidal ideation assessment linked to automated response team notification in an HIV primary care setting. Clin Infect Dis 2010 Apr 15;50(8):1165-73.
  26. Vance DE, Mugavero MJ, Willig JH, Raper JL, Saag MS. Aging with HIV: A cross- sectional study of co-morbidity prevalence and clinical characteristics across decades of life. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care 2010 May 13.
  27. Raper JL, Willig JH, Lin HY, Allison JJ, Broner MB, Mugavero MJ, Saag MS. Uncompensated medical provider costs associated with prior authorization for prescription medications in an HIV outpatient clinic. Clin Infect Dis 2010 Sep 15;51(6):718-24.
  28. Willig JH, Aban I, Nevin CR, Ye J, Raper JL, McKinnel JA, DeLaitsch LL, Mrus JM, De La Rosa GR, Mugavero MJ, Saag MS. Darunavir outcomes study: comparative effectiveness of virologic suppression, regimen durability and discontinuation reasons for three-class experienced patients at 48 weeks. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 2010 Dec;26(12):1279-85.
  29. Garvin K, Willig JH. Amebic liver abscess. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2010 Nov;83(5):961.
  30. Singh S, Willig JH, Mugavero MJ, Crane PK, Harrington RD, Knopp RH, Kosel BW, Saag MS, Kitahata MM, Crane HM. Comparative effectiveness and toxicity of statins among HIV-infected patients. Clin Infect Dis 2010 Feb;52(3):387-95.
  31. Crane HM, Grunfeld C, Willig JH, Mugavero MJ, Van Rompaey S, Moore R, Rodriguez B, Feldman BJ, Lederman MM, Saag MS, Kitahata MM. Impact of NRTIs on lipid levels among a large HIV-infected cohort initiating antiretroviral therapy in clinical care. AIDS 2011 Jan 14;25(2):185-95.
  32. Sadasivam RS, Gathipande V, Tanik MM, Willig JH. Development of a point-of-care HIV/AIDS medication dosing support system using the Android mobile platform. Journal of Medical Systems 2012 Jun;36(3):1583-91.
  33. Godwin NC, Willig JH, Nevin CR, Lin HY, Allison J, Gaddis K, Peterson J, Schumacher JE, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ, Raper JL. Underutilization of the AIDS drug assistance program: associated factors and policy implications. Health Services Research 2011 Jun;46(3):982-95.
  34. Achenbach CJ, Cole SR, Kitahata MM, Casper C, Willig JH, Mugavero MJ, Saag MS. Mortality after cancer diagnosis in HIV-infected individuals treated with antiretroviral therapy. AIDS 2011 Mar 13;25(5):691-700.
  35. Juday T, Grimm K, Zoe-Powers A, Willig J, Kim E. A retrospective study of HIV antiretroviral treatment persistence in a commercially insured population in the United States. AIDS Care 2011 Sep;23(9):1154-62.
  36. Gibbons LE, Feldman BJ, Crane HM, Mugavero MJ, Willig JH, Patrick D, Schumacher J, Saag M, Kitahata M, Crane PK. Migrating from a legacy fixed format measure to CAT administration: calibrating the PHQ-9 to the PROMIS depression measures. Quality of Life Research 2011 Nov;20(9):1349-57.
  37. Nevin CR, Ye J, Aban I, Mugavero MJ, Jackson D, Lin Hui-Yi, Allison J, Raper JL, Saag MS, Willig JH. The role of toxicity-related regimen changes in the development of antiretroviral resistance. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 2011 Sep;27(9):957-63.
  38. Tami-Maury I, Willig JH, Vermund S, Jolly P, Aban I, Hill J, Wilson C. Contemporary profile of oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS and associated risk factors in a Southeastern US clinic. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 2011 Fall;71(4):257-64.
  39. Tami-Maury I, Willig JH, Vermund S, Jolly P, Aban I, Hill J, Wilson C, Kempf M. Prevalence, incidence, and recurrence of oral lesions among HIV-infected patients on HAART in Alabama. Southern Medical Journal 2011 Aug;104(8):561-6.
  40. Seal PS, Jackson DA, Chamot E, Willig JH, Nevin CR, Allison JJ, Raper JL, Kempf MC, Schumacher JE, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. Temporal trends in presentation for outpatient HIV medical care 200-2010: implications for short-term mortality. J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Jul;26(7):745-50.
  41. Mugavero MJ, Napravnik S, Cole SR, Eron JJ, Lau B, Crane HM, Kitahata MM, Willig JH, Moore RD, Deeks SG, Saag MS. Viremia copy-years predicts mortality among treatment-naïve HIV-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy. Clin Infect Dis 2011 Nov;53(9):927-35.
  42. Abraham AG, Lau B, Deeks S, Moore RD, Zhang J, Eron J, Harrigan R, Gill MJ, Kitahata M, Klein M, Napravnik S, Rachlis A, Rodriguez B, Rourke S, Benson C, Bosch R, Collier A, Gebo K, Goedert J, Hogg R, Horberg M, Jacobson L, Justice A, Kirk G, Martin J, McKaig R, Silverberg M, Sterling T, Thorne J, Willig J, Gange SJ; for the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design of the International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS. Missing Data on the Estimation of the Prevalence of Accumulated Human Immunodeficiency Virus Drug Resistance in Patients Treated With Antiretroviral Drugs in North America. Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Sep 15;174(6):727-35.
  43. Sterling TR, Lau B, Zhang J, Freeman A, Bosch RJ, Brooks JT, Deeks SG, French A, Gange S, Gebo KA, John Gill M, Horberg MA, Jacobson LP, Kirk GD, Kitahata MM, Klein MB, Martin JN, Rodriguez B, Silverberg MJ, Willig JH, Eron JJ, Goedert JJ, Hogg RS, Justice AC, McKaig RG, Napravnik S, Thorne J, Moore RD; for the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD) of the International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA). Risk Factors for Tuberculosis After Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation in the United States and Canada: Implications for Tuberculosis Screening. J Infect Dis. 2011 Sep;204(6):893-901.
  44. Batey DS, Hogan VL, Hamlin CR, Ross-Davis K, Nevin CR, Zimmerman C, Thomas S, Mugavero M, Willig J. Routine HIV testing in the emergency department: assessment of patient perceptions. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2012 Apr;28(4):352-6.
  45. Salinas J, Vildozola-Gonzales H, Astuvilca J, Arce-Villavicencio Y, Carbajal D, Talledo L, Willig J. Long term albendazole effectiveness for hepatic cystic echinococcosis. American J of Trop Med and Hyg 2011 Dec;85(6):1075-9.
  46. Mugavero MJ, Amico KR, Westfall AO, Crane HM, Zinski A, Willig JH, Dombrowski JC, Norton WE, Raper JL, Kitahata MM, Saag MS. Early retention in HIV care and viral load suppression: implications for a test and treat approach to HIV prevention. JAIDS 2012 Jan 1;59(1):86-93.
  47. Kozak M, Mugavero MJ, Ye J, Aban I, Lawrence S, Nevin CR, Raper JL, McCullumsmith C, Schumacher JE, Crane HM, Kitahata MM, Saag MS, Willig JH. Patient Reported Outcomes in Routine Care: Advancing Data Capture for HIV Cohort Research. Clin Infect Dis 2012 Jan 1;54(1):141-7.
  48. Tate T, Willig AL, Willig JH, Raper JL, Moneyham L, Kempf M, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. HIV infection and obesity: Where did all the wasting go? Antivir Ther. 2012;17(7):1281-9.
  49. Merlin JS, Westfall AO, Raper JL, Zinski A, Norton WE, Willig JH, Gross R, Ritchie CS, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ. Pain, mood and substance abuse in HIV: Implications for clinic visit utilization, ART adherence, and virologic failure. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012 Ot 1;61(2):164-70.
  50. Adams JL, Gaynes BN, McGuinness T, Modi R, Willig J, Pence BW. Treating depression within the HIV “medical home”: A guided algorithm for antidepressant management by HIV clinicians. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2012 Nov;26(11):647-54.
  51. Kalayjian RC, Lau B, Mechekano RN, Crane HM, Rodriguez B, Salata RA, Krishnasami Z, Willig JH, Kahn JO, Mathews C, Boswell S, Moore RD, Eron JJ, Kitahata MM. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease in a large cohort of HIV-1 infected individuals initiating ART in routine care. AIDS. 2012 Sep 24;26(15):1907-15.
  52. Schumacher JE, McCullumsmith C, Mugavero MJ, Ingle-Pang PE, Raper JL, Willig JH, You Z, Batey DS, Crane H, Lawrence ST, Wright C, Treisman G, Saag MS. Routine depression screening in an HIV clinic cohort identifies patients with complex psychiatric co-morbidities who show significant response to treatment. AIDS Behav 2012 Oct 20. [Epub ahead of print]
  53. Burkholder GA, Tamhane AR, Salinas JL, Mugavero MJ, Raper JL, Westfall AO, Saag MS, Willig JH. Underutilization of aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease among HIV-infected patients. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Dec;55(11):1550-7.
  54. Kim DJ, Westfall AO, Chamot E, Willig AL, Mugavero MJ, Ritchie C, Burkholder GA, Crane HM, Raper JL, Saag MS, Willig JH. Multimorbidity patterns in HIV infected patients: the role of obesity in chronic disease clustering. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2012 Dec 15;61(5):600-5.
  55. Willig JH, Westfall AO, Mugavero M, Nevin CR, Correll T, Duggal A, Guyer W, Saag MS, Juday T. Effect of persistency of first-line HIV antiretroviral therapy on clinical outcomes. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 2012 Dec 18. [Epub ahead of print]
  56. Alave J, Paz J, Gonzalez E, Campos M, Rodriguez M, Willig J, Echevarria. Risk factors associated with virologic failure in HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy at a public hospital in Peru. Rev Chilena Infectol 2013; 30 (1): 42-48.
  57. Willig JH, Wilkins AR, Tamhane A, Nevin CR, Mugavero MJ, Raper JL, Napolitano L, Saag MS. Maraviroc Observational Study: the impact of expanded resistance testing and clinical considerations for antiretroviral regimen selection in treatment experienced patients. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2013 Jan;29(1):105-11.
  58. Feldman BJ, Federicksen RJ, Crane PK, Safren SA, Mugavero MJ, Willig JH, Simoni JM, Wilson IB, Saag MS, Kitahata MM, Crane HM. Evaluation of the single-item self rating adherence scale for use in routine clinical care of people living with HIV. AIDS Behav. 2013 Jan;17(1):307-18.
  59. Hanna DB, Buchacz K, Gebo KA, Hessol NA, Horberg MA, Jacobson LP, Kirk GD, Kitahata MM, Korthuis PT, Moore RD, Napravnik S, Patel P, Silverberg MJ, Sterling TR, Willig JH, Lau B, Althoff KN, Crane HM, Collier AC, Samji H, Thorne JE, Gill MJ, Klein MB, Martin JN, Rodriguez B, Rourke SB, Ganje SJ for the NA-ACCORD and IeDEA Project teams. Trends and disparities in antiretroviral therapy initiation and virologic suppression among newly treatment-eligible HIV infected individuals in North America, 2001-2009. Clin Infect Dis 2013 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print]
  60. Kozak M, Zinski A, Leeper C, Willig JH, Mugavero MJ. Late diagnosis, late presentation and delayed presentation in HIV: Proposed definitions, methodological considerations and health implications. Antivir Ther. 2013 Jan 22. [Epub ahead of print]
  61. Justice AC, Modur S, Tate JP, Althoff KN, Jacobson LP, Gebo K, Kitahata M, Horberg M, Brooks J, Buchacz K, Rourke SB, Rachlis A, Napravnik S, Eron J, Willig JH, Moore R, Kirk GD, Bosch R, Rodriguez B, Hogg RS, Thorne J, Goedert JJ, Klein M, Gill MJ, Deeks S, Sterling TR, Anastos K, Gange SJ for the NA-ACCORD and VACS Project Teams. Predictive accuracy of the veterans aging cohort study (VACS) index for mortality with HIV infection: A North American cross cohort analysis. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2013 Feb 1;62(2):149-163.
  62. Willig JH, Krawitz M, Panjamapirom A, Ray MN, Nevin CR, English TM, Cohen MP, Berner E. Closing the feedback loop: An interactive voice response system to provide follow-up and feedback in primary care settings. J Med Syst. 2013 Apr;37(2):9905.

Manuscripts in Press:

Tami-Maury IM, Willig JH, Jolly P, Vermund SH, Aban I, Hill J, Wilson C. Oral lesions: Poor markers of virologic failure in HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy. ISRN Infectious Diseases 2013 (in press)