Children's of Alabama

Performance Improvement

Solutions for Patient Safety

Children’s completed its fourth year as a participant in Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS), a Healthcare Engagement Network (HEN) which now has over 110 participating children’s hospital partners. Preventing hospital acquired conditions (HACs), a complication from treatment while in hospital care, is the goal of the network. We were able to share the vision of eliminating serious harm to patients through our participation in webinars, national and regional meetings, and participation in SPS leadership teams. In January 2016, Children’s received the SPS Hospital of the Month Award for:


100 percent data submission on all HACs and readmissions since 2014


Reducing harm in five of the seven HACs


Participation in the 4@90 Challenge to increase bundle reliability with CLABSI (central line acquired blood stream infections)


Attending over 75 High Reliability Organization (HRO) Wednesdays and Culture Club Thursdays

Children’s achieved an overall 20 percent reduction in the hospital acquired condition rate (HAC), and greater than 90 percent reliability in seven of the eight care bundles.

Children's of Alabama

ECMO Program

Children’s Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program received the Platinum Level Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Award for Excellence in Life Support. The Platinum Level distinction recognizes programs with high quality standards and processes in place, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols and advanced education for all staff members. The ECMO team uses heart-lung bypass technology to provide oxygen to the blood of critically ill or injured patients while allowing the heart and lungs to heal or rest. ECMO is only used after all other medical treatment has failed and the odds of survival without it is less than 20 percent. Children’s was one of the first pediatric hospitals in the southeast to offer ECMO in 1987. Since that time, more than 600 children have received the treatment – an average of 24 cases per year.

ADHD Program

Adolescent Medicine launched a new Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder clinic to provide treatment for teens with ADHD or teens needing assessment for distractibility, poor concentration or inattentiveness. Led by Stephanie Wallace, M.D., and Tina Simpson, M.D., the clinic is held on the first Monday of every month in the William A. Daniel Adolescent Health Center in Children’s Park Place.

Genomics Clinic

The undiagnosed diseases program at UAB expanded its service with a new genomics clinic located at Children’s. The clinic will provide easier access for patient families and help provide a seamless continuity of care.

Children's of Alabama

Global Surgery Program

Via Children’s Global Surgery Program, surgeons travel to partner pediatric hospitals worldwide to perform surgery, educate other surgeons and provide expertise in the creation of standardized management protocols for complex surgical diseases. Additionally, surgeons and research coordinators from those partner institutions travel here for training fellowships to advance their knowledge and skills and participate in research endeavors. The program will build on the experience of surgeons from the divisions of general surgery, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, neurosurgery and cardiovascular surgery who have been making these overseas trips for years. Over the past three years, Children’s surgeons have visited hospitals in Vietnam, Kenya, Mexico, Uganda and Ghana.

Children's of Alabama

Conferences, Workshops and Symposia

Children’s hosted or sponsored several conferences, professional workshops and symposia as part of our commitment to provide excellent patient care through innovative and proven clinical care, education and research.

Rare Disease Symposium

The third annual Rare Disease Symposium was held in February. The day-long conference celebrated Rare Disease Day, an international event created to draw attention to uncommon conditions affecting children and adults worldwide. Topics ranged from whole genome sequencing to pediatric cancer genetic counseling. Keynote speakers included Robert Green, M.D., M.P.H., geneticist and physician-scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School, Douglas R. Stewart, M.D., physician-scientist and investigator for the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Genetics Branch in Bethesda, Maryland, and Children’s/UAB physicians Prescott Atkinson, Martina Bebin and Bruce Korf.

Concussion Summit

UAB Sports Medicine and Children’s, in conjunction with the Wise Up! Initiative, hosted the third annual Concussion Summit in April. The year’s theme was “The Science of Staying Safe.” The keynote speaker was Robert Stern, Ph.D., professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and anatomy and neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, where he also serves as director of the clinical core for the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center and director of clinical research for the BU Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. CTE is a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head hits in contact sports. Topics addressed included the role of genetics and active rehabilitation in brain injury recovery, women and concussion, and when to refer student-athletes to the Children’s Concussion Clinic. In addition, a former NFL players’ panel discussed the new tackling approach of “taking the head out of the game.” Panelists included Kevin Drake, former UAB quarterback and wide receiver and program director of the Wise Up! Initiative; Chris Goode, former University of Alabama defensive back; and Stan White, former Auburn University quarterback.

Mental Health Awareness Conference

The third annual Mental Health Awareness Conference drew record attendance in May, with more than 180 pediatricians, parents, counselors and other caregivers. Topics included the connection between chronic illness and mental health, what to expect when a loved one is coping with chronic health issues, how medical providers and the faith community can collaborate to advocate for children with mental health issues and spiritual care in the mental health setting. The Daniel Foundation of Alabama provided support for the event.

Children's of Alabama

Neuro-Oncology Symposium

Alyssa Reddy, M.D., and Greg Friedman, M.D., Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, organized the fourth annual Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Symposium in May. Topics focused on the genetic changes within brain tumors, the use of genomic data in therapy for brain tumors and the efficacy of viral gene therapy on brain tumors. Donations from the Lily Rushton family and Wheeling for Hope make the symposium possible each year.

Pediatric Cancer & Blood Disorders Symposium

Children’s hosted its seventh annual Advancement in the Care of Pediatric Cancer & Blood Disorders Symposium in October. Topics included curative therapy for sickle cell disease, the role of pediatric integrative oncology and disparities in adolescents and young adults with cancer. Among the speakers were Richard Dwayne Brown, MSN, CRNP, JD, FAANP, Lakshmanan Krishnamurti, M.D., of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Avi Madan-Swain, Ph.D.