Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. In 2017, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 45 other states and six foreign countries, representing more than 677,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions.


October marks Superhero Month at Children’s, and this year’s celebration was no less amazing. Spider-Man, Batman, Superman and Captain America scaled down the side of the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children to the delight of patients, parents and staff alike. The month’s uplifting “The Power of Children’s” campaign, presented by Books-A-Million, included several activities to instill confidence, bravery and inspiration in patients and their families.


A familiar face or two walking the halls is commonplace at Children’s, from Ringling Bros. Circus performers to the “Star Wars” costumed Alabama Garrison of the 501st Legion. Other guests included Buckets Blake of the Harlem Globetrotters, former Auburn University and current Houston Texans offensive lineman Chad Slade, the Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University baseball teams, and the Texas Tech University and University of South Florida football teams.


August marked the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, and in December, Children’s broke ground on a new parking deck and office building in the 1600 block of Fourth Avenue South. Children’s Board of Trustees approved the construction of a 12-story parking deck that will provide 1,500 parking spaces and a six-story, 115,000-square-foot office building that will house nonclinical support services, many of which have been located off the main campus since construction began on the Russell building in 2008.


The Warren Family Foundation was honored during the dedication of The Park, Children’s new playground and green space, in September. The Park is located below the crosswalk connecting the Children’s Harbor and McWane buildings off Sixth Avenue, and includes a toddler playground, a pre-K and older playground and a green space.


The 2017 Employee Service Awards had its second consecutive year of record-breaking attendance. More than 750 employees celebrating service anniversaries (five-year increments) were honored with a Hollywood-themed reception and dinner at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel. This year included special recognition for 40-year honorees Kathy Bains, Kathy Franklin and Howard Sisco, and 45-year honoree Jane Myers.


May 17 was a special day for the 2017 Regions Tradition Pro-Am Ambassadors, who each spent time with celebrity golfers on the greens of the Greystone Golf & Country Club. The Pro-Am serves as the kickoff to the Regions Tradition, part of the PGA Champions Tour. Children’s is the primary beneficiary of the golf tournament. The 10 ambassadors all were treated at Children’s.


Children’s hosted a bone marrow donor reunion in August between recipient Payton Ray, 14, of Odenville, center, and donor Brent Mueller of St. Charles, Missouri, first row, third from left. The reunion kicked off the Committed to a Cure Marrow Donor Registry Drive hosted by the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s and its partner, Be the Match.


U.S. News and World Report

U.S. News & World Report ranked Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation for the eighth consecutive year. Seven of our pediatric specialty services were ranked among the Top 50 in the U.S. in the magazine’s 2017–18 Best Children’s Hospital rankings — Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Gastroenterology & GI, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Pulmonology.

Pediatric Academic Societies

Children’s and the UAB Department of Pediatrics sponsored a co-branded booth at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Francisco. The gathering is the largest and most prestigious meeting dedicated to pediatric research and education in the world.

American Academy of Pediatrics

Children’s Comprehensive Behavior Intervention for Tics program and its director, Jan Rowe, Dr. OT, OTR/L, FAOTA, were highlighted at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Chicago. Rowe educated attendees about the advantages of having occupational therapists administer behavioral intervention techniques for tic disorders. More than 11,000 pediatricians from around the world attended the conference.

Inside Pediatrics

Inside Pediatrics, Children’s biannual magazine, expanded its brand in 2017 with the addition of a quarterly electronic newsletter and a podcast distributed to pediatric experts nationwide.



Ambika Ashraf, M.D., Endocrinology, was invited to co-chair the Pediatric Endocrine Society Education Committee.

Judson Barber, M.D., Emergency Medicine, was recognized at the 2017 Society for Pediatric Sedation Conference for six years of service on the Board of Directors.

Smita Bhatia, M.D., MPH, Hematology and Oncology, was invited to participate in the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs’ Pediatric Leadership Program for the 2017—2018 term.

Suresh Boppana, M.D., Infectious Diseases, is the first holder of the Hugh Dillon, M.D., Endowed Professorship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Mike Chen, M.D., Surgery, was elected to on the American Pediatric Surgical Association Board of Governors.

Mitch Cohen, M.D., Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, was elected to the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Executive Committee.

Reed Dimmitt, M.D., Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, is the first holder of the David E. Dixon Endowed Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology.

Maaike Everts, Ph.D., Infectious Diseases, is the recipient of the International Society for Antiviral Research William Prusoff Young Investigator Lecture Award.

Daniel Feig, M.D., Nephrology, was elected Pediatric Nephrology Subboard Chair of the American Board of Pediatrics.

Lee Hilliard, M.D., Hematology and Oncology, was invited to participate in the seventh annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) Advocacy Leadership Institute.

Tina Simpson, M.D., Adolescent Medicine, received the American Medical Women’s Association 2017 Exceptional Mentor Award.


Nursing Excellence Awards: Eleven nurses were presented Nursing Excellence Awards as part of Children’s annual National Nurses Week celebration in May. The 2017 honorees are Kathy Atkins, Linda Brown, Tabitha Daniel, Laken Elliott, Robin Lynn Greer, Suzanne Gurosky, Carol Henry Jenkins, Wanda Mosley, Kyla Owen, Christina Slager and Suzann Smith.

DAISY Award: Each month, Children’s honors a nurse with The DAISY Award. Nurses are nominated by patients' families. Honorees personify Children’s remarkable patient experience and demonstrate excellence by serving as a role model for the nursing profession. Recipients of The DAISY Award in 2017 are Jane Phillips, Kendal Jaffe, Walter Luke Endress, Savannah Goodlett, Diane Storie, Julie Stone, Sallie Rhodes, Brandi Cruz, Al Bonds, Warren Skinner, Casey Rae Jacobs and Margaret Blessing.


Six Children's practices completed the nearly yearlong process to achieve National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Accreditation: Pediatrics East Trussville and Deerfoot; Greenvale Pediatrics Hoover, Alabaster and Brook Highland; and Vestavia Pediatrics. Two practices, Mayfair Medical Group and Over the Mountain Pediatrics, are now going through the process. NCQA is a nationally recognized not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality.

There were many anniversaries to celebrate in 2017. Mayfair Medical Group celebrated 20 years, Over the Mountain Pediatrics 20 years, Pediatrics West 40 years, Vestavia Pediatrics 45 years and 20 years with Children's and Pediatrics East 60 years.

John Cortopassi, M.D., of Greenvale Pediatrics Hoover, received the Down Syndrome Alabama World Down Syndrome Day Distinction Award in Healthcare for his work with children with Down syndrome.

David Glasgow, M.D., of Greenvale Pediatrics Brook Highland, who retired in 2017, was voted Best Pediatrician by Birmingham Magazine. Phil Harmon, M.D., of Pediatrics East Deerfoot and Dan Carter of Greenvale Pediatrics Hoover were finalists in the same category.

Children's and all three Greenvale Pediatrics locations (Alabaster, Brook Highland, Hoover) were recognized as Family Favorites by Birmingham Parent magazine. Children's was named favorite children's hospital while Greenvale swept the favorite pediatrician category.

Programs & Services


The Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) Clinic at Children's was named one of the 10 Tourette Syndrome Association Centers of Excellence. The centers aim to improve the quality of life of people with Tourette Syndrome and other tic disorders by promoting the highest level of care, research, education and training, and advocacy and awareness for these conditions. Pictured are Leon Dure, M.D., right, and Jane Rowe, Dr. OT, OTR/L, FAOTA.


ECMO 30th Anniversary

The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program at Children's marked its 30th anniversary in 2017. Since the program's start in 1987, the Children's ECMO team has cared for almost 800 children–639 infants, 66 respiratory patients and 82 cardiac patients. ECMO uses a heart-lung bypass machine to provide oxygen to the blood while allowing the heart and lungs to heal. Children's is among the first pediatric hospitals in the Southeast to offer ECMO and is the only program of its kind in Alabama.

UAB Civitan Rett Syndrome Clinic

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Civitan Rett Syndrome Clinic has received the Center of Excellence award from, a leading advocacy organization for patients and families affected by Rett Syndrome (RTT). The award was presented at a reception on September 8, 2017 at Children's. The Center of Excellence Award was given to Alan Percy, M.D., for his leadership of actively pursuing studies in RTT. Dr. Percy, who treats patients at Children's and is director of the UAB Civitan Rett Syndrome Clinic, was one of the first physicians to recognize RTT in the U.S.

Pediatric Transplant Center

The Pediatric Transplant Center at Children's performed 38 transplants in 2017–19 kidneys, 12 hearts and seven livers. Since opening in March 2013, the center has performed a total of 149 transplants.

Sensory Pathway

Sensory Pathway

Children's Sensory Pathway, established in 2016, expanded to Benjamin Russell One Day Surgery. The pathway is for children with sensory sensitivities like autism or Down syndrome. Children have access to tools such as noise-canceling headphones and fidget toys that provide support and ease the hospital experience for patients and families.

Children's/UAB Walking Trail

UAB Medicine Trail

UAB Medicine Trail, part of UAB's revamped walking trail system, now extends to Children's. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held August to celebrate the trail extension.

Healthy Strides

Children's latest wellness program, Healthy Strides, is the result of staff feedback and our goal to meet the evolving needs and interests of employees. Healthy Strides rewards employees for reaching various goals and behavior-based components such as biometric screenings, preventive exams and other healthy pursuits.


Children's Volunteer Services department launched Soundscapes, a year-round music program designed to help create a quiet, soothing and calm atmosphere. Talented local musicians–individuals or small groups–have an opportunity to play background music as patients, family members, guests and staff go about their day.

Amelia Center

Amelia Center 20th Anniversary

Thanks to the support of the United Way of Central Alabama, the community and client donations, the Amelia Center is able to provide grief counseling services at no cost to families. The staff has grown from two part-time employees to five full-time therapists, two full-time office personnel and two interns. Approximately 1,100 individuals representing 400 families seek counseling at the Amelia Center each year.


B-Metro magazine recognized several Children’s physicians as part of its Top Women in Medicine issue published in June 2017. To access the list of honorees, visit the B-Metro website.