Our Mission and Commitment to Growth

Our Vision

RussellupviewTo dramatically improve the health of the children of Alabama, the region and beyond by delivering the highest quality care to all the children of Alabama and the region, providing an exciting learning environment, achieving national prominence in laboratory and clinical investigation and effectively advocating for improved child health.

Our Mission is fourfold: Clinical Care, Research, Education, and Advocacy:

  • Improve the health of children of Alabama, and the region in collaboration with community health care providers, other community partners and advocacy efforts;
  • Discover and apply important new knowledge (research ↔ clinical care);
  • Educate patients, families, and health care providers and train the next generation of leaders in medicine;
  • Improve the clinical care delivery system so that it provides the best outcome at the lowest possible cost.

Over the last decade, UAB Pediatrics and the Children's Health System have experienced enormous growth in clinical services and programs. Our most recent initiatives include:

 
  • The Pediatric and Infants Center for Acute Nephrology
 
  • The Pediatric Simulation Center
 
  • Creation of the Molecular Diagnostic Lab
 
  • Development of the CICU/CVICU
 
  • Implementation of a number of Quality Improvement and Safety Programs

A Home-Grown Approach to Growth


Faculty Recruitment
Faced with clinical and educational demands and limited funding to hire outstanding physicians in the late 1980s and 90's, Dr. Sergio Stagno, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, implemented a very successful “Grow our own” program with a three pronged approach.

1. Dixon Fellowship Award
The Dixon Fellowship was created in 1988, with the help of the Edwin Dixon family of Birmingham, AL. The Fellowship is a competitive award for subspecialty training, is fellow friendly, and lasts from one to two years in duration. In addition to the stipend, the fellowship provides annual discretionary funds ($5K). The Department of Pediatrics matches 50 percent of the total award. There are five Dixon Fellow training slots. Since the establishment of the fellowship, 53 awards have been given. Of the fellow awardees, 25 are now active faculty within the Department. Among the alumni there are six Division Chiefs, six Endowed Chairs, one Clerkship Director, four Division Fellowship Program Directors, one Residency Training Program Co-Director, one Center Director and one Associate Dean.

2. Child Health Research Center
An NIH Pediatric Career Development Award in the amount of $375K per year; the PI is Sergio Stagno, M.D. Only 20 departments nationwide are funded at a time by such an award.

This award is to support the training of physician-scientists who are within their first three years of their faculty appointment. The award is competitive with selection by a scientific review/advisory group. Once awarded, it provides up to $100,000 per year for up to three years in duration.

Thus far, a total of 30 awards have been granted. Of those awarded, 15 are now active faculty, including:
Assistant Professor = 7
Associate Professor = 2
Professor = 6
Of those awarded, all but two have received some type of NIH funding. UAB Pediatrics has the third highest success rate of all such programs.  Unfortunately, this grant was not renewed for 2013.  The Department will reapply for consideration in 2014.

3. KPRI Grant Funding History
The Kaul Pediatric Research Institute grants are provided by Children's of Alabama primarily for Junior Research Faculty. Three specific forms of research qualify for funding from KPRI: basic laboratory investigation, cost-benefit analyses of health care delivery, and clinical studies. The research application must be directed toward the improvement of child health care and the advancement of the mission of COA.

  • Competitive, Peer Reviewed, NIH Format 
  • Program Started 1993
  • Total Awards 87
  • Total Investigators 68
  • Total Dollar Awarded $5.3M

Return on Investment:

  • Funded investigators have obtained 382 extramural awards for a total of $131.3M as of 1/2013
  • Forty-two awardees are full-time faculty members