“Which measures should primary care practices prioritize in the next five years to improve health outcomes for children and youth?”

To answer that question, ACHIA’s partners, including UAB and Children's of Alabama, weighed the impact and feasibility of more than 100 health measures during a year-long process guided by the UAB School of Public Health. 

From the measures list, three were determined to provide the best opportunities for improvement:
  • Asthma
  • Adolescent Well Child Visits
  • Developmental Screening
ACHIA’s 2018-2020 quality improvement learning collaboratives will tackle these topics. The collaboratives incorporate the Model for Improvement, run over nine months and provide Part 4 MOC and CME. Practices complete online modules taught by Alabama experts; benefit from QI coaching; and share best practices with one another on monthly webinars.

Interested in partnering with ACHIA to work with engaged practices on these health topics? 
Contact Cason Benton, MD, FAAP

Interested in participating in the 2018 Asthma collaborative?
Contact Linda Champion,

Learn more at
The UAB Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) K12 Program has appointed Marissa Gowey, Ph.D., Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, as a UAB PCOR K12 Scholar. These awards are supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institutional Award. Dr. Gowey's award in career development titled, "Addressing healthcare disparities in pediatric obesity treatment: Development of a novel, patient-centered intervention targeting executive function," is funded for two years. 
 More information.
The 3rd Annual Just A Call Away 5K & Fun Run, a 5K race and fundraiser for the Crisis Center at Uptown Birmingham, will be held Saturday, August 19 at 8 a.m. Runners of all ages and abilities are welcome. A 1 Mile Fun Run will be offered as well. Participants may register here.

The Crisis Center’s mission is to serve the unmet needs of people experiencing personal crisis or mental health issues and respond with services that promote coping, emotional health and well-being, and serves the community of Central Alabama. All services of the Crisis Center are 100% free and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For more information about this event and the mission of the Crisis Center, visit
Wednesday, Aug. 23 | 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. | Children's Harbor Building Library - Suite 311
*Note change in location.

Join us to bid farewell and honor Deb Quenelle, Ph.D., Pediatric Infectious Diseases, for outstanding service to UAB, Pediatrics, and Children's of Alabama. 

More information.
As school starts for many this week, WBRC Fox 6 turned to Heather Austin, Ph.D., Adolescent Medicine, to help navigate decisions regarding children and their extracurricular activities. 

Watch the segment on
Traci Jester, M.D., and Gillian Noel, M.D., Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, have been nominated and selected to participate in the Clinical Investigator Training Program. The program was launched in the spring of this year and the second pilot program will start this fall. This is pragmatic and hands-on clinical investigator training program (CITP) focused on preparing new investigators to plan and implement human subject investigation in a GCP compliant manner.
Life has not been easy for 2-year-old Wryn Graydon of Moody, Alabama. She was born July 6, 2015, a seemingly healthy 7-pound, 10-ounce girl whom mom, Haley Graydon, had carried full term with no health issues for either her or her baby. The only abnormality — which may have been a clue of the difficulties to come — was that Haley had an abnormally large placenta and measured far ahead of schedule halfway through the pregnancy.

A newborn screening suggested Wryn had congenital hypothyroidism, an inadequate thyroid hormone production in newborns. But a few weeks later, Wryn began doing worse despite treatment. She developed widespread swelling of the skin and sepsis, which led to an intensive care admission at just over 2 months of age. Wryn was dehydrated, and it was difficult to draw the blood needed to help accurately diagnose what was wrong.

Daniel Feig, M.D., division director of Pediatric Nephrology at UAB and medical director of Renal Transplantation at Children’s of Alabama, and his nephrology team were able to definitively diagnose a 10-week-old Wryn with congenital nephrotic syndrome of the Finnish type, a rare and severe disease seen in one in 50,000 children worldwide. 

Read the story at UAB News

The UAB Department of Pediatrics welcomed seven new faculty members during the month of July.  Please join us in making them feel at home!

Nick CaJacob, M.D., Assistant Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Cincinnati, OH. Dr. CaJacob completed his pediatric residency and Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition fellowship in the UAB Department of Pediatrics. In addition, he earned a graduate certificate in healthcare quality and safety from UAB in 2016. His interests include clinical research in eosinophilic esophagitis and quality improvement with a focus on inpatient gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition.

Courtney Campbell, M.D., Instructor, General Pediatrics, earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University Health in Shreveport, LA. Dr. Campbell completed her pediatric residency in the UAB Department of Pediatrics. In addition, she has served as a Chief Resident for our Pediatric Residency program this past year. Her clinical interests include community advocacy, medical education, and care of medically complex children. 


Marissa Gowey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Gowey completed her APA accredited predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. In addition, she just recently completed an NIH T32 postdoctoral fellowship in obesity research at UAB in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center. Overall clinical/research focus is on pediatric obesity and family-based healthy lifestyle intervention, including biopsychosocial models of assessment and treatment. Specific research interests include (a) the development and implementation of novel behavioral interventions for pediatric and family-based health promotion to prevent and treat pediatric obesity, (b) understanding the role of executive functioning in the development, maintenance, and treatment of obesity and dysregulated eating behavior, and (c) addressing pediatric healthcare disparities and underserved populations.

Gillian Noel, M.D., MSCS, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, earned her medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colorado. Dr. Noel completed her pediatric residency and Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition fellowship at the Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Noel earned her Masters of Science in Clinical Science from the University of Colorado Graduate School at the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. She joins us after recently completing a Pediatric Transplant Hepatology/Advanced Hepatology Fellowship at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine. Her clinical/research interests include pediatric liver allograft survival, health disparities and the impact of culturally responsive medical care on chronic disease management.    

Robert Richter, M.D., Assistant Professor, Pediatric Critical Care, earned his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, SC. Dr. Richter completed his pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. Most recently, he completed a Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship and a Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at the UAB Department of Pediatrics. His clinical/research interests include respiratory support for infants post-cardiac surgery and elucidating mechanisms of and treatment for endotheliopathy in pediatric sepsis.


Amanda Soong, M.D., Assistant Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, earned her medical degree from UAB School of Medicine. Dr. Soong completed her Pediatric Residency at the UAB Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Soong previously served as an Instructor and Assistant Professor with the UAB Department of Pediatrics for eight years. She currently practices at Acton Road Pediatrics and will return part-time as an Assistant Professor in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition. Her clinical interests include management of constipation, reflux and failure to thrive.

Tennille Webb, M.D., Assistant Professor, Pediatric Nephrology, earned her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. She completed her pediatric residency at Advocate Christ Medical Center at Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL. Dr. Webb completed her Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship training at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition, she completed an Acute Care Nephrology Fellowship at the Center for Acute Care Nephrology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Her research interest is in Acute Kidney Injury in the pediatric population.

Judson Barber, M.D., Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) physician and Medical Director of the PEM Sedation Service, was recognized at the 2017 Society for Pediatric Sedation (SPS) Conference in Orlando, Florida, for his six years of service on the board of Directors for the Society. Dr. Barber is also a founding member of the SPS and serves as the chairman of the communications subcommittee. The SPS was founded in 2007 to promote safe, high quality care, innovative research and quality professional education in pediatric sedation.
Candice Dye, M.D., General Pediatrics, with support from the Pediatric Office of Faculty Development, was selected to attend the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar, held July 15-18, 2017 in Stevenson, Washington. This awarded seminar is designed for women physicians and scientists holding medical school faculty appointments at the assistant professor level, and considering leadership positions within their discipline, department, or institution. This comprehensive and engaging program provides an introduction to the knowledge and skills needed to pursue leadership roles within academic medicine.