Two outstanding Department of Pediatrics faculty members were named recipients of the 2016 Dean's Excellence Awards, an honor recognizing exceptional contributions made by the School of Medicine faculty in service, teaching, research, diversity enhancement and mentorship. Lauren Nassetta, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, is a junior faculty winner of the Dean's Excellence Award for Teaching. Richard Whitley, M.D.,distinguished professor of Pediatrics is a dual senior faculty winner of the Dean's Excellence Award in Research.Click here to read more

A reception to honor the award recipients will be held on Wednesday, June 15 at 4 p.m. inside the Wallace Tumor Institute. All Department of Pediatrics faculty and staff are invited to attend in support and celebration of their colleagues. Congratulations to Drs. Nassetta and Whitley and all other Department of Pediatrics nominees. Click here to view the reception invitation.
Congratulations to Tim Coghill, M.D., Pediatric Neonatology, and Ann Klasner, M.D., Emergency Medicine, who are newly elected representatives to our Pediatric Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee (APTC). They will serve a three year term beginning in with the 2017 promotion cycle. The 2017-2018 APTC Committee members include: Drs. Rich Whitley (APTC Chair), Michele Nichols, Nancy Tofil, Peter Glaeser, Randy Cron, Bill Britt, Tony Fargason, Nat Robin, Shannon Ross, Tina Simpson, Ann Klasner and Tim Coghill.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) selected Charitharth 'Vivek' Lal, M.D., neonatology, to participate in the AAP Young Physicians' Leadership Alliance (YPLA) through the Section on Early Career Physicians (SOECP). This is a three-year training program designed to develop leaders and build a leadership community amongst early career pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. Congratulations on this exciting opportunity!
On May 21, Peggy Logan, Children's of Alabama PICU Social Worker, coordinated the first annual 4th Avenue North Health Fair with several of the area merchants. Among the UAB Department of Pediatrics physicians participating was Drs. Chrystal Rutledge, Nancy Tofil, Tina Simpson and Susan Walley. The event was a success, with music, food and a great crowd. Participants received education and counseling on asthma, smoking cessation and adolescent health issues. The event was held in the Historic 4th Avenue North District downtown.
Congratulations to Drs. Thomas Howard and William King on being appointed as Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine. The appointment, approved by the Board of Trustees, is made in recognition of their outstanding service and years of dedication to the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, and Children's of Alabama. Please join us in thanking Drs. Howard and King for their exceptional contribution and congratulating them in this distinguished honor.
The Dixon Foundation endows a fellowship training program in Pediatrics expressly aimed at supporting postdoctoral training and research in approved Pediatric subspecialties to prepare outstanding fellows for a career in academia. Candidates are selected on a competitive basis, and selection is made upon a Review Committee’s analysis of the written application. The selection committee met on Tuesday, May 17, to review applications for the Dixon Fellowship Training Program for the 2016 academic year. Five awards were granted, and the new fellows were announced at Grand Rounds on Thursday, May 19 during the annual Bradford Dean Dixon Lecture. Congratulations to: Jenny K. McDaniel, M.D., Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, Claudette Poole, M.D., Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Eric Ring, M.D., Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, Nathanael D. Swinger, M.D., Pediatric Critical Care and Colm Travers, MB, BCh, BAO, Neonatology.

Children's of Alabama and the Department of Pediatrics has been given a generous donation from the Chu Family to support educational initiatives. From this donation, a portion has been set aside for Pediatric Fellows. The selection committee for the Chu Family Educational Scholarship recently met and selected two fellows to receive this educational scholarship. Candidates were selected on a competitive basis. These awards will provide funds for tuition, books and fees related to their educational endeavors.

Please join us in congratulating the recipients for the 2016-2017 academic year:

Kathryn Hines, M.D. – Upcoming 2nd year Pediatric Hospital Medicine fellow
Dr. Hines will use funds towards completing a Medical Education Certificate Program through the University of Cincinnati.

Adolfo Molina, M.D. – Upcoming 1st year Pediatric Hospital Medicine fellow
Dr. Molina will use funds to attend the UAB Quality Academy/UAB Graduate Certificate Program in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety.
While only 25 percent of Alabama’s children are appropriately screened for developmental delay, 11 practices from across the state tripled developmental screening to 96 percent and nearly doubled autism screening to 91 percent over the course of a nine month quality improvement learning collaborative lead by the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA). Moreover, these practices reliably referred at-risk children to further evaluations and support such as Early Intervention and Help Me Grow. Practices in the Tuscaloosa area incorporated social-emotional screening to link children in need with behavioral resources piloted by Project LAUNCH. UAB staff involved in the ACHIA collaborative included: Myriam Peralta-Carcelen, M.D., FAAP, collaborative content expert; Justin Schwartz, M.D., FAAP,  guest speaker; and Cason Benton, M.D., FAAP was the course director and QI coach. Click here for an overview of the collaborative.
Children in rural areas have high rates of medical complexity and often reside in low-income and medically underserved areas, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A study published in Pediatrics examines the inpatient health care utilization of rural children as compared to nonrural children, specifically the higher cost of hospitalization and increased frequency of readmissions.

Chang Wu, M.D., Pediatric Hospital Medicine, and Marjorie White, M.D., Pediatric Emergency Medicine, were among the investigators who looked at patient admissions in 41 freestanding tertiary-care pediatric hospitals across the United States, where rural children account for 12 percent of all admissions. The most common admissions were for asthma, bronchiolitis and seizures. Children from rural areas are particularly vulnerable, as they often experience worse health outcomes, and higher rates of obesity and tobacco exposure, and 71 percent had at least one chronic medical condition.
Continue reading here... 

Fox 6 News interviewed Dr. Wu in regards to this study. Click here to view the segment.
The Office of Faculty Development is pleased to announce the inaugural class for the Department of Pediatrics (DOP) Faculty Scholars Program. Congratulations to: Heather Austin, Ph.D., General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine; Krista Casazza, Ph.D., RD, LD, General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine; JR Hartig, Ph.D., General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine; Morissa Ladinsky, M.D., General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine; Claire Lenker, LCSW, CCM, Pediatric Pulmonary; Leslie Rhodes, M.D., Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care; Mary Lauren Scott, M.D., Pediatric Endocrine; Nicole Sims, M.D., Pediatric Critical Care; Cassi Smola, M.D., Pediatric Hospital Medicine and Stephenie Wallace, M.D., MSPH, General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
This one-year program is designed to strengthen our cadre of teaching faculty and support the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative curricula designed to improve pediatric graduate medical education.