Anniversaries, Awards and Recognition


U.S. News and World Report Ranking

U.S. News and World Report ranked Children’s in a three-way tie for No. 1 Children’s hospital in the Southeast. The publication ranked us in the top 50 nationally in all 10 services:

  • Cancer (42nd)
  • Cardiology and Heart Surgery (28th)
  • Diabetes and Endocrinology (42nd)
  • Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Surgery (41st)
  • Neonatology (50th)
  • Nephrology (32nd)
  • Neurology and Neurosurgery (28th)
  • Orthopedics (42nd)
  • Pulmonology (41st)
  • Urology (44th)


Individual Awards

Each year, many Children’s employees are recognized for excellence. Among the notable honors this year, Children’s president and CEO Tom Shufflebarger, FACHE, was elected to the board of the Alabama Hospital Association (AlaHA) representing the Birmingham Regional Hospital Council. Children’s bestowed pulmonologist and critical care doctor Michele Kong, M.D., with an endowed professorship. And Children’s created its own new award this year—the Impact Award. It is given to staff who go above and beyond their normal job responsibilities to make a positive impact at work. Each month, the winner is recognized during a ceremony and receives a framed certificate, an award, a pin and sweet treats to share with their coworkers.


Team and Department Awards

CHIPS Center—Two medical professionals from Children’s of Alabama were recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for their work combating human trafficking. Kara Huls, M.D., and Ashley Hodges, Ph.D., CRNP, were part of a group that received the inaugural Outstanding Victim Protection in Countering Human Trafficking Award from the Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) within DHS. The recognition was part of the newly established DHS Annual Awards in Countering Human Trafficking, which recognize major counter-human-trafficking efforts and contributions by department personnel. CCHT recognized Huls, Hodges and other members of Birmingham’s Multidisciplinary Team, which includes law enforcement officers, judicial officials and other service providers working together to improve the detection and care of trafficking survivors while increasing accountability for perpetrators. The team’s work has been recognized as a national model for addressing child trafficking.

Heart Transplant—The Children’s of Alabama heart transplant program received the Pediatric Heart Transplant Service (PHTS) Vanguard Center Award. The award recognizes individual heart transplant centers for their outstanding contribution to the PHTS Registry. The key drivers for award selection are maintaining 100% regulatory compliance and 95% data compliance along with time of participation, number of patients and financial accountability. The collective data defines and drives heart transplant quality and care delivery outcomes at every level.

Pediatric Practice Certification—All 13 Children’s of Alabama primary care practices maintained or renewed National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient Centered Medical Home certification in 2022.



Benjamin Russell Hospital Building

In August, Children’s marked the 10th anniversary of the Benjamin Russell Hospital building. This $400 million, state-of-the-art expansion a decade ago allowed Children’s to accommodate more patients and address medical technology needs. At the time, the 12-story, 760,000-square-foot building was the largest medical facility expansion in the history of Alabama. With a family-centered design, it enhanced patient and family comfort. It also included a new Heart Center.

Pediatric Practice Anniversaries

  • Mayfair Medical Group—25 years as a Children’s of Alabama practice
  • Pediatrics West—45 years in practice
  • Pediatrics East—65 years in practice
  • Vestavia Pediatrics—50 years in practice, 25 years as a Children’s of Alabama practice
  • Over the Mountain—25 years as a Children’s of Alabama practice


  • ECMO Center—35th anniversary 
  • Amelia Center—25th anniversary