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Leadership


Thomas G. Shufflebarger, FACHEThomas G. Shufflebarger, FACHE
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Tom Shufflebarger is President and Chief Executive Officer for Children’s of Alabama. He is responsible for all aspects of the operation and care provided by the State’s only freestanding pediatric hospital.

Shufflebarger is an honors graduate of Duke University where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Master of Business Administration. He joined Children’s of Alabama in 1992, having previously served as budget director and director of physician recruitment and development for Brookwood Medical Center.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and currently serves as a Trustee of the Alabama Chapter of the American Hospital Association. Active in numerous community organizations, he has served in volunteer leadership roles with the American Red Cross, The United Way of Central Alabama, Magic Moments, the Lakeshore Foundation, Canterbury United Methodist Church, and the Hoover City Schools.

A resident of Hoover, Shufflebarger and his wife, Ellen, have two daughters. In his leisure time, he enjoys most any outdoor activity.


Vickie  AtkinsVickie Atkins
Vice President, Risk Management

Vickie Atkins is Vice President of Risk Management for Children’s of Alabama. In this role, she is responsible for risk management including Holy Innocents Indemnity, Patient Safety, Performance Improvement and Accreditation, Infection Control, and Medical Staff Services.

Atkins joined Children’s of Alabama in 1982. Prior to coming to Children’s, she was director of Medical Records at the Vaughan Regional Medical Center in Selma, Ala.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health information management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Juris Doctor from the Birmingham School of Law. She has attained the Associate of Risk Management designation as well as being certified as a Health Care Risk Management Professional.

Atkins is a member of the Homewood Rotary Club, the American Society for Health Care Risk Management; American Health Lawyers Association, American Bar Association and the Alabama Bar Association. She and her husband are the parents of one daughter.

Born in Kennett, Mo., Atkins lived in various states including Tennessee and Oklahoma before making her home in Alabama in 1974.


Heather Baty, MCD, MBA, AuDHeather Baty, MCD, MBA, AuD
Vice President, Ambulatory Operations

Heather Baty is Vice President of Specialty Care Services for Children’s of Alabama. She manages all operations for the multi-specialty clinics and outpatient audiology, physical, occupational and speech therapy. She works closely with pediatric sub-specialists to develop and expand pediatric clinical services. 

Baty received a Bachelor of Science in communication disorders and a Master of Science in audiology at Auburn University.  She received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her Doctorate in Clinical Audiology from A.T. Still University. During her career at Children’s, she has worked in Hearing and Speech as a staff audiologist, supervisor, and department director. Following that, she was divisional director in Specialty Care Services for three years.  In February 2019, she assumed responsibility for the hospital’s specialty care services.

She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and is licensed and certified as an audiologist.  A native of Rainsville, Alabama, Baty enjoys spending time with her husband and three active children.


Jamie Dabal, MSHA, MBA, FACHEJamie Dabal, MSHA, MBA, FACHE
Vice President, Operations

Jamie Dabal is Vice President of Operations for Children’s of Alabama with administrative responsibilities for Surgical Services, Pharmacy, Biomedical Engineering, Facilities/Engineering, Planning and Development, Supply Chain Services, Security and Parking, and Hospitality Services (Environmental Services, Dietary, and Central Transportation).

Dabal is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College holds a Master of Science in Health Administration and a Master in Business Administration from UAB.

She has been part of the Children’s since 2008. After moving back home to Birmingham to find an organization to grow with, she was hired as the business administrator for Surgical Services at Children’s. After several years in this position, Dabal took on the leadership role of a new software system implementation. This opportunity and experience led her into the world of healthcare supply chain. A decade later, she was in the role of Divisional Director of Supply Chain and Operational Support.

Dabal is actively involved in the American Heart Association (ACHE), Momentum Women’s Leadership Program, UAB School of Health-Related Professions, UAB School of Nursing Junior Board of Visitors, and was recently listed as one of the Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives local chapter.

A resident of Mountain Brook, Dabal and her husband, Bob, have three children.

 


Doug DeanDoug Dean
Vice President, Human Resources

Doug Dean is Chief Human Resources Officer for Children’s of Alabama. He is responsible for all human resources operations, including executive compensation and benefits, employee relations, recruitment and selection, compensation, benefits human resource information systems, employee health, human resource development and training. He also oversees pastoral care, COA’s Near & Dear onsite childcare center, Volunteer Services programs, and the Amelia Center Grief Counseling Center.

As a native of Birmingham, Dean received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Meinrad College in Indiana (magna cum laude, 1982) and a Master of Arts in Public and Private Management (MPPM, 1988) from Birmingham-Southern College. His professional credentials include the designations of Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

Before coming to Children’s in 1999, his business career included working as an Employee Benefits Trust Officer, AmSouth Bank (‘84-’88), a Compensation & Benefits Leader at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (‘88-’93), and Compensation & Benefits Director at Baptist Health System (‘93-’99).

In 2011, Dean was honored as the Human Resource Executive of the Year by the Birmingham Business Journal (large company category). He has served as chairperson for the HR Executive Forum of the Child Health of America, a consortium of 42 pediatric hospitals across the U.S. In 2007, he was the President of the Birmingham Society for Human Resource Management (BSHRM), and from 2003-2005 has served on the Fidelity Investments Client Board. He has been a featured speaker for World At Work, and has also been published in Compensation & Benefits Review and as a contributing author in an AMACOM / ACA publication by Thomas Wilson, Rewards that Drive High Performance. He was honored by the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2002 Best in Business awards as a finalist for the 2002 Rising Star Award.


Crayton (Tony) Fargason, MBA, MDCrayton (Tony) Fargason, MBA, MD
Medical Director and Vice President, Clinical Affairs

Tony Fargason, MD, is the Medical Director and Vice President for Clinical Affairs for Children’s of Alabama and a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In this position, he is responsible for providing medical guidance for the administrative function of the hospital and communicating administrative issues to the hospital’s medical staff. In addition, he is active in pediatric healthcare research.

Fargason received his undergraduate degree from Tulane University and his MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at Northwestern University School of Medicine and completed a Master of Business Administration from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Fargason is a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physician Executives and the American Medical Informatics Association.

Originally from Baton Rouge, La., Fargason and his wife, Rachel, have four children. His hobbies include running and biking.


Heather Hargis, MSHA, MBA, FACHEHeather Hargis, MSHA, MBA, FACHE
Vice President, Operations

Heather Hargis serves as Vice President of Operations for Children’s of Alabama. In this role, she provides overall strategic direction and day-to-day management of the clinical and business operations for the cardiovascular services division. She also has administrative responsibility for transplant services, laboratory services, respiratory care, GI lab, pulmonary function lab, neurophysiology, and sleep disorders.

Hargis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Samford University, as well as a Master of Science in Health Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the UAB. After completing her administrative residency at Children’s in 2002, she was hired as Director of Practice Operations, working with the primary care network owned by Children’s. She then assumed the role of division director of cardiovascular services and assisted with the transition of the pediatric cardiovascular service from UAB to Children’s in the fall of 2012. She was then promoted to Vice President of Operations in January 2015.

Hargis is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on the board of the Alabama Healthcare Executives Forum. She is a graduate of the Momentum Women’s Leadership Program and has been involved with Children’s United Way campaign for over 10 years, including being the chairperson. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Magic Moments.

A native of Birmingham, Hargis was once a former patient at Children’s. She now lives in Mt. Olive with her husband, David, and their two children.


Andrew Loehr, MSN, RN, CNML, CPNPAndrew Loehr, DNP, RN, CNML, CPNP
Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)

Andrew Loehr is Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Children’s of Alabama. He is responsible for the oversight of the daily hospital operations and nursing services provided at the Russell and South Campuses.

Loehr graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. He received his Master of Science in nursing and pediatric nurse practitioner certification from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received his Doctor in Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed a fellowship in nursing leadership with the American Organization of Nurse Leaders.

Prior to joining Children’s, Loehr was a staff registered nurse, pediatric nurse practitioner and nursing director at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. He began his career at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas as a staff nurse.

Loehr is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders and the Birmingham Regional Organization of Nurse Leaders. Originally from Overland Park, Kan., he now lives in Hoover with his wife, Susie, and their five children.


Delicia Mason

Delicia Mason, MNHSA, RN, NEA-BC
Vice President of Nursing Operations

Delicia Mason is Vice President of Nursing Operations. In this position, she is responsible for the oversight of daily inpatient nursing operations inclusive of: critical care, acute care, emergency, and dialysis departments.

Mason graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing Health Systems Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed a fellowship in nursing leadership with the American Organization of Nurse Leaders.

Mason has been a member of the Children’s family for over twenty years. She joined Children’s in 1998 as a staff nurse in PICU and has worked as a Charge Nurse, Unit Educator, Quality Outcomes Coordinator, and most recently as Division Director of Inpatient Nursing and the Emergency Department.  

Mason is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders, the Birmingham Regional Organization of Nurse Leaders, Women in Healthcare Leadership Mentoring Committee, and the Alabama State Nursing Association. She also served on the UAB Nursing Alumni Board and was the Student Relations Chair from 2017-2019.

A native of Montgomery, Mason now lives in Helena and enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.


Coke S. Matthews, IIICoke S. Matthews, III
Executive Vice President, Alabama Children’s Hospital Foundation
Chief Development Officer, Children’s of Alabama

Coke S. Matthews, III, is Executive Vice President of the Alabama Children’s Hospital Foundation and Chief Development Officer of Children’s of Alabama.

He joined the staff of Children’s in July 2002 and serves as the hospital’s principal major gifts officer and communications executive. His administrative responsibilities include planning and directing Children’s development functions, designing and implementing strategies for fundraising activities and community development, and initiating and coordinating affiliations with other child-centered agencies and development organizations. In addition, he is responsible for overseeing all strategic communication and marketing programs which serve the information and promotional needs of Children’s of Alabama.

Matthews received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law. Before joining Children’s he served as a partner, chief operating officer and general counsel for Slaughter/Hanson and as a member of the senior management team for Protective Life Corporation.

His professional activities include the National Committee on Planned Giving, Alabama Planned Giving Council, Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, and the Alabama State and Birmingham Bar Associations. He also serves on the board of The Friends of Rickwood Field.

Matthews and his wife Maria are the proud parents of a son.


Lori MolerLori Moler
Vice President, Customer Service

Lori Denice Moler is Vice President of Customer Service for Children’s of Alabama. In this position, she directs the operations of Patient Relations, Language Services, Pediatric Imaging, and the Alabama Poison Information Center. She also coordinates the NRC Health Patient and Family Experience Survey process.

Moler earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and statistics and a Master of Science in Health Administration from the UAB. She was employed by Healthcare Services of America before joining Children’s in 1987 as a physician relations manager. 

She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and past- president of the local ACHE Chapter. She was a member of the 2021-2022 class of Leadership Vestavia Hills, the 2000-2001 class of Leadership Shelby County, and the 1998-1999 class of Project Corporate Leadership. She is also a 2017 graduate of Momentum Leadership Program. She serves on the boards of Vestavia Hills Sunrise Rotary Club and Rotary International District 6860.  She has held positions on the boards of the Ronald McDonald House, the Amelia Center, and Greater Hoover Chamber of Commerce. Moler has served as a United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) Loaned Executive and has participated on a UWCA Visiting Allocation Team. She is a sustainer in the Junior League of Birmingham, a supporter of the American Heart Association, and a member of the Heart Association’s Circle of Red. 

A native of Birmingham, Moler is an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church. She enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, and reading. 


Suzanne RespessSuzanne Respess
Vice President, Government Relations

Suzanne Respess is Vice President for Government Relations at Children’s of Alabama. Her responsibilities include monitoring and negotiating all federal, state and local legislation and regulations impacting operations and pediatric healthcare.

Prior to joining Children’s in 1990, Respess spent a decade in Washington, D.C., holding various legislative affairs positions with the Independent Insurance Agents of America Legislative Office, Timmons and Company, the White House Office of Policy Liaison, the White House Office of Policy Development and the Health Industry Distributors Association.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University with a major in consumer affairs.

Respess has served on numerous governmental and policy committees for state and national organizations. She has been a member of the boards of Very Special Arts Alabama, Business Council of Alabama, Pathways, the American Cancer Society, Bread and Roses, Childcare Resources and the Junior League of Birmingham. She is a member of the End Child Hunger in Alabama Task Force and the Safety Net Hospitals Pharmaceutical Access Legislative Committee.

She attends Canterbury Methodist Church and has been as an advisor to the North Alabama Conference United Methodist Council on Youth Ministry. Her hobbies include walking, gardening, reading, sewing and needlepoint. Born into a military family, Respess is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, but has lived many places.


Bob SarneckiBob Sarnecki
Chief Information Officer

Bob and his team will manage all of the hospital’s information technology functions. Sarnecki reports to Tom Shufflebarger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s.

Bob has held technology roles in healthcare for several years, having most recently been general manager of professional services for ClearDATA Healthcare Cloud Computing in Tempe, Ariz. There, he was responsible for healthcare-specific security risk assessments, security remediation, professional consulting healthcare/cloud services and web development. Previously, Sarnecki was chief information officer of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Kingman Regional Medical Center and Ernst & Young management consulting. He has also held several interim CIO roles in the healthcare provider field, aligning IT with clinical, business and technology needs. Bob’s background includes several IT leadership roles, project management, applications development, management consulting, data analytics and database design.

Sarnecki earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mount Saint Mary’s College and a master’s degree in healthcare information technology from The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.


Howard Sisco, CPAHoward Sisco, CPA
Vice President, Finance

Howard Sisco is Vice President of Finance for Children’s of Alabama. His administrative responsibilities include procurement, medical supply chain management, Medicaid reimbursement and financial issues related to facility expansion.

A native of Huntsville, Alabama Sisco earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Jacksonville State University. He was a senior accountant with Ernst & Young prior to joining Children’s in 1977 as the controller for the hospital. In addition to his role at Children’s, Sisco served as president of Prepaid Health Plan of Alabama, a Medicare managed care plan from 2004 through 2010. He was also a loaned executive to the Alabama Medicaid Agency from 2012 to 2014.

Sisco is a long-standing member of the Alabama Hospital Association’s Medicaid Technical Committee. He is a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and a past president and board member of its Alabama chapter. A certified public accountant, Sisco is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Alabama Society of CPAs.

Sisco and his wife, Sherry, have three children. He enjoys travel, golf and spending time with his grandchildren.


Sandy Thurmond, FACHE, CMPESandy Thurmond, FACHE, CMPE
Vice President, Primary Care Services

Sandy Thurmond is Vice President of Primary Care Services for Children’s of Alabama. She is responsible for the operations and development of Pediatric Practice Solutions (PPS), Children’s primary care network, as well as for maintaining and improving relationships with pediatricians around the state of Alabama.

Thurmond is an honors graduate of both Birmingham Southern College (Bachelor of Science in Biology) and UAB (Master of Science in Health Administration).

After completing her Administrative Residency at Children’s in 1988, she held administrative positions in both operations and facilities and worked with strategic planning. In 1995, she began working with PPS at its conception and has helped it expand to 13 statewide offices, and most significantly in the Birmingham area.

Thurmond is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a certified member of the Medical Group Management Association. She serves on the board of Birmingham-Southern College and received its 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. She is the President of the Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, and the Board Chair-Elect of Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Educational Foundation. She also serves on the United Way of Central Alabama’s (UWCA) Women United Advisory Group, and is a Class Ten graduate of Momentum Women’s Leadership Program. Thurmond is a member of the UAB Department of Health Service Administration Women in Healthcare Leadership Initiative. She received the UAB Commission on the Status of Women, Outstanding Woman in the Community Award in 2019.

She is a past-president of the Alabama Healthcare Executives Forum and served three years on the National Chapters Committee of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has served on boards of the Kiwanis Club of Metropolitan Birmingham, VSA Alabama, and Alabama Healthcare Executives Forum. Thurmond is also a past-president of the Alumni Association of the Graduate Programs in Health Administration at UAB and the recipient of its 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award.

At St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Birmingham, she is an active member, a Lay Eucharistic minister, and has served two terms as Sr. Warden of the Vestry. Her hobbies include fitness, reading, and travel.


Dawn Walton, CPA

Dawn Walton, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Dawn Walton is Chief Financial Officer for Children’s of Alabama. She is responsible for all financial activities of the Hospital and its subsidiaries.

Walton has been in the financial profession for more than 25 years. She previously served as Children’s of Alabama’s Vice President, Controller and Interim CFO. She earned degrees in Accounting and Business from Troy University and is a Certified Public Accountant. After graduation, she joined the healthcare audit practice of Ernst & Young, and after a brief tenure with Disney, moved back to Birmingham where she returned to Ernst & Young specializing in tax exempt organizations. She joined Children’s in 1999.

Walton is a graduate of Leadership Alabama (2020), Leadership Birmingham (2016) and Momentum Women’s Executive Leadership program (2011). She is a member of the Advisory Council for the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University and was the 2016 inductee into their Accounting Hall of Honor. She is a former board member and past chairperson of Better Basics. She has been a loaned Executive with United Way and has helped with several of their annual campaigns. She currently serves on the board of Grace House Ministries as its Chairperson.

A resident of Vestavia Hills, Walton and her husband Ted, have three daughters. She enjoys needlepoint, reading and spending time at the beach.


2022 Board of Trustees

Tracey Morant Adams Anna M. Manasco
Edward K. Aldag, Jr. W. Charles Mayer
Richard J. Bielen  L. Gwaltney McCollum, Jr.
J. David Brown, III Ann D. McMillan
Myla E. Calhoun C. Phillip McWane
Mike Chen, MD W. Jerry Oakes, MD
Mitchell B. Cohen, MD Craft O'Neal
Derrol Dawkins, MD Margaret M. Porter
Mark E. Dixon Frederick W. Renneker, III
Beth G. Dubina Stuart A. Royal, MD
Ralph Frohsin, Jr. Tom Shufflebarger
Raymond J. Harbert Lee J. Styslinger, III
William E. Horton Mark J. Tarr
Donald M. James Temple W. Tutwiler, III
Virginia Walker Jones Marc Bryant Tyson
Philippe W. Lathrop  
James C. Lee, III  
Thomas H. Lowder

 


Officers

Richard J. Bielen Chairman of the Board
J. David Brown, III Vice Chairman of the Board
Lee J. Styslinger, III Treasurer
Beth G. Dubina Secretary
Tom Shufflebarger
President/CEO