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BIRMINGHAM (Feb. 17, 2011) - Dennis Blass has joined Children's Hospital of Alabama as the new Director of Safety and Security. Blass, a 43-year veteran of security and law enforcement at both the local and national levels, began his tenure with Children's Hospital on Monday, Jan. 17.

His experience includes local and federal law enforcement, as well as private security management. After serving as a Captain with the Birmingham State Police Department, Blass assumed the role as Chief of Police for the city of Greenville, Miss. He later directed the safety and security operations of the Federal Reserve Bank branch in Birmingham. Since that time, he has worked as a consultant, most recently completing work in the incident command planning structure of the gulf oil spill and recovery effort.

Blass comes to Children's with strong ties to Birmingham. He was instrumental in starting the downtown CAP program, is currently a member of the Birmingham Crime Stoppers, and served on the Board of Directors for Aletheia House.

"My goals for Children's Safety and Security Department are to provide a safe and secure environment for patients, visitors and staff, develop metrics that enable continuous improvement of our department's people, processes and equipment, and make certain that the needs of the Department's customers always come first," Blass said.

Blass holds a master of public and private management from Birmingham-Southern College and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, certified in fraud and law.

The Children's Hospital of Alabama is the only hospital in the state dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children and one of the 10 busiest pediatric medical centers in the U.S. One of only about 45 freestanding acute care hospitals of its kind in the nation, Children's Hospital is home to Alabama's only Level I pediatric trauma center. Children's campus includes the largest pediatric burn center in the Southeast, one of the largest pediatric outpatient centers in the country and a leading pediatric hematology/oncology center and bone marrow transplant program. Although Children's is the primary site for all pediatric educational programs and patient care activities within the UAB Medical Center, Children's Hospital is a private, not-for-profit hospital governed by a volunteer board of trustees. Children's will celebrate its centennial anniversary this year.

Contact: Kathy Bowers, 205/939-9002 (