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BIRMINGHAM (Jan. 20, 2011) - The Children's Health System Board of Trustees recently announced the promotions of three longtime employees to executive positions effectively immediately.

Vickie Atkins, JD, ARM, CPHRM, has been named Vice President-Risk Management after serving as Patient Safety/Risk Management Officer since 1995. She joined Children's in 1982 as Quality Assurance Coordinator and later served as Division Director of Operations. She was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 2001. In her new role, Atkins will be responsible for risk management, hospital accreditation, patient safety, medical information services, infection prevention, medical staff services and performance improvement.

Suzanne Respess assumes the role of Vice President-Government Relations after serving as Director for Government Relations since 1994. She joined Children's in 1990 after holding a number of legislative affairs positions in Washington, DC with such organizations as the Independent Insurance Agents of America Federal Affairs Office, The White House Office of Public Liaison, The White House Office of Policy Development and the Health Industry Distributors Association.

T. Howard Sisco, CPA, FHFMA, brings more than 38 years of healthcare finance experience to his new position as Vice President-Finance. He worked as a certified public accountant with Ernst and Young prior to joining Children's in 1977. He is a Fellow in Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and past president of the Alabama chapter of HFMA. His responsibilities include procurement, medical supply chain, Medicaid reimbursement and financial activities related to the facility expansion.

The Children's Hospital of Alabama is the only free-standing 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. Children's is the primary site for all pediatric medical education programs and patient care activities through an affiliation with the University of Alabama School of Medicine, the UAB Department of Pediatrics and Department of Surgery and the Health Services Foundation. Six of its divisions - pulmonology, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, kidney and neonatology - were recently ranked in the Top 30 Children's Hospital Programs by US News & World Report.

One of only about 45 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. Children's Hospital is a private not-for-profit hospital governed by a volunteer board of trustees. The hospital is recognized for the excellence of its nursing care by achieving Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.


Contact: Kathy Bowers, 205/939-9002 (