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BIRMINGHAM – The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has appointed Lee M. Hilliard, M.D., Professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), to attend the seventh annual Advocacy Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hilliard will be among a select group of medical professionals from ASH chosen from across the country to attend the conference.
The two-day leadership workshop began in 2011 and serves as an opportunity for ASH members to gain a better understanding of the society and its activities and learn about legislation and health policy affecting hematology research and practice. Sessions will feature guest speakers from Congress, the Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and other health agency officials.
“I applied for the ASH Advocacy Leadership Institute to improve my ability to communicate the needs of our patients in this challenging healthcare environment,” said Hilliard. “Because our patients are children who cannot vote and have limited ability to advocate for themselves, it is incumbent for those of us who provide pediatric care to represent our patients well.”
Hilliard focuses on hematology at Children’s. Specifically, her interests include clinical care and research in sickle cell disease. She focuses on stroke risk assessment and prevention, health care delivery in rural areas, management of iron overload in chronically transfused patients, including the use of erythrocytapheresis and the use of hydroxyurea in sickle cell disease.
Hilliard stated that advocacy is particularly important because we care for children in a rural state with limited resources.
“Children’s has a great legacy of representing all of Alabama, as well as working to implement important national reforms,” said Hilliard. “I was fortunate to have worked with Dr. Dearth who was instrumental in getting the CHIP legislation enacted. So I want to be as well-equipped as possible to advocate for our patients and honor the UAB and Children’s tradition of working for positive change, not just in healthcare, but all aspects of the lives of Alabama children.”
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 46 other states and seven foreign countries last year, representing more than 676,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at childrensal.org.