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BIRMINGHAM (Nov. 30, 2011) – The Board of Trustees of Children’s of Alabama has named four well-known and longtime physicians Centennial Scholars in honor of the hospital’s 100th anniversary.

William J. Britt, MD; Waldemar A. Carlo, MD; W. Jerry Oakes, MD; and Richard J. Whitley, MD, are recognized as physicians who embody the spirit of the Children’s mission of providing excellent healthcare to Alabama’s ill and injured youngsters and have established themselves as medical leaders whose careers have made a significant, lasting impact on the care of children locally and throughout the world. All have served in numerous professional capacities throughout their careers, earned a multitude of national and international awards and recognitions, and are considered by their peers to be among the finest in their field of specialty.

The Centennial Scholars were established to recognize those who have contributed to the rich 100-year history of Children’s and the remarkable achievements made in pediatric healthcare by its physicians. These physicians each emulate superb clinical reasoning, extraordinary intellectual creativity, a hunger to develop new knowledge and a work ethic that inspires others. 

Britt holds the Charles A. Alford Chair in Pediatrics and is Professor in Pediatric Infectious Disease and Virology. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Arizona where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi academic honor societies and Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He completed a residency in pediatrics at McGill University in Montreal and a second residency in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis. Britt served as medical officer in the Rock Mountain Laboratories in Montana and as a postdoctoral fellow in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Britt is Scholar of the John J. Sparkman International Center of Public Health Education, Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Director of the Child Health Research Center, all at UAB. He is Board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases.

Carlo serves as the Edwin M. Dixon Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Neonatology. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Puerto Rico and completed his pediatric internship and residency at University Children’s Hospital in San Juan where he was Chief Resident. He completed a neonatology fellowship at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. Carlo is Board-certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine.

Oakes holds the Dan L. Hendley Endowed Chair of Pediatric Neurosurgery and serves as Surgeon in Chief of Children’s of Alabama. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and his medical degree from Duke University where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society and Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society. Oakes completed his internship in surgery and residency in neurosurgery at Duke. He also completed fellowships in neurology at Toronto General Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and in pediatric neurosurgery at both Hospital of Sick Children in Toronto and Great Ormond Street in London. He is Board-certified in neurological surgery and pediatric neurosurgery.

Whitley holds the Loeb Eminent Scholar Chair in Pediatrics and serves as Vice Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University where he was a Dean’s Scholar and his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. Whitley came to UAB for his post-graduate training, completing an internship, residency and fellowship in pediatrics. He is Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology, Medicine and Neurosurgery. Whitley is Board-certified in pediatrics and in pediatric infectious diseases.

Children’s of Alabama is the only medical center in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is a private, not-for-profit hospital that serves as the primary site of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, research and residency programs. Ten of its divisions – pulmonology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, neonatology, cancer, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and nephrology—were recently ranked in the Top 50 Children’s Hospital Programs by US News & World Report. Children’s is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet-designated hospital for its excellence of nursing care. The hospital is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit