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Alabama Partnership for Children Wins Dearth Advocacy Award

Children’s of Alabama recently named The Alabama Partnership for Children from the recipient of the 2020 Dearth Advocacy Award to support a new website that is quickly helping families make important connections.

The Alabama Partnership for Children is being recognized for the development of its Alabama Family Central website. Parents and other caregivers use the site to find the answers they are looking for to raise strong, healthy children. The site, located at, helps make finding education, healthcare, child care and family resources fast and easy – a one-stop destination, connecting you with hundreds of programs, tools, services and support. 

“The Alabama Family Central website is a tremendous collaborative of numerous state agencies, the Alabama Partnership for Children and some of the state’s leading nonprofits. Children’s of Alabama is proud to be a partner of this initiative and share our knowledge and expertise on keeping kids safe and healthy,” said John Stone, manager of community action for Children’s.

The Alabama Partnership for Children (APC)is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created to develop, design and implement a unified approach for improving outcomes of children from birth to age five in Alabama. This public/private partnership is a distinct initiative to develop and strengthen systems, forge strategies, and increase public awareness for all early childhood programs in Alabama. The APC is guided by a diverse board of directors committed to enhancing the quality of life for children birth to five years in Alabama by supporting strong families, access to quality health services, and quality early learning experiences.

The Dearth Advocacy Award is named in memory of Dr. James C. Dearth, former President and CEO of Children’s. The award was recently presented to Gail Piggott, executive director of the Alabama Partnership for Children and is designed to help organizations such as APC continue to promote better healthcare for children and to preserve the memory of Dr. “Jim” Dearth who died in 2009 at age 61.

Dearth was born and raised in Monroe, Wisc. He attended Duke University on a football scholarship and served as a team captain. After college, he received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin and completed his residency and fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at the Mayo Clinic. He treated hundreds of children with cancer at the Children's in Birmingham. He helped grow Children’s into one of the nation's largest pediatric health care delivery systems.

He also helped establish VOICES, a child advocacy organization serving the children of Alabama. In addition, he served as the Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), as well as Chairman of the Children's Miracle Network (CMN), helping to improve health and health care for millions of children in the United States. Jim retired to Chocowinity, N.C., in 2007.

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient, outpatient and primary care throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves patients from every county in Alabama and nearly every state. Children’s is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs. The medical staff consists of UAB faculty and Children’s full-time physicians as well as private practicing community physicians.