Cason Benton, M.D., was featured in the American Board of Pediatrics 2018 Annual Report, speaking about cultivating a culture of QI. Dr. Benton was awarded the ABP 2018 Paul V. Miles (PVM) Fellowship Award. Read the entire annual report here

By Cason Benton, MD, FAAP, Medical Director, Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance

On November 12-13, 2018, the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance hosted the National Improvement Partnership Network (NIPN) Annual Meeting at the Elyton Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama to share best ideas for improving outcomes with quality improvement. Children’s of Alabama CEO Mike Warren and Mitch Cohen, M.D., FAAP, UAB Department of Pediatrics Chair, welcomed the attendees. David Gremse, M.D., FAAP, USA Department of Pediatrics Chair, introduced the keynote speaker Cathy Caldwell, Director of ALL Kids, and participated in a panel on how Alabama’s child health improvement partners work together to close care gaps. Also on the panel were Robert Moon, M.D., Alabama Medicaid; Susan Coburn, Family Voices; Melinda Davis, Children’s Rehabilitation Services; Lori Moler, Children’s of Alabama; Katrina Trammell, M.D., FAAP, Gulf Coast Health Care; and Wes Stubblefield, M.D., FAAP, AL-AAP Chapter President. One participant wrote, “We are returning home inspired…the meeting was FABULOUS and we learned so much.”

This article first appeared in the Fourth Quarter 2018 Edition of the Alabama Pediatrician Newsletter. See full newsletter here.

By Cason Benton, MD, FAAP, Medical Director, Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance

staywell logo 3 002To increase adolescent well-visit rates, collaborative practices will assess and address offi ce “adolescent friendliness” as well as strengthen confi dentiality and transition to adult care approaches. From a “return on investment” viewpoint, #StayWell meets some payor incentives, aligns with Patient-Centered Medical Home (re)certifi cation competencies, and provides 25 points MOC IV (QI) and Continuing Medical Education/CEUs. But mostly, with Nola Ernest, MD, FAAP, as the Physician Champion, this collaborative will be fun and a great way to get the offi ce working together to deliver excellent adolescent care. The nine-month collaborative begins in January with most of the change ideas being MOC Approved Logo Part 4rolled out March through August. For questions, or to enroll now, contact Linda Champion at or 334-324-9307

This article first appeared in the Fourth Quarter 2018 Edition of the Alabama Pediatrician Newsletter. See full newsletter here.

By Cason Benton, M.D., FAAP, Medical Director, Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance

As announced earlier this summer, the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance’s (ACHIA) 2019 Collaborative #Stay Well: An Adolescent Well Visit Learning Collaborative, will kick off in January and run through September 2019.

staywell logo 3 002This quality improvement collaborative will focus on increasing adolescent well visit rates and clarifying practice consent, confi dentiality, and transition policies. In addition, practices will have the opportunities to track optional adolescent measures.

“Pediatricians offer adolescents guidance through potentially turbulent times, however, teens have low annual visits. What can we do to increase adolescent well visit rates? That is what we will tackle in this learning collaborative,” said Nola Ernest, MD, FAAP, #StayWell physician champion and pediatrician with Enterprise Pediatric Clinic.

Here are the top 10 reasons you should participate!
10. Teens are fun to have around...Really!
9. Dr. Preud’Homme, our content expert, and Dr. Ernest, our physician champion, are a hoot!
8. New this year: CME available at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting & Fall Pediatric Update or through online web modules.
7. Simplify your patient-centered medical home applications and renewals with #Stay Well’s emphasis on transition of care
6. You can tailor your experience with optional measures--such as increasing vaccination rates or screening for depression.
5. Upcoming Medicaid changes in patient panel attribution and incentives favor increased adolescent visit rates.
4. Practice improvements occur during the spring and summer, outside of the busy winter months.
3. You will obtain MOC Part IV while improving teen care!
2. You’ll be assured that everyone in your practice will be able to navigate consent and confi dentiality.
1. #Stay Well is a fun way to be sure your practice’s teens are receiving the very best care.

Email Linda Champion at to register and for more information!

This article first appeared in the Third Quarter 2018 Edition of the Alabama Pediatrician Newsletter.See full newsletter here.

staywell logo 3 002

In March, the Chapter leadership learned that the Alabama Department of Public Health had reached out to school superintendents, encouraging the administration of adolescent vaccinations – Tdap, Meningococcal and HPV – via vaccine clinics carried out in schools (much like the flu vaccination clinics already administered). The Chapter leadership immediately responded with a letter and a face-to-face meeting with the State Health Officer to underscore the importance of the medical home and comprehensive well visits for adolescents.

In late March/early April, the Chapter was also able to successfully advocate that the Governor not sign a legislative resolution that encourages schoolbased vaccination so that there would not be any legislative mandates on the table.

Meanwhile, ADPH Immunization’s current goal is to increase state adolescent rates, especially for HPV. The current rate of up-todate HPV vaccination in Alabama is 18 percent and overall, the adolescent rate is 19 percent. The Chapter subsequently met with ADPH representatives, Department of Education staff and those representing mass school vaccinators to sort through ways to encourage the medical home and increase vaccination rates at the same time. Although it was clear that vaccination of adolescents in schools will move forward as part of the mix to increase vaccination rates, Chapter leaders were able to drive home the importance of protecting the medical home and the need for communication between primary care pediatricians and the schools if vaccines are administered outside of the medical home. Chapter Executive Director will be working with ADPH on the details of this communication. It’s important to note here that for VFC providers, point-of-service use of ImmPRINT for all vaccines is now required, with ADPH planning to require it for all providers soon.

Partners at the meetings also agreed to push out information to parents and teens on the importance of seeing their doctor throughout adolescence.

To that end, the Chapter is working with the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) and adolescent pediatricians at UAB on a statewide flier for teens/ parents that simply states why the adolescent teen visit is so important. The flier will be part of a larger campaign, for which the Chapter hopes to partner with ADPH, that will parallel ACHIA’s 2019 quality improvement collaborative on the adolescent visit. The name for both: #StayWell!

Also as part of this initiative, the Chapter is exploring advocacy for the medical home among students who play sports and only receive the required sports physical, which we maintain, is not a substitute for comprehensive adolescent care.

This article first appeared in the Second Quarter 2018 Edition of the Alabama Pediatrician Newsletter.See full newsletter here.