March is Women’s History Month

Children’s of Alabama is here today because, more than a century ago, a group of dedicated women saw the growing need for quality health care for children. In those early days at Children’s, an all-female group of volunteers did whatever was needed to operate the charity hospital, from scrubbing floors to sitting with sick children. The hospital’s first trustees were all women.

Today, women are involved throughout our hospital – from the board room to bedside. The women featured here all have very different roles at Children’s, but all are key to fulfilling the promise of the hospital’s original founders.

The Women of the Children’s of alabama Executive team

At Children’s of Alabama, 86 percent of our workforce is female. And you’ll see that reflected in hospital leadership as well.

This group of women has nearly 250 combined years of service at Children’s. Their leadership stretches from patient care, nursing and operations to customer service, finance, risk management and government relations.

Pictured left to right: Suzanne Respess, vice president, Government Relations; Lori Moler, vice president, Customer Service; Sandy Thurmond, vice president, Primary Care Services; Delicia Mason, vice president, Nursing Operations and Chief Nursing Officer; Chandler Bibb, Chief Development Officer; Heather Hargis, vice president, Operations; Stacy White, senior executive leader, Behavioral Health; Vickie Atkins, vice president, Risk Management; Heather Baty, vice president, Ambulatory Operations; and Jamie Dabal, vice president, Operations. Not pictured: Dawn Walton, Chief Financial Officer.

Kaylee Montgomery, BSN, RN PICU Charge Nurse

What led you to a career in healthcare?
My heart has always been drawn to pediatric healthcare. I love caring for others and being part of their medical journey. I am blessed to be a part of such an incredible facility.

Who are some women who have impacted your life?
My mom has always been very influential to me. She is a dedicated wife and mother that has always been determined to give her family the best. I am forever thankful for everything she has taught me.

What message do you have for women trying to make their mark on the world?
Women are successful and powerful in the workplace and I believe women are a necessity. Women bring knowledge, empathy and grace. There’s nothing a woman cannot accomplish!

Tracey Williams, Patient Services Manager, Food Services

What led you to a career at Children’s?
I have worked in healthcare food services since my days in the U.S. Air Force. My career working in hospitals started and flourished in Oklahoma City. For eight years, I served as a food service manager for a behavioral health facility that focused specifically on children. Just two years ago, I returned home to Alabama and started working at Children’s. I know I am meant to be here – I have a passion for food and children.

Who are some women who have impacted your life?
My mother and my grandmother are the women that have impacted me most in my life with their love of good food, their nurturing and caring nature and strength to get any job done the right way.

What message do you have for women trying to make their mark on the world?
My message for women trying to make their mark on the world would be to stand strong in your beliefs and work hard for your dreams. Also, to have faith and be better tomorrow than you were today!

Ashley Beasley, MD, Midtown Pediatrics Pediatrician

What led you to a career at Children’s?
Since childhood, I have dreamed of becoming a physician. I loved watching my pediatrician, especially using the tools in the exam room. I learned very early that a career in healthcare would be rewarding. 

Who are some women who have impacted your life?
My late mother definitely impacted my life greatly. Each day, I strive to become as loving, hardworking and dedicated as she was to her family and career. 

What message do you have for women trying to make their mark on the world?

I would like to encourage and empower all women to reach for the stars. There is no race or time limit in obtaining success. Work hard and at your own pace to achieve your own personal goals.

Payton McBryde, MS, OTR/L, Inpatient Occupational Therapy Coordinator

What led you to a career at Children’s?
I have always been driven to help people and find great satisfaction in serving others. When I was a freshman in college, the field of Occupational Therapy found me. I was having lunch with a friend who said, “I think you would really love occupational therapy and you’d make a great OT.” The following semester I completed a practicum at The University of Florida Shands Hospital with a pediatric OT and fell in love with the profession and the acute care setting. To be able to play a part in a child’s recovery process and to bring joy and hope to some of their most difficult days is a gift and immensely rewarding.

Who are some women who have impacted your life?

My mom and sister have impacted me in so many positive ways. My mom is the most energetic and positive person I have ever known.  She is a special education teacher and has served this population for 51 years.  Her passion for making a difference in the lives of these children is unparalleled. She is a ruthless advocate for her students and goes above and beyond to set them up for success. I have always admired her passion and commitment and the positive impact she has had on so many. My sister has taught me the importance and value of advocating and caring for myself in addition to others.  She is a successful businesswoman, effective communicator, and strong leader. I have always admired that she has made and followed her own path. I am beyond grateful for them and can only hope that I impact others in the way they have impacted me.

What message do you have for women trying to make their mark on the world?

Pursue your passion and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. There will always be challenges, stay strong and give things your best effort. Some things will come easy, but it’s the struggles and challenges that you will look back on and be most proud to have overcome. Try your best not to get caught up in comparison. Everyone’s path looks different, and regardless of how things look, things are not always as they appear.  Perhaps most importantly, find the joy in what you do.  It makes the “hard stuff” seem less significant.  

Ann Slattery, DrPH, RN, RPh, DABAT, FAACT, Director, Alabama Poison Information Center

What led you to a career at Children’s?
Serendipity! I was a chemistry major. I loved chemistry and math and wasn’t quite sure what to do with these degrees. My classes were filled with nursing, pharmacy, and pre-med students, so I gave it a try. I first worked in a NICU, but my true passion turned out to be toxicology.

Who are some women who have impacted your life?

Lori Moler impacted my life by believing in me. LaDonna Gaines impacted my life by encouraging me to have a work life balance. Erica Liebelt taught me that being a strong, intelligent woman is a good thing.  My daughter Mary Margaret impacted me by opening up another world by watching her grow.

What message do you have for women trying to make their mark on the world?

Education, Education, Education….It’s free to listen to new viewpoints. Knowledge in and of itself is not dangerous. The lack of it can be. John Mason Brown once said, the only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose…for me it has been toxicology.


The largest department at Children’s is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Along with housing 48 private rooms and 4 ECMO rooms, more than 230 women work in the department. From neonatologists to nutritionists to nurses and more, these women are making a profound impact on our tiniest patients.  

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

%d bloggers like this: