Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame Recognizes “Outstanding Students and Future Leaders”

The Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame has started a program that recognizes students from universities across the state as “Outstanding Students and Future Leaders” in their fields. In Addition To A $2,000 Scholarship, each awardee becomes known as a Finley Scholar.

This award is named in honor of past AHHOF Chairman, Wayne H. Finley, MD, PhD, and his wife the late Sarah Crews Finley, MD, who co-founded the first medical genetics program in the southeast region of USA. The Finley’s are widely recognized as pioneers in the field of genetics. After 33 years of service to UAB, and upon their retirement in 1996, President Claude Bennett stated that scientists Sarah and Wayne Finley “have been and will always remain an institutional treasure of UAB.”

The five 2024 Finley Scholar honorees are:

Heath Padgett
(Fourth-year student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry)
Heath has excelled in his studies of dentistry and has an excellent academic record. He is a unique individual with an extensive leadership portfolio at UAB.

Laney Smith
(Student at University of South Alabama Whiddon College of Medicine)
A Peer Academic leader at Univ. South Alabama WCOM, Laney is an excellent student, dedicated and passionate about a future career in pediatric orthopedic surgery.

Cambrye Rollins-Griffen
(Student in SN program at the UAB School of Nursing)
A standout student in the BSN program, she distinguished herself as a motivated learner with a great attitude and can-do-spirit. Rollins-Griffen serves as Chair of the Black Undergraduate Medical Association.

Caroline Thornton
(Cole Honors College, University of North Alabama)
At UNA Caroline has excelled in rigorous coursework consistently earning high grades. Her analytical skills, critical thinking, and attention to detail showcase her readiness for the challenge of nursing practice.

Leigh Anne Shirley
(MSN student at Jacksonville State University)
Exhibits strong record of academic achievement with 4.0 GPA & Academic Excellence Award, while working as RN at Gadsden Regional Medical Center, and as a JSU clinical instructor.

Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame Welcomes Three Board Members

Brian Edwards, Senior Vice President- Health Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

Mr. Edwards has been with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama since 1998 and currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Health Services. The Health Services Division is responsible for developing programs and provider networks that meet the health and wellness needs of BC/BS. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. Mr. Edwards is a graduate of Leadership Birmingham, Leadership Hoover, and a member of the American Heart Association Board of Directors. A native of Huntsville, AL, his accounting degree is from Samford University

Barbara E. Estep, MSHA, JD

Barbara Estep is Vice President of Administration at Noland Health Services, Inc. based in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a senior level healthcare executive with 30+ years of experience in healthcare administration, management and development for acute and post acute care services. Barbara is a graduate of the Birmingham School of Law, holds a Masters in Health Services Administration at UAB Birmingham, and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Record Administration from UAB. Ms. Estep serves on UAB’s Women in Healthcare Leadership Board and is a member of the American College of HealthCare Executives.

Danne J. Howard

Danne J. Howard has professionally served the Alabama Hospital Association since 1996, and is Deputy Director. She is lead staff for state/federal legislative advocacy, and communication. Ms. Howard has oversight of AHA’s internal and external projects and initiatives. She has experience working with the Alabama State Legislature and with professional lobbying and advocacy. Her college education includes Business Administration, Political Science and Ophthalmic Medicine. Dane serves as board chair of AHA’s Political Action Committee.