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Posted September 20, 2012
Congratulations to Our ACH Health Care Heroes Finalists

Two of our physicians have been selected as finalists for the 2012 Health Care Heroes Awards presented by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. The winners will be announced by TBBJ on October 9.

Allen Root, M.D., Finalist - Lifetime Achievement Category

Allen Root, M.D.A pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Root has helped thousands of young patients at All Children's Hospital over the years. He has made many contributions to clinical care, endocrine research, pediatric medical education and child health policy. Dr. Root was a teacher and mentor for pediatric residents and endocrinology fellows who now practice in Florida and beyond; some now lead pediatric endocrinology programs, including in Seoul and Tel Aviv.

In 1979, Dr. Root was appointed to the State of Florida's Infant Screening Advisory Committee; at that time Florida screened only for PKU (now infants are screened for more than 40 congenital disorders). He immediately began to advocate for screening for congenital hypothyroidism, which was added in 1980 and has prevented mental retardation in thousands of Florida children since that time. He advocated for and helped establish the neonatal screening program for congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Dr. Root chaired the Infant Screening Advisory Committee for 12 years.

Dr. Root joined the USF College of Medicine in 1973, serving as professor of pediatrics, associate and vice-chair of the Department of Pediatrics, and director of the pediatric residency program. Over the years he has been honored by USF with the Distinguished Service Award, the Professorial Excellence Award and the Joanne & Charles Fishel Distinguished Scientist Award, and honored by All Children's Hospital with the Councill C. Rudolph Medical Staff Award for dedication to children's healthcare and with the establishment of the ACH Resident of the Year award and the Kuehnle Visiting Professorship in Pediatric Endocrinology - both being named in his honor.

Flora Howie, M.D., Finalist - Physician Category

As a developmental pediatrician, Dr. Flora Howie helps children with a wide range of problems, but helping children with Flora Howie, M.D.autism holds a special place in her heart. As a result, she was a key proponent of the new Autism Center at All Children's Hospital and now serves as the center's medical director. Dr. Howie leads a team approach to care that often includes Applied Behavior Analysis, social skills groups, and pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapy, and expertise from additional pediatric subspecialty physicians if needed.

Over the years, Dr. Howie has reached out to many community organizations in order to help children with autism receive needed services, and to help a wide range of professionals understand these patients' unique needs. Dr. Howie has partnered with faculty in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at USF on projects to help and support children and families through positive behavior support. That collaboration led Dr. Howie to take part in the Autism System of Care project at USF-CARD, a project that developed recommendations for best practices and training modules for medical providers. She also served on the advisory group for the Positive Family Intervention Project at USF and received a Community Partner Award for outstanding community service.

In these and other efforts, Dr. Howie has worked collaboratively to help develop quality community-based care for Florida's children with autism spectrum disorders, while also creating a regional referral center at All Children's that offers innovative approaches.

Congratulations to Dr. Howie and Dr. Root!