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Officer Biographies

Jessica Edmondson- President

 

Jessica Edmondson serves as the President/President-Elect for the Alabama Chapter of NAPNAP. She is an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at Children's of Alabama. She has been a pediatric nurse for 17 years of which 12 have been as an AC-PNP. She has served as a primary care PNP, Neuro-Oncology PNP and currently as a Nephrology PNP with a focus on pediatric hypertension and congenital anomalies of the kidneys and urinary tract. She is a member of the Children’s of Alabama Advanced Practice Providers Council and the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Advanced Practice Council. 

Jessica is a member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church where her husband, Blake, serves as the Pastor. Being a pastor’s wife brings her much joy and she can frequently be found filling in wherever a need is within the church. She enjoys being able to minister to others alongside her husband and daughter as they also sing as a family. Jessica has become the Director over the church food pantry and has recently established a partnership with the Central Alabama Food Bank to provide additional food and supplies to their community. Jessica also serves as the PTO president of Boaz Middle School where her daughter, Emily, is in the 6th grade. 

Leslie Pitts - President-Elect

Leslie Pitts, MSN, CPNP-AC, CDCES, AP-PEN, is an acute-care pediatric nurse practitioner with 16 years of experience at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama. Throughout her career, Leslie has worked as a bedside RN in pediatric intensive care, as a diabetes and insulin pump educator in the endocrine clinic, and as a nurse practitioner in the endocrine clinic. She served as a consultant with the Alabama Department of Public Health for state newborn screening for over 12 years, which fueled a passion for research within pediatric rare diseases, particularly Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. In 2022, Leslie was
awarded the Advanced Practice Excellence Award by Children’s of Alabama.


Leslie is currently pursuing a dual DNP-PhD degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She continues a close relationship with pediatric Endocrinology at Children’s of Alabama, where she will implement a transitional care program for adolescents with CAH later this year for her DNP project. Her dissertation research will continue to focus on adolescent and young adult transitional care within the Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia population.


Leslie is married, has two children, ages 11 and 8, and lives with her family in Pelham, Alabama. When not reading and writing for school, you can find Leslie driving a minivan full of children to the sport of the season or volunteering with her church children’s ministry. Leslie serves on the Junior Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and proudly lives with Type 1 Diabetes for over 20 years. As a fun fact, Leslie owns an axolotl named Falkor. Axolotls are salamanders with central hypothyroidism, and as a result, they do not progress beyond their aquatic state. As an endocrine nerd, she could not pass up owning one of these fascinating creatures!

Allie Blumenthal - Secretary

Alexandra "Allie" Armstrong is a Board Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing from UAB in 2014. She has been working as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Children’s of Alabama in the Pediatric Endocrinology Department since 2014, and started working as a full-time instructor in the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Track at the UAB School of Nursing in Fall of 2022. Allie is interested in and has worked to build specialty clinics for underprivileged patients, high-risk patient populations, and children who have undergone adverse childhood events. 

She is currently serving as the secretary for the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and also served as President of the Alabama Chapter in the 2020-2021 year. Allie is active in the young leaders board for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and in her free time, her husband and she serve as foster parents for the Jefferson County Department of Health. They have a daughter - Levy, and a daughter in heaven - Ellis, and two dogs, Gandalf and Jorah. 

Elizabeth Schlappi - Treasurer

 

Elizabeth Schlappi is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner practicing in the Department of Child Abuse at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Prior to this, she was a Nurse Practitioner in the Department of Endocrinology at Children’s of Alabama for over two years. She received her Masters degree in Nursing from the University of Alabama in May 2019 in both acute and primary care pediatrics. She is also a SANE (Sexual Abuse Nurse Examiner) Nurse.  She is an active member of The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Professional Society of the Abuse of Children (APSAC), The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN), and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) which she serves Treasure of the Alabama Chapter. She serves as the Medical Advisor for the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center and she also serves on the Education and EBP Committee for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) Partners Alliance for Children in Foster Care. Elizabeth’s current role with Children’s of Alabama consists of medical evaluations of child abuse in the inpatient setting as well as outpatient consultations at the CHIPS Center.

 

She and he her husband are foster parents and she also serves as the Deacon of Adoption and Foster Care at her local church.

 

Ashleigh Bowman - Legislative Chair

Ashleigh F. Bowman serves as the Legislative Chair of the Alabama Chapter of NAPNAP.  She has been a certified pediatric acute care nurse practitioner since 2015 and completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of South Alabama in 2018.  She has maintained an active practice in the Pediatric Emergency Department at USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital since 2016 and transitioned to full-time faculty at the University of South Alabama in 2019.  She is a trained pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner. 

She maintains an avid interest in healthcare policy and politics with a focus on issues impacting child health, global health, vaccines, asthma, and child maltreatment.  She was chosen as a 2019 NAPNAP Advocacy Scholar and was recently appointed to serve on the NAPNAP Health Policy Committee.  She has worked with Alabama Rare, Shot@Life, and the Alabama Asthma Coalition on specific advocacy actions and is excited to pursue to the legislative priorities for the AL Chapter of NAPNAP.  She currently lives in Mobile, AL, with her husband, Glyn.

Sula Gillespie - Continuing Education Chair

Sula Gillespie received her MSN and BSN degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is board certified by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care). As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham for 20 years in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, she has seen many of the challenges that families face in accessing health care.


Sula has previously served as the Legislative Representative for the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners for 3 years prior to becoming Continuing Education Chair. She participates in conference calls that inform members of issues encountered in other states and ways to improve health care for Alabama’s children. Her wish would be to share relevant information to all NAPNAP members. As part of the steering committee for Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama from 2006-2013 (initially representing NAPNAP) she witnessed many legislative changes that impacted all Practitioners.

Heather Hyde- Communications Chair

 

Heather Hyde is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner with many years of pediatric nursing experience in both intensive care at Children’s Hospital of Alabama and outpatient settings. She worked as a PNP at a rural primary care pediatric office before joining University of Alabama at Birmingham's (UAB) School of Nursing (SON) faculty full time. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from UAB. Her scholarly project focus was on improving the treatment of pediatric obesity in outpatient settings by implementing motivational interviewing techniques. She continues to work with her fellow colleagues to develop initiatives on the management of pediatric obesity. She is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau in the Nu chapter and Global Rural Nursing Exchange Network.  

Heather lives in the Birmingham area with her rescue dog, Bella. During her free time, Heather enjoys pickleball, running 5ks, taking her dog on hikes and reading.

Santrice Pleasant - Membership Chair

 

 

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