Surpora Thomas

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Surpora Thomas (born c. 1940 in Alabama) is a senior vice president and chief nurse executive at Children's Hospital, having started as a staff nurse in January 1962. She was promoted to her present position in 1989.

Thomas, the daughter of a coal miner, graduated from the Grady Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia and went on to complete a bachelor of science in nursing at UAB and a master's in business administration at Samford Univerisity.

Among the innovations she brought to Children's Hospital was transitioning to an all-professional staff with internal educational development tracks, developing a patient classification system now used in numerous hospitals, and implementing a pre-admissions screening program used since 1982. She also pioneered the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in Alabama.

Thomas won the 1995 Pinnacle Award for Innovations in Medical Management and was named the Outstanding Nursing Administrator of the Year by the Alabama State Nurses' Association in 1987. She was inducted into the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame in 2003, into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame in 2006, and was the first person inducted into the Children's Health System Nursing Hall of Fame when it was established in 2008. The Surpora Thomas Pediatric Nursing Education and Research Center at Children's Hospital is named in her honor.


  • Velasco, Anna (May 26, 2008) "Nursing hall of fame created at Children's Health System." Birmingham News
  • Velasco, Anna (April 2, 2007) "Head nurse: Supora Thomas entered Children's Hospital through a door meant for blacks, then made her mark." Birmingham News

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