Pediatric Divisions

Child Abuse Pediatrics


Pediatric Faculty

Dr. Michael Taylor
Director | Professor

Dr. David Bernard

Dr. Kara Huls
Assistant Professor

Featured Research

Michael Taylor, M.D., is the principal investigator for the following ongoing studies:

  • Screening for nonviral sexually transmitted infections in children being evaluated for sexual abuse: a comparison of nucleic acid amplification tests vs. culture and wet preparations.
    Aim: To evaluate the performance of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) to detect infection with Neisseria gonorrhea, Chlamydia trachomatis, and/or Trichomonas vaginalis in children being evaluated for possible sexual abuse in comparison to culture and wet preparation slides (vaginal).
    Methods: Patient population: All children under 18 years of age who were seen for an examination due to concerns for possible sexual abuse at the Children’s Hospital Intervention and Prevention Services (CHIPS) Center and all children under 18 years of age seen by the Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurses in the Children’s of Alabama emergency department during a four-year period from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2017.
  • Child Abuse Medical Systems Survey 2019–2021
    Aim: This is a project to survey child abuse medical providers in all 50 US States, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. The goal is to identify any regional and/or statewide networks and then to identify how the identified networks function. Information obtained from the proposed surveys will be used to demonstrate to potential funding agencies in Alabama what other states have done to develop and/or maintain a medical system for child abuse. We intend to share the child abuse medical network information obtained by this project with the participants who choose to receive it. The database would also serve as a valuable resource across the country to help primary healthcare providers direct potential victims of child maltreatment to the appropriate networks of medical providers specifically trained to care for such individuals.

Extramural Awards & Leadership Roles

Michael Taylor, M.D.

  • Dr. Taylor is a Governor’s appointee member of the Alabama Child Death Review System State Child Death Review Team.
  • He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Child Abuse & Neglect and the AAP Child Death Review Section.
  • He serves as the Alabama Chapter–AAP appointed representative to the Alabama Health Care Human Trafficking Training Program Commission.
  • He is the Medical Director for the new Alabama Child Abuse Medical System (ALCAMS) statewide medical network for healthcare providers performing medical exams of children under investigation for potential maltreatment that is in the planning stages.

David Bernard, M.D.

  • Dr. Bernard serves on the Shelby County Multidisciplinary Team and the Shelby County Child Death Review Committee.
  • He serves as the coordinator and moderator for the Alabama Child Abuse Web-Based Quarterly Review sessions that involve many of the medical providers performing examinations of potentially abused children for the 35 Alabama Child Advocacy Centers.

Kara Huls, M.D.

  • Dr. Huls serves as the director of the Sunrise Program, which aims to provide comprehensive service to survivors of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and education about the effects of CSEC to medical providers, law enforcement officers and other service providers.
  • She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Child Abuse & Neglect.