Voices of Huntsville | Kids Are My Calling by Kym Middleton

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 Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

 Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

 Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

 Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

 Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

Portraits by White Rabbit Studios

May 2023

Kids Are My Calling by Kym Middleton

Kids are my calling. They need someone to fight for them, to help them, and to support them. I am lucky to have the ability to do just that, whether it’s at work or in the community. I devote a lot of my off time to helping the kids in my community and love Huntsville because there are so many opportunities to do so!

As a kid, I didn’t think I was very lucky. I tended to compare myself to my friends and peers and to lament that they had things I didn’t. I would focus on the absence of my father. As a daughter of immigrants, I struggled with culture clashes. We didn’t have a lot of money and there were a few tough times in my home life.


Being lucky is all relative though and I was lucky in many aspects. I had two caring older sisters, I had opportunities that weren’t afforded to my sisters like piano and ice skating, and most importantly, I had an amazing single mother who worked hard to provide for us, to raise us, and to give us a more comfortable life. She taught us to be strong and independent and reminded us to think of those less fortunate.

That lesson has blossomed into a passion that I carry with me at all times. I am a pediatrician; more specifically, I am a pediatric hospitalist. I care for children in the hospital setting, from healthy newborns to children too sick to be managed at home. Work as a pediatrician isn’t just about the medical diagnosis, the procedures, the science, and the medication; it’s about the full picture of patient care that includes the financial burdens of treatment, family ability to care for the patient, patient growth and development, environmental stressors, access to health and food, and more. It can be quite overwhelming, but I know it’s my calling.

I love what I do at work and I love what I get to be involved with outside of work to help children in our community. Here are a few organizations I work with that you might want to check out too!

The National Children’s Advocacy Center is an amazing multidisciplinary organization that helps coordinate the investigation and response to child abuse. Unfortunately, child abuse occurs frequently. The best way to stop it is by talking about it and preventing it! This innovative model includes law enforcement, child protective services, mental and medical health care, and victim advocacy to help protect, care for, and prevent child abuse victims. It’s so effective that there are now over 1,000 Children Advocacy Centers in the US and in more than 34 countries and it all started HERE in Huntsville! The NCAC also has programs to help educate and support parents, train adults on how to prevent, recognize and react to abuse, and they even have a parenting library and therapy dog! How can you help? Most of these services are no cost for victims and families so donations would be helpful. Also, in emergent home removal situations, children do not have extra clothes or toiletries, so those would be helpful too!

HEALS, Inc. provides accessible, primary care for economically disadvantaged children through collaboration with Huntsville City/Madison County school systems. It provides on-site medical, dental, optometry care and social services at the participating schools. This is wonderful for families with limited transportation and resources. They even provide their patients with new sneakers each year! If this had been available when I was a kid, I know the HEALS clinic would have been my primary care. It provides more than just health care; it provides assistance with insurance applications, household assistance for clothing, shelter, and necessities, as well as health and wellness education. Help the HEALS clinics by donating medical and dental supplies such as over-the-counter medications, toiletries, and new sneakers for kids!


Early childhood literacy is super important in school readiness, character building, family bonding, and success! The Huntsville Madison County Public Library is a great place to build these skills and more! I spent so much of my childhood at the Library; it was essentially my babysitter! What I love about the Library is that there is something for everyone and it’s FREE! The Library is more than just books these days. You can check out movies, comics, E-books, and audiobooks! Check out the Maker Space while you’re at some of the branches; you can use their 3D printer, learn how to sew, and use their Cricut for DIY projects! The Library also has services to help you hone your skills for employment with computer classes, interview practice, and now there’s a database you can use, UniversalClass, to access over 500 free courses! Learn anything from how to sew, a new language, finance, and even babysitting! The Library is an important pillar of the community, no matter the economic class, culture, or age. To provide all these resources, it needs everyone’s support to keep it functioning and to also help it grow with our ever-growing community. It offers so much and is an investment in our community and our future!

I am also involved in the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP provides a voice for children, a reminder to our government to think of the kids. However, it’s more than just lobbying. The AAP strives to hold pediatricians to a high standard in the care of children and up-to-date medical practice. It also aims to support families of children as well. Healthy Children is a wonderful resource for families, providing anticipatory guidance on anything from medications, developmental milestones, medical diagnoses, sleep training, to dealing with a teenager! If you’re ever in need, check it out! The AAP also partners with Reach Out and Read America, another nonprofit that champions early childhood literacy and provides children with books at every well-child check!

I have only listed a few ways to help the children in our community, but there are still so many other ways to help them! Donate to local nonprofits that help the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, foster children, and our schools like the Huntsville Downtown Rescue Mission, AshaKiran, Kids to Love, and Free2Teach. Foster families, group homes, and shelters are always in need of toiletries and clothes for the children; and teachers are always in need of school supplies! Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children’s Child Life Program helps patients and families cope with hospitalizations, procedures, new diagnoses, and bereavement and is always in need of more supplies. Whatever opportunity appeals to you, just remember, children need our help! They are resilient but they need someone to fight for them, to support them, and to love them. Investing in them is investing in our future!

About Kym Middleton

Kym was born and raised in Huntsville, AL. She attended college and medical school at UAB and did her pediatric training in Greenville, SC (Huntsville’s unofficial sister city!). Her love of teaching and her residency program kept her on an extra year as Chief Resident before returning to Huntsville and working for Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. She still loves teaching and works with UAB residents and medical students. Kym occasionally dabbles with education via social media; follow her on Instagram and Twitter. She’s currently working on a lecture series and an educational podcast for local and statewide pediatricians too! 

In her free time, she has a variety of other hobbies, including arts and crafts, puzzling, reading, cooking, and trivia-ing. She loves hanging out with and spoiling her nieces and nephews. You can usually find her and her husband, Geoffrey (who happens to be her childhood crush!), checking out local shops and restaurants, playing board games, nerding-out, and supporting non-profits around town. 

Kym, thank you so much for this fabulous window into your passion for children’s advocacy! We hope readers look into and support and celebrate the organizations you shared in your Voices of Huntsville.

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