Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA): Our Children. Our Lives.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA): Our Children. Our Lives.

The Barcliff Group (TBG) is a private, For-Profit health care quality consulting firm that challenges itself to be involved in the quality of health care beyond the board room. TBG’s blogs cover various topics in health care quality, equity, and wellness by collaborating with professionals in the industry to edify the community at large. For the October 2018 blog, we are focusing on Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) and its major impact on the quality of life of the children in our community.

TBG is excited to share the interview with Pam Younker of CHOA!

Q: Tell us about yourself and your role in the Community Relations sector of CHOA?

A: I am a Community Development Officer for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. My background is in auditing and accounting, a little different for a typical Community Development Officer. However, I have always been active in the Cobb County Community, having chaired the Honorary Commanders Program, and participated in groups like Leadership Cobb, Cobb Executive Women, Cobb 2020, and the Atlanta Regional Military Affairs Council. I serve nationally on the Air Force Chief of Staff’s Civic Leader Council.

I am married to Ron Younker, VP Human Resources at Cobb EMC. We have 2 grown sons, David and John. David is an attorney in Atlanta, and lives in east Cobb with his wife, Katy, and children Sevy (4) and William (2). Our son, John, is a veterinarian in Atlanta, and lives in Grant Park with his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Josie Mae.

My job in Community Development is to convey to residents in Cobb, Paulding, Douglas, and Bartow Counties the importance of choosing Children’s Healthcare for the medical needs of children from birth to 21 years of age. When parents take their children to Children’s Healthcare facilities, they have 100% chance of seeing medical personnel who are totally pediatric based. I give presentations and also participate in community events.

Q: When you wake in the morning, what drives you the most in working in Community Relations?

A: I want to tell as many people as possible about the excellence of care that children receive at Children’s Healthcare. From having the largest sickle cell disease treatment facility in the country to doing over 300 clinical trials in pediatric cancer research, Children’s Healthcare stands tall in caring for the children of our state and our country.

Q: With healthcare evolving so greatly within the last decade, what do you believe builds trust in our community?

A: I believe trust in the community is built on relationships and communication. I am thankful that Children’s Healthcare has a great reputation and mission. I am honored to have relationships in the community that foster that reputation, and I get to speak about the mission.

Q: Take a second and tell us who Hope and Will are what they mean to the children and parents of CHOA?

A: Our mascots, the 2 little people on our logo, are Hope and Will. They stand for having a hopeful attitude and a strong will. That’s what we want for all of our patients. That’s what our staff works toward each and every day. We want to provide excellent medical care, while helping patients and their families have individual attention that ministers to the wellbeing of the patients, and the support of the families.

CHOA was ranked in 10 specialties by the U.S. News and World Report for the 2018-2019 year (amazing!). It is obvious that they are invested in quality and clinical excellence. In what ways has this culture of excellence impacted children in the community?

A: When families bring their children to a Children’s Healthcare facility, they know they will receive excellent care, with 100% pediatric focus. In 2017, we saw children from every county in Georgia, and we performed over 42,000 surgical procedures. With over 1,000,000 patient visits, we saw more than 391,000 individual patients. As you can see by those numbers, Children’s Healthcare impacts every nook and cranny in the state of Georgia and beyond.

Recently, a football player at McEarch High School had medical complications during a football game. Can you tell us how CHOA played a part in saving the gentlemen’s life?

A: At the McEachern versus Cedar Grove High School Football game held at McEachern High School, one of the Cedar Grove football players collapsed. Due to the immediate response of the Children’s Healthcare trainers, who work with the McEachern team, that young man was given CPR, and then treated with the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Today, he is alive and heading toward a healthy future due to the care provided on the football field.

Q: What upcoming events can the metro-Atlanta community look forward to from CHOA?

A: We employ Clinicians that not only have experience working with this unique population, but that also have a passion and desire to see these women move from a victim’s mentality to a victor’s mindset. Our team is certified in a variety of field focuses that aid in their ability to better serve our population. Some of those areas of field focus include trauma informed care, crisis management, vicarious trauma training, sexual abuse, victim recovery, victim advocacy, suicidal ideation, women’s issues, codependency, and so much more.

As 97% of House of Cherith participants have expressed use or addition to substances in their past or present situations, our clinicians and therapists are also trained in drug and alcohol awareness, relapse prevention, trigger identification. Some are even certified substance abuse counselors.

Many House of Cherith residents suffer from mental health challenges as well. This is a huge barrier to overcome when moving from a place of dependence or victimization to a place of self-sufficiency. Our clinicians have experience, education or certifications in a variety of mental health fields including, but not limited to, the following: anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, borderline personality, mood disorders, eating disorders, depression, and more.

Q: Is there anything else you would like the community to know as an advocate to the women of House of Cherith and sexually exploited women world-wide?

A: Children’s Healthcare has many events in the metro-Atlanta area where people can be involved. A few are: A Night to Win for Children’s: October 18

A Night to Win for Children’s: October 18

Join us for a fun night benefiting Children’s Cherokee Urgent Care. The event will take place at Sidelines Grille in Canton, and your ticket will include appetizers throughout the evening as well as drink tickets. Purchase your ticket here.


La Raza Radiothon: October 25-26

Tune into La Raza 102.3/100.1 for the 10thannual Por Los Niños Hispanic Radiothon. On-air personalities will share the mic with patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and take donations to benefit Children’s. Learn more at

  Other opportunities: EAT!

Chick-fil-A: October 1-31

Visit Atlanta-area Chick-fil-A restaurants and support Cookies for a Cause. Proceeds from all 6-count cookies purchased throughout the month will benefit the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.


Dairy Queen: October 1-31

Visit your local Dairy Queen and round up your purchase to the nearest dollar to support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.


 Express Oil Change and Tire Engineers: October 1-31

Express Oil Change is Changing Oil and Changing Lives during October. They will donate $1 for every oil change during the month and if you donate $5 they will treat you to coupons for $7 off an oil change and 10 percent off a mechanical service. All proceeds benefit the School Program at Children’s.


Great Clips: October 1-31

Purchase a CMN balloon icon at your local Great Clips to receive a FREE small cone at Dairy Queen and $2 off your next haircut.

Special thank you to Pam for spending time with us!