The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) took place in Schaumburg, Illinois from March 9 to 12, 2017. The voting member attendees included the president and vice president from each of the 66 chapters, as well as the chairperson of each committee, council, and section. The District Chairs, District Vice Chairs, chapter executive director, and members of each district's National Nominating Committee were present, although, as non-voting members. Members of the AAP staff from both the Chicago and Washington, DC, offices attended as well. The voting members are those that vote to either adopt or not adopt a particular resolution and then, at the end of the conference, rank the resolutions for top 10 consideration.
The resolutions discussed covered topics on advocacy, education, practice, and AAP operations. In addition, there were concurrent leadership workshops and chapter management seminars. Leadership Workshop topics included: Media training, Managing Conflict - Tools for Navigating Critical Conversations, How to Run a Meeting, and Leading Diverse Teams in Diverse Times. Chapter Management Seminar topics included: Legal Issues for Chapters, Finding Advocacy Opportunities Among Challenges, The Future of Healthcare Membership and Engagement - What Chapter Leaders Need to Know. Additional Leadership topics to choose from were: How to Succeed at State Advocacy - Advise from the All Stars, Add Your Voice - How to Engage in Social Media Advocacy at AAP, Volunteer Management, Change Talk - Taking Motivational Interviewing Into Your Practice.
Our current AAP president, Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP presented opening remarks. The two candidates for president-elect, Michael Weiss, DO, FAAP and Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, were introduced and answered questions regarding their platform and plans. AAP CEO/Executive Vice President Karen Remley, MD, FAAP spoke as well with regards to the future of the AAP. At her request, I include a brochure about the new AAP Headquarters Fundraising efforts as well as an attachment that delineates the talking points with basic information.
There were many networking opportunities within each district as well as with all the attendees from across the nation, including Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Uniformed Services.
"The Future of Financing and Access to Health Care for Children" was an enlightening presentation regarding the effects of a possible ACA repeal and the new replace/repeal proposal.
Mark Del Monte, JD presented the "Blueprint for Children - How to work with the New Administration for a Healthy Future." Mark emphasized that we all have a voice and should take advocacy seriously by continually reaching out to our Senators and Representatives. Leaders in Washington need to hear a strong message that they should protect children in any legislation under consideration. He pointed out that our congressional leaders take a break from Washington, DC returning to their home districts during April 10-21, 2017. Please take that opportunity to reach out to them during that time with a phone call or meet them in person. Please follow this link to find your State Senate and Assembly representatives.
Over one lunch session, the presentation was on "Promoting Diversity and Inclusion: What Pediatricians and Youth Can Do." A high school teenager from Burlington,Vermont presented the symbol, "All are Welcome" that her school's International club developed.
The several ALF attendees participating in the yearly St. Baldrick's fundraising head-shave to benefit children with cancer raised around $9,000.
There was a panel discussion near the close of ALF on Immigrant Child Health. The policy statement: Detention of Immigrant Children from the Council on Community Pediatrics was presented. The policy is divided into two parts. The first of which addresses issues facing children and families placed in detention. They recommend that children never be separated from their families and that children have access to comprehensive medical care. Pediatricians should be familiar with immigrant healthcare and trauma-informed care. The second part of the policy focuses on issues facing children after they are released from detention centers. Awards and Recognitions of Outstanding Committees, Councils and Sections, were presented. AAP-CA2 treasurer, Cori Cross, MD, FAAP received a recognition for innovation on behalf of the Council on Communications and Media for working with the AAP staff to create an interactive app on HealthyChildren.org that creates individualized Family Media Use Plans. This toolkit bridged the gap between our recommendations and families' daily lives by providing a means for families to take our advice and apply it in their own households in ways that matched their individual needs. The tool has received plaudits in the press and is now featured in Common Sense Media’s Screen Free Meals campaign.
Chapter awards were presented as Outstanding Chapter Awards, Awards of Chapter Excellence. Chapter Awards are divided by size: small, medium, large, and very large.
AAP-CA2 was nominated in the Very Large Chapter category for consideration for the Outstanding Chapter Award. AAP-CA2 received the Very Large Chapter of Excellence award for the third year in a row.
Special Achievement Awards by chapter will be announced later at upcoming joint district meetings.
There were 69 resolutions submitted on time. Of the 8 late resolutions submitted, only three were accepted based on late resolution rationale bringing the total to 72 resolutions. Twenty-four of the resolutions went straight to the consent calendar as not being controversial nor requiring further discussion. Later, an additional 9 resolutions were moved to consent.
During the ALF, the resolutions are initially divided into three groups and discussed at length with reference committees. The reference committees then compiled reports combining the comments from the on-line comment opportunity and those from the onsite ALF attendees.
From that, the reference committee recommended if a particular resolution should be recommended for adoption or not.
From our district, there were 10 timely submitted resolutions and one late resolution accepted for consideration at ALF. Five of those ten resolutions submitted on time ultimately made it to the consent calendar. AAP-CA2 submitted a late resolution with regards to the executive order on the recent travel bans. One of the AAP-CA2 resolutions on consent focused on the major points of CA's Caleb's Law, SB-2235 (Thurmond) taking it to the national level. I am pleased and proud to say that the all six resolutions I authored were adopted. About 5% of the resolutions proposed were not adopted.