A Message from AAP President Dr. Sally Goza

A Message from AAP President Dr. Sally Goza

We continue to be alarmed by the increasingly dire need for increased supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for pediatricians in the hospital and ambulatory settings.

Last week, I joined the leaders of more than a dozen medical societies who asked the President and Vice President of the United States to take action. But we need all of our voices rising together to compel our federal leaders to act.

Never has there been a more urgent moment to make our voices heard on an issue that is so consequential not just to the health of our patients, but to the health and safety of all of you, and all of our colleagues who are doing all they can to save as many lives as possible.

Here’s what you can do today: Call or email your elected officials with the below messages. Phone numbers for your representative and senators can be found below, and our website has all you need to send a quick email (under Key Issues).

Congressman Don Young
Phone: 202-225-5765

Senator Lisa A. Murkowski
Phone: 202-224-6665

Senator Daniel Sullivan
Phone: 202-224-3004

Here are the main messages:

You must act immediately to increase PPE.

  • Introduce yourself by your title and city/state.
  • I am urging you to do everything you can to make sure we have the personal protective equipment we need to safely care for coronavirus patients.
  • In my practice/hospital, I am already seeing shortages and we are just at the beginning of the impact here. {Fill in details from what you are experiencing}.
  • Physicians in other countries are dying because they don’t have basic protective gear. I fear this will happen here too if we do not act immediately.
  • Medical professionals are counting on you – I am counting on you – to make sure we have the masks, gloves, gowns and equipment we need to save our patients and protect ourselves.

You must protect the healthcare workforce.

  • Medical professionals caring for patients during this pandemic do so at great personal risk to their health and safety, especially without proper protective equipment.
  • Please act immediately to protect frontline physicians responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by doing everything in your power to increase the supply of personal protective equipment.

We have also seen what can happen when pediatricians harness the power and reach of social media to put pressure on people in positions of power. Please consider adding your voice online using #GetMePPE, with your own message or one below:

  • I’m a pediatrician in {state}. I am here to protect patients from #COVID19. {insert your senators’ & representative’s Twitter handles} #GetMePPE so I can protect myself.
  • I am a pediatrician in {state} helping to fight #COVID19. We are running out of masks, gowns, gloves and more. I am pleading with our federal leaders for innovative, urgent solutions to this shortage. #GetMePPE

Thank you for all you do, every day, on behalf of children.

Sincerely,

Sally Goza, MD, FAAP
President

Subspecialty Day of Action on Tuesday, October 9

The American Academy of Pediatrics will lead a Subspecialty Day of Action on Tuesday, October 9. This virtual Day of Action will give pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists across the country the opportunity to speak up for their specialties and the children they care for. By coming together on October 9, we will be able to speak with a unified voice on critical pediatric workforce shortages relevant to all pediatric subspecialties. There is a unique opportunity in the Senate to advance an important pediatric workforce priority that will help to address critical shortages of pediatric subspecialists. Congress is currently working to renew the Title VII Health Professions programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and there is an opportunity to reauthorize funding for loan repayment for pediatric subspecialists through that process. The AAP hopes to mobilize a large number of pediatric subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists to inform their senators about the important care provided by subspecialists and encourage them to support a reauthorization of loan repayment for pediatric subspecialists. This important program would ensure that pediatric subspecialists who treat children most in need are able to access loan repayment. This toolkit is designed to provide you with the information and resources you need to join the Day of Action on October 9. We encourage you to prepare, customize with information specific to your subspecialty or surgical specialty, and spread the word to others who would like to join us in this effort. We need every voice coming together to urge the Senate to support loan repayment for pediatric subspecialists. Thank you in advance for your help and we very much looking forward to speaking with one unified voice on October 9!

https://downloads.aap.org/DOFA/Subspecialty%20Day%20Advocacy%20Toolkit%20October%202018.pdf

Children’s Health Care Coverage Fact Sheets

One of the Academy’s top advocacy priorities is ensuring children have access to high-quality, affordable health care that meets their unique needs. The Academy is currently working at the state and federal levels to support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to protect and strengthen Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

AAP, ACOG Presidents Urge US To Protect, Promote, Support Breast-Feeding.

In a letter to the editor of the New York Times (7/11) in response to the front page story titled “U.S. Delegation Disrupts Accord on Breast Milk,” Colleen Kraft, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Lisa Hollier, MD, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, write, “The discussions at the World Health Assembly reveal that mothers still lack the support they need to initiate and continue breast-feeding their infants.” Drs. Kraft and Hollier conclude, “As physicians who care for women and children, we urge the United States and every country to protect, promote and support breast-feeding for the health of all women, children and families.”

New AAP public service announcement on medication

As part of an ongoing series, the AAP has released its July public service announcement on safe medication storage.
Every year, more than 60,000 kids end up in the emergency room because they were able to access medicine when an adult wasn’t looking. In this public service announcement from the AAP, Dr. Shelly Flais explains how to protect children by safely storing medicine at home. Health care providers can share the PSA on practice websites or social media by using this code: <iframe width=”854″ height=”480″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/bUal9CbiKts” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>  The video is available for viewing on YouTube at https://youtu.be/bUal9CbiKts. And in addition to this PSA, HealthyChildren.org has more information for parents on this topic.

Message from AAP President On Family Separation

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A Message from AAP President Colleen Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP

Dear AAP Member:
Many media outlets are now reporting about children being separated from families as routine government practice at the southern border of the U.S. This policy contradicts everything we know about promoting and protecting children’s health.

Our 2017 policy statement, “Detention of Immigrant Children,” urges that separation of a parent or primary caregiver from his or her children should never occur, unless there are concerns for the safety of the child at the hand of the parent. The Academy’s position opposing family separation stems from the serious health consequences that this practice has on children.

As AAP president, I visited the border recently with other pediatricians and saw firsthand the devastating impact that family separation has on children. One image will last with me forever. A toddler girl I met at a shelter for unaccompanied children was crying uncontrollably; her face was bright red. She was inconsolable and wanted her mother who was separated from her when they crossed the border together. She needed the warm touch of her mother’s hand or her soothing voice. I felt helpless.

I shared this story in an op-ed I published in the Los Angeles Times after the visit.

In early 2017 when a policy of separation was being contemplated, AAP spoke out and the policy was abandoned. In December when the policy was once again floated, the AAP was on-the-record, strongly opposing the practice for its detrimental health impacts on children. In fact, we wrote to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) numerous times expressing our opposition and urging the agency to end the practice immediately.

Our advocacy has not wavered since then. When the policy was formalized in early May, we immediatelyspoke out, and we continue to pursue a multi-faceted advocacy strategy to give these vulnerable children and families a voice.

This is a child health issue. When children are separated from their parents, it can cause irreparable harm to their health. Highly stressful experiences, such as family separation, can disrupt the building of children’s brain architecture. Prolonged exposure to serious stress – toxic stress – can harm the developing brain and harm short- and long-term health.  Family separation robs children of the buffer that a parent or caregiver provides against toxic stress.

The AAP’s position has been amplified across state and national media outlets, and individual pediatricians have written in their local newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle and Winston-Salem Journal just this week. Members of Congress have also referenced AAP’s position when affirming their own opposition to separation. Many of you joined our Day of Action to Protect Families days before the practice became policy.

Yesterday, the AAP was one of 540 organizations to send a letter to DHS, calling for the agency to end the policy immediately.

Your voice is critical to our efforts opposing family separation. Please consider contacting your members of Congress and telling them to urge DHS to end the separation of children and parents immediately. To email your federal legislators with this message, please visit the AAP’s federal advocacy website. On June 14, there will be marches, vigils, and rallies taking place across the country. To find an event in your state, please see thiswebsite.

I want to thank you for the calls and emails you have sent. Please know I share your outrage and that as child health experts, we will continue to oppose family separation and other threats to child health at every turn.

Sincerely,

Colleen Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP
President, American Academy of Pediatrics

@AAPPres

American Academy of Pediatrics, 345 Park Boulevard, Itasca, IL, 60143 – 800/433-9016

New Fact Sheet Addresses Juul E-cigarettes

Juul are a new type of e-cigarette that are highly popular among teens. These devices have doubled the nicotine content of other e-cigarettes, so they are highly addictive. Juul has been receiving increased media attention because these devices look like flash drives and are being used in schools. The AAP has created a fact sheet to help clinicians, parents and educators identify and address “Juuling” with patients, teens and students.  Visit the AAP Richmond Center to download the fact sheet.