Reflecting on an era of achievements
Dr. Alden stepping down from Academy,
but legacy of programs remains
AAP report emphasizes
importance of pediatricians
in preventing obesity
by Melissa Jenco • News Content Editor
by Trisha Korioth • Staff Writer
Many pediatricians recognize him for building
the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) into
the worldwide standard. Others acknowledge his
work in expanding international child health and
pediatric education programs. But if there’s one
quality Errol R. Alden, M.D., FAAP, is known
for, it’s bringing people together toward a common goal.
This month, Dr. Alden steps down after 11
years as AAP executive director/CEO — 28 years
overall on the AAP staff.
“The organization is stable. It is a good time for
changing leadership,” he said.
What he’ll miss most is working with people of
all backgrounds and opinions.
“What dedicates us all is our mission,” he said.
“I feel a great sense of pride. It is the best job
anyone could ever want, and I have thoroughly
loved the position. It has been an incredible honor
to serve as CEO for the AAP.”
Before coming to the Academy in 1987 as director of the Department of Education, Dr. Alden was chair of the Department of Pediatrics at
the Uniformed Services University of the Health
Sciences and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
There, he was responsible for medical students
and residents and, in addition, oversaw continuing education for pediatricians serving in the U.S.
military around the world.
“When I retired from the military, my wife
(Judi) hoped we’d move further south, not north,”
Dr. Alden joked.
But in 1987, the Aldens made the trek to
Marengo, Ill., and the dairy farm that’s been home
for the past 28 years.
Dr. and Mrs. Alden raised their family, which
included caring for five children and 13 foster children. Now, they look forward to more visits with
their 17 grandchildren. The verdict is still out as to
whether Mrs. Alden will get her wish to move south.
See Dr. Alden, page 8
Dr. Alden (center) at the 2004 launch of Neonatal Resuscitation Program training in China. Five years later
(inset), leaders gather to celebrate the program’s success. The event marked a one-third drop in infant mortality.
Taking steps to prevent childhood obesity at an early age is
critical, and pediatricians play a
key role, according to a new AAP
“I think the good that can be done in terms of
prevention and early intervention especially down
to the young ages … is tremendous compared to
the degree of difficulty everyone has when the
family, the child and the practitioner are trying
hard to work on a child who already has developed
obesity,” said AAP President Sandra G. Hassink,
M.D., FAAP, who co-authored the report.
The clinical report, The Role of the Pediatrician
in Primary Prevention of Obesity from the AAP
Committee on Nutrition, replaces a 2003 policy
statement and appears in the July issue of Pediatrics
In the past few decades, pediatric obesity has
doubled and even tripled for some age groups and
is the most prevalent chronic health condition for
children, according to the report.
See Obesity, page 4
Mission to care for children
embodied in history
of Della Robbia seal
In the years since the debut of
the first Della Robbia image of a
swaddled infant, the artwork for
the AAP organizational seal has
changed only once, despite various
attempts to replace it.
With its rich artistic tradition
dating to the late Middle Ages, the Della Robbia, as
it’s known today, remains an enduring symbol of the
Academy’s mission to care for children and is an integral
part of the AAP logo.
See Seal, page 4
In this issue
President-elect candidates profiled
Lynda M. Young, M.D., FAAP, of Worcester, Mass., and Fernando
Stein, M.D., FAAP, of Houston, share a glimpse into their professional and personal lives. Pages 10-11