Chapters affected change on the local and state
levels throughout 2016, tackling issues such as access
to health care, taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages,
suicide prevention, religious exemption laws and
funding for services for children with lead poisoning.
One voice for children
Over a third of AAP chapters reported advocacy
successes with regards to access to care and Medicaid.
The Alabama Chapter found support from a
multiorganizational statewide advocacy effort called
#IAmMedicaid. Aimed at helping reframe the state
narrative about Medicaid and those insured by the
program, this platform was used by the chapter and
numerous coalition partners to successfully influence
the Alabama legislature to fully fund Medicaid for
the 2017 fiscal year.
“The fight to gain adequate support was ruthless, but as steadfast
advocates for children in Alabama,
our chapter realized the importance of pushing for additional
revenue while ensuring lawmakers
understood cuts to the Medicaid
program would cause serious statewide health consequences,” said
chapter President Catherine L. Wood, M.D., FAAP.
The Arkansas Chapter was integral in helping over
10,000 Medicaid-eligible children re-enroll in the
program after they were dropped from coverage the
previous year. The chapter distributed information
and instructions to practices throughout the state to
assist patients and their parents or caregivers with the
“Ensuring that children who
are eligible for Medicaid are ac-
tually enrolled is critical to the
health care delivery system in the
state,” said chapter President Chad
With immunizations making headlines again,
13 chapters took successful strides toward ensuring
children’s access to immunizations. Notably, the
Alaska Chapter implemented the Alaska Vaccine
Assessment Program (AVAP), and all insurers have
committed to participate. Through these efforts, the
state has seen a savings of about 35% on vaccine
costs. AVAP advocates hope this program leads to
improved immunization rates.
Spotlight on key issues
The water crisis in Flint, Mich., was the focus of
the Michigan Chapter’s advocacy efforts. Much of
that activity was geared toward ensuring the state
adequately funded services for children who were
exposed to lead contaminated water and helping the
city mitigate some of the lead in its water systems.
The chapter led a coalition that ultimately secured
$195 million as well as an additional $147.6 million
Another important advocacy action included Illi-
nois’ successful passage of a sugary beverage tax in
Cook County, the largest county in the state. More
than 100 physicians spoke out on the positive child
health effects of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages.
The Montana Chapter focused on strengthening
partnerships and facilitating statewide efforts to increase suicide prevention. Montana has created coun-ty-specific resources about depression and mental
health for distribution to families. The chapter also
is working with the state suicide prevention coordinator to find other areas for collaboration.
In Tennessee, the chapter worked to repeal the
state’s religious exemption to the felony crimes
against children statute — a significant victory following 22 years of harm brought to children because
of the law.
• A list of each chapter’s advocacy successes can
be found in 52 Ways AAP Chapters and Districts
Improved Child Health in 2016, http://bit.ly/2mb9zNu.
The annual resource was created by the Division of
State Government Affairs and Division of Chapter and
• For more information, contact Allison Buckley, in the
AAP Division of Chapter and District Relations, at 847-
434-7892, firstname.lastname@example.org or http://bit.ly/2ie2UA3.
from the AAP Department of Community, Chapter and State Affairs