from the AAP Department of
Community and Chapter Affairs
and Quality Improvement
Immigrant child health, access to
care, and diversity and inclusion were
key issues addressed at the AAP Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) March
ALF voters adopted 68 of 72 resolutions and selected the Top 10 that
the Academy should address urgently
(see page 1). Resolutions serve as advice to the Board of Directors on the
direction of policies and procedures.
The top resolution this year requests
that the Academy educate pediatricians on the process of developing
medical-legal partnerships or other referral systems that foster collaboration
between pediatricians and lawyers for
the benefit of immigrant children and
adolescents. The resolution also calls
for the Academy to develop tools to
assist pediatricians in screening immigrant children and adolescents seeking
Alan J. Shapiro, M.D., FAAP; Kim Avila Edwards,
M.D., FAAP, Texas Chapter president; and Tamar
Margarik Haro, associate director of the AAP Department of Federal Affairs; discussed advocacy for
immigrant children in the clinic, community and
Congress. They also highlighted the Academy’s new
policy statement on detention of immigrant children, which was co-authored by Dr. Shapiro and
released at the ALF.
“The resolution, in partnership with this policy
statement, will hopefully contribute to conversations about development of medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) that
celebrate the crucial role of pediatricians in screening families for
legal relief and facilitating access to
representation, and mitigate federal funding restrictions that impact
many MLPs,” said Julie M. Linton,
M.D., FAAP, who co-authored the policy and resolution with Dr. Shapiro.
Diversity and inclusion
Four hundred AAP leaders heard from Radhika
Tamang, a high school senior in Burlington, Vt.,
who was born in a Nepalese refugee camp. Tamang,
spokesperson for Burlington High School’s Interna-
tional Club, joined Andrea E. Green, M.D., FAAP,
in telling about how “all are welcome” in her school.
Dr. Green, a general pediatrician who provides care
to refugee children, explained that the All Are Wel-
come program was developed in response to fears
among immigrant and refugee
families in Vermont.
DeWayne M. Pursley, M.D.,
M.P.H., FAAP, Massachusetts
“Unfortunately, this (fear among immigrants) is
just the latest threat to the physical and emotional
well-being of U.S. children who are growing up in
a society whose diversity is becoming increasingly
apparent,” Dr. Pursley said.
Financing and access to health care for children
Cindy Mann, J.D., former deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicaid and
Children’s Health Insurance Program Services at
the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,
discussed the Medicaid program, the structure of
capped funding and the Republican health care bill
(later pulled) as it relates to children.
Medicaid is the nation’s largest single source of
health care coverage, she said. Although the major-
ity of Medicaid enrollees are children and adults,
most of the spending is for the elderly and disabled.
Mann addressed questions regarding how states will
respond to proposed block grants, whether children
will be at added risk if funding is spread across en-
rollee groups and how flexibility through legislation
or waivers would affect children.
Joan Alker, M.Phil., executive director of the Center for Children and
Families and a research professor at
the Georgetown University McCourt
School of Public Policy, joined Mann
in a discussion facilitated by AAP Committee on Federal Government Affairs
Chair Lynda M. Young, M.D., FAAP.
State delegations get to work
ALF attendees spent an evening
working in state delegations. Mark Del
Monte, J.D., AAP chief deputy, started
the conversation with a presentation on
ensuring a healthy future for America’s
children in the face of difficult economic and political times, during which he
referenced the AAP Blueprint for Children.
Members then prioritized action
items in their states. Chapter, committee, council and section leaders sat side-by-side, committing to do whatever it
takes to advance the health and welfare
“We have the new administration to thank for
uniting us and energizing us to do more for children,” said Jerrold M. Eichner,
M.D., FAAP, chair of the Committee Forum Management Committee.
Mark A. Del Beccaro, M.D.,
FAAP, chair of the Council Man-
agement Committee, summed
up the 2017 ALF: “This ALF was
inspiring to so
many. The engagement and ener-
gy generated by the speakers and
topics was amazing. At the core of
these feelings and observations was
the message of now is the time to
act to protect health care for kids.”
Stephen H. Church, M.D.,
FAAP, who moderated the 2017
ALF, said he heard several times
that this was the “best ALF ever.”
“I was especially pleased with the
state delegations,” he said. “The
results of that
session were out-
standing, with active participation,
a sense of unity and formation of
legislative action plans.”
At the close of the ALF, Dr.
Church passed the gavel to Ann
R. Stark, M.D., FAAP, chair of the
Section Forum Management Committee, who will
chair the 2018 ALF.
Pediatricians’ concerns addressed at gathering of AAP leaders
• For a list of 2017 resolutions, visit https://www.aap.
• For more information on the Annual Leadership Forum, contact Nicole Blankenship, in the AAP Division
of Chapter and District Relations, at 847-434-7862 or
Dr. Del Beccaro
The welfare of immigrant children was a key topic at the Annual Leadership Forum.