February • 2021
In February We Amplify

In February We Amplify
Words, actions, optimism, resilience to solidify
Our committee initiatives and grant work,
With opportunities to grow your network.
President's Column
Raelene Walker, MD, FAAP
Much has happened in 2021, just in the first month. Some horrific, some banal, some wonderful. In the latter category, I just rewatched the video of Amanda Gorman, our new poet laureate, reciting her poem “The Hill We Climb”. I love this poem, her delivery, her personal story. I love the power of her words and how her passion, skill and hard work come together to inspire and uplift those who listen to her words. Our words and the meaning behind them matter too, every day in our interactions with our patients and families, and each other. My theme this month is to highlight ways through our chapter, and AAP overall, to continue to use our words to amplify the positive things we are doing.  

As I hope all our members know, the resolution process is one of the many special aspects of the AAP. Any and all members can write a resolution about an idea related to pediatrics that we think is important and if that idea resonates with other AAP members, that can become a national AAP priority. The Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) will be held August 5-8, and ALF resolutions for this year are due April 1. Please put your ideas into words so that we can help amplify your words and passions. We also encourage you to contact us if you have questions or need assistance.  

Another way to amplify our words and ideas is to attend the AAP Advocacy Conference, formerly called the Legislative Conference (Leg Con). This will be held virtually April 11-13 and will involve advocacy training, networking, and meetings with our own personal congressional representatives to advocate for pediatric issues. I’ve attended in the past and will again this year, and encourage any and all who are interested to attend as well. The link to register is attached here.

There are vacancies on several national AAP committees, and nominations are due February 19. Please visit the Committee Nominations webpage to find information about the current open positions and process for submitting a nomination. Member appointments will take place at the May 2021 Board Meeting and new member terms will begin on July 1. National committees are very effective and outstanding formats to combine members passions, skills and hard work to affect positive change. 

We are also looking for candidates for both AAP District IX and AAP California Chapter 1 upcoming elections. AAP District IX is our district and consists of the 4 California AAP chapters. We will be having an election for District Chair and District Vice Chair in Fall 2021. Our chapter is also having an election this spring. We will have a vacancy for Chapter Vice President and 4 Member-at-Large positions in our Central Valley, Contra Costa/Solano, Sacramento Valley and San Francisco regions. Members can be nominated or self-nominated. If you would like to know more about these roles and the election process, or to nominate someone (including yourself), please email us at [email protected].
Vice President's Column
Nelson Branco, MD, FAAP
I experienced January the way I imagine most of you did – with a mixture of hope, fear and cautious optimism. Despite the memes and jokes, none of us really expected that turning the page on the calendar would lead to an end to the pandemic, the abolition of racism and bias in our society or the appearance of several more hours in the day for workouts, sleep and self-care. Despite that, I joined all of you in shock when, on January 6, I tuned in to the live stream from the Capitol in between patients. Others have written more eloquently than I ever could about the tragic symbolism of the confederate flag being paraded through that building and the dichotomy between the response to that mob in relation to the BLM protesters earlier in the year. But to see the Capitol Rotunda, a space where I had spent hours running from one meeting to the next while advocating for Native American children and communities, being disrespected and destroyed was tough. A space where advocacy happens had been attacked; the rioters claimed to be advocating but in reality, they were seeking to destroy our way of advocating, informing and governing. 

But we are pediatricians. By training and temperament, we are hopeful and persistent. We’ve been there: at the bedside of a sick child looking for a pattern in those periods of supplemental oxygen, watching for a downward trend in the CRP or one more trip outside the house for that anxious teen. This month has had a few of those too – in the middle of the long predicted post-holiday COVID surge, many of us have been vaccinated. President Biden and Vice President Harris have been sworn in and they and their team are working to control the pandemic and help children and families. I don’t need to tell you that CA Chapter 1 is claiming VP Kamala Harris as one of our own – I don’t know for sure, but I hope that her pediatrician growing up was a Chapter 1 member. It has been refreshing to have new leadership in DC who are clear that they need to listen to the experts. We have a lot of work to do and many fundamental and difficult problems to address. It isn’t going to happen quickly, but maybe soon we’ll see this “baby” is spending a few hours off O2, or at least the FiO2 is trending down. I’ll be doing my best to get there, and I know I’ll be joined by many of you. Thanks for showing up, for doing the work, and for your optimism and resilience.
Season to Submit an ALF Resolution is Now!
John Ichiro Takayama, MD, MPH, FAAP
Immediate Past President
What’s a resolution? 
Every year, chapter members can submit a “resolution” to the Academy (national AAP) to advocate for change - to improve the health and well-being of children, youth and families; to support pediatricians; and to make AAP a better organization. ALF resolutions are reviewed, confirmed and prioritized by leaders of chapters, sections, councils and committees, at the ALF (Annual Leadership Forum) which usually takes place in March every year. In 2020, ALF was delayed and held virtually in August 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When’s the deadline?
April 1 is the new deadline which has just been announced. Please let us know if you need any help with crafting or reviewing a possible resolution. ALF itself will take place on August 5 - 8.

Who can write a resolution? 
Anyone who is a chapter member can submit an ALF resolution. Resolutions should address the Academy’s mission, core values or strategic plan (https://services.aap.org/en/about-the-aap/strategic-plan/); and they tend to ask the Academy to take action on a specific issue not already addressed or to establish a new program or activity. The following is a list of 2020 ALF resolutions that chapter members submitted in the fall 2019.

  1. Collaborate with Early Childhood Education and Child Care Providers to Identify Children with Developmental, Behavioral or Emotional Challenges
  2. National Standards for Nutritious School Meals and Beverages Should be Followed
  3. Make Protecting LGBTQ Children a Priority Federal Advocacy Issue
  4. Reuse the Styrofoam!
  5. Standardized Protocol for Rapid Response to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Healthcare Facilities
  6. Ask All Children and Their Families About Racism, Discrimination and Bias
  7. Incorporation of Climate Change Into Annual Well-Child Checks
  8. Preventive Mental Health Care for Pediatric Residents
  9. Political Misinformation on Social Media Impacts Child Health
  10. Correct Spelling and Pronunciation of Names

How to write a resolution:
ALF resolutions use a specific format that begins with “whereas” and ends with “resolved.” “Whereas” is where one lists the reasons why the Academy should consider the resolution; and “resolved” is where one specifies what the Academy should do or change. Resolutions often include key action verbs such as advocate, collaborate and educate. Before drafting a resolution, it’s helpful to review past resolutions, to make sure that a recent resolution did not ask the Academy to do something similar. Attached here is a template for reference.

Links and References:
Public Charge Rule Webinar: Watch Online!  
Alexandria Valdrighi, MD, FAAP
Immigrant Health Committee Co-Chair
Amidst anti-immigration rhetoric spearheaded by the Trump administration, there has been marked fear among immigrant communities. The public charge rule is one policy with a particularly chilling effect, leading immigrants to avoid crucial public and healthcare benefits. For pediatricians, this issue resonates strongly as we see children disenrolled from critical nutrition programs or even avoiding healthcare. Yet, many of us feel unprepared to counsel families on public charge and other immigration topics. 

As part of the Healthy People 2020 Grant, The Immigration Task Force has been working to combat misinformation surrounding the public charge rule and to empower physicians to feel more comfortable counseling their patients. We have created a three part webinar series focused on this topic. We invite you to watch the first webinar below. Led by Clarissa Reyes-Becerra, an immigration attorney with expertise on the public charge rule, you will learn the basics of public charge and how to access appropriate legal and informational resources. Additionally, you will hear from pediatrician Zarin Noor and social worker Peggy O’Grady about their experiences working with families on public charge.
Practice Support Task Force Update
Amita Saxena, MD, FAAP
Practice Support Task Force Chair
When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid.
The new dawn balloons as we free it.
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”

2021 is here at last, and many of us have grown weary while we struggle to deliver the best healthcare we can under the weight of this pandemic. We have had to reconfigure offices, change our practice workflows, and confront challenges without any precedents or obvious solutions. Like many pediatricians I have seen the mental health of my patients and families suffer as isolation and loneliness take their toll. Wrap that all up in a package of economic uncertainty and you have the perfect recipe for rampant depression and anxiety. 

However, there are lights in all this darkness. I have seen my colleagues reach out to help support one another with helpful advice and encouragement as evidenced by our Practice Support Listserv. I have seen parents, adolescents and young children rise to the occasion with grace and compassion. And I have seen science triumph with the release of COVID vaccines. By the time you read this it is my hope that many of you have received one, if not both, of the doses of a COVID vaccine. 
Crash Course on Life After Residency Part II Recap
Tashya Whitehead, MD, FAAP
Early Career Physicians Representative
On January 23, we hosted Life After Residency Part II, the sequel to our conference from May! This time, we focused on planning the first few years after residency. We started the event off with an amazing panel of dynamic pediatricians representing a wide array of pediatric jobs and then moved into a mentorship session, where current pediatric residents were paired with mentors and were able to ask questions about their CV, finding jobs, etc. It was a great opportunity for current pediatric residents to learn about various careers within the field of pediatrics, network, and receive valuable mentorship advice. Next, Hailey Nelson, MD, FAAP, IBCLC (Valley Children’s Hospital) talked with us about the importance of self-care and navigating imposter syndrome, followed by Caroline Okorie, MD, MPH (Stanford) discussing various ways in which to build community outside of residency. As we wrapped up, we shared "pearls of wisdom" from current pediatricians to the pediatric residents. Overall, the event went extremely smoothly (thank you, Isra!), and I was in awe of everything that the panelists, mentors, and speakers brought to the event. Anu Gorukanti, MD (my co-planner) and I came up with these topics based on what we wished we had known as we transitioned from residency to being attendings, and watching this event unfold, I wished that I could have had this opportunity when I was in residency! Thank you to all of our panelists, mentors, and speakers for imparting your wisdom to the residents and showing them the community that is there to help them along the way. And a special thanks to Anu, Isra, and Sabah for their help in planning and promoting this event. To view the recordings of the event, visit the webpage linked below:
Visit our events page to view information on upcoming events as well as recordings and resources from our past events!
Upcoming Events
Call for Partners to Increase Routine
Immunization Rates
Morgan Leighton, MD, MPH, FAAP
Chapter Immunization Champion
Are you concerned about the decrease in routine immunization among your patients? Do you have ideas for how to increase access, communicate with patients and families, or collaborate with other organizations to get more kids vaccinated? We would love to partner with you!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an alarming drop in well child visits and routine immunizations for pediatric patients. We are interested in pursuing a grant-funded project to increase immunization rates at a clinic, network or healthcare system. Currently, there are two funding opportunities, one through the national AAP (due February 12) and another, the P4 Challenge funded by HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (due March 15). 

If you are interested or would like to know more, please reach out to our Chapter Immunization Representative Morgan Leighton, MD, MPH, FAAP at [email protected].
AAP California News
Call for Nominations for District IX District Chairperson or District Vice Chairperson

AAP District IX will have an election for both District Chairperson (DC) and District Vice Chairperson (DVC) in 2021. The term for any new Fellow elected to either position is 4 years.

The District Nominating Committee is seeking AAP members interested in being considered as a candidate to run for either District Chairperson or District Vice Chairperson position.

If you are interested in being considered as a potential candidate, please email your name, the position you would like to be considered, and a 200 word Biography to [email protected]. The job descriptions for both positions are linked here.

Timeline for the election:

February 28, 2021: Nominations for both positions will close

April 12, 2021: District Nominating Committee will select a 2 candidate slate for each position to go forward in AAP elections. 

May 3, 2021: Campaign begins
August 25, 2021: National Election opens 
September 8, 2021: National Election closes 
September 9, 2021: President-elect and New Officers announced in AAP News 

Please feel free to email me at [email protected].  

Thanks for supporting AAP and the Children we serve.

Edward S. Curry, MD, FAAP
District IX National Nominating Committee Representative 
Past President AAP CA Chapter 2
AAP California Treasurer
Phone: 909 496-5325
The SGA Side
Your Key to State Government Affairs
Nora Pfaff, MD, FAAP and Zarah Iqbal, MD, MPH, CFAAP
SGA Chapter Representatives

Your SGA continues to be hard at work representing pediatricians! Our committee process has changed significantly with the shift in AAPCA leadership but we remain committed to our mission of advocating for children and pediatricians. The California legislative cycle restarted this month and we have begun the bill review process. We have also been in communication with various stakeholders about safe school reopening, which is at the top of our priority list.

With the new Presidential administration, we are also closely watching health focused and child focused policy at the national level. Registration is now open for the virtual AAP Advocacy Conference (formerly called the AAP Legislative Conference or LegCon), which will take place on April 11-13, 2021. Early bird registration is open through February 28th. Scholarship applications for trainees, early career pediatricians, and senior pediatricians are due on February 1st. 

For the most up to date information on AAP California bill positions, letters & outcomes from the current CA Legislative year, go to aap-ca.org/bill. For latest organizational advocacy updates follow @AAPCADocs on twitter. If you have questions and/or are interested in knowing more about a certain legislation, reach out to our State Government Affairs Chapter Representatives Nora Pfaff, MD, FAAP and Zarah Iqbal, MD, MPH at [email protected].
AAPCA1 & ACEs Aware
AAPCA1 is working with the California ACES AWARE initiative to provide California pediatricians with information they can use in their practice to screen for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) during well child visits. This initiative will help pediatricians support families by identifying stressors that can lead to developmental and behavioral problems in children, and are risk factors for adult onset chronic diseases.
February Initiative: Staff Resiliency
How can we make pediatric care more rewarding to pediatricians? One answer is implementing trauma informed care with our patients and their families. And a part of this is developing resilience in ourselves and our staff, and developing Trauma Informed Primary Care. 

Trauma-Informed Primary Care lays the foundation for successful screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), improves patient outcomes, improves clinical decision making and enables us to build collaborative care networks.
As discussed by Karen Johnson, MSW, LCSW Principal, Trauma-Informed Lens Consulting:

“We know that the demands and pressures of working in primary health care can affect our ability to remain compassionate. And, it is the responsibility of both the individual and the organization to understand the influences that drive burnout and compassion fatigue...
Upcoming Event:
Healing the Healer: Practicing What We Preach
Wednesday, February 10 from 7:00-8:30 PM
Resource: California ACEs Academy Webinars
Opportunities for Your Benefit
February 8, 12:00-1:00 PM: COVID Conversations: Preparing California for the COVID-19 Immunizations - REGISTER!
February 10, 7:00-8:30 PM: Healing the Healer: Practicing What We Preach - REGISTER!
February 11: Pediatric Practice Management - REGISTER!
March 9, 7:00-8:30 PM: Vaping Myths and Misconceptions - REGISTER!
April 24: Chapter Spring Meeting: Adolescent Health - SAVE THE DATE!
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Your membership makes a difference for children in California, thank you!

The AAPCA1's ability to advocate on behalf of children is only as strong as the support we receive from our members. Encourage your colleagues to join today by visiting the AAPCA1 website.

Our mission is to promote the optimal health and development of children and
adolescents of Northern California in partnership with their families and communities, and to support the pediatricians who care for them.

President: Raelene Walker • Vice President: Nelson Branco
Secretary: Janice Kim • Treasurer: Nivedita More • Past President: John Takayama
Executive Director: Isra Uz-Zaman