Dedicated to the health of children and adolescents.
August 2021

President's Perspective

by Kristie Clark, MD, FAAP

It was a great honor for me to finally meet Governor Kelly at the Press Conference in Topeka in June where she announced the generous vaccination grant to the KAAP, but what stands out most about that day was my conversation with the late Dan Leong, the Chair of the Immunize Kansas Coalition. Off to the side of the room by the large sunny windows of the Kansas Health Institute, we discussed the importance of having community advocates for vaccinations.
In our work as pediatricians, we must know our WHY. We want kids to grow up healthy and able to pursue their goals, but how do we do get community members involved? This is a challenge. However, we must involve community members as vaccination advocates, particularly in our minoritized populations.

This need was exemplified at the AAP Leadership Conference, which I just attended virtually this month, when Dr. Pam Shaw noted in her lecture that some patients mistakenly perceive pediatricians who recommend vaccinations as being paid by big pharma! Fittingly, later in the conference, Mark Del Monte, the CEO of the AAP, reminded us of a quote attributed to Mark Twain: "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."  The veracity of this quote rings loud and true, particularly in this pandemic and with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Executive Director Update

by Melissa Hudelson

It has been a busy summer for KAAP as we began our exciting new vaccine grant from KDHE and added to our staff. Many of you already know Shanna Peters, who has been a part of the KAAP staff for more than 10 years and has built relationships with practices across the state through her management of the Turn a Page. Touch a Mind.® (TAP-TAM) and CME programs. Her experience made her right person to transition into our new Vaccine Liaison role. Think of her as your "vaccination concierge" because she is your main contact for anything related to vaccines. Shanna has been going through trainings with KDHE staff and has direct access to the Kansas Immunization Program to get your questions answered and issues resolved.

If you do not yet have the COVID-19 vaccine in your practice, reach out to Shanna and she will walk you through the process of getting signed up through KDHE and incorporating the vaccine into your practice. You can reach Shanna at or

I am happy to welcome Denae Hart to the KAAP staff as our new program coordinator. Denae will be working on our CME programs, TAP-TAM program, and some grant projects. We are excited to have her on board!

I know that many parents have been asking for mask exemptions for their children, and I hope our masking guidance is helpful to have in your office. KAAP also released a statement on safe return to school  that you can use when talking with your local school board.

Don't hesitate to reach out to me if there is something else that KAAP can provide to help in your practice or community, you can always reach me at or (913) 530-6265.

Fall Progress in Pediatrics CME Meeting is Next Month!

Register now for our Fall Progress in Pediatrics meeting on Friday, September 24 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. This one-day event will include hot topics such as trauma-informed care, medication management/ exercise therapy, asthma and allergy guidelines, gynecology/contraception, and more. 

We are grateful to our Gold-Level Supporter, KU Wichita Pediatrics, our Break Supporter, United Health Care of Kansas! Along with KU Health System, KDHE, Mead Johnson and Children's Mercy Kansas City, their support will help make this event possible.

Finally, KAAP is committed to provided a safe and healthy environment. Attendees, vendors and staff will be required to wear masks at all times. KAAP also expects all meeting participants and exhibitors to be fully vaccinated prior to the meeting.

Vaccine T-Shirts Available Now!

These t-shirts were so popular at our last in-person meeting that we created our own! Use the link below to order shirts for you and your staff and ship them directly to your practice or clinic. Order before September 1 to receive them in time to wear at our Fall 2021 Progress in Pediatrics!

KAAP Legislative Update

by Dena K. Hubbard MD, FAAP

Coronavirus Updates 

Thank you to all the Kansas pediatricians who have been vocal child health advocates in clinics, schools, and communities regarding the need for mask mandates and vaccines. KAAP resources include KAAP statement on back to school  and mask guidance for school aged-children. In addition, the AAP communications toolkit shares AAP's guidance for how to allow children to safely return to school in person. AAP published its latest  advocacy report with updates on COVID-19 and many other child health priorities at the federal and state level.

As COVID-19 cases resurge with the highly contagious Delta variant, Governor Laura Kelly will retain authority to issue a state of emergency and local health officials to mandate business closures, capacity limits, and masks.  These sanctions were originally constrained by the Kansas Legislature in April when Senate Bill 40 passed subjecting many of the Governor's emergency orders to legislative review, required public health officers to first gain approval from local governing bodies before issuing orders, and established a process for residents to challenge public health measures in court (including mask mandates.) However, recently Johnson County District Judge David Hauber declined a request by Attorney General Derek Schmidt to set aside his ruling that the changes made by lawmakers were unconstitutional. The Attorney General is directly appealing to the Kansas State Supreme Court with briefings due next month.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

by Kelly Kreisler, MD, MPH
and Tyler K. Smith, MD, MPH
Summer greetings from the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)!  Our committee's vision is "for KAAP to lead the way and be a role model for pediatricians, patients and families, and the community in diversity, equity, and inclusion." Many thanks to Timothy Roberts, MD, Fellowship Program Director for Adolescent Medicine at Children's Mercy Kansas City and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Medicine, for presenting an informative webinar with practical advice for pediatricians caring for LGBTQIA+ patients on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 titled Primary Care Needs of Transgender & Other Sexual Minority Individuals.
Shanna Peters
Vaccine Update

by Shanna Peters

I am very excited to be writing this update from a new role within KAAP. This role was created through a multi-year grant from the Kansas Immunization Program and KDHE. As the KAAP's Vaccine Liaison, I'm here to support you in your vaccination needs and share useful educational resources. I have direct access to the Kansas Immunization Program, so just let me know if you have any questions or issues that I can help resolve for you.

Our first edition of the Kansas Pediatric Vaccine News was emailed at the end of July and was filled with vaccination information, including a graphic from the state showing that during July, the state of Kansas had about a 29% youth population COVID vaccination rate. Although Kansas is growing at the same rate as the US, we are still behind. KAAP members play an important role in vaccinating adolescents. If you have not yet signed up to be a COVID-19 provider, details on how to sign up are located here:

 We are also looking for pediatricians and nurses to be involved in our immunization work. Your contribution can be writing scripts for pediatricians to use in their office or to share on social media, creating an email or letter template that can be sent to patients' families that include a strong vaccination recommendation, or it can be creating educational presentations that can be given online or at a clinic. If you or someone within your clinic would be interested in participating in the program, please email

I am here to support you, so please reach out with thoughts or questions that you may have regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, or your vaccination rates as a clinic. I can be reached at, or during Zoom office hours on Wednesdays from 7:30am-8:30am. Zoom link:

KPF Update

We are excited to share an update from one of the 2021 Kansas Kids Fund-Pediatricians in Action grants that supported a Superintendent Symposium on Thursday, July 29. The Kansas COVID Workgroup for Kids invited 12 Wichita area school superintendents to participate in the one day meeting to reflect on lessons learned from the 2020-2021 school year and discuss strategies for moving forward into the new school year. The timing of the retreat was perfect as the topic of masking was back in the discussions with the CDC and AAP recommendations due to the increase in cases as related to the delta variant.

Feedback from superintendents that participated was very positive, one superintendent emailed "Yesterday was so wonderful.  I really, really appreciate the work that you did to put the day together.  It was flawless and so informative."

Another participant sent this note: "Thanks so much to all of you for organizing the event and for the wellness bags. It was a great day, and we are so fortunate to have your guidance, wisdom and support."

Congratulations to the Kansas COVID workgroup for Kids on a successful event! The application for the next round of Kansas Kids Fund grants will be available in January.

Contributions to the Kansas Kids Fund make these KAAP member grants possible, so thank you to everyone who has given a gift to this fund!
Pediatric Payment Corner

If there are issues you are having with payment from any payers, please reach out to and we are happy to try and help.

Schedule Maternal Depression Screening Trainings
h Free CME

On January 1, 2021, KanCare began paying for maternal depression screening. KAAP is offering Maternal Depression Screening trainings for practices that include free CME and a lunch stipend for your office. Contact Mel at for more information or to schedule your training.

Kristie Clark, MD, FAAP
Mel Hudelson
Executive Director 
Gretchen Homan, MD, FAAP

Shanna Peters
Associate Director
Grace Brouillette, DO, FAAP

Martha Atkinson
Staff Accountant
Lisa Gilmer, MD, FAAP
Past President
Denae Hart
Project Coordinator
KAAP Committees & Task Forces

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