New and Notable in November

New and notable in November are
Advocating for Children Together Conference, Native American Child Health
PEARLS Pilot, Substance Use and Prevention, Vaping
And Volunteer Opportunities to Work with Asylum Seekers.
President's Column
Raelene Walker, MD, FAAP
On October 5, our chapter held the inaugural Advocating for Children Together (ACT) conference which was a huge success. The morning was a series of fabulous speakers, highlighted by AAP CEO, Mark Del Monte, and our own chapter board member, Dr. Rhea Boyd, speaking on a range of timely topics needing advocacy from pediatricians, including gun violence prevention, police violence, medical consequences of ACES, health issues from vaping, climate change and legislative advocacy. The afternoon was a series of hands on workshops and sessions teaching advocacy skills. Already, as a direct result of this meeting, several resolutions have been submitted to the Annual Leadership Forum of the AAP and multiple partnerships for ongoing advocacy efforts have been forged. The conference feedback has been extremely positive with calls for additional conferences of this nature in the future. Thank you so much to the key organizers: Drs. Stephanie Fong-Gomez, Lisa Patel , and Annie Kaplan , and Stephanie Fong Gomez (pictured here) with appreciation to all of the additional hard working planning team. Congratulations and thank you!

On a much more somber note, I would like to acknowledge the devastation that is still being caused by the wildfires all over California, and the challenges related to the extensive power outages. We are thinking of all the people and communities affected and appreciate the efforts of everyone helping in so many ways. As a reminder, here are some resources that may be helpful to you and your communities: . In addition, if any pediatricians are interested and able to do more, CMA has worked with Governor Newsom to organize physician volunteers to respond to wildfires .
Vice President's Column
Nelson Branco, MD, FAAP
October began and ended with AAP meetings for me – the ACT conference and CONACH meetings the first weekend, and the AAP NCE in New Orleans the final weekend. I’ll be happy for some more time at home (and on my bike) when November rolls around. I want to congratulate and thank the organizers and volunteers who put on the ACT conference at BCHO. After 20 years of being involved with Chapter 1, I had the unique experience of walking in to a completely full conference room at a Chapter event and only recognizing a dozen or so people. It was great to see so many new faces. I look forward to seeing how everyone uses the ideas and energy that was in the room to make changes in their practice and our communities.

I wasn’t able to stay for the entire ACT conference, unfortunately. I left that conference to do some advocacy of my own with my colleagues on the AAP Committee on Native American Child Health (CONACH). As the chair of the AAP Indian Health Special Interest Group (IH-SIG) and a former CONACH member, I am part of the effort to improve the health of Native American children and communities. CONACH does legislative advocacy in DC, as well as consultative visits at Indian Health Service, tribal and urban sites that serve Native Americans. This year we were in California – four teams visited different and varied sites across the state from Arcata to Temecula. I was on a team that visited the IHS Youth Regional Treatment Center in Hemet, CA. I learned a great deal about their program, including both the challenges and successes, and I hope that our team’s visit will help them keep providing important and much needed care to Native kids. 

One of the benefits of being part of the Chapter leadership is learning about the amazing work being done by our members. I am so often amazed and humbled. It’s easy to become discouraged about the challenges faced by the communities and kids we care for and the lack of support for our practices and the programs that are meant to help our patients. But our perseverance will bear fruit. Please keep working at whatever you are passionate about – and if you are interested in Native American child health, let’s connect!
Left: AAP Committee on Native American Child Health
Right: Mark Del Monte, AAP CEO and Nelson Branco, MD, AAPCA1 Vice President at the ACT Conference
San Mateo Member-At-Large Report:
PEARLS Pilot at South San Francisco Clinic
Beth Grady, MD, FAAP
The October newsletter article “Foster Care Committee Update: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Screening and Resilience Building Opportunities in Foster Care” by Katy Carlsen, MD, FAAP , highlights the importance of screening for and addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences, and provides links to resources for providers including the Center for Youth Wellness National Pediatric Practice Community on ACES, .  

At the South San Francisco Clinic, a small (1.5 clinical FTE pediatrician) “safety net” clinic of San Mateo Medical Center, we have been screening for childhood trauma since 2015. Since the beginning of September 2019, we have been piloting use of the the Bay Area Research Consortium on Toxic Stress and Health (BARC)’s Pediatric ACEs and Related Life-events Screener (PEARLS). The PEARLS is one of three options approved by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for ACEs screening in pediatric primary care, along with the Whole Child Assessment (WCA) developed at Loma Linda University, and the option to “Request approval from DHCS to use an alternative tool to screen for trauma that includes, at a minimum, all of the items contained in the PEARLS tool.” At this time, only the PEARLS will be eligible for reimbursement, at $29 per screen, above the FFS or Medi-Cal managed care rate.
Committee on Substance Use and Prevention (COSUP)
Seth Ammerman, MD, FAAP

The Committee On Substance Use and Prevention (COSUP) had its most recent meeting in September. COSUP’s mission is to: 1) advocate for appropriate substance use prevention, early intervention, and treatment programs for youth, and 2) educate health care providers, parents, and patients about substance use issues. Current members are: Seth Ammerman (COSUP Chair), Arash Anishoravani, Valerie Gribben, Jyothi Marbin, Cathy McDonald , and Veronika Mesheriakova . We are recruiting new committee members. If you would like to get involved please email Seth at
Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Grant

If you have an idea to make a difference in your community, consider applying for a CATCH grant! The CATCH Program is a national initiative of the AAP that supports pediatricians to collaborate within their communities to advance the health of all children. Through the CATCH Program, pediatricians are empowered to identify promising solutions that work in their individual communities.  
The Call for Proposals is open as of November 1, 2019 -- with a deadline of January 15, 2020. The application can be found here . If you have questions, please reach out to our CATCH Chapter Facilitators Aparna Kota, MD, FAAP and Judy Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP at , or contact the general CATCH staff at Thank you for what you do on behalf of children!
Abbott Nutrition - AAPCA's 41st Las Vegas Seminars Scholarship Recipient
Congrats to our scholarship recipient Vidhi Jhaveri, MD . Dr. Jhaveri is a 3rd year pediatrics resident at UC Davis with a particular interest in infectious disease and how the general pediatrician is on the front lines of treatment and education. She is on the Pediatric Sepsis Initiative Committee, has a retrospective cohort study on using high flow nasal cannula in bronchiolitis, and has written an opinion piece in her local newspaper on Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome caused by raw milk. We will be hearing about Dr. Jhaveri’s experience at the AAP California 41st Annual Las Vegas Seminars in an upcoming issue.
Upcoming CME Conferences
The SGA Side
Your Key to State Government Affairs

Visit the Bills section of the AAP-CA website to see the latest updates on our legislative advocacy. 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
Opportunity for Your Benefit
Volunteer Opportunity to Work with Asylum Seekers in Mexico
Refugee Health Alliance currently operates a clinic for asylum seekers in Tijuana Monday to Friday in a space hosted by Prevencasa. They are currently building their own clinic which was completed in October. Every Saturday they continue to host medical missions to the shelters in TJ. In a typical week they see about 200 patients, and about a quarter to a third are children. Pediatrician volunteers are welcome for either just a Saturday trip or an extended stay particularly in the middle of November and after the first half of December into next year. For more information follow the links to their sign up sheet available on this website. They also have a running list of needed supplies as well as an ongoing fundraiser.

November 21-24, 2019: AAP California 41st Annual Las Vegas Seminars - Pediatric Update

December 7, 2019:   4th Annual Pediatric Puzzles Interactive CME Conference , San Francisco

April 25, 2020: Spring CME Conference, Fairfield - SAVE THE DATE

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