Michael A. Weiss, D.O., FAAP - Coto De Caza, Calif.
The Blueprint for Children and the AAP 5-Year Strategic Plan clearly articulate the core issues we face today: access to care, Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage, promotion of prevention and attending to children with special health care needs, among many others. Given the heterogeneity of our stakeholders, it is more important than ever to focus on how to address the Academy’s priority issues.
We must effectively communicate the importance of children’s issues in a manner that resonates with our local and national policymakers. Pediatricians understand how preventive care and anticipatory guidance foster a healthier future for children. I strongly support creation of clear, data-driven messages that focus on the value proposition of investing in children. It is our responsibility to craft messages supporting the value of obesity prevention, immunizations and access to care for all children that will resonate and effect change. We must also develop quality metrics that benefit children and demonstrate our value. We should not accept being an afterthought in policy decisions.
By virtue of what pediatricians do on a daily basis, nurturing is inherent. This should extend beyond our day-to-day patient interactions into our profession as a whole. We must cultivate the grassroots passion of our membership. Front line support enhancing ideas like Annual Leadership Forum resolutions and Community Access to Child Health grants should be reinforced. Additionally, we are all being asked to do more with less. The only way to make this work is to take a very strong look at how we deliver care. The Academy can help educate and support primary and specialty care practices in true care model redesign where efficiencies can be achieved with existing resources. Enhancing the Triple Aim of healthy populations, outstanding patient experience and improving the value of care by also restoring the joy of practice should be a major focus. This can only be achieved with front line, rolling up of the sleeves work around how we deliver care in a team-oriented manner.
By translating the message and nurturing the cause, we have an opportunity to make a real difference.
Kyle Yasuda, M.D., FAAP - Seattle, WA
Members founded the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our mission is “dedicated to promoting optimal health and well-being for every child as well as helping to ensure that Academy members practice the highest quality health care and experience professional satisfaction and personal well-being.” This mission continues to be valid and summarizes the challenges we are facing: How do we succeed in optimizing child health while supporting members in these changing times?
The AAP Blueprint for Children clearly articulates the scope of child health issues we are addressing nationally. To successfully implement this plan, our team — members, staff, volunteers and community partners — must all be focused in the same direction. Advocacy in our states, territories and uniformed services needs to have laser-like efficiencies, and our national Blueprint translated into messages that are useful at the state and local levels. We have an excellent Department of Community and Chapter Affairs and Quality Improvement, and its Division on State Government Affairs. We must work together to message our positions objectively and in a timely fashion.
We members need to be resilient, healthy and have satisfying professional careers. Our health and well-being are crucial and foundational to having a strong, respected American Academy of Pediatrics. It is imperative that we strategically plan and resource appropriately caring for ourselves and our practices. Physician resiliency needs to be a primary fiber that is integrated into the fabric of our profession.
Healthy pediatric practices
There are many different types of pediatric practices, and together they are essential in delivering quality child health care. We need to dream of the ideal practices in all by being innovative, creative and taking risks. This will become a reality with the help of knowledgeable partners, including health economists, families, payers and business leaders.