Dr. Moo (and WIAAP's officers) go to Washington
Monday, April 16, 2018
What happens when WIAAP’s leadership heads to Washington to advocate for kids? A lot of fun, a lot of great dialog, and a lot of pictures with Dr. Moo, our official “spokescow!” WIAAP officers Drs. Mala Mathur, Dipesh Navsaria and Sarah Campbell attended the annual AAP Legislative Conference held in Washington DC earlier this month and had the privilege of meeting with staff from the offices of Senator Tammy Baldwin and Senator Ron Johnson. They also met with their individual Congressmen on the House side. Their objective was to discuss firearm safety and injury prevention, leaving behind a prescription for policy changes. On the table:
- Provide $50 million to the CDC for public health research into firearm safety and injury prevention.
- Support a minimum purchase age of 21 for semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines (in line with current hand gun age limits); and
- Support a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons (similar to the ban from 1994—that ban expired in 2004, accompanied by an increase in mass casualty shootings).
Prior to the “Day on the Hill,” we had plenty of opportunity to meet with our counterparts from all over the country, like-minded pediatricians, sharing ideas, successes and challenges from other chapter members. Dipesh represented WIAAP as a panelist for a popular session on state chapter advocacy, in which we highlighted our advocacy successes, including our Advocacy Day, our officer-written regular bimonthly columns in state newspapers, and, of course, our social media messaging via Dr. Moo.
It was a golden opportunity to emphasize how a public health approach will help save children’s lives, citing previous successful injury and death prevention legislation pertaining to seatbelts, car seats, sleeping practices in infants to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and drunk driving. We also had time to discuss issues of interest to the legislative staff regarding children in Wisconsin.
Happily, we were given ample time during all the appointments and had meaningful dialogues with the staff, and presented them with a “prescription” for change to keep and consider. Although we brought a little chilly Wisconsin weather with us, the highlights were recommendations for change, and how we can continue to strengthen the lives of our families in Wisconsin to keep them healthy and safe.