Dear Colleagues,

I hope you’re all doing well. I think we’re seeing a few thin rays of sunlight breaking through the clouds of COVID-19, some slender evidence that Wisconsin may be flattening the curve and staving off a statewide mass casualty incident, as it were. We’re not at the worst of it yet, but knowing that it’s making a difference would be very helpful, wouldn’t it?

Many are recognizing the sacrifices being made — on the inpatient side, children’s units and hospitals are reshuffling for the potential of having to care for adult patients, and some pediatricians are refreshing themselves on adult medicine. On the outpatient side, many pediatric offices are reeling, with clinics consolidated, closed, or restricted to the most necessary visits.

We know you’re worried — not just for yourselves, your staff, and your practices, but also for your patients and their families. Many of them are facing unemployment, financial hardships, uncertainty — and loss of all sorts. I’ve been on a number of calls nationally and regionally where this is being heard all over. Your professional home — the American Academy of Pediatrics — knows this, sees it, and is working hard to ensure that policy and programming moves to help ameliorate the impacts on your work and on your patients is happening — as swiftly and emphatically as possible.

Besides the usual, excellent, and well-updated resources our Executive Director, Kia Kjensrud maintains, we’ve worked with Wisconsin Medicaid to gain some greater clarity on telemedicine and well-child visits. There’s a summary of what they’ve told us here, and we’re continuing to seek some more explicit language so you can feel confident in continuing to offer well-child care, even at a distance. Because we all know that beyond sick care, immunizations, and screenings, children and their families need reassurance, guidance, and confidence-building. Never more than at times like these.

Keep it up, hang in there, and let us know how we can fight for you.