Adolescent Health Committee
Kirsten B. Hawkins, MD, MPH, FAAP, FSAHM
Director, Pediatric Residency Program
Chief, Section of Adolescent Medicine
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
The Adolescent Health Committee (AHC) is committed to improving the health of teens ages 12-21 in the District of Columbia. Major activities include:
- promoting collaborative relationships with school health and advocacy committees, federal and state agencies, professional and research organizations, private foundations and advocacy groups;
- providing technical assistance, consultation and continuing education to community providers in content areas that emphasize the needs of adolescents;
- developing and implementing projects which will improve health outcomes for adolescents.
The Committee developed the 2007 DC AAP Chapter’s position statement on mandatory HPV vaccination. The Adolescent Health Committee is working closely with a city-wide Adolescent Health Working Group, focusing on improving the health of adolescents in DC and recently coordinated an Adolescent Health Series on topics including primary care screening for depression, adolescent vaccinations, and smoking cessation.
This Advocacy Committee oversees local legislative efforts and assists members and committee chairs in preparing and successfully providing testimony on legislation with children’s health implications that are introduced in the DC Council as well in coalition building for advocacy in other avenues throughout the District. If you are interested providing observing members give testimony, giving testimony yourself, or in coalition building, please join! We do not have standing meetings at this time, opportunities to participate in hearings are emailed to the committee member listserv.
Breast Feeding Committee
Jennifer Nash, MD
The role of the Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinators (CBCs) is to work within the DC Chapter and the community on breastfeeding support and promotion. We testified to DC City Council on behalf of the AAP and successfully passed The Child’s Right to Nurse Human Rights Amendment Act of 2007. We promote breastfeeding in the first hour post delivery and breastfeeding as the optimal feeding especially in times of disaster. We have worked closely with the DC Breastfeeding Coalition to create the DC Breastfeeding Resource Guide and continue to organize numerous educational activities including grand rounds at Howard University Hospital, Providence and Washington Hospital Center. We are working on an Office of Women’s Health funded project to survey Washington DC birthing hospitals and centers regarding their breastfeeding practices and to provide education to help optimize breastfeeding support in these facilities. We collaborated with WIC to conduct a study to identify barriers to breastfeeding among WIC clients and implemented a program to improve the breastfeeding rate of WIC clients. This program includes educating all peripartum staff at Washington Hospital Center and pediatric residents at Children’s Hospital, and developing breastfeeding guidelines for Washington Hospital Center. The CBC continues to work with DC WIC to develop guidelines for discussing breastfeeding with families. We also work closely with The BLESS Center, a lactation support program operating through Howard’s WIC program.
The Community Access To Child Health (CATCH) Program is a national program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) designed to improve access to health care by supporting pediatricians and pediatric residents who are involved in community-based efforts for children. There are CATCH facilitators in every state, including DC, who volunteer to provide pediatricians and pediatric residents with training, technical assistance and resources, peer support, as well as networking and funding opportunities. Our wish is that every child in every community has a medical home and other needed services to reach optimal health and well-being, and CATCH exists to support that goal. One pediatrician or pediatric resident can make a difference! Please visit www.aap.org/catch and contact your DC Co-CATCH facilitators now to get started!
The Communication Committee provides support and strategic guidance on communication and social media.
Early Career Professionals Committee
The DC AAP Early Career Committee (Previously the “Young Physicians Committee”) provides valuable guidance and resources for early career physicians who are transitioning out of residency and fellowship, as well as to those who are within their first decade of practice. This committee additionally welcomes involvement of AAP members in any stage of their career.
Historically, this committee has held career development seminars for trainees, early career physicians and those considering a career change. This committee’s current aim is to embrace the interest of its members by creating opportunities for networking, career exploration, and mentoring. We welcome ideas and encourage participation in this continually-evolving committee.
The DC AAP Fetus and Newborn Committee (FNC) addresses matters of common interest regarding the perinatal health of neonates in the District of Columbia. It is open to all, and specifically aims to include providers of care from all hospitals in DC, community practitioners who care for newborns, the DC Department of Health (DOH), the March of Dimes, and other organizations whose mission includes health care for newborns. The FNC believes that every neonate in the DC should have the best start in life including optimal care of the mother during pregnancy, care of the newborn after birth, and planning for a safe and healthy home and family environment after discharge. We collaborate regularly with hospitals, providers, nurses and other staff providing newborn care in DC, DC DOH, and other interested organizations.
Immigrant Health Committee
Children of immigrants are the fastest growing population of children in the United States and have contributed to the entire growth in the nation’s child population over the past decade, in particular here in DC. More recently, there has been an increase in children themselves immigrating to the United States. Immigrant families are racially and ethnically diverse, and immigrate for a variety of reasons that may include seeking economic opportunity, reuniting with family, fleeing war or violence. Caring for immigrant children and families comes with its own set of challenges, and pediatricians can play a special role in supporting their health and well-being. The newly created DC AAP Immigrant Health Committee is a group of providers with a common interest in caring for these children and their families. Our goal is to provide support for one another, share resources, advocate for immigrant children, and educate ourselves and others about current issues.
Immigrant Child Health Toolkit
The Immigrant Child Health Toolkit was created by the members of the Immigrant Child Health Committee of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is intended for use by medical providers caring for recently arrived immigrant children in their practice. We hope that this toolkit will be a valuable resource both during and around a patient’s medical visit.
The recommendations and resources compiled in this toolkit were created by physicians, lawyers, mental health practitioners and other collaborators – with many years of collective experience caring for immigrant children. While we hope that the content of this toolkit will help you provide better care for the recently-arrived immigrant child, we realize that every patient is unique and has individual needs. This guide is meant to be used as a reference, but is not a replacement for sound clinical judgement and the continued use of collaborate partners you may have in your work environment.
We would like to thank the National AAP Special Interest Group on Immigrant Health for their creation of an initial toolkit, which we used as a template for ours. Special thanks also to the many contributors to the creation of this toolkit.
The Membership Committee contacts new members of the DC Chapter to welcome them to the Chapter. This committee also reaches out to members who have let their DC Chapter membership lapse to encourage them to rejoin.
Muriel D. Wolf, MD, FAAP
Senior Committee aims to create opportunities for all chapter members 55 years of age and older to advocate for children and remain involved in a meaningful way.
School Health Committee
Since children spend a good portion of their lives in school, the impact of the school environment can have significant impact on their health and well-being. The School Health Committee monitors activities of the DC Public School System in order to advocate for health issues that may affect the social, emotional and cognitive development of DC children. This committee looks for opportunities to work with DC Public Schools to improve the educational environment, expand health access and increase health knowledge. Some of the activities of this committee have included: public committee work, testimonial presentation, and media engagement. As the liaison committee to the school system, we welcome members to become a part of this committee to expand our role in improving school health.