Many of us are members of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MNAAP) as well as National American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). However, until I started attending national AAP meetings on behalf of our chapter in my role as president – elect (VP) of the Minnesota Chapter, I really had no idea how the two were connected. Here is what I have learned:
The Minnesota Chapter of the AAP is a “stand-alone” not-for-profit organization in the state of Minnesota, and is the leading voice on children’s health and wellbeing in Minnesota, representing over 1,000 pediatricians practicing or residing in the state.
Our chapter is part of District VI of the AAP – including eight other Midwest states and two Canadian provinces.
The District Chairpersons are each members of the National AAP Board of Directors. As a result, MNAAP has direct access to AAP leadership.
In addition to monthly District VI conference calls, there are two annual meetings that our chapter president, president-elect and executive director attend in Itasca, IL (west of Chicago) where the National AAP Headquarters is located:
The Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) in the spring, where all state, district, section, council and committee Leadership are present at this meeting. We meet with the other chapters in our district, hear presentations from national leadership and the AAP presidential candidates and discuss and vote on all the resolutions that are put forth by AAP members/chapters around the country.
The District VI meeting in August where all district chapter leadership and district leadership, as well as some national leadership attend. This meeting is smaller than the ALF and allows for more discussion time with chapters in your own district and one other district that is also in attendance. We also get to hear presentations from our national leadership, other speakers and again, the AAP presidential candidates.
MNAAP communicates and works closely with AAP on a number of issues involving education, advocacy and membership. With more than 500 employees, AAP is an incredible resource for chapter staff, volunteers and leaders. Currently our chapter has four paid consultants – all of whom are part-time – including our executive director, foundation executive director (who handles state and community grant projects), communications manager and lobbyist. Everyone else, including our board and officers are volunteers.
There are three officers in our chapter: president, president-elect (vice president) and treasurer. These three officers, along with our executive director, past president, and two at-large members make up the executive committee of the board. Our board is made up of 25 elected pediatricians from around the state. There are also a number of chapter work groups and champions for various issues (e.g. Dental Champion, Early Childhood Education).
The chapter has 10 work group co-chairs overseeing the chapter’s priorities: policy, immunizations, child safety, poverty and disparities, and behavioral health.
The chapter has 11 chapter champions or liaisons to AAP on a number of issues, ranging from early childhood to breastfeeding to disaster preparedness.
The chapter has 22 members who serve in leadership roles on AAP committees, sections and councils.
Both our local chapter and the national AAP are dedicated to education and advocacy at the state and federal levels to improve the health and wellbeing of children.
If you want to know more, or are interested in becoming more involved with AAP at the chapter or national level, please reach out to either our president, Dr. Lori DeFrance or myself.
Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP