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March 7, 2019

A bill to promote the benefits of immunization will be heard in the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee on Friday, March 8.

Please take 1 minute to contact your House member and urge them to support this effort to increase immunization rates. Our voice needs to be louder than those contacting legislators with anti-vaccine rhetoric.

In short, HF 1182 would provide funding to the Minnesota Department of Health and community-based organizations to promote the benefits of immunization for those communities most at risk. The education efforts would be focused upon geographic areas or populations experiencing or at risk of experiencing an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.

Talking points:
  • Vaccines prevent serious illness and save lives. Yet misinformation about vaccines is all too common, leading many parents to opt out of vaccines and put children and others at risk.
  • States with more permissive vaccination laws, such as Minnesota, are at increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease.
  • Data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that several communities and schools have high rates of non-medical exemptions. In Wadena County, for example, 13 percent of Kindergartners are entering school without required vaccinations.
  • Targeted education is needed to counter myths and falsehoods about vaccination, especially in communities with high rates of non-medical exemptions.

Please take 1 minute to contact your House member and urge him or her to support HF 1182. 

1. Enter your home address to find your MN House member: https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

2. Send him or her a brief email using the language above. Feel free to personalize or modify. Copy debilzan@mnaap.org so we can track outreach.

Another option is a quick call saying, “I’m a constituent in your district and pediatrician calling to convey my support for HF 1182, a bill to help provide education to communities with low vaccination rates.”

 

 

April 29, 2022

If you are looking for a great way to get involved in MNAAP, make connections with fellow pediatricians across the state, and offer your input into the chapter’s initiatives and activities, consider applying to be a candidate for the MNAAP Board of Directors.

Three at-large positions are available and MNAAP members will vote in the next several weeks to select the incoming board members.

Board members:

  • Serve a 3-year term which begins July 1, 2022
  • Meet four times per year, usually from 6:30-8:30 p.m (currently meeting via Zoom)
  • Act as a board member for the chapter’s sister organization, the Minnesota Academy of Pediatrics Foundation, which is a 501c3 foundation that receives grant and government funds to promote the MNAAP chapter member priorities

While we aim for inclusivity regarding the health issues of Minnesota children, we have fallen short in actively and intentionally recruiting diverse leaders to run for open board seats. We are actively working to change that this year by inviting pediatricians that identify as underrepresented in medicine to consider board membership.

If you are interested in serving on the MNAAP Board of Directors, or you have someone you would like to nominate for the board, please send an email to bauer@mnaap.org by May 11, 2022, indicating your interest in serving on the Board of Directors (or your nominee’s name and contact information).

Please include a copy of your CV and provide a brief explanation (max of 200 words) with the following:

  • why you would like to serve on the MNAAP Board of Directors
  • what aspect of your identity is important to you and that you would like others to know
  • what special expertise/skills/interests would you bring to the Board if elected.

Thank you for considering joining the MNAAP Board of Directors.

April 13, 2022

Transitioning children with complex medical needs from pediatric to adult care is often an informal, complicated process that places stress and burden on the patient, families, and clinicians. An upcoming roundtable discussion seeks to highlight the systemic barriers to the process and generate a pathway to solutions designed to break down these barriers.

Join MNAAP, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, The Chloe Barnes Advisory Council on Rare Diseases, and the Minnesota Department of Health on Tuesday, June 14 from 1-4 p.m. for this conversation. Panelists include MNAAP members Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, Kurt Elting-Ballard, MD, FAAP, and Gretchen Karstens, MD, FAAP.

Register here.

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) calls for specific changes in Minnesota’s Medicaid program to improve racial equity and health outcomes in the state, particularly for Black Minnesotans born in this country. Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, who sits on the MNAAP Board of Directors, is the report’s lead author.

Building Racial Equity into the Walls of Minnesota Medicaid: A Focus on U.S.-born Black Minnesotans,” recommends three areas for action:

  • making it easier to enroll and renew coverage
  • expanding access to culturally relevant care
  • engaging the community in the process of creating policy for Medicaid, also known as Medical Assistance in Minnesota.

In a Star Tribune opinion exchange article discussing the report, Dr. Chomilo writes, “The path toward racial equity requires intentional community involvement in policy design within DHS. The report incorporates recommendations from conversations with members of the Black community born in this country, leaders of community organizations and those working to advance racial equity in health care for Black Minnesotans.”

U.S.-born Black Minnesotans who are enrolled in Medicaid and those working to advance racial equity in health care are invited to two upcoming online community conversations to learn more about the report’s findings, its calls to action and next steps.

Register by visiting mn.gov/dhs/public-participation. The community conversations will be held:

  • Tuesday, April 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, May 9, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

MNAAP members had an opportunity to testify in support of the House Early Education Omnibus Bill, which contains initiatives that align with the chapter’s strategic priority interests in early childhood development and education.

Education and care in the early, formative years of a child’s life have a measurable impact on their future. All of Minnesota’s infants and children deserve programs and systems that build a solid foundation that enables them to reach their maximum potential.

Chapter President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, and Early Childhood Work Group Co-Chair Roger Sheldon, MD, FAAP, shared their feedback on the bill with the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee on Wednesday, April 6. You can view their testimonies with this YouTube link.

MNAAP offers these social media images for members to use as part of an ongoing social media effort to encourage caregivers and families to vaccinate their child or teen against COVID-19. These graphics were developed as part of a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to increase positive social media messaging about COVID-19 vaccination.

To use the toolkit, simply choose a message to copy and paste to your social media account and pair one of the associated images, either a photo or cartoon. Messages are appropriate for either Facebook or Twitter, and the images below are sized for either Facebook or Twitter. To copy an image, right click on the image and save the image to your device.

 

Facebook

Twitter

Suggested message:

Caregivers and pediatricians share a common goal: keeping kids healthy and safe. The COVID-19 vaccine is an effective way to make sure your child or teen is protected against the virus. Call us with questions you have about the COVID-19 vaccine and schedule a vaccine appointment. @MinnesotaAAP

Suggested message:

Caregivers and pediatricians share a common goal: keeping kids healthy and safe. The COVID-19 vaccine is an effective way to make sure your child or teen is protected against the virus. Call us with questions and schedule a vaccine appointment. @MNAAP

 

Suggested message:

Childhood is a time full of possibilities — give your kids a fighting shot! Make sure that your child or teen is protected against COVID-19 by scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment today. @MinnesotaAAP

Suggested message:

Childhood is a time full of possibilities — give your kids a fighting shot! Make sure that your child or teen is protected against COVID-19 by scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment today. @MNAAP

Suggested message:

Help keep COVID-19 out of family gatherings by vaccinating all eligible family members ages 5 and up. If you have questions about how the vaccine might affect your child or teen, call today. We’re here for you. @MinnesotaAAP

Suggested message:

Help keep COVID-19 out of family gatherings by vaccinating all eligible family members ages 5 and up. If you have questions about how the vaccine might affect your child or teen, call today. We’re here for you. @MNAAP

 

Suggested message:

Summer break is right around the corner. Make memories in these last weeks of school that don’t include COVID-19. Kids ages 5 and up are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Call today and schedule a vaccine appointment! @MinnesotaAAP

Suggested message:

Summer break is right around the corner. Make memories in these last weeks of school that don’t include COVID-19. Kids ages 5 and up are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Call today and schedule a vaccine appointment! @MNAAP

Suggested message:

You’d do anything to keep your kids safe. Vaccinating them against COVID-19 is a simple way to protect them against the virus. If you have questions about the vaccine, call us to talk it over. We’re here for you and your child. @MinnesotaAAP

Suggested message:

You’d do anything to keep your kids safe. Vaccinating them against COVID-19 is a simple way to protect them against the virus. If you have questions about the vaccine, call us to talk it over. We’re here for you and your child. @MNAAP

 

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