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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.”

 

 

November 22, 2021

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made the Nov. 2 landmark announcement recommending that eligible 5-11-year-olds receive the COVID-19 vaccine, MNAAP members were at the ready to offer their support and guidance to parents and families.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, along with members Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP; Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP; and Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP were all quoted in news coverage across the state:

Several MNAAP members answered the call from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to submit short video message to share with Minnesota families. The videos were used to create outreach and education:

COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids: What Parents Should Know (Featuring Drs. Andrea Singh, Jordan Marmet, Gigi Chawla, Madeleine Gagnon, Sheldon Berkowitz, Eileen Crespo, and Nathan Chomilo)

COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids: What Pediatricians Are Saying (Featuring Drs. Gigi Chawla, Jordan Marmet, Judy Wiltse, Nathan Chomilo, and Andrea Singh)

Feel free to share these videos through your social media channels, or use other outreach materials in this toolkit prepared by MDH to help with patient education.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, representing MNAAP members, signed on to a joint letter from MNAAP and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) addressed to all of the state’s school superintendents and school board members.

The letter, which was sent out on Monday, urged school leaders to make sure all schools follow the updated, current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for COVID-19 prevention in pre-K-12 schools.

“We must take this pandemic seriously and prioritize our children’s health and education. We need to ensure that all of Minnesota’s children have access to safer, in-person education,” Dr. Berkowitz wrote, along with MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm. The letter also outlined the multi-layered mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC and MDH, and was accompanied by an FAQ document to address common questions or concerns.

Dr. Berkowitz joined Commissioner Malcolm for the MDH COVID-19 briefing call on Tuesday to discuss the letter. You can listen to the full call through this MPR News YouTube video. The letter made headlines, with stories running in the Pioneer PressKSTPLakeland PBSUS News and the St. Cloud Times.

Consider following up with school district officials and school leaders in your area. Ask if they received the letter (you can download it from the MNAAP website to attach to an email, or print to send a paper copy), and offer your support of these mitigation strategies as a medical expert and a proponent of child health and safety.

October 14, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has made a toolkit available for providers to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with patients and families.

Toolkit Materials:

     

October 11, 2021

In less time than it might take to wait at the drive-thru of your favorite coffee shop, you can provide the MNAAP Board of Directors with important feedback.

The MNAAP annual member survey is a great way to share your thoughts on your priorities, challenges, and interests. Your responses provide valuable information and direction as the chapter determines its goals and activities for the coming year. Insights gained through the member survey will also help build the foundation of the chapter’s upcoming three-year strategic plan.

The survey only takes about 10 minutes to complete and can be done on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Take the survey now!

We really appreciate your feedback.

September 28, 2021

MNAAP is a leading voice on children’s health issues at the Minnesota Capitol. The start of the 2022 Minnesota legislative session is still a few months away, but MNAAP is using this downtime to prepare to make the most of our advocacy on behalf of Minnesota’s children.

All members are invited to join the MNAAP Policy Roundtable discussion on Thursday, October 21, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. to discuss the issues that the chapter may focus on during the 2021 legislative session.

MNAAP’s policy co-chairs, Sue Berry, MD, FAAP, and Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, will facilitate the virtual conversation focused on identifying policy priorities for the Board to consider based on member feedback, legislative viability and other considerations. The ideas that come from the roundtable discussion may also help the MNAAP board decide on the chapter’s strategic goals for the next three years. The roundtable is the perfect opportunity to share your perspective on the issues that the MNAAP should focus on at the Capitol during the upcoming legislative session.

Can’t make the roundtable? We’re still interested in hearing from you about what advocacy topics are important to you.

Click here to RSVP for the roundtable and/or provide your perspective.

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