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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 6, 2020

The Capitol remained largely empty in recent weeks as the extended Easter and Passover breaks continued.  Legislators did return to the Capitol in late March to pass another COVID-19 relief package.  The $320 million measure provides funding for many impacted sectors of Minnesota, including childcare, transportation needs, veterans programs, government continuity, and dozens of other provisions.  Of note, the bill provides $26 million to support programs for the homeless, as well as an additional $9 million appropriation for food shelves and other food stability programs

Governor Walz continued to use his executive authority to enact measures to stop the spread of the pandemic and assisting those who are impacted.  Recent executive measures include restrictions on the prescribing of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to prevent shortages of the drugs, as well as temporarily waiving CME requirements for the duration of the public health emergency.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

March 19, 2020

Feel free to use these sample social media messages to post during MNAAP’s virtual Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol 2020, or create your own. 

Best Practices for Tweeting

  • Keep it short. Twitter allows for 240 characters, but you don’t need to use all of them to get your point across.
  • Use the hashtag #PedsDay2020 to help MNAAP and others find and retweet your messages.
  • Use the hashtag #mnleg to get the attention of legislators.
  • Tag your legislator in your tweets to make sure they see what you’ve posted. Find a list of legislator Twitter accounts here.
  • Speak from the heart. You can use one of the tweets below, or share your feelings about why MNAAP’s legislative priorities are so important.

Sample Tweets:

Advocating on behalf of our patients doesn’t pause because of a pandemic, and public health has never been more important than now. #mnleg #PedsDay2020

I’m supporting public health and my patients by participating in #PedsDay2020 virtually. Join me in contacting legislators on behalf of MN kids.

The MN health care system is considered one of the nation’s best, but our vaccine laws are among the weakest in the US. We must strengthen immunization laws to reduce vaccine-preventable disease. #mnleg #PedsDay2020

[Insert Legislator Twitter Handle], support legislation with a direct impact on the health and safety of children: increase immunization rates, reduce firearm injury and death, and reduce the harm of nicotine and tobacco. #mnleg #PedsDay2020

The rate of kids lacking vaccines because of non-medical exemptions continues to climb. Vaccines save lives and protect the community. We must strengthen immunization laws to reduce vaccine-preventable disease. #PedsDay2020

On average, each day 18 children and young adults die because of firearm injuries. We need commonsense gun laws to protect our children. #PedsDay2020

More than a quarter of the state’s 11th graders reported using e-cigs in the most recent @MnDeptEd MN Student Survey. We need stronger tobacco and nicotine laws to protect MN kids. #mnleg #PedsDay2020

Firearms are the 2nd leading cause of death among kids and teens in the US, and the 1st leading cause of death in MN. We need common-sense measures to prevent firearm injury and death. #mnleg #PedsDay2020

March 16, 2020

Each day, new details of the spreading COVID-19 virus add to the public uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the disease, commonly referred to as the Coronavirus. Pediatricians can play a role in sharing accurate, up-to-date information with patients and parents to help calm fears and increase understanding of proper disease prevention methods.

Join MNAAP sponsor Children’s Minnesota for an upcoming webinar on Friday, March 20, from 12:15 – 1 p.m. In “COVID-19 Impact on Children, Preparing the Community,” participants will learn:

  • The epidemiology of SARS-COv2 which causes COVID -19
  • A review literature to date on COVID19, specifically in pediatric patients
  • Minnesota response to the pandemic

About the Presenter:

Patsy Stinchfield, MS, CPNP, CIC is the senior director of Infection Prevention and Control at Children’s Minnesota. She is currently the co-Incident Commander with Children’s COO in the hospital incident command system response to the pandemic. In Patsy’s 32 years in Infectious Disease and Infection Control at Children’s, she has helped lead the organization through 5 outbreak responses including measles, H1N1 and COVID19.

MNAAP advocates for the safety and wellbeing of Minnesota’s children. As part of its commitment to public health, the chapter is canceling Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol as an in-person event. 

We encourage members to contact their legislators by phone, email, and Twitter on Monday, March 23 to advocate for the state’s youngest residents.

More information, including talking points, will be provided to all members via email soon.

March 9, 2020

Positive movement on tobacco and nicotine control continued in recent weeks. Legislation to align Minnesota’s tobacco purchase age minimum at 21 with new federal cleared a key Senate committee, and a bill to prohibit the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes in vehicles when children are present was passed by two House committees in recent days. Youth-friendly flavors in tobacco and e-cigarettes was the subject of another hearing.

One of the Legislature’s leading voices on early childhood investment, Rep. Dave Pinto is set to keynote the Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 23.  In addition to being a leader on child health issues, Rep. Pinto is also the author of one of the session’s most important bills to reduce firearm injury and death.

Join your colleagues for this day of advocacy on behalf of Minnesota’s youngest residents, as well as fellowship with colleagues from across the state at Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 23. Registration information is available here.  Act now, as early registration increases your likelihood of securing a meeting with your elected officials.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

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