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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:

2. Send him or her a brief email using the language above. Feel free to personalize or modify. Copy 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.”



June 27, 2021
June 25, 2021

Thanks to the collaboration of MNAAP member Katy Miller, MD, FAAP, Laura

Hooper, MS, RD, and Sarah Espinoza, PhD, a new movement and mindfulness resource exists for adolescents.

The Move and Thrive website was developed with input from a youth advisory board and community advisory board, which helped the team develop adolescent-friendly content. The website is free to use.

The project pillars included inclusivity, diversity, a trauma-informed approach, and principles of body neutrality.  The group also worked to avoid diet or weight talk, and promoted movement as a way to feel comfortable and good in your own body, rather than as a tool for weight loss or physical attractiveness.

The site contains 27 videos thus far, and the team will soon receive additional funding to expand the project.

June 21, 2021

The Office of Governor Tim Walz is seeking the insight of a physician who cares for young children with special needs to serve on the Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Childhood Intervention. The Council coordinates state and local programs and services for children with disabilities and their families.

More details and the application can be found at:

Reach out to Madelyn Nelson at with any questions.

Caring for young children can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences and it’s difficult to know where to start looking for resources when families want help supporting their little ones!

Minnesota Help Me Connect is a new online navigator that connects pregnant and parenting families with young children birth to 8 years of age with services in their local communities that support healthy child development and family well-being.

The Help Me Connect navigator was built to support early childhood service providers across the state and enhance their partnership with families in finding resources they want or need to be healthy, strong and safe. Providers can search for a variety of available programs and services closest to a family’s home address such as health and well-being services, early learning and child care programs, disability resources and services, basic needs, COVID-19 resources, and Tribal Nation programs and services. Providers can also create a unique account to save favorite searches and resources for future use.

Recorded online video tutorials will be available in July.

All are encouraged to share suggestions for improvements and new resources with the Help Me Connect team at Let us know if we can join an upcoming meeting, training, or conference to share more about Help Me Connect.

Help Me Connect was created based on suggestions from parents and providers looking for an early childhood “one-stop shop” that connects families to local resources. It is a joint initiative between the Minnesota departments of Education, Health, Human Services and the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet.

A message from Chapter President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP:

This year our chapter has seen a huge level of interest in serving on our board of directors as evidenced by the very large number of candidates that either self-nominated or were nominated by others. Our executive committee has taken this as a sign that we are on the right track and our chapter members value the work our chapter and board are doing.

When we put out the call for nominees to the board, we didn’t attach any guidelines as to who or what we were looking for – despite the fact that we have always had a goal to include pediatricians from around the state and not just from the Twin Cities Metro area. To help accomplish this goal, this year we have divided our candidates into those working in the Twin Cities Metro Area and those outside of that. Although some of our nominated candidates have elected not to run, we still have one non-metro candidate which we are thrilled about. We would therefore ask you to vote for one candidate from the non-metro group and two from the metro group.

In addition, our executive committee also realized that in hindsight, we should have been more explicit in encouraging candidates who can help us increase the racial and cultural diversity of our board. It is important that we not only have many perspectives contributing to our board, but also that we reflect the patient populations we serve. As we have been told by many, if we want to see more pediatricians who are Black, Indigenous or Persons of Color (BIPOC) be involved with our chapter, we need to make sure there are more BIPOC pediatricians on our board.

To help accomplish this goal, we have asked each of our board candidates to include in their cover statement what aspect of their identity is important to them and they would like others to know, and also how they see themselves being able to help our board become more diverse and move our chapter’s anti-racism and equity work forward. For two candidates, after considering our additional request, they decided to withdraw their names from the election as they didn’t believe that in fact, their possible election would lead to an increased racial and cultural diversity of our board. This is a very strong statement that they made about the future of our board and chapter. In the future, we plan to be more explicit in our call for board candidates as to what we are looking for in candidates to join us on the board.

Please take all of these thoughts under consideration as you vote for our three open board seats. I should also mention that our revised Bylaws include a new officer position for which we have one candidate who also needs to be voted on by the chapter.

Thank you in advance for voting for our open board seats and our secretary position.

Please vote by June 30, 2021. Click here to vote. 

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