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October 13, 2019

Nearly half of members who responded to the MNAAP annual member survey said they wanted more information about how to recognize and address structural racism and bias.

An upcoming Poverty and Disparities Work Group conference call offers all MNAAP members an opportunity to discuss the impact of racism on health and what pediatricians can do. By participating in the call, members will better understand, address and communicate about the impact of racism and the process of healing, protective factors and resilience.

What: Poverty and Disparities Work Group Conference Call

When: Monday, November 4, 12:15 – 1 p.m.

Discussion Leaders: Nate Chomilo, MD, FAAP, medical director of Reach Out and Read Minnesota and vice president of Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity; and Christine Smith, supervisor of Health Equity and Tribal Grants with the Minnesota Department of Health

For call-in information, please email

September 25, 2019

MNAAP President-Elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, will attend the Pediatric Council Forum at the NCE. The AAP national committee Payer Advocacy Advisory Committee (PAAC) arranged the Pediatric Council Forum as an opportunity to discuss payer advocacy strategies with AAP Chapter leadership.

In advance of the forum, Dr. Berkowitz is asking MNAAP members to consider the following questions:

  1. What are some of the successes with payers you have had over the past year?
  2. How are the following issues impacting pediatrics?

Prior Authorization

Credentialing in payer networks

Quality/Cost Ratings in payer payment models

3. What are the positive areas of payer value-based models that have been implemented by payers?  What are the areas in need of improvement?

Email Dr. Berkowitz with questions or comments relating to these topics (which Dr. Berkowitz will plan to bring up at the forum and get back to everyone about), at

September 23, 2019

Seventy-five percent of pregnancies among adolescents are unplanned and every day in the state of Minnesota, approximately eight adolescents become pregnant and six give birth. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), including intrauterine devices (IUDs) and etonogestrel implants (Nexplanon), are the first-line contraceptive method for adolescents, yet fewer than 5 percent of adolescents ages 15-19 use these methods. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joined the Institute of Medicine, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, and the American Academy of Family Medicine in recommending LARCs as first-line contraception for adolescents. Although pediatricians are well-positioned to increase adolescent LARC use, provider knowledge, attitudes and experience remain a barrier, resulting in missed opportunities to prevent teen pregnancy.

A multidisciplinary, trainee-led team from the University of Minnesota conducted a needs assessment among pediatric community clinicians and trainees. It revealed two key findings: (1) few pediatric providers in our community were providing LARCs, and (2) the vast majority (88 percent) of pediatric trainees desired LARC training, yet opportunities were limited.

To address this gap, in July 2018, the trainee-led team launched monthly LARC workshops for pediatric community clinicians and trainees. This free 3.5-hour workshop includes an interactive educational session on LARC methods, followed by hands-on etonogestrel implant (Nexplanon) training and certification.

To date, a total of 147 clinicians have participated in the LARC workshop – 52 medical residents and fellows (35 percent), 58 advanced practice providers (39 percent), and 19 attending physicians (13 percent). Clinicians who have attended the workshop report increased knowledge and comfort with LARC methods and are more likely to recommend and provide LARCs in their clinics.

We are all too familiar with the missed opportunities to prevent unplanned teen pregnancy and as pediatricians; we are uniquely positioned to make a difference.

We hope to see you at one of the upcoming trainings!

For more information and to sign up, please contact Alex Prince by email

Quick Facts: Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs)

They are the most effective form of reversible contraception.

There are very few contraindications.

They are safe and well-tolerated among adolescents.

Adolescents prefer LARCs compared to other contraceptive methods.

About the Authors

Taylor A. Argo, MD; Janna R. Gewirtz O’Brien MD, FAAP; Kathleen K. Miller, MD, FAAP; Emily Borman-Shoap MD, FAAP authored the content for this article.

Alexandra Prince, Tori Bahr, MD, Christy Boraas, MD, MPH, Nicole Chaisson, MD, MPH, collaborated on this project.

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.

There are 10 districts in the AAP, representing all 50 states and six Canadian provinces.

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

MNAAP President-Elect

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