Home | News


March 2, 2023

Pediatricians in Minnesota have a large role to play in the prevention, diagnosis, and linkage to care for young people in regards to HIV infection.  Each year, young people in the state are newly diagnosed with HIV.  Furthermore, there are young people who are living with HIV in our state who need and deserve high-quality HIV-specific and general primary care. 

The science of HIV prevention is advancing rapidly, and includes behavioral approaches such as condom use, structural approaches such as housing support and economic justice, and biomedical approaches such as the promotion of pre-exposure prophylaxis or “PrEP” medications.  Pediatricians can work at all of these levels, for example by using motivational interviewing practices with young people to promote the use of condoms, advocating on a state level to improve the social drivers of health for young people, and for making the assessment of the need for PrEP and the prescribing of PrEP a routine part of clinical practice.  For more information about the medications used as HIV prophylaxis, which are FDA approved for adults and adolescents weighing greater than 35 kg, and guidelines for prescribing, the CDC HIV Nexus Clinician Resources is open access and can be found here:

It is critical that young people diagnosed with HIV are quickly linked to HIV treatment services.  The Youth and AIDS Projects (YAP) is a grant-funded organization based in the Twin Cities and affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota.  YAP has a thirty-year history of working with youth and young adults, and is a resource for pediatricians and pediatric service providers.  YAP was established in 1989 as one of the first HIV-service organizations in the US to focus on young people, and continues to be guided by the principle that young people can and do make responsible health-related decisions when given appropriate resources and support.  YAP staff are deeply invested in helping young people with intersectional barriers to health and are adept at working with other youth-centered agencies to address young peoples’ needs.  YAP staff are also engaged in the training of the next generation of health care providers, including resident trainees.  YAP’s current programs include comprehensive medical and non-medical case management for young people ages thirteen to thirty years old who are living with HIV, HIV treatment adherence, HIV testing, and health education/risk reduction for young people living with HIV.  YAP also is engaged in Covid-19 vaccination education with a specific focus on vaccine education for young people who identify as LGBTQ+. 

For pediatricians and other pediatric service providers who are seeing adolescent patients in a clinical setting, YAP staff are a resource on diverse topics such as PrEP, counseling around HIV testing, and linking young people who receive a reactive HIV test to care.  YAP staff meet young people where they are, for example meeting with recently young people in clinical settings in collaboration with providers as the young people receive their results, in order to provide immediate support and education.  To refer a patient for services, or to connect with YAP’s staff for other education and support, contact information can be found on YAP’s web page under “service referrals:”  Additionally, service providers can directly contact Val Crutcher, YAP’s Executive Director, at (651) 231-4849.  Ms. Crutcher is one of the Twin Cities experts on services for young people, with 32 years of experience working with at-risk youth and 28 years working with youth living with HIV.  She and the YAP team regularly assist providers in navigating next steps for enrollment in YAP’s programs and other referrals for young people.  Ms. Crutcher has built an incredible YAP team to address HIV-related health disparities more effectively. Because YAP staff members have experienced many of the struggles that young people living with HIV face, they have a unique ability to connect with young people, a factor that facilitates engagement and ultimately improves health outcomes.

About the Author

Calla Brown, MD, MHR, FAAP, is an internist and pediatrician with clinical and research interests that include primary care, care of complex chronic medical conditions in children and adults, community health, and health justice. Her interest in these topics was cemented during her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador from 2003-2005. Dr. Brown is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics, she practices med/peds primary care at a local community health center and is the medical director of YAP [Youth and AIDS Projects] in the Twin Cities.


February 14, 2023

Amid a rapidly evolving online health information ecosystem, the American Academy of Pediatrics is excited to announce the launch of the Pediatric Digital Response Hub (PDRH). This online space is for pediatricians, children’s health advocates, and AAP-affiliates who use social media to promote health information and address misinformation.

Through resource-sharing and discussion, AAP will use the hub to explore and share best practices for both rapid-response and long-term messaging. Tthe hub activity will start with a focus around COVID-19 vaccination especially for children under 5. 

If you are interested in joining the hub, please take a few minutes to complete the intake survey, linked here. Please email Dan DeBrakeleer at with any questions. 

The Minnesota legislature continues to review and discuss efforts to legalize marijuana in the state, which could put products such as cannabis edibles more readily within the reach of children and teens. The American Academy of Pediatrics Orange County chapter collaborated with its local health department to develop this flyer to help educate parents, caregivers and families about the dangers of edible cannabis for children. You are welcome to reproduce and distribute this flyer to your patients and families.
A recent study in the journal Pediatrics, January 3, 2023, found that in 2017, there were just over 200 reported cases of accidental consumption of cannabis edibles by children under six. In 2021, the number jumped to 3,054 – an increase of 1,375 percent. In total, there were 7,043 exposures to edible marijuana reported to poison control from 2017 to 2021 in children under six. The vast majority of the kids found the drug in their own home. While most children suffered mild impacts, 22.7 percent of exposed children needed hospitalization, and 8 percent of them – 573 children over the five years of the study – needed critical care. Reference (Pediatric Edible Cannabis Exposures and Acute Toxicity: 2017–2021. Pediatrics (2023) 151 (2): e2022057761).
February 10, 2023

As an MNAAP member, you play a critical role in advocating for the health and safety of your patients. As you may know, firearms are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. The issue of firearm death and injury is a public health crisis for Minnesota’s youth and demands immediate action. We need your help to urge Minnesota lawmakers to support common-sense firearm safety legislation to reduce the devastating toll of gun violence on kids.

Please take a moment to reach out to your legislators and express your support for common-sense measures, such as safe storage laws, universalbackground checks, and extreme risk protection orders. The following bills are currently under consideration:

  • HF14/SF1116: Implementing universal background checks for firearm transfers. 
  • HF15/SF1117: Law enforcement and family members enabled to petition a court to prohibit people from possessing firearms if they pose a significant danger to themselves or others. 
  • HF396/SF916: Requiring safe storage of firearms and ammunition. 
  • HF601/SF606: Lost and stolen firearms required to be reported promptly to law enforcement.

Your voice is critical in the fight for common-sense firearm legislation. By speaking out, you can help make a difference in the lives of countless children affected by gun violence.Please contact your legislators today and ask them to support evidence-based firearm control measures.

Together, we can make our communities safer and save lives.

Click here to find your state senator and representative and then call or email. 

You can use this sample script:

My name is [name] and I live at [address]. I am calling/emailing to express my support for common sense firearm safety legislation. [Add your personal story or a few talking points here about why firearm violence prevention is important]. Accidental firearm injury and homicide continues to be a major health concern for Minnesota’s youth. Firearms are also the leading method of suicide for adolescents aged 15 to 19. I hope Senator/Representative [X] will work with their colleagues to pass legislation that can help protect Minnesota’s children and teens from firearm violence. Thank you.

January 30, 2023

The Minnesota Secretary of State is now is accepting applications for the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council. Working in partnership with the Children’s Cabinet, members of the advisory council convene and align efforts around children and families. The advisory council is focused on promoting equity and addressing the opportunity gap from a whole family, whole system approach. Recommendations and feedback provided by the advisory council play a critical role in shaping the actions and policies of state agencies and the governor’s office, including the governor’s recent One MN budget proposals.

The time commitment is one two-hour virtual meeting every other month, typically Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. MNAAP Board Member Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, currently sits on the advisory council and wrote about her experiences in an article for Minnesota Pediatrician in December 2020.

Apply for the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council here.

Annual Sponsors