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February 1, 2014

By Anne Edwards, MD, FAAP, chair of MNAAP’s policy committee…

In the midst of all drama and sports analysis of the Super Bowl of late, it seems fitting to speak of offense and defense.

As someone who has spent her fair share of time in legislators’ offices or testifying in front of legislative committees on behalf of our children and their health, I am thrilled to share with you a subtle but important shift as we approach the 2014 session. This year is different in one key way: We’re on offense. (more…)

By Robert M. Jacobson, MD, FAAP…

What were the top ten events for our chapter in 2013? What would such a list look like, and what would we learn from it?

I ended up making such a list to help with our year-end reporting. At the end of 2013, our chapter submitted its annual chapter report for the national organization. The report details MNAAP’s accomplishments for the year. It’s a Herculean task of cleaning out the stables of the year gone by and trotting out accomplishments for a national audience. We ask the leaders of our workgroups and committees to participate in the reporting as well. (more…)

By Charles N. Oberg, MD, FAAP, Program Director of Maternal and Child Health at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and pediatrician at Hennepin County Medical Center…

Minnesota prides itself on being one of the finest places to raise a family and has frequently been ranked as one of the healthiest states in the country. In 2004, the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Minnesota first overall in the well-being of its children using 16 measures of child well-being in the four major domains of economics, education, health, and family. But in its 2013 report, Minnesota had slipped to fourth overall and 15th in the health of children category. This decline in our state ranking is resulted in part to persistent disparities in health outcomes for minority children in Minnesota. Infant mortality and immunizations are two health outcomes that epitomize these disparities. (more…)

By Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at HCMC and executive member of the AAP’s national Council on Communications and Media

For about 30 years, the AAP has recognized the importance of media in the lives of children and teens, but obviously the amount, complexity, and challenges of the various types of media continue to evolve. We all live in a world saturated with and surrounded by media, and even as I write this article, creative minds are at work on new products and programs! More than 75 percent of teens have cell phones; some send more than 100 text messages daily, and millions spend hours on Facebook. (more…)

JanRourkecolorWhat’s your background? What made you decide to become a pediatrician?

I remember making the decision to go into medicine when I was 11. I spent most of that summer in the ICU waiting room hoping that my father would recover from a cerebellar hemangioblastoma. I realized then the power that a physician has to change not only the life of the patient, but the lives of everyone who loves that patient.

My dad lived another 5 years and I was grateful for the additional time I had with him. I didn’t go to medical school right away; I got married at 19, became a nurse and had two kids. When I found that the desire to pursue medicine wouldn’t go away, I applied to and was accepted into the University of Michigan Medical school. My first year pathology professor promised that we would be able to indulge our passion for disease. I did my residency at U of M as well. I had grown up in Michigan and had a lot of family support there, so it was a great fit. When I graduated from residency my husband and I wrote out a list of our dream requirements for a first job. My attendings were tearing their hair out for fear I was too picky and would never be hired, but the folks at Grand Itasca called and said they had just what I wanted. I was the first resident in my year to land a job. (more…)

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