MNAAP Chapter Champions

Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinators (CBCs)

Pamela Heggie, MD, FAAP; Teresa Kovarik, MD, FAAP

CBCs are pediatricians who address the breastfeeding needs of infants, children, their families and communities, by supporting AAP members through breastfeeding advocacy, education, policy development, as well as promoting the systems through which members deliver breastfeeding care. CBCs work hard to make sure that the members of their AAP Chapter are up to date on the latest breastfeeding education and advocacy activities. Many CBCs collaborate with their WIC colleagues, local health department, and state breastfeeding coalition to network within their chapter. For more information visit    

Chapter CATCH Facilitators (CCFs)

Brian Lynch, MD, FAAP

CCFs help pediatricians and pediatric trainees apply for CATCH grants, score applications, and serve as valuable resources throughout a grantee’s project. CCFs can serve as content area experts, provide leadership around community pediatrics, and support Chapters’ advocacy efforts.

Chapter Climate Advocate

Lisa Guetzko, MD, FAAP

The AAP’s Council on Environmental Health is the home for academy members interested in and concerned about children’s environmental health and toxic exposures. Climate advocates participate in a group to exchange ideas that aim to further climate action in each region.

Chapter Early Childhood Champions (ECCs)

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP; Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, MPhil, FAAP

ECCs serve as part of a network of pediatric experts who can mobilize efforts to address early childhood issues through resource promotion, training, advocacy, and systems building across early childhood settings (including medical home, childcare, home visiting, early education, Head Start, early intervention, state level systems efforts, etc.). ECCs are members of the AAP Council on Early Childhood (COEC) and are appointed by their AAP chapter to serve as a liaison between the chapter and across the state and nationally for early childhood efforts, including the National Early Childhood Center on Health and Wellness, with the goals to help educate one another, create discussions on AAP recommended guidelines, improve health and safety practices, advocate for early childhood policies, and more.

Chapter E-Cigarette Champion

Amelia Burgess, MD, FAAP

The purpose of this role is to lead local advocacy and educational initiatives related to youth ecigarette prevention and addiction support. Champions have access to the AAP’s new ecigarette curriculum and hands-on communications and media training.

Chapter Immunization Representatives (CIRs)

Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP

CIRs are asked to assist in the development and coordination of chapter immunization activities and educational programs; provide technical assistance to chapter leadership, staff, members, and other health professionals on immunization-related topics; communicate with the state immunization program, and serve as a liaison between the chapter and national AAP on immunization issues.

Chapter Oral Health Advocates (COHA)

Eileen Crespo, MD, FAAP

COHA works within their chapter and community on pediatric oral health support and promotion. COHAs can train others in their state on issues around payment for oral health services and community water fluoridation. COHAs serve as an excellent resource to get information about starting to provide oral health services in practice and how to improve relationships with dental professionals. Many are also working together with state oral health coalitions or local efforts to train primary care providers about oral health. For more information visit

Disaster Preparedness and Response Contacts

Paula Fink Kocken, MD, FAAP

The Chapter Contacts for Disaster Preparednesssupport AAP chapters by serving as a resource on disaster-related resources and information and helping chapters to develop business continuity plans. These contacts also initiate and mobilize disaster preparedness and response efforts in every state. Efforts include improving personal disaster preparedness, enhancing office and/or hospital readiness, helping families prepare an emergency kit and develop a disaster plan, and improving state and local emergency readiness.

District Diversity and Inclusion Champions

Kathy Anderson, MD, FAAP

The District Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Champions engage districts and chapters to advise the district leadership and chapters on ways to assure that the leadership and membership of the chapters reflect the diversity of the state or community in which the chapter is located. The champions work with the district leadership team to advance district and chapter D & I initiatives; assist chapters in designing outreach strategies to engage diverse chapter members and sustain the engagement over time; develop strategies to assist chapters in designing outreach strategies to encourage non-members to join the chapter; assist chapters in assessing the diversity of the chapter board of directors, encouraging diverse candidates for board and leadership positions, and interact with other district D&I representatives to share ideas and strategies.

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Champions

Abby Meyer, MD, MPH, FAAP

The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) chapter champions serve as the point person on newborn hearing issues at the state and local level to ensure the success of reaching each of the AAP EHDI program goals. Almost every AAP chapter currently has a member appointed as the EHDI chapter champion. The national AAP EHDI program is currently evaluating the chapter champion program and will connect with chapters in the coming months.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Champions

Amelia Burgess, MD, MPH, FAAP

District Level The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) established the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Regional Education and Awareness Liaisons (REAL) Champions Network with the goals of meeting identified needs to improve pediatricians’ capacity for early identification of at-risk children and to address the role of stigma and bias in addressing prenatal alcohol exposure with families and caregivers. Ten regional FASD champions – one for each of the AAP districts – are available to facilitate educational, outreach, and practice change activities within their respective regions.


Minnesota Leaders on National Committees, Councils and Sections

Sue Berry, MD, FAAP
Executive Committee Member
Council on Genetics (COG)

Lucien Gonzalez, MD, MS, FAAP
Committee on Substance Use and Prevention (COSUP)

Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP
Committee Member, Red Book 2021 Associate Editor
Committee on Infectious Diseases (COID)

Michael Severson, MD, FAAP
Committee Member
Committee on Development (CODe)

Richard Wicklund, MD, FAAP
Executive Committee Member
Senior Members Section

Rupesh Kumar Nataranjan, MD
Section Member
Pediatric Trainees Section

Jeffrey Karp, DMD
Chair-Elect, Executive Committee Member
Oral Health Section

Thomas George, MD, FAAP
Executive Committee Member
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Section

Rana Chakraborty, MD, MSc, PhD, FAAP
International Medical Graduates Section

Michael Pitt, MD, FAAP
APPD GHPEG Representative
International Child Health Section

Melanie Brown, MD, FAAP
Executive Committee Member, Program Chairperson
Integrative Medicine Section

Roy Maynard, MD, FAAP
Executive Committee Member
Home Care Section

Sheilaugh Maguiness, MD, FAAP
Executive Committee Member
Dermatology Section

Megha Tollefson, MD, FAAP
Executive Committee Member
Dermatology Section

Nancy Harper, MD, FAAP
Program Chairperson
Child Abuse & Neglect Section


Annual Sponsors

Children's Minnesota
Gillette Children's
Hennepin Healthcare
University of Minnesota Health
Essentia Health
Mayo Clinic
Shriners Healthcare for Children-Twin Cities