AAP District II is funded by your NY Chapter dues                                                  December 2011

In This Report
The Changing Health Care System
A Voice for Children & Pediatricians
Quick Links 
Save The Date!
 Feb. 28, 2012
AAP District II's Advocacy Day
University Club
141 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY
Save The Date!
 Feb. 29, 2012
 Upstate EHDI Symposium
DoubleTree Hotel
Syracuse, NY

Presented by:
AAP, District II (NYS)
& NYS EHDI Program

Save The Date!
 May 18, 2012
2nd Annual
Pediatric Nutrition Update
New Yorker Hotel
New York, NY

Presented by:
AAP, District II (NYS)

Dear District II Member, Danielle Laraque, MD, FAAP

It has been two months since my election as District Chair and I thank the membership for its support and endorsement.


Following the NCE I attended the orientation for new officers in Elk Grove Village and began a re-organization of the District leadership and board.   This re-organization has had as an explicit goal ensuring full participation of the leadership of all 3 Chapters.  Biweekly and bi-monthly meetings set the stage for continuous communication in the activities of the District.  


There has never been a more critical time for us to collectively advocate for children's health care.  Please read on for more details.

Danielle Laraque, MD, FAAP
Chair, AAP District II, New York State
The Changing Health Care System

As you are all aware, health care is in flux. All the pieces of the children's health care puzzle at both the federal and the state levels are moving in all dimensions. Working in this environment, as all of us are, is similar to playing three dimensional chess, knowing that the rules will keep changing. Thus, it is important for us to stay focused on the goal of improving child health. 


Federal Level


At the federal level there are the ongoing complexities of the ACA, the federal health care reform act. The development of Health Exchanges, the designs of alternative networks, like ACO's, multifaceted delivery networks, care management entities, mergers of large hospitals and even larger health insurer corporations create unknown challenges.  Even the very survival of the reform bill itself is in doubt.  All the pieces are moving on various levels. But, there is also the significant federal budget deficit and the ongoing debate about federal cuts to health care to reduce the federal deficit. Some of the proposed cuts, if passed, will significantly cut funding for health care for children and families.  Some proposals cut payments to hospitals and to physicians.  The only sure thing in this discussion is that funds to health care will be cut sometime within the next twelve to twenty-four months; exactly how much and where remains unknown.


State Level


At the state level there is the work of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) and its 10 topical work groups. This broad based stakeholder group is providing a review of and recommendations about New York State's health care delivery system beyond the Medicaid program.  The MRT group will be reviewing final Work Group recommendations on December 13.  The recommendations the MRT accepts from the work groups will be forwarded to the Governor for consideration of inclusion in his 2012-13 State Budget and Program Plan for the state.  And the state, like the federal government is facing a large budget deficit.  For the state it is anticipated that the 2012-13 budget will have more than a $3.5 billion budget deficit.


As pediatricians, it is important that we recognize the changing world we are working in, and participate as appropriate in reform initiatives. But it is also imperative that we remain a strong and constant voice for children's health and well being.  Our commitment to a comprehensive children's health care benefit package modeled on the AAP Bright Futures program must be unfailing during these challenging times.  But we can and must carry the banner for children's health and well being in the areas of:

  • social-emotional health and family support because all children need a nurturing and supportive family;
  • high quality child care, early care and education so they can learn and thrive intellectually;
  • economic security because no child can thrive in poverty and homelessness;
  • environmental health at home, in community, in school and in child care;
  • and special supports and services for our most vulnerable children, those in foster care and the child welfare system,  the mental health and juvenile justice systems and those who are chronically ill and medically fragile. 
A Voice for Children & Pediatricians

I do understand that for us to be a voice for children, we must also be a voice for pediatrics and for pediatricians, because we are the people who care for children, all children, from the most privileged to the most disadvantaged.  And during this time of challenges, we must find the opportunities to maximize support for children and the services and supports they need to grow up healthy and strong.  This also necessitates strong partnerships outside of pediatrics in support of the systems of care for the transitions to adulthood for our children, support of health promotion of adults, families and communities essential to the well-being of children. 


Please join me in these important struggles.  Our job is to articulate the needs of children and define how best to meet those needs so each child can reach her/his optimal level of health and well- being. The federal and state challenges to children's health are real and we must navigate well to not harm children in the process.  We must be fully engaged in the critical policies and decisions that impact children's health and, despite financial difficulties, never renege on commitments made to children and to those of us who care about and for them.


As we join hands in our work for children, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy, safe and healthy holiday season. 


District II (New York State), American Academy of Pediatrics
408 Kenwood Avenue, 2nd Floor | Delmar, NY 12054
518/439-0892 | Fax:  518/439-0769 | www.aapdistrictii.org