Dear Chapter Member,
I hope this finds you well and taking some time away
from work to attend to your family, hobbies, and of
course, relaxation and vacation. I just want to take a
few minutes to update you on the work of the New York
State AAP - District II so you will be up to date on our
priorities and ready to help us move forward.
M. Seigel MD, MBA, FAAP, FSAHM
York State American Academy of Pediatrics (NYS AAP)
Thanks to your numerous visits, telephone calls and e-mails
to our state leaders, we were able to pass legislation that
will improve the lives of the children and families we serve
across New York State.
Paid Family Leave
Working as part of a large coalition, we were able to get a
generous Paid Family Leave Program passed in NY State.
Families will now be able to take care of their needs at
challenging times, birth, adoption, serious illness, and not
worry about losing their jobs or their income. Paid Family
Leave is a crucial family support service that is important
to all families as they attempt to balance the complex needs
of financial support and the social - emotional needs of
their family. Paid Family Leave is a pro-family initiative
that has finally come to NY State.
This year, working in coalition with many organizations
across the state, we can claim victory on passing one of the
largest increases in the Minimum Wage in the country. Increasing
the Minimum Wage is the most direct and effective way to
address child poverty. Here in New York State we
took a giant step this year with minimum wage moving to $15
downstate and incrementally from $12.50 to $15 dollars
upstate as the economy allows. This legislated increase will
do more to address child poverty across our state than any
other option available to our state government. Our voices,
which focused on the direct positive impact on children
across the state, made a significant difference in this
Other legislative victories include passage of:*
- Minor's Consent to HPV Immunization
addresses the conflict between the Minor's Consent Law and
Immunization Law. Passage of this legislation bridges the
conflict and now allows Minors to Consent for their own
- Insurance Coverage of Donor Breast Milk
for high risk premature babies weighing less than 3.5 lbs,
whose mothers cannot breastfeed, or supply their own milk.
- Crib Safety and Safe Sleep legislation
requires the New York State Department of Health and the
New York State Department of Consumer Affairs to clearly
inform parents about recalls of unsafe cribs, the dangers
of drop side cribs, and provide information about safe
sleep options for newborns and infants. Implementation of
this legislation will increase the effectiveness and
support the anticipatory guidance given at well baby
visits in primary care.
* All require the Governor's signature
to become law.
- Raise the Age of Criminality in NY State to 18
- Deny insurance coverage for Conversion Therapy
in NY State
Although we appreciate the Executive Orders on these two
issues, we will continue to advocate for permanent
legislation so that these protections cannot be challenged.
In addition, although we did not get our legislative fix for
the Maternal Depression Screening payment,
we are working closely with the NY State Department of
Health on a regulatory fix that will allow pediatricians to
bill and receive payment for screening as part of the
child's primary care visit. We anticipate this fix to be
instituted by Labor Day.
Key Legislative Initiatives That Did Not Become Law
This Year Include:
- E-Cigarettes Added to the Indoor Clean Air Act
- Child Safe Products Act
- Gun Safe Storage
- Collective Bargaining Rights for Physicians
But we will be back next year and will fight again for
budget and legislative protections for the children and
families of New York. As you all know, advocacy is a long
term process, what we don't get one year, we can and will
get the next year or the year after that.
New Initiatives and Projects
- With the support of national AAP, and in partnership with
the Chapters, the District is embarking on an HPV
Quality Improvement Project. We will have a
training of District and Chapter Leaders on September 10th
to launch the program. Each Chapter will design its own
Chapter specific QI project with a Chapter Team to increase
HPV vaccination rates. The goal of the project is to have
District and Chapters work together to increase HPV rates in
practices throughout the state.
- Working with the NYC Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene, the District and its Committee on Early Childhood
and Brain Development has produced an Algorithm with defined
decision points in building an appropriate relationship
between primary care pediatric offices and the Early
Intervention Program. Many members provided
valuable insight into how best to design a document with
resources that will strengthen the relationship between
primary care pediatricians and the EI programs in their
area. The document will be available in printed form if
needed, as well as web-based with the resources embedded as
clickable live links. Although the project is New York City
based, the algorithm and the resources are applicable across
the state. Once released, we will share the documents with
our membership across the state.
- District leadership will be meeting on September 11th to
discuss reorganization options to move us forward in a way
that better reflects the work that we do and our ongoing
partnership with our Chapters. We will keep you informed as
we discuss and decide what kind of organizational structure
will be most effective in the new world of health care
systems reforms, value based and bundled payments, and the
ever changing world of pediatric primary care. These are
interesting times and we must be ready to keep pediatricians
and the practice of Pediatrics front and center in the
discussions of population health, ongoing mergers and
acquisitions and the movement of billions of dollars into
new approaches to health care.
I look forward to working with you, and for you, as we
continue to address your needs the needs of the children and
families we serve across New York State.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
We hope you
find the information in this report helpful. For more
information, please contact Elie Ward, MSW, Director of Policy
& Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.