Health care financing, equity, mental health and firearm safety were among priorities identified by attendees of the 2021 Leadership Conference during the resolution process. The AAP has been working to address those issues over the past year.
Members, chapters, committees, councils, sections and districts can submit resolutions to provide input to the AAP Board of Directors on the direction of AAP policies and activities, but resolutions are not binding.
The following is an update on how the AAP is addressing the Top 10 resolutions from 2021.
Changes to health care
Three of the top 10 resolutions addressed health care financing, equity or quality measures. They called for:
- foundational change to the Medicaid program, including national standards and federal funding (https://bit.ly/3iunUD7);
- developing, promoting and tracking minimum equity-based standards for child health and well-being in the U.S. (https://bit.ly/3sxiQSD); and
- developing and promoting quality measures that reflect all aspects of preventive care as outlined by Bright Futures (https://bit.ly/3omg01m).
Several AAP policy statements are being revised to promote equity and address disparities, children’s unique needs and the need for uniform standards. These policies will serve as foundations upon which national standards can be built.
The AAP also is advocating at the state and federal levels for policies and programs that support the health and well-being of children. The AAP’s Transition Plan: Advancing Child Health in the Biden-Harris Administration (https://bit.ly/3pTWd7D) includes specific recommendations, many of which have been addressed in the American Families Plan and other proposed legislation, including support for paid leave, child care and universal pre-kindergarten. The Academy will continue to promote policy recommendations related to global health, equity and racism at all levels of government and identify opportunities to advance its Equity Agenda (https://bit.ly/AAPequityagenda).
One of the resolutions called for developing Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures to reflect all aspects of preventive care in Bright
Futures. The AAP will advocate for appropriate pediatric representation on the National Committee on Quality Assurance, which develops and maintains HEDIS, and to be involved in the development of HEDIS measures.
Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)
Four resolutions called for continuing the Academy’s work on EDI by:
- requiring graduate medical education programs to include curriculum addressing racism and bias (https://bit.ly/3Hsy5Ce);
- expanding membership data collection (https://bit.ly/34iiuH7);
- supporting gender pay equity for members (https://bit.ly/3ooSoJA); and
- educating members on the importance of appropriate pain management regardless of race (https://bit.ly/3uorrJU).
. To promote equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the organization and across pediatrics, the AAP Board of Directors has established an Equity Agenda Workplan (aap.org/Equity). Overseen by the Board Committee on Equity (BCOE), the workplan seeks to strengthen the equity and diversity pathway in pediatrics, integrate EDI principles into clinical care and advance the equity agenda through policy and advocacy.
The AAP has produced new policy when needed, and the BCOE is drafting a policy statement on eliminating race-based medicine, which will codify principles and language already used in parts of the Academy. Externally, the AAP liaison to the Pediatric Residency Review Committee will continue to advocate for EDI education requirements.
The AAP is readying a campaign to urge members to update their demographic information on My Account (https://aap.org/en/my-account/login/), which includes race, ethnicity, gender, employment type and setting, and date of birth. Gender differences in compensation and benefits can be explored through data gathered via the AAP workforce survey of sections. The Committee on Pediatric Workforce is collaborating with the Sections on Hospital Medicine and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and will engage other groups in the coming year.
An article titled “Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Pediatric Anesthesia: Towards Understanding the Problem and Charting the Path Forward” in the AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine’s (SOA’s) fall 2021 newsletter examined 22 articles on ending structural racism in pediatric pain management (https://bit.ly/3GrfGV4). Further education is planned by SOA
Two resolutions called for the creation of a National Bureau for Firearm Injury Prevention (https://bit.ly/3LjsDUX) and for the Consumer Product Safety Act to include firearm-related products in adverse reporting requirements (https://bit.ly/3omWtOj).
The AAP received a 15-month, $140,000 grant in partnership with the Joyce Foundation to support the Firearm Violence Prevention Research Roundtable coalition, which will bring together medical, public health and research partners. The coalition will build on the AAP’s leadership in advocating for funding for gun violence prevention research.
The AAP has supported the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC’s) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which collects data on firearm-related injuries. The AAP will continue to advocate for public health data and other initiatives by the CPSC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments to understand the burden of pediatric firearm-related injuries.
One resolution called on the Academy to coordinate its resources into a toolkit to address the pediatric mental health crisis as a result of pandemics (https://bit.ly/3Gk3YeV).
In September 2021, the AAP Board of Directors approved $250,000 from the Friends of Children Fund to support an initiative called Advancing Healthy Mental Development. The project will align with the broader AAP Healthy Mental Development Initiative and strengthen the Academy’s capacity to foster healthy mental development by:
- building partnerships to advance child and family mental health;
- creating a culture of pediatric leadership in child and family mental health nationally and globally;
- equipping pediatricians and other stakeholders with knowledge, skills and resources to support the healthy mental development of children and families in clinical practice and community settings; and
- advancing the healthy mental development of children and families through advocacy and policy development.
Promoting life-long literacy
One resolution called on the Academy to provide evidenced-based literacy resources to pediatricians and families (https://bit.ly/34d1XEk).
The Councils on School Health and Early Childhood will promote a policy statement (https://bit.ly/3ukox8R) and technical report (https://bit.ly/3gjmsBN) they co-authored on school readiness.