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The Prenatal Visit, the AAP, and the Committee

By Dr. Arthur Lavin

Now and then it’s good to share good news, and today I am very pleased to share several bits of good news.

The first is that my appointment to be the chairperson of a national committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics took effect yesterday, July 1, and so my four-year term has begun.  The name of the committee is long, but its purpose is clear and cogent.  The name is the AAP Committee on the Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.  Its purpose is to help advise the Academy Board of Directors on the overall psychological and social well-being of the children of America.   It is a tremendous honor, humbling, and a also a very real opportunity to help many, many children and families across the nation.  Actions of the Committee are not actually Academy policy, unless the Board adopts them, only the Board is the voice of the AAP, so I will not be sharing actual Committee deliberations, of course.  I can say that I deeply appreciate all the excellent ideas you all sent in with your thoughts on what our children need most from our national community, your insights have helped me put together my thoughts.

Now, when the Board does adopt Committee policy statements, clinical guidelines, or other advice, I will be not only able, but very happy to share that news.  And that is the second bit of good news, a paper I helped write for consideration of the Board was adopted and its publication took place yesterday as well.  That paper is an update on AAP policy regarding the value of the prenatal visit to families.  It is attached, and offers guidance to pediatricians around the country on why doing a prenatal visit is important, various aspects of the visit to consider.  We at Advanced Pediatrics are pleased that we have always offered a prenatal visit free of charge to all interested.

The American Academy of Pediatrics was founded in 1930 when the pediatric section of the AMA left in protest at the AMA’s opposition to the first ever piece of public health legislation in the country’s history, a law that would have provided free milk to starving children and kept 3,000 public health centers for mothers and children open, the first of their kind.  Ever since, the AAP has distinguished itself as being a professional society whose very existence is tied to helping children, those we serve, more than those who serve them.

I am very proud of the AAP, and so pleased to be taking a position that will help the Academy in its historic purpose.

To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin

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