If spring is in the air, can PAS be far behind? As the last (hopefully) snow melts, the trees bud and blossom, and flowers start to bloom, my thoughts always turn to the upcoming PAS meeting. Last year, more than half of our entire membership attended the meeting, so I know it is a highlight for many! In all there will be more than 6,000 of us attending, and as usual, there will be a vast array of programming from which to choose. This year the APA will have a meeting app!! The app will be available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices. The app will facilitate location of APA activities and sessions that will be of interest to APA members. In addition, the PAS website offers on-line tracks based on topics and themes that you can use to guide your journey through the meeting. I would like to highlight some of the activities that I recommend.
- Pre-conference activities. These activities occur on Friday May 3, and require separate registration but they are becoming an increasingly popular enhancement to the program. They include the all-day quality improvement research conference, and the fellows' core curriculum. Also the educational scholars will be meeting all day on Friday.
- Invited science highlights. There will be many topic symposia, state of the art presentations, mini-courses and hot topics to choose from. With apologies to many great sessions of interest, let me highlight a few for you.
- State of the Art Plenaries:
- Contemporary Issues in Environmental Health, Saturday 10:30 AM
- A National Agenda to End Childhood Poverty, Saturday 2:45 PM
- Topic Symposia
- Child Health Policy, Saturday 8:00 AM
- Child Health Research, Saturday 8:00 AM
- Health and Well Being of Children whose Parents are Lesbian or Gay, Saturday 10:30 AM
- Pediatric Policy Council : Child Health Policy in the New Congress, Saturday 10:30 AM
- Ten Year Forecast for Pediatric Health Care Delivery, Monday 8:00 AM
- What is the Measure of the Pediatric Medical Home? Monday 10:30 AM
- Mini -courses
- Preparing for a New Leadership Position, Sunday 8:00 AM
- Mentoring Programs and Relationships, Monday 8:00 AM
- How to Assess and Address Child Health Disparities in Research, Tuesday 8:00 AM
- State of the Art Plenaries:
- Special Interest Groups (SIGs.) There are 39 APA SIGs, most of which meet during the PAS. Consult the schedule and attend your favorite SIG meetings.
- Workshops: Many APA members find workshops to be among the most stimulating and valuable parts of the meeting. Whether it's "Bias Busters", Effective medical writing, improving teaching, multi-institutional research, qualitative research, feedback, tips on making better posters, cultural competency and health equity, magic tricks in medicine, I can do that: performing minor procedures, emergencies in technology dependent children, there are workshop options for everyone!
- Scientific platform and poster sessions. Many members consider these to be the core of the meeting, when the best of the original science abstracts get presented either in platform or poster sessions. This year again, the APA regional chairs will be planning mentoring visits for trainees who have poster presentations.
- Special APA and PAS events:
- Speed mentoring, Saturday 12 Noon. Back by popular demand, in this session, 60 mentors and 60 mentees, in groups of 6, will have opportunities to receive and give mentoring advice on topics of interest to career development. Speed mentoring requires pre-registration, and there is currently a waiting list, but it is sure to be a major hit for those who attend this year, and a "must try" even if it means waiting until next year.
- PAS general plenary session. Saturday 5:00 PM. Renee Jenkins will receive the Joseph St. Geme III Leadership Award, and give her address.
- PAS President's Reception, Saturday 6:45 PM
- APA Membership Meeting and Debate Sunday 3:45 PM. The APA Debate is always a highlight, and this year will be no exception. The topic is "Resolved: The Electronic Medical Record Improves Pediatric Patient Care and Resident Education." Arguing the Pro side this year will be Joe Zorc and Ken Roberts, and the Con debaters will be Carol Berkowitz and John Frohna. Making a return appearance as moderator will be Jane Knapp. For those who have never seen an APA debate, I can tell you it is great fun. We like to think of it as "edu-tainment" with an emphasis on humor and entertainment.
Also at this meeting the APA Health Care Delivery Award, Research Award, and the Miller/Sarkin Award will be presented. Educational Scholars will be honored. There will also be a special tribute to Marge Degnon on the occasion of her retirement. (See below)
- APA Committee Meetings: All 4 APA committees, Research, Education, Health Care Delivery, and Public Policy and Advocacy, will meet at 11:00 AM on Sunday at the Renaissance Hotel. I know, more hard choices!
- APA Regional Breakfasts: Monday 7:00 AM at the Renaissance Hotel. Every region held a regional meeting this year! The breakfasts are a great time to catch up and plan for upcoming regional activities.
- APA plenary session and Armstrong Lecture: Monday 1:30 PM. This session will contain 8 abstracts of original science touching a wide variety of topics of interest to APA members. The APA Education and Public policy awards will be presented. This year's Armstrong Lecturer, Ellen Crain, will give the Armstrong address, and I will give the Presidential Address.
I am looking forward to so many things that will be happening at the PAS meeting this year. I think it will be a rich and rewarding experience for us all. I know other board members will be sharing additional information about activities of interest within their domains. I hope I and other members of the APA Board will be able to meet and talk with many of you personally at PAS. Please stop and say hello.
After 33 years of service as the Executive Director of the APA, Marge Degnon will be retiring at the end of this year's PAS meeting. In many ways, Marge has been the face of the APA for as long as I can remember, and she has guided the APA wisely and confidently to flourish during the time of her tenure. We will take a few moments during the Membership Meeting to honor Marge for her extraordinary service to the APA. I know there are so many of us who have been touched by Marge's work. I invite you all to attend the Membership Meeting and join in honoring her.
See you soon at PAS!
Academic Pediatric Association
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