President's Message

Sue Bostwick

Hello APA Members.   Happy New Year!  I sincerely hope all of you had wonderful winter holidays. I love the holiday season.  At least for a few weeks, everyone seems to be nicer to each other.  If only we could manage to keep this going all year long, not just around the holidays.  Additionally, things slow down at work for a brief period of time in December.  Finally, less than 100 emails per day!   I know the holidays are over.  It is easy for depression to set in.  Months of winter weather are ahead for most of us.  In addition, as I write this letter, the federal government is partially shut down.  There is worrisome news from our southern border almost daily.  Please don’t despair.  It is a new year!   Full of opportunity and hope. At least at the APA, there is plenty to look forward to.

We have a lot to be thankful for as we start the new year.  First, we have a fantastic staff in APA headquarters. They do an amazing job helping our leaders and our members accomplish our goals. Special thanks to Rachel Hunter, Jennifer Padilla, Beth King, Holly Tyrrell and Laura Turner.  And, of course, many thanks to Jessica Konrath, our Executive Director, who makes everything at APA run smoothly.   Furthermore, we have incredible members in the APA who donate their time and talent on our committees, our SIGS, our research networks and in our regions.  As with most organizations, we are highly dependent on these extremely-motivated and skilled leaders who volunteer their time with the APA while managing their own divisions and assigned shifts/duties at their home institutions.  Elizabeth Andrew (an Australian politician) once said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”.  We are very fortunate that our APA members have such generous hearts.

As we begin the new year, our APA Social Media Committee is active and enthusiastic.  I can assure you, their tweets are far more positive and informative than anything coming out of Washington.  Our research networks have also been active.  BORN has 33 sites enrolled in the vaccine preferences survey project.  CORNET entered the second year of the WE CARE grant and the fifth (and final) year of the HPV immunization grant.  Remarkably, CORNET has expanded membership to over 60% of all pediatric residency programs in the U.S.!   Thank you to Iman Shariff and Holly Tyrell for this great work.  Our scholars programs are going strong, and the ESP (Educational Scholars Program) will welcome 35 new scholars in the next cohort.   In addition, The Wellness and Resiliency Task Force will meet in January.  Arvin Garg and Janet Serwint are leading this effort and the goal is to determine if the APA can develop meaningful and tangible ways to promote wellness among APA members.  Furthermore, the Resident Ambassador Task Force met a few weeks ago to increase our efforts to engage pediatric residents, and perhaps medical students, to get involved with the APA.  I believe it is so important for us to attract new academic pediatricians to join our organization early in their careers.  In addition, our relatively new Development Task Force has created more ways to recognize donors and increase donations to the APA. (Click here to learn more and donate today.) Finally, we are working with ABP and the Coalition of Centres in Global Child Health (CCGCH) to determine how we can work together to support global health efforts at the PAS meeting and beyond.

Despite the calendar on my desk, I know that Spring will be here soon. The APA regions have their meetings planned and these will provide superb educational programs and excellent opportunities for trainees and junior faculty to receive mentoring and enjoy networking.  You can find their schedules on our website.  I look forward to attending several of these regional meetings and hope to meet many of you there.  In addition, the PAS meeting in Baltimore is not far off.  Housing for the meeting has already opened, the call for Workshop proposals has closed and these are currently under review.  The call for abstracts just ended. I hope you sent in your best work.   APA leaders (Brandi Freeman and others) are already working on the APA New Members and PAS First Timers Orientation to guide newcomers to the complex PAS meeting and to our multifaceted organization.  Also, the Speed Mentoring Task Force is hard at work planning this very popular event at PAS.   The PAS Board, Operating and Program Committees (including several members of the APA) will head to Houston next month, to finalize the 2019 meeting.  Moreover, the Board of Directors (BOD) of PAS, Inc is diligently working on policy development to guide the new corporation.

I hope we can all get past the winter unscathed.  Some good hot chocolate will get us through any bad weather and so will our colleagues in the APA.  We have a wonderful organization and so many members doing great work.  Have a fantastic 2019.

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