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2018 AAP Election Guide

September 7, 2018

The 2018 national election for president-elect and district officers will begin on Nov. 2 and conclude at noon CT on Dec. 2. Members can vote at

Members will be asked to choose their next president-elect candidate: Sara “Sally” H. Goza, M.D., FAAP, or George C. Phillips, M.D., M.B.A., FAAP. The winner will serve as the 2020 AAP president. Read profiles of Dr. Goza and Dr. Phillips.

Voters also will elect district officers in six out of 10 districts: district chairpersons (who serve as AAP Board members), district vice chairpersons and National Nominating Committee representatives. The new president-elect and newly elected district officers will take office on Jan. 1, 2019.

If you have questions concerning the election procedures, contact Katie Friedman at or 630-626-6296.

All members are urged to vote. 

President-elect candidates discuss changing health care environment

The AAP president-elect candidates were asked: What should the AAP be doing to support members in the changing health care environment? 

Sara “Sally” H. Goza, M.D., FAAP

Fayetteville, Ga. 

The changing health care environment necessitates the AAP be nimble, proactive and focused on supporting all members no matter their practice setting.

As patients today access health care on their own terms, using services that can compete with pediatric practices, we must find ways to promote pediatricians and pediatric specialists as the best providers to care for children. We must be vocal that children today are more complex medically and socially and are not little adults and therefore, the pediatric medical home is critical to their lifelong well-being. We need a statement on the value and return on investment of pediatric care.

The AAP must continue to support members in areas such as coding, continuing medical education, quality improvement and telehealth. We must push forward with the planned data registry and the establishment of quality metrics. The AAP must continue efforts on decreasing regulatory burdens that contribute to burnout.

As emerging health care technologies have oftentimes been one step ahead of the AAP’s response, we should establish a structure that can quickly assess, advise and guide practices on new and sometimes disruptive technologies that may affect them.

As the health care landscape changes, the AAP should develop innovative ways to educate members on topics such as team-based care, population health, value-based payment, decision-making regarding practice options and leadership skills.

As AAP president, my goal will be to empower our members to be leading the changes in health care as we keep children as our north star and keep our profession on solid ground. 

George C. Phillips, M.D., M.B.A., FAAP

Overland Park, Kan. 

The AAP must support pediatrician leaders of health care teams, promote value-based pediatric care as the foundation to lifelong health and develop performance metrics that are relevant to pediatric practice.

More pediatricians are employed physicians. Insurance is shifting to value-based care, and care is measured by more performance metrics. We work with more mid-level professionals who provide services at less expense.

Our expertise as pediatricians positions us to lead health care teams. The AAP must provide ongoing leadership development, enabling us to lead teams throughout our careers. The AAP must also foster respect among professions through relationships with organizations such as the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

High-quality, value-based pediatric care can create lifelong health and control costs. The AAP must advocate for appropriate payment for the prevention, early identification and primary treatment of chronic illness. The AAP Clinical Health Data Registry initiative may create the most comprehensive pediatric dataset to date, discovering performance metrics that truly improve outcomes. The AAP should fully resource its research networks, Pediatric Research in Office Settings and Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings, to be ideal testing grounds for methods to achieve those metrics in real-world practice settings.

Author Patrick Lencioni suggests job misery is created by “anonymity, irrelevance and immeasurement.” By strengthening pediatricians as leaders, advancing value-based care and developing performance metrics that achieve optimal outcomes, the AAP will help pediatricians see their continued relevance and impact in a changing health care environment. FAAPs will also not fear anonymity when represented by an Academy that strongly advocates for their ability to provide the best care for all children. 

District I

Patricia J. Flanagan, M.D., FAAP

District vice chairperson candidate

Dr. Flanagan is a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine. She is professor and vice chair of pediatrics at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and chief of clinical affairs at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. She is division director of the adolescent medicine division.

Dr. Flanagan’s research, clinical work and teaching have focused on the unique needs of pregnant and parenting youths and their children. She directs the Teens with Tots Clinic at Hasbro Hospital, a multidisciplinary primary care program for teens and their children. Her work in the community is extensive, including leading a statewide coalition to prevent teen pregnancy, the RI Alliance, and work with YWCA to co-found Nowell Academy, a charter high school for pregnant and parenting teens. As a clinical leader at Hasbro, she has facilitated the development of services and programs to address social determinants of health in the health care setting: developing a medical-legal partnership at Hasbro, incorporating student advocates into the clinic setting to connect families with concrete needs in the community, integrating behavioral health into pediatric care, both primary and subspecialty care.

Dr. Flanagan served as AAP Rhode Island Chapter president and now serves as district vice chairperson. She is a co-director of RI PCMH-Kids, a statewide multipayer multiprovider initiative for payment reform and primary medical home practice transformation. PCMH-Kids includes 20 practices, collectively serving almost half the children in Rhode Island.

Benjamin U. Nwosu, M.D., FAAP

National Nominating Committee candidate

Dr. Nwosu is an endocrinologist and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. He received his medical degree from University of Nigeria, where he now serves as a visiting lecturer. He completed his residency training in pediatrics at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and obtained his fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health.

His research focus is on diabetes mellitus, obesity, growth hormone and vitamin D physiology. He is the principal investigator on a randomized, controlled trial of the effect of adjunctive vitamin D on partial clinical remission (PCR) in children with type 1 diabetes (T1D). His recent paper was the first to characterize a predictive model for lack of PCR in children with new-onset T1D. This work, which has been described as an important discovery, was featured in the American Diabetes Association News Brief. His other recent publication, (, the first to describe a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in children, has led to a call for routine screening for vitamin D deficiency in patients with IBS.

Dr. Nwosu has served as an invited author and editor for PREP Endocrinology from 2013-’16. He is a review editor at Frontiers and sits on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He is director of the Outreach Subcommittee of the Communications Committee of the Society for Pediatric Research.

Janice L. Pelletier, M.D., FAAP

National Nominating Committee candidate

A physician for over 35 years, Dr. Pelletier has practiced pediatric dermatology for 22 years, overlapping with 20 previous years in general pediatrics. She was educated at Harvard, Einstein Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children. She is devoted to clinical care, advocacy, teaching and research.

Dr. Pelletier has served for seven years as vice president, president and now immediate past president of the AAP Maine Chapter; three years on the AAP subcommittee developing practice guidelines for infantile hemangiomas; and 20 years in the AAP Section on Dermatology and various other sections/committees. She also has been a 20-year member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

She lectures post-graduates, graduates and undergraduates. She developed a novel course at the University of Maine called “Introduction to Health Professions,” mentoring stellar students to enter health care and to populate the rural state. She has collaborated and published in Pediatric Dermatology. With a background in visual electrophysiology, she has worked as president of Sensory Cyber Systems to develop tools to advance critical thinking in education.

Dr. Pelletier is married to Len Kass, a university professor, and has two adult children. She enjoys traveling, reading, eating and running.

It is through advocacy that she most enjoys advancing optimal health and safety of children. It would be an honor for her to run for the National Nominating Committee and to serve as a plain pediatrician from a rural area.

District III

Margaret “Meg” C. Fisher, M.D., FAAP 

District chairperson candidate

Dr. Fisher received her undergraduate education at Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pa., and her medical degree from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency and fellowship training in pediatric infectious diseases at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia. Her current appointment is medical director, The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, and professor of pediatrics, Drexel University College of Medicine.

Dr. Fisher's academic activities include the following: frequent continuing medical education speaker locally, regionally, nationally and internationally; journal reviewer; former member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases (Red Book), AAP Committee on Continuing Medical Education, editorial board of PREP Audio, executive committee of the AAP Section on Infectious Diseases and former officer of the AAP New Jersey Chapter; current member of the Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council and co-chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-AAP Global Immunization Collaboration, Strengthening Capacity for Global Pediatric Immunization Champions. She has had over 30 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, numerous invited articles, book chapters, audiotapes and one book.

Dr. Fisher has received awards for teaching, community service and service to the Academy. She has been involved in global health through the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, the Brighton Collaboration, the International Pediatric Association, the CDC and the Academy.

Position statement 

District III consists of six incredibly dynamic chapters of various sizes. All are amazingly committed and enthusiastic advocates for children and pediatricians. I would like to represent this district on the board. I believe that my past experiences have prepared me for this position. I have served on AAP sections and committees. I have been elected to leadership positions in the Section on Infectious Diseases and in my home chapter, New Jersey. I have served as chair of pediatrics at Monmouth Medical Center for the past 17 years and as medical director of the Unterberg Children’s Hospital since we became a children’s hospital in 2006.

My strengths include the ability to listen to my peers, superiors, patients, residents and students. I encourage others to find solutions as well as problems. I believe that I am able to foster teamwork and collaboration. I think my strongest strength is that I bring out the best in others.

My background in pediatric infectious diseases has helped me to understand the strengths and needs of general pediatricians. As a chair of a department of pediatrics, I must understand the needs of both specialists and generalists. Further, I understand how pediatrics fits in a general hospital.

As District III chair, I would bring issues from the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to the board. I would find ways to increase the participation of both young and older pediatricians. I would look to both generalists and subspecialists. We have a spectacular group of chapters; we have provided numerous leaders. I will ensure that this performance continues and that we become even more inclusive and supportive of all AAP members.

David M. Krol, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP

District chairperson candidate

Dr. Krol is medical director of the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, a clinical associate professor in pediatrics at the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Krol began his connection to the AAP as a medical student summer intern with the Washington, D.C., office and has since served on the national level as resident section liaison to the Committee on Federal Government Affairs, Committee on Membership, chair of the (then) Section on Young Physicians, chair of the Section on Oral Health Executive Committee and Section Forum Management Committee. On the chapter level, he has served as vice chair of the government liaison committee and Pediatric Research in Office Settings coordinator of the Connecticut Chapter, executive committee member of the Ohio Chapter and oral health subgroup member of the New Jersey Chapter.

Dr. Krol has advocated for children with testimony to the Connecticut legislature, New York City public health committee and the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Dr. Krol played minor league baseball with the Minnesota Twins, received his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland. He received an M.P.H. from the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program and a former Bush Fellow in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University.

Position statement

It’s a great privilege to run for the District III chair position. I’m a FAAP because I believe in our Academy and the power we have, together, to make a difference for children in our offices, around the country and around the world.

Most pediatricians have heard of the triple aim of health care: improved patient experience of care, improved population health and decreased per capita cost. Each, and all, are very important to improving systems of care for children. Yet, I believe strongly that without what some might call a “quintuple aim,” we risk failing ourselves and the children we serve. To achieve the quintuple aim, it is also essential that we achieve health equity and increase the joy of pediatric practice.

As your district chair, I will advocate for policies and practices that move us closer to this quintuple aim. I’m confident that we can improve population health without leaving some populations behind. I’m also convinced that there are ways to decrease cost and improve patient experience of care and increase the joy of pediatrics. This will take constant conversation with District III members, AAP staff, insurers, legislators, families, public health and health care colleagues, and action at every level of our Academy to make it happen. As your chair, I will facilitate as many of those conversations and actions as possible.

In District III, we are blessed with diversity on many levels. We are pediatricians in rural, urban and suburban areas; big cities and small hamlets; large multispecialty groups and solo practices. We serve children in families of great wealth and deep poverty; children new to the U.S and those whose families have lived in our towns for generations. We are all genders, all races and ethnicities, early career and senior, and both sides of the aisle. We are what makes District III so great … a diverse professional community. It is that diversity and a commitment to increasing diversity in our organization and its leadership that I intend to foster.

Thank you for your willingness to read this position statement and for your consideration in the election.

District IV

Kimberly A. Boland, M.D., FAAP

National Nominating Committee candidate

Dr. Boland was raised in Louisville and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, medical degree from the University of Louisville (UL) and completed her pediatrics residency, chief residency and fellowship in pediatric critical care at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis. Since returning to Louisville, she has worked as a pediatric intensivist at UL, primary care in Louisville and in 2004, returned to UL as division chief for hospital medicine where she became involved in resident education with an appointment as residency program director in 2008.

Dr. Boland serves as interim chair for pediatrics and assistant dean for resident education. She served in AAP chapter leadership roles in Kentucky for eight years as secretary-treasurer, president-elect, president and president of the Kentucky Pediatric Society Foundation. During that time, she learned the importance of the AAP in children’s health and advocacy across the country and the globe.

In her leadership roles at UL, she has been involved in division chief, chair and dean searches. She understands what makes a good leader and that having the right person to lead an organization is critical.

She would be honored to be the District IV representative to the National Nominating Committee and be part of finding the leaders that will help the AAP remain one of the strongest organizations supporting children’s health today. 

Stephen H. Church, M.D., FAAP

National Nominating Committee candidate

Dr. Church is active in the AAP Kentucky Chapter (KYAAP) and the AAP. He served as chapter secretary-treasurer, vice president and president. He served as president of the Kentucky Pediatric Society (KPS) Foundation and is on the Executive Board of the KYAAP and the KPS Foundation Board. He is co-chair of the KYAAP Continuing Medical Education Committee.

Dr. Church is active at the AAP district and national levels. He served as Chapter Forum Management Committee (CFMC) representative for District IV from 2012-’15 and chair from 2015-’18. As CFMC chair, he was an invited guest at the AAP Board of Directors meetings. He was on the Annual Leadership Forum Executive Committee from 2015-’18 and was chair from 2016-’17.

Dr. Church is active in advocacy. Besides the AAP, he works with the Coalition for Healthy KY, Pediatricians Advocating in KY and Healthy KY. He has supported legislation on obesity, child abuse and the Safe Haven law. He was named a Champion for Children by the Kentucky House of Representatives and was awarded the 2016 Roger Fox Award by the Kosair Shriners.

Dr. Church is a primary care provider in Louisville. He graduated with honors from University of Louisville (UL) Medical School. He completed his pediatric residency and served as chief resident at the UL Department of Pediatrics. He is clinical professor in the UL Department of Pediatrics.

He and his wife, Diane, have four children, two grandchildren and two dogs.

District VI

Dennis M. Cooley, M.D., FAAP

District chairperson candidate

Dr. Cooley has been a general pediatrician in private practice in Topeka, Kan., for 38 years. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Dr. Cooley has been involved with the AAP Kansas Chapter (KAAP) since 1985. He has held every chapter office and has served three terms as president. He is the current treasurer, legislative coordinator and disaster preparedness contact.

At the national level, Dr. Cooley served six years on the Committee on Federal Government Affairs (COFGA). When he completed his term in 2016, he was appointed chair of COFGA’s Subcommittee on Access. In addition, Dr. Cooley is a liaison to the Committee of State Government Affairs and was appointed to the AAP Task Force on Policy Development and Process Improvement last year.

Dr. Cooley has functioned in leadership roles for many community and public health organizations. He has served on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Immunizations, the Advisory Committee on Scarce Resources During Disasters and the Kansas Newborn Screening Advisory Council. He chaired the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Infant Mortality and the Governor’s Child Health Advisory Committee. He chairs the Kansas Maternal Child Health Council. He has chaired the Shawnee County Fetal Infant Mortality Review and is a past president of Kansas Action for Children.

Position statement

The AAP is the authoritative voice for children’s health issues not only in this country but in the world. We are a force in advocacy. But the recent battles to fend off attacks to Medicaid and to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program have shown how much more effective we can be. It was through the emphasis to coordinate AAP efforts — bringing chapters, committees, councils, sections and most importantly members together — that our advocacy efforts became so effective. These efforts demonstrated to chapters the benefits of involving members from committees, councils and sections. It demonstrated to the members of sections, councils and committees what chapters can do for them.

For the first time, I saw these Academy divisions not functioning alone but coordinating on a statewide basis to address issues. We still have a long way to go to bring these groups together. Recent changes in the Board of Directors structure, including adding representatives from these groups and pediatric specialists, are a good step forward. Remember we are over 67,000 strong when we act as one. The Academy needs to continue to keep this involvement and momentum going.

Enriching member value and engagement is a major goal of the Academy. The two major AAP benefits according to our members are advocacy and clinical guidance. The system of guiding policy and clinical decisions, however, is confusing and quite frankly overwhelming. Each month, we are confronted by numerous policy statements and clinical recommendations. The AAP Task Force on Policy Development and Process Improvement, of which I am a member, is looking at simplifying this process and making it more transparent and user friendly. It is important that the AAP works further to fulfill the goals of the task force.

Pediatricians and the Academy are facing many challenges. We must be adaptable to survive in the current health care flux. This means that we may need to change in ways that are uncomfortable to some. But as long as we follow the AAP Blueprint for Children and Five-Year Strategic Plan and keep doing what is right for children, we will move in the right direction.

Jeffrey W. Britton, M.D., FAAP

District vice chairperson candidate

Dr. Britton is a general pediatrician with Aurora Children’s Health in Sheboygan, Wis., and is immediate past president of the AAP Wisconsin Chapter.

He received his B.S. degree in molecular biology and his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Va., and served as a general pediatrician for four years at Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, N.C. During Operation Desert Storm, he served on the USS Iwo Jima as part of the ship’s supplemental medical company. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Dr. Britton has been an employed pediatrician with Aurora Health Care (now Advocate Aurora Health) for 24 years and serves on the Aurora Children’s Health Council, where he heads up quality improvement initiatives. He serves on two newborn screening program committees — the Wisconsin Genetics Advisory Council and the Sheboygan County Child Death Review committee. He has extensive experience as an employed physician leader in a large multispecialty medical group and serves on two Aurora management committees.

He is District VI Chapter Forum Management Committee representative and is president of the Wisconsin Academy of Pediatrics Foundation. During his term as president, the Wisconsin Chapter focused on early brain and child development, mental health, poverty and child health, and quality improvement in pediatrics. The chapter received an AAP Award of Chapter Excellence each year of his three-year term.

Claudia K. Preuschoff, M.D., FAAP

District vice chairperson candidate

Dr. Preuschoff is a primary care pediatrician and has been an AAP member for over 30 years.

She attended Duke University and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. After her residency at Vanderbilt University Children’s Hospital, she settled in Missouri. She has practiced rural primary care pediatrics for the last 30 years while raising two children and running a small horse farm. She has met the challenges of operating a small business in a resource-limited area. Additionally, she worked as a pediatric hospitalist for seven years, giving her insights into the newest pediatric subspecialty.

At the chapter level, she spent eight years on the executive committee of the AAP Missouri Chapter Board of Directors. She served as president for two years and as Membership Committee chair. She serves on the Missouri Chapter Foundation board.

Dr. Preuschoff is active in AAP national efforts as District VI vice chairperson (DVC) and is the Missouri representative to the Medical Home Chapter Champion Program. She served on the AAP Committee for Hospital Care for three years until her election to the DVC position.

Locally, Dr. Preuschoff is a member of the Missouri Foundation for Health Community Advisory Council and a number of community child health agencies.

Dr. Preuschoff’s efforts on behalf of children reflect her passion and dedication for child health. This is the impetus for her extensive efforts to enhance child welfare policy on local, state and national levels.

District VII

Stewart T. Gordon, M.D., FAAP

National Nominating Committee candidate

Dr. Gordon is an active member of the AAP Louisiana Chapter. He served in leadership roles for 13 years inclusive of four years as chapter president from 2007-’11, having been quite involved in improving Medicaid reimbursement. Dr. Gordon became involved with the AAP to assist pediatricians in remaining the ultimate provider of care for their patients and families, such that their practices can remain successful.

After completing his general pediatrics training with LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans at Charity Hospital and Children’s Hospital, he enjoyed an 18-year primary care career serving in a public teaching hospital, becoming a professor of clinical pediatrics and chief of pediatrics for LSU Health Sciences Center/Earl K. Long Medical Center.

His care for predominantly underinsured children sparked an interest in working to improve public policy, especially in the areas of child abuse prevention, investing in early childhood, childhood obesity, public health and juvenile justice reform. His clinical practice afforded him the opportunity to work to improve opportunities for children in each of these areas.

Dr. Gordon’s interest in health care financing led to his current chief medical officer role with Louisiana Healthcare Connections, one of Louisiana’s Medicaid managed care organizations, helping it successfully understand and invest in primary care.

Eve Switzer, M.D., FAAP

National Nominating Committee candidate

Dr. Switzer has been in private practice at Northwest Pediatrics in rural Oklahoma for 20-plus years.

She has served on the executive committee of the AAP Oklahoma Chapter for the past 10 years and is immediate past president as well as chair of the Disaster Preparedness Committee. Dr. Switzer serves as a board member of Vaccinate Oklahoma as well as a member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Advocates and Oklahoma Alliance for Healthy Families.

At the recommendation of the AAP, she was appointed by the secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the Federal Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry and contributed to publications, including “Practice Transformation in Integrated Systems of Care,” “Health Literacy and Patient Engagement,” and “Addressing the Social Determinants of Health.”

Dr. Switzer is a member of the AAP Section on Administration and Practice Management, Council on Communications and Media, Community of Immunizers and is a tweetiatrician. She also is a vocal vaccine advocate and engages routinely on social media. In her spare time, she’s an avid runner, classical violinist and foodie.

By engaging at the local level as a rural pediatrician, state chapter level, as well as national and federal levels, Dr. Switzer believes she brings a diverse background to the position of District VII National Nominating Committee representative and can contribute meaningfully to the selection of candidates for the president-elect position as well as the three new AAP board positions to ensure diversity and a broader representation of AAP’s stakeholders.

District IX

Edward S. Curry, M.D., FAAP

District chairperson candidate

Dr. Curry is immediate past president of AAP California Chapter 2. During his term as president, he was involved with advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels, which included multiple visits to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. He forged community collaborations with Los Angeles-area Head Start, San Bernardino Preschool Services, Regional Centers in Los Angeles County, and First 5 programs in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Dr. Curry has been involved in multiple leadership positions within California Chapter 2, including vice president, treasurer and member-at-large. He has been chair of the High School Biomedical Scholarship Committee since 2000, which has awarded over 80 scholarships to deserving high school students. He has been project leader for three Maintenance of Certification quality improvement projects on HPV and immunizations.

Dr. Curry has been a member of the Bright Futures Health Supervision Guidelines Steering Committee since 2008. He is involved with the workgroup from the California Department of Health Services to help implement Bright Futures Guidelines as the standard for pediatric preventive care in California. He is treasurer for California District IX. He was a member of the Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine from 2006-’12.

Dr. Curry earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He has been a partner pediatrician with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group at Kaiser Fontana for the past 34 years. He practices in the areas of general pediatrics, autism, and learning and behavior disorders.

Position statement

It is a privilege to be a candidate for District IX chairperson. I have been proud to be an AAP member because I believe in the AAP’s mission statement to attain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Yet today, the physical, mental and social health of children who rely on Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or the Affordable Care Act is being threatened. Immigrant children are threatened by deportation, separation from their parents or health care denied. Our AAP federal advocacy efforts have been outstanding in defending our children against these threats. Over the next few years, legislation to eliminate medical care from children will continue, so intense advocacy will be needed. This advocacy will require ongoing involvement of AAP leadership and you, our pediatricians. National AAP needs to have the conversation about whether we should support legislators who actively support our mission statement to attain optimal health for all children.

District IX is California’s statewide advocacy unit. California advocacy should be based on three principles. First, supporting and passing legislation that protects children from harmful products or businesses such as marijuana and e-cigarettes. Second, advocate keeping politicians out of the practice of medicine. Third, support and pass legislation that provides and protects health care for all children.

The practice of pediatrics has become more demanding with clinical duties, electronic medical records, and quality and regulatory requirements. National AAP needs to work with the American Board of Pediatrics, Joint Commission, National Committee for Quality Assurance and health insurance companies to ensure that any regulations or guidelines are clinically relevant, not onerous and implementable.

Another way to support pediatricians is to partner with community organizations with similar mission statements such as Head Start and First 5 California. These partnerships will provide pediatricians with community resources for their patients and families.

At the recent Head Start Family Engagement Conference, the theme was “All Wonderful Things You Will Be” by Emily Winfield Martin. One line in the book stood out: “Will you stand up for good by saving the day?” What I love about the AAP is that it always stands up for good.

Yasuko Fukuda, M.D., FAAP

District chairperson candidate

Dr. Fukuda is a general pediatrician in her hometown of San Francisco.

After graduating from University of California, Berkeley, with degrees in immunology/microbiology and the Japanese language, Dr. Fukuda attended Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn. During her third year of medical school, she spent six months in Hiroshima, Japan, conducting research on atomic bomb survivors. Upon completion of her pediatric residency at Children's Hospital Oakland in 1994, Dr. Fukuda joined the office of her own pediatrician, where she continues to practice, teach as clinical faculty with University of California, San Francisco, and volunteer in the community.

Starting with the San Francisco member-at-large position, Dr. Fukuda has continuously participated in AAP activities since 1996, culminating in her presidency of California Chapter 1. She served on the AAP National Nominating Committee until 2010, then on the AAP News Editorial Board. Dr. Fukuda is in her sixth year as AAP District IX vice chairperson.

Dr. Fukuda belongs to the AAP Sections on Infectious Diseases and Administration and Practice Management as well as the Council on Community Pediatrics Special Interest Group on Immigrant Health. An immunization project between the AAP and Japan Pediatric Society has provided an opportunity for international collaboration. In addition, Dr. Fukuda served on the boards of the California Immunization Coalition and Pediatric Federation and was recognized as an Immunization Champion in 2010.

Dr. Fukuda enjoys music, knitting and watching Yoshio, her 7-year-old Shiba Inu puppy do agility with her husband, Peter, on the sidelines with 5-year-old sister, Miya.

Position statement

The Academy is where I found my professional family allowing me to have a community and social role in taking care of children. My journey started locally as chapter president, on national AAP committees and now as District IX vice chairperson.

The national AAP is evolving with the new headquarters, a new strategic plan and the Blueprint for Children. My experience as chapter and district officer has prepared me to be a member of the national AAP board to tackle issues that face our organization. I hope to maintain our priorities in advocacy, professional support and wellness for all pediatricians, keeping our mission to support the well-being of all children. I feel privileged to work with the exceptional AAP staff who make our jobs a reality.

Under our dedicated district CEO, Kris Calvin, the four California chapters come together as AAP California, which is viewed as the “go-to” children’s organization especially by legislators. To meet that challenge, I believe I can lead our group while ensuring our operational and financial stability.

The political climate has demanded increased collaboration between national and state chapters with advocacy for children and what matters — protecting them with safe gun laws, access to better health care, addressing poverty and social issues, being inclusive of immigrants, gender and socioeconomic class.

My vision is that we continue to collaborate with many partners. Starting with families and community groups alongside all colleagues in medicine, including the California Medical Association/American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Family Physicians, we must raise our voices to preserve the essence of medical care and social justice in our country.

Finally, I am witness to the efforts of our many members. I applaud pediatric trainees and the young physicians who show inspirational leadership and energy. Academicians/subspecialists and general pediatricians in all types of practices have come together to stand up for taking care of children. I hope to engage with a diversity of AAP members in our ongoing work for the good of children and our profession.

I would consider it a privilege and honor to serve and represent AAP District IX as chairperson.

Eric H. Ball, M.D., FAAP

District vice chairperson candidate

Dr. Ball is a general pediatrician in private practice at Southern Orange County Pediatric Associates in Ladera Ranch, Calif. He is also a co-founder of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County Children’s Primary Care Network, a clinically integrated partnership of almost 100 pediatricians dedicated to population health. Prior to that, Dr. Ball trained at Stanford University, where he served as chief resident.

As president of AAP California Chapter 4, Dr. Ball has focused on quality improvement, community engagement and advocacy. He personally led two countywide quality improvement projects and is a prominent advocate for immunization policy both locally and in Sacramento. Dr. Ball serves in leadership roles with the Orange County Medical Association, CHOC Children’s Hospital and Monarch Healthcare. He also represents Orange County physicians as a delegate to the California Medical Association House of Delegates.

As District IX vice chairperson, Dr. Ball will continue to work with the California chapters to ensure that all children have access to high-quality pediatric care. His experience running a small practice, as well as developing a clinically integrated network, gives him unique insight into the practice of pediatrics from the bedside to the system level. A general pediatrician, Dr. Ball will also strive to advocate for his colleagues, working on efforts to enhance payment models, reduce burnout, improve work/life balance and engage young physicians.

Dr. Ball lives in Irvine, Calif., with his wife, 13-year-old son, 10-year-old daughter, and their two dogs, Twinkle and Everly.

Paula J. Whiteman, M.D., FACEP, FAAP

District vice chairperson candidate

Dr. Whiteman is passionate about the Academy. For 20 years, she has been actively involved, most recently as 2015-’18 District IX Chapter Forum Management Committee (CFMC) representative, 2014-’16 California Chapter 2 (AAP-CA2) president and AAP-CA2 representative, District Youth and Marijuana Working Group.

Dr. Whiteman is double boarded in emergency medicine (EM) and pediatric EM. As assistant professor of EM at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, she recently won the resident teaching award. She is director of Pediatric Emergency Services for Emergent Medical Associates, which staffs 16 emergency departments.

Under her chairmanship, AAP-CA2’s Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine transitioned into the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services EMS Agency Pediatric Advisory Committee for which she served as inaugural chair.

As chapter president, Dr. Whiteman oversaw the yearly continuing medical education conference becoming profitable, a multipractice quality improvement project, the largest influx of donations and the creation of a monthly newsletter, culminating in the AAP Award of Chapter Excellence two years in a row.

As CFMC representative, Dr. Whiteman wrote 5%-10% of Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) resolutions. Her ability to recognize the AAP’s most important issues resulted in her authoring in 2018, #1 and #3 resolutions on gun safety; in 2014, #1 resolution on marijuana advertising; in 2017, three of the ALF top 10. See her CFMC report on resolutions at

She has received several AAP special achievement awards for contributions to pediatric EM and advocacy on Caleb’s Law regarding pediatric dental anesthesia.

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