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Voters' Guide: Meet the candidates for District I offices :

July 29, 2016
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The 2016 national AAP election for president-elect and district officers will begin on Oct. 21 and conclude on Nov. 21. Look for an  email message from the AAP election coordinator in October with your  personalized link to the ballot. No other login information will be  required.

Members will be asked to choose their next  president-elect: Michael T. Brady, M.D., FAAP, or Colleen A. Kraft,  M.D., FAAP. The winner will serve as the 2018 AAP president.

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. Visit  coverage of the candidates in District IDistrict IIDistrict IVDistrict VDistrict VII and District IX. The new president-elect and newly elected district officers will take office on Jan. 1, 2017.

AAP News election coverage continues at http://www.aappublications.org/collection/voters-guide and at the AAP Election Center, www.aap.org/election (login required). Read profiles of the president-elect candidates at http://bit.ly/295ddV2 and http://bit.ly/28XxCIa.

If you have any questions on the election procedures, contact Katie Friedman at 800-433-9016, ext. 4296, or kfriedman@aap.org.

All members are urged to vote.

Editor’s note: Biographies and personal statements were submitted by the candidates.

District I

Wendy S. Davis, M.D., FAAP 

District Chairperson candidate

Biography

Dr. Davis received her M.D. degree from the University of Virginia, completed pediatric residency and chief residency at Cleveland’s Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and a general pediatrics fellowship at Yale University. Subsequently, she practiced general pediatrics at the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine (clinical professor of pediatrics) from 1987-2008, directing the Division of General Pediatrics and providing consultation to the Vermont Department of Health (VDH). In 2007, she became director of maternal and child health at VDH, then served as Vermont’s health commissioner (2008-’11) and as Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program chief (2011-’13). In 2013, she returned to UVM’s Vermont Child Health Improvement Program, where she oversees state and national pediatric quality improvement initiatives.

AAP experience has been extensive, both locally and nationally. As Vermont Chapter president, Dr. Davis concentrated on primary care-public health integration to improve health care delivery and outcomes, focusing on the state’s most vulnerable populations. On the national level, she has served as District I National Nominating Committee representative and vice chairperson, with liaison roles to the Section on Early Career Physicians and the Chapter Forum Management Committee.

Ongoing involvement with a broad range of pediatricians and their child health allies in local and national quality improvement has lent insights on leveraging AAP assistance to pediatricians, patients and families in both practice transformation and health reform implementation.

Position statement

I am honored to be a candidate for District I chairperson at a critical time in the AAP’s history. The AAP has been my professional home over many years as a Vermont community pediatrician, medical school faculty member and in public health roles as Vermont director of maternal and child health and health commissioner. My interests in child health advocacy have inspired me to take on AAP leadership roles, serving as Vermont Chapter president and District I vice chairperson (DVC). My experiences affirm my belief that improving outcomes for large numbers of children and families means going beyond the important work within our practices to involve our neighborhoods, communities, states and regions as we face changes in health care delivery.

In District I, we can share ideas and learn from each other. As DVC, my review of chapter annual reports and grant applications has revealed the outstanding accomplishments of our members. We are more alike than different, and we can learn from and leverage each other’s successes for the collective good. As your District I chair, I would strengthen district communication channels to disseminate information throughout the district. We can apply the principles of quality improvement to undertake meaningful initiatives within District I, such as the one under discussion to improve HPV vaccine coverage rates. We can use our District I expertise to enhance evolving delivery systems.

The District I chair becomes part of the AAP Board, and I welcome facing the many challenges that lay ahead: the economic survival of primary care and specialty pediatric practice; addressing violence prevention, toxic stress and the social determinants of health in our daily work; and supporting all of our members through changes in federal and local administrations. I am most excited about the work of our Sections on Medical Students, Residents and Fellowship Trainees and Early Career Physicians. Lessons learned from our past can help us shape a vibrant future.

I would be honored to apply my leadership experience in primary care, academic medicine and public health to support pediatricians and help improve health outcomes for District I.

Peter D. Rappo, M.D., FAAP

District Chairperson candidate

Biography

Dr. Rappo is a pediatric generalist who has practiced in Brockton, Mass., for the last 38 years in a 10-physician/two-nurse practitioner group. He attended medical school at the University of Vermont and did his pediatric training at the Boston Floating Hospital.

Dr. Rappo has served the Academy at the state, district and national levels. At the state level, he was chapter vice president, president and chair of the Committee on Children with Disabilities. He currently is chair of the pediatric council. On the district level, he has been a National Nominating Committee member and alternate district chair. On the national level, he served as chair of the Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, chair of the Council on Pediatric Practice and, until recently, chair of the Private Payer Advocacy Advisory Committee.

In Massachusetts, he has been vice president and president of the Plymouth District Medical Society, was a founding member of the Pilgrim Independent Practice Association and is chair the Pediatric Quality Committee for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

He has held teaching appointments at Harvard, Tufts and Boston University Schools of Medicine. His clinical interests include children with special health care needs and lead poisoning.

Dr. Rappo is married with three adult children and resides in North Easton, Mass.

Position statement

It is my distinct honor to have been nominated as the chair for District I. As a member of our Academy's Board of Directors, I would fully support the AAP's mission to support the health and well-being of children, adolescents and young adults. At the AAP Board of Directors meeting held from Jan. 22-29, the board acknowledged the need to enhance communications between national and chapter leaders. It is intuitive that this engagement could be facilitated by the district leadership. My extensive service at the state, district and national levels would allow me to provide significant support to the members of my district.

As a primary care pediatrician, I am fully cognizant of the challenges of medical practice. The topic of burnout seems to be increasingly on the minds of primary care physicians. Increasing job demands leads to frustration and exhaustion, but not necessarily to disengagement. Lack of support services leads to disengagement, but not necessarily to frustration. The combination of both factors will inevitably lead to burnout. It would be my commitment to work with the chapter committees and councils to bring best practice opportunities to the membership whether they are in private practice, hospital practice or medical and surgical subspecialties.

I believe our Academy has the expertise to deal with new payment models, accountable care organizations, new practice paradigms, and the ability to integrate physicians completing their training with those physicians who are more seasoned in practice. In so far as I have participated in the formation of an independent practice association, a physician hospital organization and an integrated care network, I believe that the membership would benefit from strategies to deal more effectively with electronic health record demands, high-deductible plans, enhancements to practice and personal revenues, and deal with patient satisfaction metrics. I would look forward to bringing this knowledge to the members of my district.

If elected district chair, I would bring my expertise in practice management, coding and physician advocacy to the membership of District I. It would also be my goal to assure that pediatricians appreciate the power of what they do.

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