While writing an editorial for her local newspaper on the importance of paid family and medical leave (PFML), Kimberly Montez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, drew on her own experience of not having access to PFML. She also researched resources she could use to support her position.
She found an AAP policy statement on parental leave for residents. However, the Academy did not have a policy supporting federal legislation on PFML even though it has been advocating for paid leave for years. This led her to pursue support for such a policy.
Dr. Montez knew the resolution process was an effective avenue for AAP members to elevate important topics to AAP leadership. Resolutions are heard at the annual Leadership Conference, formerly called the Annual Leadership Forum (ALF). Leaders from all chapters, districts, committees, councils and sections gather at AAP Headquarters in Itasca, Ill. Drawing on their diverse perspectives and expertise, they debate and vote on resolutions, which provide input to the AAP Board of Directors on the direction of policies and other activities.
During the process of writing a resolution on PFML, Dr. Montez was connected with Christiane Dammann, M.D., chair of the AAP Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine’s Women in Neonatology group, who shared a passion for PFML. They co-authored a resolution for the 2020 ALF titled “Advocate for Paid Parental Leave and Mother/Baby-Friendly Workplaces” (https://bit.ly/2MqHAL7).
During the conference each year, leaders vote on the top 10 resolutions they feel the Academy should prioritize. The PFML resolution was ranked No. 8 from 90 submitted in 2020.
Afterward, Dr. Montez and Dr. Dammann spearheaded the effort to write a policy statement on PFML, which is under development. The AAP also has continued advocating for a national PFML policy.
Dr. Montez’s positive experience inspired her to continue writing resolutions. In 2021, she teamed up with Lori Legano, M.D., FAAP, and Allison Empey, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Native American Child Health, to author “Accountability Through Measurement — Improving Diversity and Inclusivity in Pediatrics Through Metric-Driven Data” (https://bit.ly/34iiuH7). The resolution was voted No. 6 from 60 submitted.
Dr. Montez said she believes advocacy is a core tenet of the AAP, and the resolution process is an excellent opportunity for pediatricians to engage in shaping the Academy’s advocacy agenda.
Guidance on writing a resolution
Members who are passionate about important child health topics or AAP issues can help shape the priorities of the Academy by writing a resolution.
All 10 AAP districts have a Chapter Forum Management Committee representative (https://bit.ly/3XHh1QJ), who can guide members through the resolution writing process.
The following resources also can help:
- Guidelines for Resolutions provides detailed information about writing and submitting resolutions
- Resolution Roadmap is a visual representation of the Guidelines for Resolutions
- Infographic with basic information on resolutions
- Infographic with detailed information about how to write a resolution
- Short video explaining how to submit a resolution
- 2023 resolution template
The 2023 Leadership Conference is scheduled for Aug. 3-6 in Itasca, Ill. Resolutions should be submitted to email@example.com by 11:59 p.m. CT April 1.