History of the APA

APA Oral History Project

Interviews with Founders and Presidents to 1980, done in 2010 for 50th Anniversary of the APA
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Alvin Novack, MD, the 21st President of the APA
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Abraham "Abe" Bergman, MD, the 24th President of the APA
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The Academic Pediatric Association: The First 50 Years
Kenneth B. Roberts, MD, Ruth E.K. Stein, MD, Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH Academic Pediatrics 11(3):173-180

At the 1953 meeting of the American Pediatric Society and Society for Pediatric Research (APS-SPR), Barbara Korsch convened an informal gathering of individuals who shared the notion that outpatient care deserved more attention. Chairs, including those who were "not stereotyped with ambulatory pediatrics," such as Saul Krugman and Emmett Holt, attended, validating ambulatory pediatrics as "worthy of attention."1 Informal meetings ensued annually for several years. By the end of the decade, the sentiment of individuals such as Loren MacKinney was that it was time "to actually do some work."2 Barbara Korsch surveyed the meeting participants to determine what that work might be. The issues included space requirements; cost of providing outpatient care; time and workload; appointment systems; record system; relationship of general pediatrics to specialty clinics; standards for ambulatory care of patients with special needs and adolescents; health supervision; extensions of the traditional outpatient organization, such as home care; psychologic aspects; staffing; research potential; teaching; and child development.3 There was no lack of work to be done!
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The Ambulatory Pediatric Association
Joel J. Alpert, MD
Pediatrics 95(3):422-426.

Used with Permission.

The Ambulatory Pediatric Association (APA) held its 34th annual meeting in Seattle, Washington from May 2 to 5, 1994. Registrants participated in 31 workshops and 18 special interest groups. The Association of Ambulatory Pediatric Services held its first meeting in Swampscott, Massachusetts on May 2, 1960. Thirty-two pediatricians attended, most of whom were directors of pediatric outpatient departments (OPDs). The first Association of Ambulatory Pediatric Services scientific meeting was held at the Traymore Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 3, 1961. Five of ten papers submitted were presented in one evening session.

This essay describes the remarkable story of four decades of the APA and how this organization of over 1,500 members became the recognized voice of ambulatory academic pediatrics. The story is of achievements hoped for by the APA founding parents and accomplished by three generations of APA members.

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Joel Alpert APA Remembers Joel Alpert

Joel J. Alpert, MD, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Wayland, MA and East Parsonsfield, ME. Professor and chair Emeritus of the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) Department of Pediatrics, assistant dean for student affairs, member of the BUSM Dean's Advisory Board (DAB), and chief of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center (BMC) died Tuesday, December 31, 2013 of leukemia at the age of 83, born on May 9, 1930. Beloved husband of Barbara (Wasserstrom) Alpert. Devoted father of Norman Alpert and his wife Jane of Purchase, NY, Mark Alpert and his wife Michelle of Canton, Deborah Levin and her husband Steven of Wellesley. Adored grandfather of Caroline, Erin, Heidi, Adam and Natalie Alpert, Joshua and Zachary Levin and Samantha Alpert. Dear brother of Edith Slossberg and her husband Burton of Hamden, CT. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Dr. Alpert was a recognized leader in pediatrics. During his 42 years at BUSM and BMC (and its precursor Boston City Hospital) he pioneered pediatric primary care training, including continuity clinic sites at community health centers and the development of a curriculum that emphasized child development, advocacy and community care. BUMC's pediatric resident training in primary care in health centers was among the first in the United States. A graduate of Hillhouse High School, New Haven, CT Class of 1948,Yale College Class of 1952 and Harvard Medical School Class of 1956. Dr. Alpert completed his residency at Boston Children's Hospital and also trained as an Exchange Registrar at St. Mary's Hospital in London, UK from 1958 until 1959, he then served as Captain in the US Army at Ft. Leavenworth, KS from 1959 to 1961 and joined the Harvard faculty in 1961. He became professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at BUSM and Boston City Hospital in 1972. Dr. Alpert served as president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), where he received the AAP Job Lewis Smith Award in Community Pediatrics in 1994. He also served as president of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association (APA) and received the APA George Armstrong Award in 1992, the APA Lifetime Career Achievement Award in 2000, and the APA Public Policy and Advocacy Award in 2002.

To read his full obituary please click here

To read Joel's article on the history of the APA please click here

Joel Alpert on the APA:




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