President's Message

Sue Bostwick

Hello APA members.

It is hard to believe that my year as APA President is almost over. The year definitely flew by.  I recently had the opportunity to visit with many of you at the annual spring regional meetings. Sue Bostwick (Immediate Past- President), Paul Chung (President –Elect) and I were honored to attend all the regional meetings across the country. We found these meetings to be uniformly excellent and inspiring. They offered outstanding opportunities for students, residents and fellows to join our members and present very interesting abstracts and case reports. The scholarship presented at the meetings was impressive.  I was also very impressed by the invited speakers and workshop leaders who presented on a variety of important topics. I left with numerous valuable tips to improve my clinical care and my ability to teach trainees. Most importantly, there were several networking events at lunch and in the evenings prior to the meetings.  Many thanks to our Region Chairs whose extraordinary efforts made these conferences so successful.

Now we are preparing for the PAS meeting. Our APA Board will get together in the days before the meeting to continue our work on new policies and our Strategic Plan.  We will also consider creative proposals to engage leaders and educators, a survey of members about wellness and stress in their daily work, and ideas to engage our current members and increase membership, enticing more residents to join our ranks.

The PAS meeting should be fantastic.  I hope you are preparing to come to Baltimore.  Each year there are more and more physicians joining us from all over the world, making this a very exciting international forum for academic pediatricians and trainees at all levels.  The quality of the science at this meeting is always outstanding. This is in part due to the many APA members who reviewed and scored the research abstracts and workshop proposals for the meeting. Thank you for your efforts!

The PAS app should be available soon and this will allow you to plan your individual schedule and navigate the complex meeting.  In the meantime, let me tell you about some of the highlights.  Of course, our 40 + SIGs will have terrific presentations with national and international leaders discussing important issues. There are very few forums like our SIGs for academic leaders to share their knowledge and opinions.  This year, the Race in Medicine SIG will join the Injury SIG and will address the “Intersection of Race and Pediatric Injury”.  The Emergency Medicine SIG will focus on telemedicine. The list of fascinating sessions goes on and on.  Many of the SIGs even offer travel grants for trainees to attend.  There will also be dozens of new and innovative workshops led by APA members.  In addition, the Keynote Address at the PAS Opening Session on Saturday 4/27 will feature an outstanding speaker, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha (an APA member and a former keynote for APA’s Environmental Health Retreat), who will discuss the lead contamination water crisis in Flint, Michigan.  I had the privilege of hearing her speak at our APA Region II meeting last year, and I am convinced that this is one talk you don’t want to miss.   Likewise, two sessions you should not miss include, the “Biologic Impact of Racism on Chronic Disease Development” on Sunday 4/28 and “Reducing Childhood Poverty by Half in 10 years” on Monday 4/29.   On Saturday, 4/27 the APA will again host the annual New Members Orientation and we will also help First-Time Attendees to get the best out of the PAS meeting.  We will also hold the annual Speed Mentoring event. This is always a coveted session that pairs trainees and early-career faculty members with experienced APA leaders and mentors. Back up mentors and mentees are always needed so if you didn’t register for the event, bring your CV to the Hilton Key Ballrooms 5-6 by 12:15 pm on Saturday, April 27 to participate.

Our APA Plenary Session on Monday 4/29 from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm will feature four outstanding abstract presentations and the George Armstrong Award Lecture.  This year we are honored to have our own Past-President (and past AAP President) Dr. Benard Dreyer give this prestigious lecture.  Benard will speak on, “The Hate U Give: Protecting Children and Families from Bias, Discrimination and Hatred”.  I look forward to a moving and exceptional address.

Please plan to attend our Membership Meeting on Sunday afternoon, starting at 3:45 pm. We will celebrate several members with prominent awards.  In addition, Region II will defend their national title at our annual APA Jeopardy Contest! This should be a very competitive, educational and fun event. Lastly, I will turn over the reigns of APA President to Dr. Paul Chung.  (Yea!)

New this year, the APA is hosting a Wellness Lounge. This unique concept comes from our Wellness and Resiliency Task Force, chaired by Arvin Garg and Jan Serwint.  If you need a place to just sit and relax, away from the PAS crowds, stop by the Blake room in the Hilton Hotel to listen to soothing music and enjoy some “down-time”.  The Wellness Lounge will be open on Saturday, April 27 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, on Sunday, April 28 from 8:00 am – 10:00 am, and on Monday, April 29 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Most importantly, the PAS meeting is a chance to connect with APA colleagues, collaborators and associates from all over the country.  I hope you will get to catch up with friends at our Region Breakfasts on Monday, at the daily poster sessions and the many receptions.  For me, the networking is always the best part of PAS.  We look forward to a great meeting.  See you in Baltimore!

Steven M. Selbst, MD




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