Speak Out for Kids!
The American Academy of Pediatrics views advocacy as speaking out on behalf of your patients. There are four levels of advocacy in which you can engage as a pediatrician:
Individual Advocacy — Individual advocacy is the direct care and resources you provide to your patients. This might be done by making patient referrals, following up with a school nurse, or reporting a case of child abuse to the state Child Protective Services.
Community Advocacy — Community advocacy builds on individual advocacy but benefits the children in the broader community. Community advocacy takes into consideration the environmental, social, and economic factors that impact the health and well-being of your patients and children in your community. As a pediatrician you can be an advocate in collaborative partnerships such Early ACCESS or a local school health advisory board.
State Advocacy — IA AAP engages in state policy and budget advocacy on child health and well-being issues. Our legislative/government affairs committee develops strategies and messages to address the IA AAP strategic priorities in the legislature, with the Governor and administrative branch, and in the judicial process. The IA AAP professional staff facilitates advocacy on behalf of our members and Iowa’s children.
Federal Advocacy — Federal advocacy involves using your voice to advocate on behalf of national laws, legislation, and policy that affect child health. Most notably, the AAP works on issues related to Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and the federal Maternal and Child Health block grant.
How can IA AAP members be involved in advocacy?
Listed below are a few ways to get involved:
- Join the IA AAP legislative committee.
- Attend the annual Legislative Breakfast at the State Capitol
- Volunteer to provide expert testimony on IA AAP strategic priorities.
- Follow state legislative developments and contact the Iowa governor and/or state legislators about issues important to you.
- Follow federal policy developments
- Learn about Resident/Student Advocacy Capacity Building, which provides training and annual day at the capitol for residents and medical students.