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MNAAP Newsletter

A Prescription to Vote

Eric Dick headshotBy Eric Dick, MNAAP Lobbyist

Political attack ads are omnipresent on TV and radio, our mail is filled with glossy political mailers, and yard signs dot neighborhoods across the state. While the presidential campaign is dominating much of the chatter among the political class and media, here in Minnesota all 201 legislative seats are on the ballot. Control of the House and Senate – and thus control of the legislative agenda in 2017 – is at stake.

Now is the time of year that candidates are appearing at your doorstep asking for your vote, participating in debates and forums at your local library, or shaking hands at the high school football game on Friday night. There are few better times to put questions to those candidates who are asking for your vote. Below are good questions to consider as candidates appear before you.

• How will you work to support health care access for all children?
• How will you put children and child health care at the top of your agenda?
• Which of key health disparities among Minnesota’s children would be a priority for you?
• Can I count on you to support efforts to invest in children’s health and well-being?

The challenges facing Minnesota’s children are real. One in five children in America live in poverty; they live in homes with food insecurity. All too many children and teens are the victims of violence, and community resources for the treatment of mental illness are woefully lacking. Minnesota’s youngest citizens face enormous racial and economic disparities in health care and education.
And while Minnesota is by many measures is the healthiest states in the nation, we have one of the weakest immunization laws in the country. We can do better by our kids.

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Word from the MNAAP President: Dr. Andrew Kiragu


Dear colleagues, we are in the midst of election season and of what is likely one of the most consequential elections in recent times.

It goes without saying that the results of this election will have significant implications for children and their families here in the United States and around the world. While the media focus has been largely on the presidential contest, down-ballot state and local races also matter. I urge each one of you to vote and, if necessary, provide clinical coverage for your colleagues where possible so that they get a chance to vote as well.

What it comes down to is the need to approach this election with a view to which elected officials will best prioritize the needs of children and families.

The AAP has put forth a “Blueprint for Children” and I hope you will take a moment to read it. It is a wonderful document that outlines the key issues of concern facing our nations children. It presents specific policy recommendations for the federal government to align its activities to promote the health of children, support families, build communities, and ensure that our country leads the way for children.

The AAP website also has a “prescription to vote” this can be downloaded, printed and given to your patients and their parents encouraging them to vote.

Regardless of the result, our role as pediatricians will be to continue to strongly advocate for children locally, nationally and around the world. “Vote Kids!”


Promoting Updated Sleep Recommendations: What Communities Need to Know

By Keith L. Cavanaugh, MD, FAAP, FCCP, ABIM, Medical Director, The Sleep Center at Children’s Minnesota,
& Julie Dahl, APRN, CNP, Executive Director, MN Sleep Society School Start Time Committee, Respiratory Consultants PA

As pediatricians, we commit our lives to the well-being of children. I state the obvious, pointing out the concerns you would have if you saw a toddler unattended by a swimming pool, a child riding a bicycle without a helmet or a teenager texting while driving. These things should scare you to see a child at risk for harm. What if you saw a toddler in a supermarket at 9 p.m., a child at hockey practice at 8 p.m. or a high school student with four hours of homework keeping him or her up past midnight? Do these scenarios draw the same level of concern? They should. Adequate sleep is as critical as nutrition when it comes a child’s success in life.

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Pain-Reducing Measures in the Office Setting for Pediatric and Adolescent Immunizations

By Katy M. Bos, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, PCNS-BC – Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Mayo Clinic and Robert M. Jacobson, M.D., F.A.A.P. – Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Director, Employee and Community Health and Southeast Minnesota Region Immunization Programs, Mayo Clinic

Bos_Katy_M_16JL robert-jacobson-bw

Part of a child’s routine medical care is vaccinations. In the first six years, a child will get up to 25 to 30 injections. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that needle pokes are a painful and anxiety-provoking health-related experience, potentially leading to a lifetime of fear of needles, vaccine non-compliance, negative health attitudes, and health care avoidance behaviors by children and their caregivers. The WHO also expressed concern that these negative effects could potentially lead to lower vaccine coverage rates and risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.

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Nurse-Family Partnership in Minnesota

By Stacy Walters, MD, Park Nicollet Pediatrics

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is an evidence-based community health program with over 38 years of randomized, controlled trials demonstrating multi-generational outcomes for first-time mothers and their children living in poverty.

Positive Outcomes for Clients Served by Minnesota’s Nurse-Family Partnership

  • 93% of all children received all recommended immunizations by 24 months
  • 91% of babies were born full term and 90% were born at a healthy weight
  • 85% of mothers initiated breastfeeding
  • 49% of mothers who entered the program without a diploma/GED have since earned one, and another 27% are working toward one

Cummulative data as of Sept. 30, 2015. This data does not include outcomes from the Tribal communities.

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