American Academy of Pediatrics: AAP. Its member pediatricians "dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults." According to the Academy, it had as of 1998 some 53,000 members in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Over 34,000 of them were board-certified and called Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP).
The American Academy of Pediatrics was founded in June, 1930 by 35 pediatricians who met in Detroit in response to the need for an independent pediatric forum to address children's needs. When the Academy was established, the idea that children have special developmental and health needs was a new one. Preventive health practices now associated with child care - such as immunizations and regular health exams - were only just beginning to change the custom of treating children as "miniature adults."
The activities of the Academy now include advocacy for children and youth; public education; research; professional education; membership service and advocacy for pediatricians. One of the Academy's major activities also is to further the professional education of its members; continuing education courses, biannual scientific meetings, seminars, publications and statements from committees and sections form the basis of a continuing postgraduate educational program. More than 30 committees develop many of the Academy's positions and programs. Committees have interests as varied as injury and poison prevention, disabled children, sports medicine, nutrition and child health financing.
The Academy publishes the scientific journal called Pediatrics monthly; Pediatrics in Review, its continuing education journal; and the monthly membership newspaper AAP News. It also periodically publishes manuals on such topics as infectious diseases and school health. In its public education efforts, the AAP produces patient education brochures, Healthy Kids magazine, and a series of child care books written by AAP members. Each year the Academy designates October as Child Health Month to emphasize the importance of preventive health care and other child health issues. The Academy executes original research in social, economic and behavioral areas and promotes funding of research. It maintains a Washington Office to ensure that children's health needs are taken into consideration as legislation and public policy are developed. The AAP's state advocacy staff provides assistance to chapters, promoting issues such as child safety legislation and Medicaid policies that increase access to care for low-income children.
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