Report from Dr. Lavin's Meeting with the American Academy of Pediatrics national Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health

Report from Dr. Lavin's Meeting with the 
American Academy of Pediatrics national 
Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health


This weekend, I was honored to attend my first meeting of the American Academy of Pediatric’s national committee charged with developing policy for the Academy in psychological and social issues confronting children and their families.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the world’s largest organization of pediatricians, founded in the 1920’s to promote the provision of free milk to children in need.  As such, it is one of the only professional societies formed to help the client, not the professional, and the AAP continues to operate in that spirit, with a fierce devotion to the well-being of children.  The Committee that I was recently appointed to is formally designated as the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health (the Committee).  The AAP is the voice of America’s pediatricians, and as such has a widely respected voice here in America and around the world.  It gathers leaders and experts in various fields to form its Committees that in turn, develop expert approaches to policies devised to respond to the most pressing challenges to children.

The Committee meets at AAP headquarters in Chicago (see photo), and included pediatricians, child psychiatrists, pediatric nurse practitioners, and child psychologists from around the country.  I represented pediatricians from the Midwest region around Ohio.  Our agenda presented us with the opportunity to develop policy responses to a very wide range of issues.

These included:
  • Helping children respond to the stresses of having parents in the military
  • Approaches to helping pediatricians determine the best approach to educational psychological evaluations
  • Thinking about how best to screen children in a pediatric practice for mental health problems
  • Preparing the child who may have to testify in court
  • Supporting the family in the event of the death of a child
  • An analysis of the roots and responses to poverty in the US
  • Presenting insights from emerging neuroscience on how best to parent children
  • Developing guidance on discipline
  • Enhancing the role of fathers in the raising of children

Over time, Committee deliberations lead to policy reports that are published in the leading medical journal of our specialty, Pediatrics.

The Committee also had the opportunity to review a wide range of emerging trends in policies relevant to families and children at the Federal level and across many states.

Finally, the Committee heard from their liaisons from a wide range of the nation’s leading professional societies devoted to helping children, such as American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

It was indeed an honor and privilege to participate in these deliberations and to add my voice to the development of important policy positions of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  An added benefit to this work will be the opportunity for me to hear your voice on these issues.  So, if you take a look at the list of issues that the Committee is addressing, as I report it to you from time to time, please let me know if you have thoughts on these important issues.

Finally, many thanks to the families of Advanced Pediatrics.  It is truly the case that only by your trust in our care that we have had the opportunity to learn together and be in a position to even consider participating in this important work.

Thank you,
Dr. Arthur Lavin

Arthur Lavin, MD FAAP
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Advanced Pediatrics
A small, attentive, independent practice focused on the well-being and success of each child 
3733 Park East Drive- Suite 102
Beachwood, OH  44122

216-591-1515 (Office)
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