Attendees at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Boston will be addressed by O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP.
Dr. Burton will outline AAP efforts to advance its agenda for children and reflect on his year as AAP president. In his talk, Dr. Burton will focus on maintaining the advances made, while not losing ground as budget cuts threaten to dismantle prior successes.
Hard-won victories related to environmental and medical product protections for children are being challenged. Work remains to ensure inappropriate gag laws do not interfere with pediatricians discussing health and safety issues with families. Gains such as new immunization administration codes that enable pediatricians to recover the costs of delivering multi-component vaccines could be endangered as budgets are slashed and Medicaid reimbursements are challenged. The Affordable Care Act, which the AAP supported, is under scrutiny as more beneficiaries are added and costs shifted to state governments low on funds.
"Physicians and government agencies must continue to work together to ensure the improvements made in the infrastructure of children's health care and safety remain intact," Dr. Burton said.
Dr. Burton will also discuss AAP international efforts, and particularly the Helping Babies Breathe initiative, which is saving newborns in resource-limited countries and helping move toward the Millennium goal of reducing deaths of children under age 5 by two-thirds by 2015.
Dr. Burton will also address AAP's leading role in the evolving science of well child care and health supervision. The AAP has created strategic priorities around early brain and child development and epigenetics, and is leading the efforts of the Head Start National Center on Health cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Head Start. The AAP continues to validate and improve its Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children and Adolescents, which will further strengthen pediatricians as the physicians most appropriate to oversee the health care of the world's children.
Dr. Burton is the 2010-2011 president of the AAP. He is a community pediatrician and associate dean for clinical affairs and director of community pediatrics at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. A graduate of Clemson University and Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), he trained at MUSC and at Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Burton and his wife, Debbie, live in Columbia, S.C., and have six children and seven grandchildren.