AAP Legislative Conference 2014
Advocacy is in the DNA of pediatricians, because everyday in clinics they are a voice for children they care for- to paraphrase Mark Del Monte, JD- AAP Chief Public Affairs Officer. Pediatricians need to first realize and then be reminded of this fact. AAP Legislative Conference is an opportunity to get hundreds of pediatricians of all ages together and get them energized about dreaming the best for all children. It’s easy to fall into routines and cynicism, but children deserve to remain at the forefront of discussions in Washington DC and at all decision making levels.
This year, the conference took place at an extremely opportune time, when school lunch standards and WIC scientific integrity were at stake on “the Hill”. The 1st two days of learning about federal advocacy culminated with a trip to the Capitol Hill where teams from various states visited their senators and representatives to urge for maintaining healthy school lunch standards and scientific basis for WIC food packages.
While the legislative conference turned out to be an immense learning and networking opportunity, the biggest lesson learned was that this was just the beginning of a journey. Staying engaged and creating an environment where change can occur are key elements to being an effective advocate.
– Irina Prelipcean, PGY2