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Chapter Initiatives

Poverty & Toxic Stress


New Tool for Making Local Support Service Referrals

capitol-area-food-bankThe Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) applauded the AAP’s recent policy statement on Food Security. They loved it so much, their CEO Nancy Roman even blogged about it. As these screenings become standard practice, the Capital Area Food Bank’s new Food Bank Network is a great tool for child health providers to use for clinical referrals to social services.

Last month, The CAFB offered a webinar to provide health care partners with a short training to learn how to use this online platform to make referrals for food, social services, housing, child care, employment etc. in seconds.  The archived webinar can be found here:  https://auntbertha-2.wistia.com/medias/fisq0gowxw


DC Chapter’s Fall Meeting Focuses on Provider Wellness

DC AAP welcomed over 50 attendees at DC AAP’s Fall Meeting and CME symposium on Provider Wellness: Navigating Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma, on October 6th at Maggiano’s. The evening was generously sponsored by DC AAP, the Bainum Family Foundation; Children’s National Health System and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Early Childhood Innovation Network; and McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Johnson and Johnson Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide.

Attendees joined an interactive discussion on the importance of identifying the personal and professional impact on child health providers of caring for children and families, particularly those experiencing trauma and toxic stress.

fall-mtg-picture1

93% of attendees at DC AAP’s Fall Meeting responded, “Yes, I have been emotionally affected by my patient’s traumatic experiences.”

An expert presentation on recognizing the signs of burnout and secondary traumatic stress was given by childhood trauma and abuse pediatricians:

  • Allison M. Jackson, MD, MPH, FAAP, Division Chief, Freddie Mac Foundation Child & Adolescent Protection Center, Children’s National Health System; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, The George Washington University School of Health Sciences.
  • Leena S Dev, MD, FAAP, Child Abuse Pediatrician, Maryland Child Abuse Medical Providers Network (CHAMP); General Pediatrician, Frederick, MD.
Dr. Alison Jackson and Dr. Leena Dev highlight the differences between burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue.

Dr. Alison Jackson and Dr. Leena Dev highlight the differences between burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue.

Child health providers were also invited to complete a professional quality of life screen to analyze their own risk and personal experience with compassion fatigue/vicarious trauma. Attendees then had an opportunity to participate in small group conversations about how they cope with stress and burnout, followed by an interactive shared learning discussion, led by Drs. Jackson and Dev, on how to develop strategies to promote individual and staff wellness.

Ways to Handle Stress

Ways to Handle Stress

Sraddha Laura Elizabeth Dorsett leads a guided mindfulness exercise.

Sraddha Laura Elizabeth Dorsett leads a guided mindfulness exercise.

To promote personal wellness, attendees were also invited to try out mindfulness techniques led by Sraddha Laura Elizabeth Dorsett, M.T.S., RYT-500, IYT-300, Teacher, Insight Meditation Community of Washington; Founder, Georgetown Yoga Therapy; Yoga Therapist & Meditation Teacher, Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine. To experience a 3-minute meditation, please visit Sraddha’s website.

DC AAP was also happy to invite child psychologists and psychiatrists to share the great work that DC MAP (Mental Health Access in Pediatrics) does to improve mental health integration within pediatric primary care. DC MAP makes a mental health consultation team available by telephone to assist primary care physicians with managing patients’ mental health needs.

Overall it was an informative evening and DC AAP was excited to be able to offer attendees 2.0 CME credits through George Washington University’s Office of Continuing Education in the Health Professions.

“You guys are doing a great job putting together events that are pertinent to my practice, and attending them has proven so worthwhile. Sometimes it’s hard to convince myself to go after a long day in the clinic, especially as it means I won’t get to see my kiddos before they go to bed that night, but both times I have been so glad I attended! I have left feeling invigorated and with a new sense of commitment to the work I’m doing.” Amanda Joy Johnson, FNP (DC AAP member)

DC AAP looks forward to continuing to work with our chapter members as well as policymakers and other key stakeholders to discuss the importance of individual and staff wellness in developing a trauma-informed, system-wide approach to addressing toxic stress with patients and families.


DC Chapter’s First Community Health Connect Happy Hour is a Great Success

DC AAP welcomed nearly 70 attendees at DC AAP’s first DC Community Health Connect Happy Hour, co-hosted with George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Rodham Institute, on July 19th at Busboys and Poets. The evening was generously sponsored by DC AAP, The Bainum Family Foundation, and The Rodham Institute.

Current and former  Children’s National Medical Center residents reunite at DC AAP Community Health Connect Happy Hour

Current and former Children’s National Medical Center residents reunite at DC AAP Community Health Connect Happy Hour

Over 40 chapter members, as well as other community-based child health care providers, joined a discussion with featured guests about the importance of developing a trauma-informed, system-wide approach for early childhood care in DC. The featured guests included:

  • Brenda Donald, MPA, DC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, who led a discussion on moving upstream, integrating trauma informed careand building community partnerships to help families become more resilient.
  • Jenny Crawford, J.D., LCSW-C, Director of Integrated Behavioral Health at CCI Health & Wellness Services, who spoke about CCI’s recent experience with incorporating ACEs screening into clinical practice.
    Contact Information: Jenny.Crawford@cciweb.org, 240-839-5901.
  • Matthew Biel MD, M.Sc. Division Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, who shared information about DC MAP (DC Mental Health Access in Pediatrics), which provides real-time telephonic mental health consultation to assist primary care physicians with managing patients’ mental health needs.
    Contact Information: 1-844-30 dc map (1-844-303-2627), info@dcmap.org.
  • Rebecca Heagy, LICSW, Family Services Coordinator at Georgia Avenue Family Support Collaborative, who spoke about parenting and family support services offered at the DC’s five family support collaboratives.
    Contact Information: rheagy@gafsc-dc.org, (202) 722-1815.
  • Mia Morrison, MPH, Healthy Families America Program Manager at Mary’s Center, who spoke about DC’s home visiting program run by Mary’s Center, which takes referrals from all area clinics and practices.
    Contact Information: mmorrison@maryscenter.org, 202.545.8081.
  • Timothy Elliott, LICSW, Psychotherapist/Coordinator for LGBT Youth Mental Health Programs; and Jennafer Kwait, PhD, MHS, LGBT Research Manager at Whitman-Walker Health, who spoke about strategies to support LGBTQ youth wellness in clinical behavioral health practice.
    Contact Information: TElliott@whitman-walker.org, JKwait@whitman-walker.org
  • Mikhail Kogan, MD, Medical Director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine, who spoke about GW’s integrative medicine nonprofit for the underserved and led attendees in a meditative breathing exercise.
  • Ambrose Lane, Chairman of the Health Alliance Network, who spoke about the importance of community-based advocacy work to address health care injustice.
Marcee White, DC AAP President; Gigi El-Bayoumi, Director/Founder of the Rodham Institute; and Monique Duwell of the Rodham Institute.

Marcee White, DC AAP President; Gigi El-Bayoumi, Director/Founder of the Rodham Institute; and Monique Duwell of the Rodham Institute.

Following the presentations, attendees had an opportunity to network with featured guests and colleagues.

Wendy Ellis, Milken Institute School of Public Health; Ambrose Lance, Health Alliance Network; and Ankoor Shah, DC AAP Vice-President.

Wendy Ellis, Milken Institute School of Public Health; Ambrose Lance, Health Alliance Network; and Ankoor Shah, DC AAP Vice-President.

DC AAP looks forward to continuing to work with chapter members, policymakers and other stakeholders to support an effective early learning system for infants and toddlers in the District. In August, DC AAP will invite chapter members to take a short, 10-minute online survey to help identify barriers child health providers encounter when implementing practice change(s) to address ACEs and toxic stress. The survey results will inform DC AAP ‘s continued efforts with the Bainum Family Foundation to help identify necessary policy changes to help providers address toxic stress and improve health outcomes. DC AAP members who complete the online survey will be entered into a raffle to win a free iPad mini.

View more photos from this event »


Spring Symposium on Toxic Stress Draws Over 100 Attendees

DC AAP welcomed over 100 attendees at the DC AAP Annual Spring Dinner and CME Symposium at Maggiano’s on April 14th. The evening was generously sponsored by The Bainum Family Foundation and The Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation. The topic of the night was Understanding and Addressing Toxic Stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Members from ChildrensHealth & NCCPeds: by Shannon Brockman

Members from ChildrensHealth & NCCPeds: by Shannon Brockman

Over 80 chapter members were joined by other allied health providers, federal and local government agency staff, MCO officials, funders, business leaders and community advocates, who were treated to interesting and informative presentations, a delicious meal and an opportunity to network with colleagues. The evening began with a viewing of Wounded Places, Episode 4 of the documentary series The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of our Nation. Presenters included experts in the field of epigenetics, early brain and child development, community and behavioral pediatrics, and federal and state policy:

  • David W. Willis, MD, FAAP, Current Director of the Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau within the Health Resources and Services Administration, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services gave a talk entitled The Science, the Opportunity and Breakthrough Strategies for Health and Early Childhood Systems Integration.
  • Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD, a Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine presented on Redefining Pediatric Care: Innovative Community Partnerships in Trauma-Informed Care. Dr. Boynton-Jarrett is also the Founding Director of Vital Village Community Engagement Network.
Dr. Renee Boynton Jarrett and panelists: by Kim Keymer

Dr. Renee Boynton Jarrett and panelists: by Kim Keymer

Following the presentations, Dr. Lee Beers, Past President of DC AAP; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Diana L. and Stephen A. Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health; Medical Director for Municipal and Regional Affairs at the Child Health Advocacy Institute, Children’s National Health System facilitated a panel discussion about early childhood systems and resources in DC. The presenters were joined on the panel by:

  • Matthew Biel MD, M.Sc. Division Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital; Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine, who spoke about a new collaboration between Children’s National Health System and Georgetown University Hospital to create the DC Early Childhood Innovation Network.
  • BB Otero, former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, District of Columbia; President, Otero Strategy Group, who spoke about the work of the Bainum Family Foundation’s Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance.

DC AAP was also happy to invite child psychologists and psychiatrists to share the great work that DC MAP (Mental Health Access in Pediatrics) does to improve mental health integration within pediatric primary care. DC MAP makes a mental health consultation team available by telephone to assist primary care physicians with managing patients’ mental health needs.

ACEs infographic and attendee packet: by Shannon-Brockman

ACEs infographic and attendee packet: by Shannon-Brockman

Overall it was an informative evening, one that DC AAP was excited to offer CME credits for, for the first time! For attendees who would like to claim 2.5 CME credits for attending DC AAP’s symposium, please remember to record your credits in the official AAP Transcript System within 1 year of the CME activity. A handout with instructions for recoding CME credits was included in your registration packet. If you have any questions regarding recording CME credits, please contact Kim Keymer at kim.keymer@aapdc.org.

DC AAP looks forward to continuing to work with our chapter members as well as policymakers and other key stakeholders to support the development of an effective early learning system for infants and toddlers in the District. Please e-mail Kim Keymer if you would like to join DC AAP’s listserv to learn about future programs, information and advocacy opportunities related to poverty, adverse childhood experiences, early learning and toxic stress.

View more photos from this event »


The Health Effects of Poverty & Toxic Stress

As a member of the Bainum Family Foundation’s Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance, the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (DC AAP) is working to raise awareness about the effect of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and early childhood toxic stresses on long term health outcomes. As part of the work, DC AAP has launched a health provider education series focused on raising awareness and understanding among local child health providers about the impact of poverty on brain development and early learning for infants and toddlers and their families.

In partnership with Children’s National Health System’s Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI) and MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center, DC AAP will convene a symposium during our Annual Spring Meeting to educate and inform local child health providers about the effects of ACEs and toxic stress on early childhood development and health outcomes. Presenters will include experts in epigenetics, early brain and child development, community and behavioral pediatrics, and federal and state policy. In addition, DC AAP will conduct collaborative educational sessions for residents and medical students during grand rounds at Children’s National Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center in order to encourage a District-wide conversation about adverse childhood experiences and their impact on the health of young children.

In subsequent years, with the Bainum Family Foundation’s support, DC AAP will work with Children’s CHAI and Georgetown to pilot best practices in clinical settings. In addition, DC AAP will convene joint policy forums with health providers, civic leaders, and policymakers to build support for an effective early learning system for infants and toddlers in Washington, D.C.

DC AAP is proud to be a member of the Birth-To-Three Policy Alliance and work with 11 other community organizations in an effort to make improvements in infant and children’s policy, advocacy, and service organizations. Our Alliance partners include Children’s National Health System, Medstar Georgetown University Medical Center, Children’s Law Center, DC Action for Children, DC Appleseed, DC Early Learning Collaborative, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, DC Head Start Association, Empower DC and Raise DC. Over the next three years, the Alliance will work together to advance a comprehensive, collective policy agenda for DC’s infants and toddlers and their families. Learn more about the partnership here: Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance

Join DC AAP in raising awareness about adverse childhood experiences and early childhood toxic stresses by following DC AAP on Facebook and Twitter.

Resources on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Toxic Stress: