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National AAP President-Elect Responses – “How Can You Help ME Take Care of Children?”


Every year, the two candidates for President-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics are asked to submit brief responses to questions about their respective visions and priorities for the Academy.

This year, Dr. Joseph Hagan of Burlington, VT and Dr. Benard Dreyer of New York, NY have responded to the following question:  “How can you help ME take care of children?”

Benard P. Dreyer, MD
“I am committed to making sure that the AAP continues to take care of pediatricians in practice because they are on the front-line taking care of children and families, the center of our mission. We must work with large private payers to ensure that pediatricians are paid fairly for the services they provide. We should seriously respond to a top 10 resolutions at ALF this year that asked the AAP to create its own certification process for the Pediatric Medical Home. We must also help pediatricians adapt to new models of payments based on quality and population health, not fee for service.
Of equal importance, I am committed to the increasing number of pediatricians, in hospital medicine or primary care, who need leadership skills to advance their careers. We will need to teach organizational and business leadership to our members, including young physicians, sooner rather than later. We must help young physicians with the large debt they face and invest in our electronic platform so that the AAP becomes the electronic portal for all pediatricians seeking tools to take better care of patients.
Finally, I know that many of you are passionate about the issues of child poverty, firearm safety, obesity, and early childhood and brain development, as am I. My pledge to you is to actively lead the AAP in making policy and advocacy, education of our trainees and members, and improvements in health care come together to make a real difference for the most vulnerable children and families.”

Joseph Hagan, MD
“The AAP is committed to the care of children and families, and the AAP must also care for pediatricians. The health of youth depends upon primary care, specialty care, and academic pediatricians for both health care and advocacy in policy and in media.
As I practice primary care pediatrics, my AAP experience revolves around collaboration with pediatric subspecialists, allied professionals and families in projects related to theory, practice and systems to enhance child health. In The Bright Futures Guidelines, we ask specialists to provide evidence for what we do. We help primary care clinicians to select what is important for their patient and practice, with the intent to help pediatricians accomplish what they know to be important, not to dictate what they do. I am committed to continuing this work.
Pediatric practice has to thrive and remain not just viable, but strong in both the traditional fee-for service setting and in the new Accountable Care environment.
Pediatric practice must continue to be personally and professionally rewarding. I founded a small practice, serve on the board of a PPO and am clinical faculty in an academic Pediatrics department. I am committed to the business of pediatrics, the science underpinning our work and teaching and mentoring those who will carry this work forward.
I will seek and utilize your input to serve you effectively. Our leaders must understand the needs of children, the realities of practice, the demands of academia and the ability of the AAP to empower each of us.”