American Academy of Pediatrics 2014 President-Elect , Sandra Hassink, MD, FAAP recently made a visit to Children’s National Health System (CNHS). The visit fell during the 2nd Annual Advocacy Month, arranged by the Children’s Pediatric Residency Program and Child Health Advocacy Institute to increase pediatric residents’ engagement in patient, community and legislative advocacy. During her visit, Dr. Hassink met with hospital leadership and residents to learn about ongoing advocacy initiatives at CNHS. She also gave Professorial Rounds on “Moving Towards a National Agenda for Children” in which she discussed the AAP’s focus on four key areas that have a profound impact on the foundations of child health, (1) Early Brain Development, (2) Epigenetics, (3) Poverty and Health, (4) Children and Media. She presented her forward-thinking vision for the AAP which recognizes gene-environmental interactions that may perpetrate health disparities. Dr. Hassink joined Community Health Track residents for lunch and discussed “Taking Charge of your Career and Life” and concluded her DC visit by meeting with members of the DC Chapter Board of Director’s Executive Committee.
Dr. Hassink has focused her career on preventing and treating obesity in children. She is a pediatrician at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (AIDHC) in Wilmington, Del., where she founded the weight management program in 1988 and serves as director of the Nemours Pediatric Obesity Initiative. She is co-principal investigator for the Healthy Active Living for Families project, which promotes active healthy living for parents and families of young children. She has served as president of the AAP Delaware Chapter and as a member of the AAP Board of Directors. Dr. Hassink also has chaired the AAP Obesity Leadership Workgroup, the AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight Advisory Committee, and the AAP Strategic Planning Committee. Dr. Hassink is recognized internationally as an expert in child obesity prevention. In addition to numerous articles for pediatricians and parents, she has authored two books: “Pediatric Obesity: Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Strategies for Primary Care,” and “A Clinical Guide to Pediatric Weight Management.”