Message from the President: Annual Retreat

Elizabeth Meade, MD, FAAP
President, Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Dear WCAAP members,

Your WCAAP Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, and staff gathered on October 11-13 for our annual leadership retreat in Leavenworth. Our Board is richer in passion and experience than ever, representing pediatric health care providers from across the state, from large cities and smaller communities, in primary care and subspecialty practice. WCAAP is so fortunate to have this group of dedicated child advocates at the table! I am especially grateful this year for our incredible staff, who work so hard to make sure that kids and families in Washington can thrive, and that their health care teams have the resources they need to best serve them. We are not without challenges, however, and it will take continued advocacy from WCAAP members and leaders to achieve our goals.

We spent time at this year’s retreat discussing some of biggest issues facing our patients: social determinants of health, neonatal abstinence syndrome, mental health resources, and access to care. Our WCAAP committees are also hard at work – the Member Engagement committee continues to find ways to recruit and engage WCAAP members and to maximize member value; the Health Care Transformation committee spent time strategizing about how a statewide, data-driven Pediatric Improvement Partnership could positively impact the lives and health trajectory of all of Washington’s children; and the Legislative committee outlined priorities for the 2020 legislative session and worked with our board to strengthen WCAAP’s member involvement across legislative districts.

There is much work to be done over the next 12 months, but it is the right work, and we have the right people at the table leading the charge. We look forward to keeping all of our members updated and engaged as we move into this next year. WCAAP is always on the lookout for anyone wishing to get more involved – the commitment can be tiny, and the rewards immense. If you are interested in joining a committee, working on legislative advocacy, becoming a key contact for a specific health issue, volunteering to testify in Olympia as child health issues arise, or have any other ideas about how to use your skills and expertise, please reach out to me or to one of our staff!

Finally, I highly encourage each of you to sign up for WCAAP’s annual Advocacy Day in Olympia, being held January 14, 2020. It is an incredible opportunity to connect with fellow pediatricians from across the state, with your legislators, and with WCAAP leadership in order to move the needle on child health – and all you have to do is show up! For more information or to register, please see our site here.

One of the things I love best about this role is the ability to connect with all of you and learn about your patients and yourselves. Please reach out if there is a way that WCAAP can better serve you!