WCAAP Gaining Momentum, Building on Success

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

It is with a real sense of honor and awe that I start my term as WCAAP President. I am inspired and humbled on a daily basis by what this incredible organization and its members are able to achieve. Despite the increasing challenges that pediatric providers are facing with every year that goes by, I have never witnessed more passion for children or motivation to make their lives better from our membership than I have in the last year.

I have lived in Washington on and off since early childhood, and Seattle is truly home for me. I attended undergraduate and medical school at the University of Washington before completing my pediatric residency at UCLA. In 2010, home was calling and I began working as a pediatric hospitalist at Swedish Medical Center, where I continue to practice hospital medicine. My time on the WCAAP board started in 2011, first as the Early Career board representative, then as a board trustee and chair of the Engagement and Sustainability Committee, as Vice President from 2017-2019, and now as President. Over the last 8 years I have been continually and ever-increasingly amazed by WCAAP’s incredible staff. Our Executive Director, Sarah Rafton, leads a talented and passionate roster that works incredibly hard to serve our chapter and its members. Sarah, Jennifer Donahue (Communications Manager), Edna Maddalena and Tatiana Sarkhosh (Program Managers), Michelle Izumizaki (Program Coordinator), Vickie Olson (CFO), and Amber Ulvenes (Legislative Liaison) are truly a dream team and I am thrilled to work with each of them. I am also lucky enough to follow Dr. Rupin Thakkar, our Immediate Past President and a fearless leader who inspires me daily with his commitment to advocacy and to children.

WCAAP’s work is never done and often overwhelming, but our staff and members somehow seem tireless in the pursuit of improved access to care, health outcomes, and safety for Washington’s children and families. Our Board, committee chairs, and members contribute countless hours and days to this work, and for them I am also incredibly grateful. The legislative and policy achievements WCAAP has contributed to in my last two years as Vice President are crucial to child health, and advocacy work will continue to be the cornerstone of WCAAP’s efforts over the next year. I also personally look forward to continuing work on member engagement, diversity and inclusion, and lending our expert voices to education of the public on issues affecting child wellbeing.

I am so proud to serve in this role, and deeply value connection with members from all over our state, in various practice settings and communities, and of all ages from trainee to seasoned child health expert. If you have ideas for how WCAAP leadership can best serve you, please reach out to me at any time – or just reach out and introduce yourself! I can’t wait to see where the next two years will take us.