Pulling Together

Elizabeth Meade, MD, FAAP
President, WCAAP

Dear WCAAP family,

I intentionally use the word “family” rather than “members, because in this time of crisis it feels like we are pulling together, supporting each other, sharing, and rooting for one another in a way that I have never experienced. Primary care pediatricians, subspecialists, hospitalists, NPs/PAs, and other colleagues are working as one pool of providers – even supporting our adult colleagues on the front lines of care as they deal with the unimaginable clinical chaos that we are luckily somewhat spared from. Yes, we are lucky that this is the rare, extraordinary infectious illness that is far less dangerous for children than for adults – but we are still faced with trying to protect ourselves, our patients and their families, our own families, and our communities at large.

I have been continuously humbled and awed by the actions of our staff, membership, and Chapter leaders as we navigate these unprecedented waters together – we have never worked harder to fight for each other and it is felt deeply across our membership. There are too many individuals spending extra hours, nights, and weekends on this work right now to list, but I do want to extend a specific thank you to our Executive Director Sarah Rafton and our Communications Manager Jennifer Donahue; without their tireless efforts none of this connection and support would be happening in the way that it is.

Modeling predicts that our peak surge for COVID-19 patients in Washington state will be in the next 1-2 weeks, and given the numbers we are currently seeing I am cautiously optimistic that all of this social distancing, staying at home, and working together will be successful in mitigating the height of the curve. Some of the work we are doing may allow us to change the way we are able to deliver care to patients and to meet their needs in the future. It will change the way we work with each other and with our public health systems. And we also know that practices and health systems are hurting financially, as we work to keep our lights on, doors open, and employees afloat.

Please continue to reach out to us with your questions, concerns, suggestions, and experiences. And take care of yourselves, not just your patients and your families.

With gratitude,