March 11 2018 11:18 PM Jenn Giammattei Tepper, MD & Christian D. Pulcini, MD, MEd, MPH, co-chairs

This is the first update from the newly formed Advocacy Committee. We hope to organize, and disseminate state and community-wide advocacy priorities for our members to empower them to regularly act on behalf of Pennsylvania's children and pediatricians. Please reach out to us if you would like to participate!

It was with great excitement in January when the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was funded for six years. Fortunately, that excitement was further augmented in early February when CHIP funding was extended for 10 years. It was a breath of fresh air and a great victory for pediatricians like us in Pennsylvania who had worked so hard to support CHIP legislation. We understand how important CHIP is for the children we care for, and we deserved the celebration.

The excitement and celebration of CHIP seemed to wear off quickly, however, with a renewed focus on firearm violence surrounding the tragic events in Parkland, Florida. If you have not viewed the national AAP statement, it is available here. At the PA AAP, we are currently aligning with the AAP's national efforts, and will continue to update you on legislative activities in PA surrounding firearm violence prevention. We would appreciate any passionate members with innovative ideas to reach out to our committee, as this particular issue is going to require all of our collective best efforts.

Other issues our committee has been focusing on include the opioid epidemic, immunization bills intended to raise barriers to vaccination, and CRNP scope of practice. We have greatly appreciated those members who have written to us and even taken the lead on some of these issues they are passionate about, and we encourage all of you to continue to do so.

In regards to our committee, we are currently in the process of adding a resident and a medical student. Applications have been distributed and if you know any residents or medical students who are interested, please have them reach out to us directly.

Lastly, our advocacy day is coming up in April 27 - see following article. All members are welcome to join. We will likely be addressing firearm violence given the current momentum and importance of a collective effort to advance legislation on this issue. We welcome your participation and feedback.

Thank you all, and keep up the strong work for children and families in Pennsylvania. Please let us know how we can best assist you.