PA AAP Programs
The EPIC (Educating Practices/ Physicians in their Communities) – BEST (Breastfeeding Education, Support, and Training)
This program targets education and resources on breastfeeding to practices in Southeast and Southwest PA. As an EPIC program, the focus is on promoting the initiation of breastfeeding and increasing the duration of exclusive breastfeeding for about the first 6 months of the infant's life. EPIC-BEST will address this goal by working with primary care practices on achieving the principles of a breastfeeding friendly office.
This program aims to provide guidance on how to create a breastfeeding-friendly medical home for mothers and their families. It expands on EPIC BEST to include all office staff who might come in contact with mothers and their families. Practices receive guidance towards becoming a Community-Based Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Model. Through BEST Plus, a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) project was created: Improving Exclusive Breastfeeding Rates in the Pediatric Practice.
This hospital-based quality improvement initiative is aimed at improving the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding for all Pennsylvania infants, mothers, and families. Funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Keystone 10 assists Pennsylvania’s birthing facilities in adopting and implementing evidence-based maternity care practices with the goal of improving individual facility and state level breastfeeding care and rates and ultimately improving the health of mothers and babies. 83 of the 88 Pennsylvania birthing facilities participate in this initiative through the completion of the nationally-recognized, evidence-based “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding." Hospitals can apply for the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding one step at a time. This initiative is engaging Pennsylvania’s birthing facilities in local, regional and state level efforts to improve the initiation, duration and exclusivity rates of breastfeeding across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
This breastfeeding program fosters collaboration opportunities with community partners across the Commonwealth to promote breastfeeding which ensures the healthiest start for babies. Funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, First Food is committed to partnerships and collaborative efforts to increase the number of organizations throughout Pennsylvania that establish policies and programs to support breastfeeding. Community partners will identify their target needs in order to promote, support and protect breastfeeding among their breastfeeding participants, employees or members. Breastmilk as a “first food” will be emphasized as well as the health benefits to mother, infant and the community when breastfeeding is a cultural norm. First Food promotes the Breastfeeding-Friendly Community.
Director: Dottie Schell, BS, RN, CLC
Pediatric Advisor: Debra Bogen, MD, FAAP
Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS)
Funded by PA Department and Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, PA Department of Health and Fee-for-Service Professional Development Revenue
The mission of ECELS is to improve the quality of early childhood education and school age child care programs. ECELS provides professional development and technical assistance to support health and safety in child care. This includes topics such as: infection control; preventing and reducing injury; supporting children with special health care needs and health promotion. We link quality improvement efforts of government, early childhood educators, health professionals, child care health consultants and other organizations.
Director: Kristin Haegele Hill, MS
Pediatric Advisors: Brittany Massare, MD
Healthy Teeth Healthy Children (HTHC)
Healthy Teeth Healthy Children (HTHC) is a state-wide educational program focused on improving oral health care for children by providing education to primary care providers, expanding oral health literacy for the community and facilitating integrative partnerships that enhance the overall health of children and families in PA.
Through the EPIC (Educating Physicians in the Community) model, HTHC delivers on-site training across the state to pediatric and prenatal clinicians, allied health professionals and medical residents through two programs: Oral Health in Your Office (focusing on conducting pediatric oral health screenings, fluoride varnish application and associated technical assistance) and Oral Health in the Prenatal Office (focusing on promoting good oral health practices for pregnant women). HTHC also offers the Oral Health Through the Lifespan webinar as a free, on-demand resource for provider practices, and as a tool for oral health curriculum integration at medical training programs. HTHC provides ongoing technical support for practices and all educational activities provide CME/CEU credits.
In addition to supporting physicians, HTHC is dedicated to educating community members on the importance of oral health to overall health and has launched a variety of oral health literacy programs, including accessible educational oral health posters and materials for care providers, oral health care bags for pregnant women, and community-based resources – such as Oral Health Story Kit – that strategically engage local organizations to expand community-wide oral health education and establish sustainable local oral health networks. HTHC is also a partner and founding member of a state-wide oral health collective working collaboratively since 2014 to advance the cause of better oral health for all Pennsylvanians.
Director: Kristin Haegele Hill, MS
Pediatric Advisors: Kelly Curtin-Hallinan, DO, FAAP | Eve Kimball, MD, FAAP
Pennsylvania Medical Home Program (PA MHP).
The Pennsylvania Medical Program (PA MHP) is a medical home quality improvement program based on the Educating Physicians In their Communities (EPIC) model, and housed at the PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics.
MHP is a statewide provider education program using office based change as the key to improving the care provided to Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN). The mission of the program is to enhance the quality of life for children with special health care needs through recognition and support of families as the central caregivers for their child, effective community-based coordination and communication, and improved primary health care. EPIC MHP has established a training program for primary care providers and their office staffs on how to create a medical home and over 60 practices statewide have already been trained in Medical Home concepts
Program Director: Eileen Thompson, RN, BSN
Pediatric Advisor: Renee Turchi, MD, MPH
EPIC®: Food Insecurity
EPIC Food Insecurity joins the PA AAP’s previous programs following the Educating Physicians In their Communities (EPIC®) model of practice-based change. EPIC®: Food Insecurity has three components: a live (in-person or via Zoom) CME/CEU program presented by a physician and a registered dietitian (RD) team, the RD presenting to your presentation connects with a food pantry or food bank in your area, and staff from the food bank or food pantry either participates in the live EPIC® or otherwise communicates to share first-hand how the pantry works so that future referrals from the practice can be well-informed. The live program at your practice is designed to be 1 hour, at a date and time that works for you to maximize physician and staff attendance. Content includes: nature and extent of food insecurity; food insecurity screening; current research and tips on how to screen most effectively; responding to a family who identifies as being food insecure; and up-to-date information about how COVID-19 is affecting WIC, SNAP, and other local food resources. All activities of EPIC®: Food Insecurity are provided at no cost. EPIC®: Food Insecurity is funded by a grant from The Cigna Foundation.
Program Director: Eileen Thompson, RN, BSN
Physicians: Kimberly Brown, MD, FAAP; Brittany Massare, MD, FAAP; Mary Ann Rigas, MD, FAAP
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists: Laura Frank, PhD, RD, LDN; Clancy Cash Harrison, MS, RDN, FAND; Ann Marie Kuchera, MS, MA, RD, LPC
Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN)
Funded by the PA Department of Human Services.
SCAN is a statewide continuing medical education program, approved for Act 31 credit, that aims to increase the recognition and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. Target audiences include primary care providers and their office staff, hospital personnel, Emergency Medical Service providers and school nurses. SCAN presentations are offered at no cost and are conducted on-site by a physician with expertise in child abuse assessments and a county Children and Youth worker. The SCAN program also offers an annual 60-hour child abuse preceptorship to increase the assessment skills of physicians, NP’s and PA’s committed to serving child victims in their communities.
Director: Teresa Olsen, M. Ed.
Pediatric Advisor: Allan DeJong, MD
Traffic Injury Prevention Project (TIPP)
Funded by the PA Department of Transportation.
TIPP staff provides technical assistance, audiovisual resources, materials, and training on all traffic safety issues affecting children and adolescents. Issues include child safety seats, seat belts, airbags, pedestrian, bicycle, and school bus safety, and teen driving. Information and assistance is provided to parents, healthcare providers, hospitals and law enforcement personnel.
Director: Angela Osterhuber, M. Ed.
Pediatric Advisor: Mary Jo Clark, MD, FAAP
Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition (PAIC)/Immunization Initiatives
The Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition (PAIC) is an organization of volunteers consisting of individuals and organizations that have an interest in advancing the mission of timely and effective immunizations for all Pennsylvania residents. PAIC promotes timely and effective immunizations for all Pennsylvania residents across their life span. PAIC is a diverse group of passionate, energetic, and committed partners working together to ensure that no one in Pennsylvania suffers from vaccine preventable illnesses. We believe this can be achieved through focusing our efforts on education, advocacy, and access.
Immunization Program Manager: Kayla Knock, MPH (joining our staff 8/9/2021
Immunization Chapter Champions/Representatives:
Swathi Gowtham, MD, FAAP and Thomas Lynch, MD, FAAP