350 groups sign letter to President Trump in support of vaccines

More than 350 medical, professional and advocacy organizations signed on to a letter drafted by the Academy to President Donald Trump expressing “unequivocal support” for the safety of vaccines.

The 28-page letter cites and abstracts more than 40 studies on vaccine safety and effectiveness. Co-signers of the Feb. 7 letter represent every AAP chapter along with state and national medical, research and advocacy groups, including the American Medical Association, the March of Dimes and Autism Speaks.

“Vaccines protect the health of children and adults and save lives,” the letter states. “They prevent life-threatening diseases, including forms of cancer. Vaccines have been part of the fabric of our society for decades and are one of the most significant medical innovations of our time.”

As the new administration takes shape, the Academy and others wanted to be on the record early to demonstrate strong support for vaccines and the recommended immunization schedule.

The letter points out that despite successes, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases still occur. “As a nation, we should redouble our efforts to make needed investments in patient and family education about the importance of vaccines … to increase the rate of vaccination among all populations,” the letter concludes. “Put simply: Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives.”

Mandatory Lead Screening for 1 and 2-year-olds on Medicaid in Alaska

A letter from Dr. Alex Malter, Alaska’s esteemed Medicaid Medical Director, on mandatory lead screening for 1 and 2-year-olds on Medicaid in Alaska: “The Department of Health and Social Services is updating its regulations to clarify that lead screening is required for all children enrolled in Medicaid at 12 and 24 months of age. The attached letter from the Division of Healthcare Services provides more detail about the requirement, and provides a contact phone number if you would like more information.”

Alex-Malter-letter

New Chapter Champion for Newborn Hearing

Congratulations to Jennifer Scoble, MD who will serve as the Alaska’s AAP Chapter Champion for newborn hearing.  Dr. Scoble feels strongly in this program and writes, “The early detection and intervention of hearing loss is important to me because I have a personal background and professional interest in neurodevelopment, particularly as it pertains to the NICU graduate, but including all children.  We have an opportunity to make a big difference in the lives of children with hearing loss by detecting it early and intervening as soon as possible.”

In memory of Dr. George Brown

It is with great sadness and sorrow that we at Glacier Pediatrics notify you that our beloved Dr. George Brown passed away last week. As you all know, Dr Brown was an exceptional man and physician; he has been a huge force not only in Juneau’s pediatric care, but across the state of Alaska and other parts of the world. Dr Brown was an award winning voice for the young, the mistreated. Dr. Brown was a strong outstanding vocal advocate for those in need, for all women and children; there are numerous programs that were started and supported by his passion for change and wellness. Dr. Brown is remembered as a great friend and mentor to many and will be thoroughly missed by many. He is grieved by his family, friends, community, coworkers and patients alike. A celebration of life will be planned in the near future.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Alaska-Kenya Health Scholarship Fund of Women & Children’s Health Associates at 1640 2nd Street, Douglas, Alaska 99824.

We are lucky to have live and worked beside him and look forward to continuing his work and invite all of you to participate and join as well.

What’s the Latest with the Flu for Clinicians

Red Book Online Special Alert – December 14, 2016

Current Flu Situation
Flu activity is increasing in the US. With flu being unpredictable, it’s not possible to say when, where, or how quickly flu activity might increase more, how severe it will be, or which viruses will predominate.

It’s critically important to recommend influenza vaccination to your patients who have not yet received it. With family and friends gathering for the holidays, now is a fine time to get the flu vaccine, if you have not already done so. Remind families that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza infection. Vaccination is the most valuable step anyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones against influenza and its complications.

Read the Entire Update >>

What’s the Latest with the Flu?

December 2016

Current Flu Situation
Flu activity is increasing in the US. With flu being unpredictable, it’s not possible to say when, where, or how quickly flu activity might increase more, how severe it will be, or which viruses will predominate.

​It’s critically important to recommend influenza vaccination to your patients who have not yet received it. With family and friends gathering for the holidays, now is a fine time to get the flu vaccine, if you have not already done so. Remind families that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza infection. Vaccination is the most valuable step anyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones against influenza and its complications.

Read the entire report >>

Child Vaccination Across America – Interactive Map

Routine childhood immunizations are vital to individual and society health. Across the United States, immunization rates vary, and as a result, some communities have experienced preventable disease outbreaks. Higher immunization rates protect vulnerable children who are too young to be vaccinated as well as those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

vaccine-interactive-map
Click here to VIEW THE MAP >>

Twitter Feed Updates

Danny Hibbard is a new pediatrician at Alaska Center for Pediatrics. He has agreed to take over from Rachel Lescher in maintaining the AAP-AK Chapter’s Twitter presence. If you are not yet following the chapter’s twitter feed, you can sign on by following it @AAPAlaska. If you have anything you wish to promote or have shared via twitter, e-mail him at dhibbard@akpeds.com.