Category Archives: Advocacy

Let’s Talk Children’s Mental Health Wellness

Today is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. I am participating in national campaign activities as one of the panelists discussing the importance of communication among families, primary care providers and behavioral health specialists. I am honored to be able to share my voice and passion about this topic tonight.  Check out the event, which will be streamed live at 7:00 pm ET at https://nvite.com/HeroesofHope/gxlr3n. Helping families, providers and the larger medical team (including child care providers and schools) be

No more bystanders: Parent tips for creating the change post-election

Like many of you in the months leading up to the election and now post-election, I have experienced a wide range of emotions. However, I am not writing this post because I want to complain about the election and focus on who won or who lost. Nor am I writing this because I am a “sore loser”. I am writing this because I am saddened by what is happening in our country. So much hate and anger. As a behavioral

New tools help doctors coach families on healthy media diets

I just attended a 4.5 hour session hearing from some of the leading experts in the field of media use and children. All the speakers were insightful and engaging…plus to they shared some very practical tips and strategies! Today the AAP released updated guidelines on children’s media use, called Media and Young Minds. What I love is that all the new and ongoing research is being integrated into timely guidelines for general pediatricians, family physicians and pediatric providers…so that we

#AAP16 Screens and the Developing Brain: Dr. Dimitri Christakis

Our children are growing up in the iWorld. Media, screens are not all created equal. We need to understand the environment in which our children and teens are growing and learning..media is part of the air and water they are exposed to. There are 3 key neurocognitive functions to understand when thinking about media use in children. Self control, working memory (ability to hold information in mind when mentally working on it) and cognitive flexibility (apply something learned in one

#AAP16 Media Use and Children’s Health: Introduction & Dr. Michael Rich

Day 1: American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition #AAP16 I am really excited about this conference! I have been offline for a while, but will use this National Conference to get back to blogging. I am attending a wonderful session about how Electronic Media is Transforming Our Patients’ health. The speakers include: David Hill, MD, FAAP Benard Dreyer, MD, FAAP Michael Rich, MD, MPH, FAAP Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, FAAP David Tayloe Jr., MD, FAAP Stephen Pont, MD,

Why exposures like domestic violence & trauma are important to ask about

As a behavioral pediatrician, I see children with behavior problems.  Kids with aggression, kids who have been kicked out of multiple daycares or schools, and kids who are not doing well at home or school. One of the things I always look for are clues as to WHY. Behaviors, while stressful, are not a diagnosis. They are symptoms of something else. For example: Just because a kiddo is not completing homework or cannot pay attention…it does not automatically mean the child has

Helping parents find their voice: The Let’s Chat ADHD Project

I had the pleasure of working with a WONDERFUL group of parent and child volunteers for the past two years that has finally resulted in this awesome project. I cannot wait to share…but first, let me back up. THE PROBLEM Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a common neurobehavioral condition that starts in childhood. About 11% of 4 to 17 year old children have been diagnosed with ADHD (Click here: For statistics and data, check out the Centers of Disease Control

2016 AAP Legislative Conference recap

What a great legislative conference! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) really does a wonderful job training up pediatricians, family advocates and affiliate members who wish to take action and do what they can to be a voice for kids.  I wanted to do one last post to reflect on the 25th Annual AAP Legislative conference and all I learned from that experience. Anyone with a story to tell can become an effective advocate. As a citizen of this country, everyone

We can all become advocates for child health

Have you ever just stopped and thought, “Wow, what an awesome day that was?” I had one of those days today. It reminded me of the importance of allotting time to re-charge.  For me, this time was at day 1 of the 25th Annual American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Legislative Conference in Washington DC. There was over 130 general pediatricians, specialist pediatricians, parent advocates and nurse practitioners.  All of us were there for one reason. To learn how to become better

Pediatricians unite!

On the eve of the 25th annual American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Department of Federal Affairs, I am already feeling giddy about the coming 3 days. This will be my first time attending the full 3-day conference dedicated to training up pediatricians who want to learn valuable skills to effectively advocate for child health.  The program is jam-packed with interactive workshops, in-depth training sessions and networking opportunities with more than 100 pediatricians from across the country. Day 1 runs from 715am