September • 2022
In September We Keep Peddling

In September, we keep peddling relentlessly,
We gather to advocate for change and fight endlessly,
Every turn we take, mental health is a priority,
And any opportunity at education is a chance to gain clarity.
President's Column
Nelson Branco, MD, FAAP
I hope that everyone has survived the back-to-school rush of checkups and sports physicals, and that you had some time this summer to relax and perhaps even take that COVID-delayed trip. I’m grateful to be vaccinating infants and toddlers in our practice and hoping that we are seeing the other side of the Omicron BA.5 wave.

I am going to keep this column short because I want everyone to scroll down to read the important updates from the AAP Annual Leadership Conference, which was attended by Dr. Webb and Dr. Saxena. I’m grateful that Dr. Niki Saxena, who became Chapter Treasurer this summer, was able to attend in my place. As anyone who has ever received an email from me in the past 6 years knows, the first weekend of August is when I ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge to help support cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. It’s always a fun, inspiring and exhausting weekend - just like the Annual Leadership Conference (but with more bikes and humidity).
There is a lot happening in our chapter right now. We are actively interviewing candidates for our Executive Director position, planning our December CME meeting and we have lots of interesting webinars coming up, including our Annual Chapter Meeting featuring Dr. Richard Pan on September 20th. You can register here!

We are also recruiting for a new Early Career Physicians representative - if you’re interested please contact me or Yolanda. If you’ve been wanting to get more involved with the chapter and want to work with amazing colleagues in the Section on Early Career Physicians, this is your chance!
Vice President's Column
Nicole Webb, MD, FAAP
Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all enjoyed your summer. For this issue, I want to reflect on one of the biggest events of our summer, the national AAP Annual Leadership Conference (ALC). This event represents the coalescence of the former District meetings, and the Annual Leadership Forum (ALF), which was held every spring. With challenges at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these were combined together into a virtual meeting for the past 2 summers. The meeting this August at AAP Headquarters in Itasca, IL was the first in-person gathering of this group since 2019, and my first time attending in person. I was honored and excited to represent our chapter and to meet and learn from and with leaders from across the country.
Since the ALC now serves the dual purpose of the district and annual leadership meeting, we had significant time in sessions as District IX, which is the 4 chapters in California, reflecting on the past year and focusing on priorities for the one to come. One of these is the implementation and policy implications of the AAP Policy Statement “Eliminating Race-Based Medicine”. We had significant discussion regarding how we, as a district, will support chapters and their individual members in understanding and beginning to move forward with that. Because this is such a large and important topic, we will provide more information on it in the coming months.

The other major function of the ALC is to discuss and vote on AAP Resolutions, which is the way members can influence AAP national policy and priorities. Each year, members submit resolutions on issues important to them. Authors seek sponsorship by relevant chapters, committees, sections and councils. Occasionally, there is an unsponsored resolution, though this is rare.

The resolutions are published for public review and comment by AAP members and then heard and initially discussed in virtual reference committees (VRCs). I was honored to serve on one of these this year, representing our chapter. Comments from the VRC and public comment page, as well as the results of a poll during the VRC, are collated by the reference committee and recommendations to adopt or not adopt are made in a summary report, which is presented to the Board and then to the attendees at the Annual Leadership Conference. There is also a mechanism for submitting late-breaking resolutions.
There were 48 total resolutions this year including the 3 late-breaking ones. Of these, there were 9 sponsored resolutions. Seven of these were adopted, including 4 of the 5 resolutions from our chapter. These were resolution 8: “Combatting Censorship Promoting Open Access to Books and Information for Children”, authored by Dr. Heidi M. Feldman, resolution 12: “Support Orphaned and Vulnerable Children of the COVID-19 Pandemic”, by Dr. Magi B. Ishak Gabra with coauthors from Texas and Washington, resolution 33: “Improve the Ability of Small Independent Pediatric Practices to Recruit High Quality Pediatricians”, by Chapter 1 Treasurer Dr. Niki Saxena and Chapter 1 member at large Dr. Graciela Wilcox, and resolution 41: “Transparency of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Outcomes for Medical School Pediatric Departments” by Dr. Gregg Lund with co-authorship by Dr. Kimberly Móntez of the North Carolina Chapter. . .
How Can Pediatricians Reduce Suicide Risk
in their Patients?
Renee C. Wachtel, MD, FAAP
Chair, Committee on Development and Behavior
Member, Mental Health Committee and AAPCA1 Board
The possibility of one of our patients committing suicide, or making a serious suicide attempt, often gives pediatricians nightmares, especially after a day in the office seeing adolescent patients with depression. We know that teenage suicide is on the rise, especially after the past two stress-filled years. We want to reduce the risk, but don’t know how to start. It’s especially difficult to start down the path of suicide screening if we feel inadequately trained or supported.

BACKGROUND: (from The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) 7/2022)

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. Shockingly, more than 6.800 American youth killed themselves in 2018 and over 2 MILLION young people in the US attempt suicide each year. While studies show that the majority of individuals who die by suicide have had contact with a healthcare provider in the preceding 3 months, most are seen for physical complaints and infrequently discuss suicidal thoughts and plans unless asked directly. A recent study by Rady Hospital (San Diego) pediatricians (Crandal et al 2021), which implemented universal screening for patients 12-17 years of age, found that among 95,613 patients, 45% of all elevated suicide risk screens were from patients with a primarily medical concern. 

Our CAC1 AAP has a national AAP-sponsored campaign to provide you with practical information and resources to enable you to begin the process. The first =steps are to know WHO to screen for suicide risk, WHAT screens for suicide risk are available, and HOW to respond to positive screens.

NIMH has developed a useful clinical practice guideline (CPG) for youth suicide risk, which you can see here . . .
Additional Suicide Prevention & Awareness Resources
In Case You Missed It!
Our Job Board is a great member benefit! You can post your jobs or browse the ones available.
You can find the video and slides for our Chapter Chat, "Transnational Solidarity: Opportunities to Support Asylum Seekers" on our Past Events Page.
The SGA Side
Your Key to State Government Affairs
Nora Pfaff, MD, FAAP and Anna Kaplan, MD, FAAP
SGA Chapter Representatives
At the AAP Leadership Forum, our Resolution 33 titled "Improve the Ability of Small Independent Pediatric Practices to Recruit High-Quality Pediatricians" was authored by Gracie Wilcox, MD, MPH, FAAP and Amita Saxena, MD, FAAP. It requested a decrease or suspension of fees for small independent practices to advertise on the Peds Jobs website. It just passed with near unanimous support. Now it will be used to advise the AAP committees as they craft policy. 

For the most up-to-date information on AAP California bill positions, letters, and outcomes from the current California Legislative year, go to For the latest organizational advocacy updates follow @AAPCADocs on Twitter. If you have questions and/or are interested in knowing more about certain legislation, reach out to our State Government Affairs Chapter Representative Nora Pfaff, MD, FAAP and Anna Kaplan MD, FAAP at
Opportunities for Your Benefit
Register Now! Pediatric Mental Health Boot Camp - Saturday, September 24
The UCSF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Portal (CAPP) and Fresno Madera Medical Society (FMMS) are hosting a one-day, in-person "Pediatric Mental Health Boot Camp" in Fresno on September 24, 2022. This interactive training for pediatric primary care providers will cover the basics of diagnosing and managing ADHD, anxiety, and depression in children and adolescents, including both psychosocial and pharmacological treatments. We will also be discussing stigma in mental health, and communication strategies for engaging patients and families in collaborative decision-making around mental health concerns. 

This activity is supported by grants from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in partnership with Anthem and Beacon. This event is at no cost to participants and there are 4.0 CME Credits available. For more information, contact

Register Now! 2022 ACEs Wellness Summit presented by Sierra Community Medical Foundation - Friday, September 30
Sierra Community Medical Foundation (SCMF), invites you to the ACE's Health and Wellness Provider Summit. The Summit is scheduled for Friday, September 30, 2022, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. SCMF and its panel of speakers will address physician, patient, and provider relationships on adverse childhood events and experiences as well as wellness support. 

The panel will further discuss efforts to educate, promote, and assist in engaging equalities, abuse, violence, and health inequities and service models in the Northern California region. We welcome physicians, healthcare providers, law enforcement, teachers, business owners, clinicians, elected officials, substance abuse specialists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, family practitioners, public and private agency staff, psychologists, life coaches, and behavioral health professionals to attend.

Continuing education hours will be available for attendees:
  • CEU credits for health professionals 
  • 4.0 CME for physicians

Register Now! AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Anaheim, CA - October 7-11
Join us in Anaheim for the 2022 National Conference & Exhibition happening October 7-11, 2022. We can’t wait to welcome you back to connect in person and network with colleagues, participate in world-class education sessions, attend exciting special events, visit the exhibit hall, and much more! A limited virtual attendee experience will also be available.

Register Now! 43rd Annual Las Vegas Seminars: Pediatric Update - November 17-20
Join us in Anaheim for the 2022 National Conference & Exhibition happening October 7-11, 2022. We can’t wait to welcome you back to connect in person and network with colleagues, participate in world-class education sessions, attend exciting special events, visit the exhibit hall, and much more! A limited virtual attendee experience will also be available.

September 20 - Annual Chapter Membership Meeting - REGISTER HERE
September 24 - Pediatric Mental Health Boot Camp - REGISTER HERE
September 30 - 2022 ACEs Wellness Summit - REGISTER HERE
October 7-11 - Experience: AAP National Conference and Exhibition - REGISTER HERE
October 19 - AAPCA1 Mental Health Committee and UCSF CAPP: Mental Health Referrals and Resources - SAVE THE DATE!
November 9 - Mental Health Chapter Chat: Suicide Screening and Assessment - SAVE THE DATE!
November 17-20 - 43rd Annual las Vegas Seminars: Pediatric Update - REGISTER HERE
December 10 - 7th Annual Puzzles CME Conference - VIEW EVENT HERE
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Your membership makes a difference for children in California, thank you!

The AAPCA1's ability to advocate on behalf of children is only as strong as the support we receive from our members. Encourage your colleagues to join today by visiting the AAPCA1 website.

Our mission is to promote the optimal health and development of children and
adolescents of Northern California in partnership with their families and communities, and to support the pediatricians who care for them.

Executive Committee:
President: Nelson Branco • Vice President: Nicole Webb
Secretary: Resham Kaur • Treasurer: Amita Saxena • Past President: Raelene Walker
Executive Director:

Board Members:
North Valley MAL: Thiyagu Ganesan • Sacramento Valley MAL: Lena van der List • Central Valley MAL: Deborah Shassetz • South Valley MAL: Vacant • San Francisco MAL: Maya Raman • Santa Clara MAL: Vacant • San Mateo MAL: Neel Patel • North Coastal MAL: Jeffrey Ribordy • Monterey Bay MAL: Graciela Wilcox • Alameda MAL: Renee Wachtel • Contra Costa/Solano MAL: Omoniyi Omotoso

Pediatric Insider News Editors:
• Mika Hiramatsu • Deborah Shassetz • Alyssa Velasco

Project Assistant: Yolanda Ruiz