President's Message

October President's Message

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President Raji Koppolu, RN, MS, CPNP, MSL

You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

-Greta Thunberg

In light of the damages seen in recent years from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the Camp Fire in Northern California, and most recently tropical storm Imelda, I am reminded of the impact these natural disasters and events have on our children and our communities. The World Health Organization has identified climate change as the greatest threat to public health in the twenty-first century (World Health Organization, 2018). Children continue to be vulnerable to the effects of climate change for a variety of reasons including shorter stature, hand-to-mouth activities, immature immune systems, and their dependence on caregivers (American Public Health Association and ecoAmerica). NAPNAP's Children in Disasters SIG has a webpage of resources and valuable links for you and your patients.

In 2000, the global burden of disease was responsible for 150,000 deaths worldwide, 88 percent fell upon children (Sheffield and Landrigan, 2011). Moreover, children with chronic disease experience an increasing burden from the effect of climate change. Over 2.5 million children live in counties of the United States with unhealthy ozone levels (American Lung Association, 2019). When we think about not only the direct and indirect impact of potential vector-born illness, the effect on air and food quality, and potential displacement of children and families from their home communities, our outreach and support of children affected in these communities is paramount.

I wish we had the capacity to predict the future and know what the effects of climate change will look like for our children. Dr. Michael Lu (2018), current dean of UC Berkeley School of Public Health, calls for increased research on climate change, promoting policies and procedures which address renewable energy, cut carbon dioxide emission and reduce global warming. In addition, he points out the importance of advocacy for emergency access system for children, especially those with special healthcare needs. To those NAPNAP members who have been directly impacted by these and future events, we send you our sincere thoughts and wishes for continued safety and security. NAPNAP will continue to advocate for policies which protect the health of all vulnerable pediatric populations to have access to quality health care and mitigate the risks associated with the effects of climate change on pediatric health.

Specialty Symposium: NP Leadership and Advocacy Forum

We look forward to seeing those who have registered for our weekend of activities in November in Washington, D.C.! NAPNAP will host a chapter and SIG leader Summit on Saturday, Nov. 2 followed by our Leadership and Advocacy Summit on Sunday, Nov. 3.. Registration for both events is still available. The weekend will culminate with a sold out Capitol Hill Day on Nov. 4 where NAPNAP members will have the opportunity to directly interact and influence important child health policy when speaking with their representatives and senators. There is also opportunity to register to be an ACT Advocate at 9:30 a.m. on November 2nd. As part of NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth and the Alliance of Children in Trafficking, this is a grassroots effort to educate healthcare providers on trafficking. Register today and don't miss this important training opportunity.

Please consider nominating yourself or a chapter member for NAPNAP's Grassroots Advocacy Award. The purpose of the Grassroots Advocacy Award is to recognize a member of NAPNAP who has demonstrated sustained advocacy in the area of child health policy or professional practice issues for pediatric-focused APRNs. Learn more and submit/apply by Nov. 3.  

National Conference

NAPNAP hosts its 41st National Conference in Pediatric Healthcare March 25-28, 2020 in Long Beach, Calif. The conference is an annual highlight for many existing members, but it equally attracts new PNPs, FNPs and other pediatric providers working in primary, acute or specialty care practices across the country each year. Attendees have the opportunity to network with colleagues and gain insightful continuing education. Students have the opportunity to attend acute, primary, and mental health specialist review courses. It will be a wonderful week to celebrate our association, its incredible members, and be inspired to build your passion for child health! I look forward to seeing many of you there. Invite your colleagues to join you and experience this highly rated event. 

National Office Nominations and National Awards

NAPNAP is offering two important opportunities for you to recognize the achievements of your member peers or to be recognized for your own contributions to our association. We're currently recruiting 2020 election candidates for president-elect, treasurer, three member-at-large positions and a Nominations Committee member. If you are a proud NAPNAP member who is passionate about child health, the Nominations Committee wants to hear from you. Details about the available roles and a link to the candidate referral form can be found on the Nominations page of the NAPNAP website.

It's also time to recognize the achievements of your peers by nominating a fellow member for the Loretta C. Ford Distinguished Fellow Award. This award recognizes a member for contributions to pediatric health care and the advancement of the APRN profession at the community, state or regional level. You can nominate a deserving member or ask a colleague to nominate you! Full qualifications, requirements and a link to the nomination form can be found on the Awards page of the NAPNAP website. Deadline is Nov. 3. Who do you think we should honor?

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American Lung Association (2019). State of the Air 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.lung.org/assets/documents/healthy-air/state-of-the-air/sota-2019-full.pdf

American Public Health Association and ecoAmerica (date unknown). Making the Connection: Climate Changes Children's Health. Retrieved from: https://www.apha.org/~/media/files/pdf/topics/climate/childrens_health.ashx

Lu, Michael C (2018). The Future of Maternal and Child Health. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 23, 1-7.

Sheffield, P.E. & Landrigan, P.J. (2011). Global Climate Change and Children's Health: Threats and Strategies for Prevention. Environmental Health Perspective, 119(3), 291-298. 

World Health Organization. (2018). WHO calls for urgent action to protect health from climate change-sign the call. Retrieved September 29, 2019 from: https://www.who.int/globalchange/global-campaign/cop21/en/

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