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Community Pediatrics Overview

The AAP Division of Community-based Initiatives raises awareness of community pediatrics and supports pediatricians and child health professionals in developing a community perspective of pediatrics.

Community pediatrics is the practice of promoting and integrating the positive social, cultural and environmental influences on children’s health.

Many of the major threats to children’s health today cannot be addressed adequately in the clinical setting alone. These include high infant mortality rates, obesity, exposure to lead and other environmental hazards, substance abuse, poor school readiness, and inequitable access to basic material resources.

A new understanding of child health acknowledges the influences of the biological, behavioral, social and physical environments. Community pediatrics merges traditional clinical skills with public health, population-based approaches to practice and advocacy. It includes participation in community-based child health activities in partnership with other community leaders.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is strongly committed to developing the field of community pediatrics. The AAP was founded around a series of policy issues that promoted child health and prenatal centers, instructional home visits, and distribution of educational materials to new mothers via community organizations. Today, thousands of pediatricians make positive contributions to the health of their communities.

The AAP promotes community pediatrics in a variety of ways including policy development, funding for community-based projects, support of residency training and professional education in community pediatrics skills, recognition of community pediatrics leaders, and networking and mentorship opportunities.

The AAP Division of Community-based Initiatives promotes understanding of the factors that affect child health and supports pediatricians and child health professionals to improve child health through the practice of community of pediatrics.

In addition, the AAP implements more than a dozen programs and initiatives that incorporate a community pediatrics approach to specific health issues including medical home, obesity, early childhood development, mental health, preventive health, breastfeeding, and many others.

Contact the Division of Community-based Initiatives for more information.

American Academy of Pediatrics, 141 Northwest Point Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007, 847-434-4000