AAP Member Spotlight

 Sia Calvin C.J. Sia, MD, FAAP

Honolulu, Hawaii

Calvin C.J. Sia, MD, FAAP is considered the "grandfather" of the medical home concept of care. He has been a tireless child advocate in Hawaii, nationally and internationally.

As a primary care pediatrician in solo and two-person practices in Honolulu, he recognized early in his career the importance of accessible, family centered, coordinated, comprehensive, continuous, and culturally effective care for his patients. He became an advocate for programs for all children—especially those with special health care needs.

He was among the early cadre of AAP pediatric consultants for Head Start and Parent Child Centers in Hawaii in the 1960s, and helped established the Variety School for Learning Disabilities in 1967. In 1970, he helped develop the Child Protection Services Center at the Children’s Hospital in Hawaii and in '74 piloted a home visiting program to prevent child abuse and neglect. He also planned and implemented a statewide School Health System to coordinate health and special education services in all public schools and voluntarily chaired the Interagency School Health Planning Group that met monthly for 20 years. This helped develop and implement school health policies for the public schools of Hawaii.

In 1978, he brought together representatives from the Hawaii AAP Chapter, the University of Hawaii School of Medicine, the Hawaii Medical Association, and Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children to develop a Child Health Plan for Hawaii. This was the birth of the medical home concept as a system of care for primary care and the phrase — "Every Child Deserves a Medical Home". The emphasis of Hawaii’s child health plan was prevention and early intervention in early childhood.

Dr Sia worked closely in the 1980s with his State Title V Maternal and Maternal and Child Health programs, Medicaid/EPSDT, and Education for Handicapped Children (IDEA) Part C for Zero to Three programs, to improve care coordination for children with special health care needs.

In 1984 in Hawaii Dr Sia began to implement the medical home concept beginning with the Hawaii Healthy Start Home Visiting Program for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. On a national level, the following year, he was successful in working with Senator Daniel Inouye to enact a National Emergency Medical Services for Children System (EMSC) demonstration grant program to address acute injuries, illnesses, and other childhood crises. States receiving these demonstration grants established an emergency medical care service system for children with upgrading first responders and emergency departments training and equipment for children. Hawaii received one of the early grants to initiate its own emergency care system for children that improved care coordination with the primary care physician, the medical home. EMSC is now an established statewide system of care for children in all 50 states and territories.

In the same year, the Hawaii Medical Association was awarded a grant from MCHB, under the Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) initiative, to train primary care physicians to become a medical home for all children with special health care needs.

Finally, in 1986, the Hawaii Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers was launched and Dr Sia became actively involved with Hawaii’s Early Intervention Coordinating Council for Zero to Three and placed this under Hawaii’s Department of Health instead of Department of Education. The focus of this effort was to support the medical home system of care with prevention and early intervention programs.

From the early 1990s, Dr Sia focused on implementing family-centered medical home as a comprehensive system of care for early childhood. As Principal Investigator, he was involved with several initiatives including a MCHB Health Education Collaboration Grant in support of interprofessional training in early childhood, Carnegie's Starting Point early childhood planning grant, and Consuelo Foundation of Hawaii's Healthy and Ready to Learn grant – all with the emphasis on integrating the continuum of care of the medical home with other health, family, and community services from a holistic approach.

This past decade, he has expanded his efforts related to early child development and the medical home to the Far East, originally with APRICA/Japan, and with selected pediatric and early childhood professionals from China—Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand—and the United States. Since 2003, four conferences have been held in Hawaii and recently in Shanghai, China. These cross cultural exchanges have stimulated translation of the science on early child development and primary care into action programs in the broad areas of advocacy, service delivery, research, and training among the Asian early childhood professionals leadership.

Dr Sia has served as president to the Hawaii Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), President of Hawaii Medical Association (HMA), and a member of AAP Committee on School Health, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, District VIII CATCH Facilitator, and other AAP Ad Hoc Committees. He is currently the chairperson of the Medical Home Implementation Project Advisory Committee (MHI-PAC) to the National Center for Medical Home Implementation, Immediate Past chairperson of the AAP Delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA) House and chairperson of the Section Council on Pediatrics, chairperson of National Dyson Initiatives Advisory Committee for Pediatric Residency Training in Community Pediatrics, served as a member of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Advisory Council and Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, HHS, and American Board of Pediatrics Oral Examiner. He was appointed a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Hawaii, School of Medicine, until retirement from his almost 40 years of practice and in semi-retirement a Professor of Pediatrics.

Dr Sia has been blessed with a most supportive wife Kathie of 58 years. He has three sons and six grandchildren. Over the years, he and his wife have enjoyed travelling and visiting various parts of the world. They especially enjoy cruises, having gone on over 35.


For more information, see the National Center for Medical Home Implementation.

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