Welcome to the Council on Communications and Media (COCM)
The Council on Communications and Media (COCM) was founded in 2007, joining the Committee on Communications (COCOM) with the Section on Media (SOM). COCM’s creation reflects not just an acknowledgement within the AAP of the importance of media within the world of pediatrics but also just how important media issues have become in our clinical and everyday lives.
COCOM’s origins were seeded in 1951 as the AAP Constitution underwent its first major review and included the following statement:
COCOM began as the Committee on Communications and Public Information in 1970, when an explosion in the number of medical specialists, family physicians and nurse practitioners greatly increased competition for patients. This resulted in a groundswell for a formal campaign to enhance the image of pediatrics to the public. The AAP responded by developing programs and materials that would accomplish this, including the "Speak Up For Children" campaign in 1978.
In 1982, the AAP hired a public relations agency to build public awareness via the "New Age for Pediatrics" campaign, designed to expand the concept of pediatricians being more than "baby doctors." This same year the Task Force on the Promotion of Pediatrics was created. In 1984, the AAP developed its own in-house capabilities to handle public and media relations, and the Task Force evolved into the Provisional Committee on Communications. The Committee on Communications was appointed in 1987. Following the AAP's reorganization in 1998, the Committee on Communications changed its name to the Committee on Public Education to describe its role in the broader field of health education. Then in 2004, the Committee returned to the name Committee on Communications as the mission of the group shifted to encompass more communications-related activities.
The Section on Media was founded in 2003 to help pediatricians use print, broadcast, and online media to improve child and adolescent health. Its primary activities have been education and communication.
As a united group, the Council aims to amplify the voice of the Academy, both nationally and locally and to serve as a resource for health care professionals, parents, and health journalists by bringing them the information they need about media-related issues and how these relate to children's overall health and well-being.
Media has a huge influence in shaping contemporary American culture. Our patients and their families are overwhelmingly exposed to media - so much so that media exposure has become a public health issue. The Council on Communications and Media strives to influence what messages the media send to children and to teach children and families how to analyze media messages. Our overall mission involves policy development and dissemination, education, professional networking and development, and community outreach and advocacy.
We hope this site will become a useful tool for anyone interested in the impact of media issues on children, both in and out of the Academy!
COCM membership is open to all Members of the Academy with an interest in media. Such interests include serving as an AAP media spokesperson, producing media materials for patient education, educating others about the effects of media on child and adolescent health, and seeking to influence entertainment media. Academy Members who write for print media or appear on TV or radio or who promote chapter activities also will find Council membership useful.
The Council currently has 143 members and holds its organizational meetings and hosts educational programs in conjunction with the Academy's annual National Conference and Exhibition (NCE).
Deborah Mulligan, MD, FAAP
Nusheen Ameenuddin, MD, FAAP
Ari Brown, MD, FAAP
Dimitri Christakis, MD, FAAP
Corinn Cross, MD, FAAP
Holly Falik, MD, FAAP
David Hill, MD, FAAP
Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP
Alanna Levine, MD, FAAP
Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, MD, FAAP
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, FAAP
Michael Brody, MD
Brian Wilcox, PhD
Immediate Past Chairperson
Gilbert Fuld, MD, FAAP
Veronica Laude Noland