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in the spotlight

Workshop on Perinatal Practice Strategies

Expanded Emphasis on Leadership
Everyone, Everywhere, all the Time

April 4-6, 2014 – Scottsdale, AZ

Neonatologists, even those who are not in formal leadership positions, must have leadership skills to provide care as part of a medical team. Healthcare organizations also need skilled leadership. These skills are not typically a point of emphasis during training or at medical conferences. A major goal of this workshop will be to provide a variety of opportunities for attendees to enhance their leadership skills, thereby assuring that we continue a strong tradition of leadership in neonatology.

Registration »
Brochure »
H Grant Mechanisms – Tonse N. K. Raju, MD, FAAP »
Social Media Update – Clara H. Song, MD, FAAP »

2013 Apgar Awardee: George Gregory


The Virginia Apgar Award is the most prestigious honor conferred by the Section on Perinatal Pediatrics.  Since 1975, this award has been bestowed upon an individual whose cumulative career contributions continue to influence the well-being of newborn infants in a powerful way.

Current trainees and more junior neonatologists may not be aware that Virginia Apgar (1909-1974) was neither a pediatrician nor a neonatologist but rather an obstetric anesthesiologist who developed a special interest in newborns.  In 1953 she published “A proposal for a new method of evaluation of the newborn infant” in which she introduced a novel yet simple tool (later called the Apgar score) to define the well-being of infants immediately after birth.  Sixty years later, newborn caregivers still rely on this scoring tool to characterize the physiologic transition from fetal to neonatal life and to guide immediate postnatal resuscitative measures.  In the 1960s, Dr. Apgar also strongly advocated the need for universal Rubella vaccination and for maternal Rh testing to reduce neonatal mortality and morbidity.  Late in her career she became an instrumental force within the March of Dimes Foundation and worked to further its initial agenda to prevent and treat birth defects.

These serial vignettes will briefly highlight the accomplishments of past Apgar Award honorees.  This month we feature the 2013 Apgar Award recipient, Dr. George Gregory.  Coincidentally, Dr. Gregory is also an anesthesiologist who carved out a unique collaboration with the legendary team of neonatologists at the University of California at San Francisco.

Dr. Apgar's seminal paper »
Learn more about Dr. Gregory »
Dr. Gregory's landmark paper on CPAP »

In the News

In Memoriam: Nicholas Macy Nelson, MD


It is with sadness that we share the news that Nicholas Nelson, 84, a pioneer of neonatal physiology and recipient of the AAP Section on Perinatal Pediatrics Landmark Award, died on Sunday, January 26, 2014. A graduate of Yale University, Nick received his M.D. from Cornell (1954) and did his initial pediatric training at Bellevue Hospital, New York. Following 2 years in France as a pediatrician in the U.S. Army, he completed his pediatric training at the Boston Children's Hospital and then a fellowship (1959-61) under Clement Smith at the Laboratory for Neonatal Research at the Boston Lying-in Hospital (now replaced by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital).

After a stint in private pediatric practice in New Jersey, he returned to the Lying-in in 1964 and directed the research from that laboratory. During the 1960s, Nick published a series of seminal studies that defined some of the basic parameters of pulmonary physiology in the newborn. These studies were accomplished with the basic tools of the pulmonary physiologist, such as the body plethysmograph, with no help from the computerized systems now available to investigators, and were a triumph of creative technical skill, patience, and perseverance.

More about Dr. Nelson »

CoPS Shares Information About Training & Certification


The Council of Pediatric Subspecialties (CoPS), in which the AAP Section on Perinatal Pediatrics participates, works closely with the American Board of Pediatrics and other significant pediatric organizations to address issues common across pediatric subspecialties.   We offer a recent CoPS update on subspecialty competencies, entrustable professional activities (EPAs), fellowship training and other contemporary issues.

Learn more »

New AHRQ Toolkit Designed to Improve
Safety of Fragile Newborms


A new toolkit is available to help improve the safety of infants born preterm or with complex congenital conditions as they transition from the neonatal intensive care unit to their home. Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the toolkit features information on how to create a Health Coach Program, where the “Health Coach” serves as a teacher and facilitator who encourages open communication with the parents/caregivers to identify their needs and concerns and facilitates follow-up care for the infant by primary care providers. As an online product, the Health Coach Program can customize a broad range of information for each family based on their needs and concerns. Included are approximately 30 fact sheets, directed to either the clinician or the infant’s family, on topics that range from medications to breastfeeding to insurance coverage tips.

See more here »

An Update on Research Issues in the Assessment
of Birth Settings - Workshop Summary


More than 30 years ago, the IOM and the National Research Council released the report Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings which determined methodologies and research needed to evaluate childbirth settings in the United States. Since the release of the report in 1982, the issues surrounding birth settings have evolved and new research has emerged. In March 2013 the IOM held a workshop to review updates to the 1982 report. Presentations and discussions highlighted research findings that advance understanding of the effects of maternal care services in different birth settings on labor, clinical and other birth procedures, and birth outcomes. The workshop also identified datasets and relevant research literature that may inform a future study.

More details »

Sleeping Boy CHAPTER 9: Quality Improvement Opportunities in Postpartum Care


Chapter 9 is about the experiences that a woman has immediately after giving birth and for the first 6 weeks after birth (postpartum care) could seriously affect her health, the health of her child, her perception of childbirth and even her attachment to her newborn. Postpartum care has been shown to improve perinatal health outcomes. And yet, there are aspects of postpartum care that could improve these outcomes even further: immediate and sustained breastfeeding; Family-Centered Maternity Care, in which the mother and infant are not separated at all throughout the hospital stay and the new family’s needs are paramount; teaching new mothers and fathers about smoking cessation in order to improve their health and that of their new infants and children at home; universal screening for postpartum depression; and screening for postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ch 9: Quality Improvement Opportunities in Postpartum Care »

Obtain the full TIOP III report »

AAP Perinatal TWEETS


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