American Academy of Pediatrics Identifies Top Health Issues
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Fran Gallagher, MEd, CEO, New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, to discuss some of the biggest issues facing our youth today, including mental health, oral health and immunizations.
"One on One is pleased to welcome Fran Gallagher, CEO. She's the chief executive officer of the New Jersey chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Good to see you Fran. Thanks for having me. Can we jump into a couple things right out of the box? There are people watching right now who are asking, "Hey what's up with the immunization thing? And why do I still see certain folks out there challenging, questioning, whether we should be immunizing our kids? Giving them shots?" It's a frightening situation because in fact, decades ago, the diseases that were eradicated are now returning. We've got a measles outbreak of well over a thousand cases that have been reported. It's a scary time with that. And we need to mobilize everyone. Not just physicians, but families, everyone who believes that vaccines are safe, they're effective, and they're necessary to prevent vaccine preventable diseases like measles. No clear...? I'm sorry for interrupting. No clear evidence scientific medical evidence, connecting these vaccines to autism to any other...? Absolutely not. So what is...? 19 clinical studies have proven it. You have an anti-vax movement that is going on. Yup. And while it's small, it's well-funded, it's articulate, and they're present every day in their legislators' offices. What we need are the people who believe that vaccines are important, that they are going to save lives, that they prevent diseases, to pick up the phone or go visit their legislators, because there are far more people who understand and value the public health benefits of vaccines. Fran, do us a favor. For those who don't know what the American Academy of Pediatrics is. They hear it. But they don't know what it is. Do you regulate anyone? We don't regulate anyone at all. We are a membership organization focused on children. We're looking at optimal healthcare access to, and quality pediatric care for, all children here in New Jersey. We have 1,750 pediatricians who are dedicated to just that. So we run a lot of quality improvement programs. We provide support for advanced primary care, which used to be referred to as a medical home, but stepping up to the plate to address a lot of different issues. And we do a lot of macro work. Meaning policy, regulatory, legislative advocacy work. You have corporate partners? You have folks that... We do. ...you know as well? We do. In fact, we have... we partner... public/private partnerships are essential in making improvements in a state. We partner with Horizon as a foundation. We partner with... To disclose, they are one of our underwriters, and underwriters of public broadcasting. What is the partnership? The partnership is around, again, quality improvement, access... increasing access to quality pediatric healthcare. How? So we've worked..."