Session Chairs: Nick Spencer, MD, and Paul Melinkovich, MD, FAAP
Speakers: Margaret Lynch, MD, DCH, FRCP, FRCPCH, and O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP
We will begin this session by providing a definition of community pediatrics. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Community Health Services, after years of discussing and rewriting, generated a definition of community pediatrics that we can use for our discussion. There are 5 basic points in the definition.
A perspective that enlarges the pediatrician’s focus from 1 child to all children in the community
A recognition that family, educational, social, cultural, spiritual, economic, environmental, and political forces act favorably or unfavorably—but always significantly—on the health and functioning of children
A synthesis of clinical practice and public health principles directed toward providing health care to a given child and promoting the health of all children within the context of the family, school, and community
A commitment to use a community’s resources in collaboration with other professionals, agencies, and parents to achieve optimal accessibility, appropriateness, and quality of services for all children and to advocate especially for those who lack access to care because of social or economic conditions or their special health care needs
An integral part of the professional role and duty of the pediatrician1
The committee considered community pediatrics to be an integral part of the professional role of all pediatricians and all other health professionals who care for children. In this context, all pediatricians, whether they are primary care physicians or subspecialists, have a role to play in community pediatrics.
Although community pediatrics may mean something different in the United Kingdom than it does in the United States, the philosophy of our approaches seems to be much the same. Perhaps community pediatrics is more about an attitude of mind than a category of pediatrics. In this session, Margaret Lynch, MD, DCH, FRCPCH, discusses the UK government’s agenda in relation to planning of children’s services and the work of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in child health advocacy. With respect to the United States, much of the implementation of community pediatrics through the American Academy of Pediatrics has been through the Community Access to Child Health Program. O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP, will discuss the evolution of this initiative and how it operationalizes our understanding about what exactly is community pediatrics.
- ↵American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Community Health Services. The pediatrician’s role in community pediatrics. Pediatrics.1999;103 :1304– 1307
- Copyright © 2003 by the American Academy of Pediatrics