TWENTY-SIX years ago a small group of pediatric leaders met in the library of the Harper Hospital in Detroit to complete plans for the formation of a new society. A number of considerations contributed to the origin of this society, prominent among which was the rapidly growing number of well-trained pediatricians, but the immediate impetus was the White House Conference called by President Hoover in Washington in 1929. Here, with the guidance of many of the founders of the Academy, a program for child health was developed which could be best carried out by an organization of pediatricians.
In this way the Academy came into being. From the very beginning an appreciation of the broader aspects of pediatrics has colored its activities. The particular circumstances under which it was formed certainly had much to do with its interests and aims.
The founding fathers were not content with simply another "scientific society." True, there were scientific sessions, where the newer developments in pediatrics were presented and discussed. But, from the very start, the Academy took an active part in all matters relating to the health and welfare of children. And from the very start, the Academy showed that it was truly representative of all its members—practitioners, teachers, investigators, public health workers.
The breadth of its interests was reflected in the committee activities. In the first year of its existence there were, among others, Academy committees on Medical Education, Hospitals and Dispensaries, the relation of the Academy to Philanthropic, Welfare and Health and similar agencies, Nursing Education in Pediatrics, and Mental Hygiene. In this way the Academy of Pediatrics showed its awareness of its social obligations and its influence was felt early. As the Academy membership has grown in experience and in numbers, and as the Academy has extended its interests in more and more fields, it has attained a position of eminence and high respect among philanthropic and government agencies which have to do with children; and the help and guidance of the Academy is sought widely.
- Copyright © 1957 by the American Academy of Pediatrics