For any national organization striving to keep pace with increasingly diverse responsibilities and objectives, there are appropriate times when that organization must pause, reflect, and project before moving forward to meet the goals to which it has dedicated its programs and priorities.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It was June 23, 1930 that 35 pediatricians met in Harper Hospital in Detroit to establish the Academy as the organization to speak for the interests and health of children, as well as the interests of its pediatric members. This year also marks the beginning of a new decade, a decade which holds great promise for the future of pediatrics but a decade which also presents significant challenges which we must meet if we are to deliver quality health care to all children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is indeed fortunate to be able to draw from the accomplishments of a progressive history of achievement, distinguished by the vision of its early founders. In the 1920's the medical community widely predicted that pediatrics was disappearing as a specialty, that in a few years it would merge into the field of general medicine. Concern was also expressed that pediatrics was not sufficiently represented in the echelons of organized medicine and, consequently, the cause of child health was not being served adequately.
To pediatricians like Isaac A. Abt, the first president of the Academy, to John L. Morse, its first vice-president, and to Clifford G. Grulee, the Academy's pioneering executive director, these were very real challenges, but they were not causes for pessimism or defeatism.
- Copyright © 1971 by the American Academy of Pediatrics