Members of ACOP Communication and Advocacy Committee
As we continued to adapt and navigate through the unprecedented year that was 2020, members of the CME Committee, chaired by Dr. Jamee Goldstein, DO, FACOP, took on the monumental task of converting our planned Fall CME that was originally to be held in conjunction with the annual OMED Conference, into a totally virtual CME opportunity. Working with speakers, moderators, and members of our IT team, the committee took our typical four-day conference and created a virtual conference spanning two weekends in November and December of 2020.
Using a mixture of pre-recorded lectures and live question and answer sessions with the presenters, conference members were able to continue receiving the excellent educational opportunities for which the ACOP is known, including real-time interaction with the speakers, from the comfort and safety of their own homes. All lectures were also available on-demand for all attendees so that they could review interesting talks, or view ones they may have missed due to scheduling conflicts.
Overall, the conference went very smoothly and was well-received by our members. For those of you who missed it, check out some of the highlights below provided by some of our medical student and resident members.
COVID Effects in Children: Mental Health Impact on Kids
V. Fan Tait, MD, FAAP
Dr. Fan Tait gave an enlightening presentation touching on the effects of the SARS-COV-2 on the mental health of children across the country. She eloquently described the impact of the pandemic on feelings of isolation, grief, fear, and its highlight of already present healthcare disparities. As pediatricians, we are in a unique role to initiate the conversation with families to address their needs in the midst of such a tumultuous time. This discussion could revolve around basic needs that the family may be struggling to meet, what the caregivers or children are most worried about, and what their current support system looks like.
Published in October 2020, the AAP has provided interim guidance on supporting the emotional and behavioral health needs of children, adolescent, and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, many helpful resources can be found on healthychildren.org.
Vaping and Nicotine Addiction/Treatment
Jessica Castonguay, DO, MPH, FAAP
Dr. Jessica Castonguay started off the afternoon session with an important presentation covering the prevalence, risk, and treatment associated with teen vaping and cigarette use. Over the last 10 years, cigarette use in teens has decreased while vaping rates have been rapidly on the rise, leading to an overall increased nicotine use in adolescence. Risk of vaping E-cigs include Vaping Associated Lung Injury (EVALI), addiction, and other risks associated with inhaling heavy metals and other volatile organics. In her presentation, Dr. Castonguay discussed the ways in which we can be thoroughly screening our patients using tools like CRAFFT, the HEADDSSS psychosocial interview, and the Positive Screening Method: SBIRT. She discussed the importance of supporting kids’ cessation rather than dictating their use as well as the treatment options available for physicians to prescribe.
Resources: CRAFFT Screening Tool Arch PediartrAdolescMed (Knight et al., 2002)
Topics in Food Myths: Additives, Heavy Metals, Chelation
Tami Hendriksz, DO, FACOP
To end our Saturday discussions, Dr. Tami Hendriksz presented a fascinating talk on food additives and heavy metals and their effects on our children’s development. Over 10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added to food and food content, many of which have not yet been thoroughly studied to prove their safety. This presentation began by covering the types of additives found in foods like BPA, Phthalates, Perfluoroalkyl chemicals, Perchlorate, Nitrates, nitrites, dyes, and heavy metals and discussed ways in which we can reduce our children’s exposures. She warns that children of minorities and of low socioeconomic status may be at the highest risk for exposure and promotes the consumption of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables when available. Furthermore, Dr. Hendriksz covered some of the facts and myths surrounding chelation and its benefits and risks to young children.
How to Speak About Racism/Prejudices on Children
Tyree M.S. Winters, DO, FACOP
In this session, Dr. Tyree Winters explored racism as an adverse childhood event (ACE) for our pediatric population. Dr. Winters focused on the importance of understanding the different ways in which racism can affect our patients and learn to acknowledge our own personal biases. In addition, he explored how pediatricians can be active allies in the fight against racism by engaging with community leaders to help make safer communities, educating law enforcement on the normal behavior of children and adolescents in different developmental stages, asking about experiences with racism when assessing our patients home/school/community environment, and creating an inclusive environment at your institution (diverse staff, books/handouts that display a wide range of populations and cultures, etc.).
OMM for Pediatric Pain Management
Kimberly J. Wolf, DO, FACOP
Dr. Kimberly Wolf made OMT for pain in kids as easy as ABC! Of course, she did go a little more in depth than that but broke it down to the essentials of focusing on autonomics, biomechanics, and circulation. By discussing techniques to address each of these, osteopaths at all skill levels and in all clinical practice models can begin to address discomfort that children and teenagers may be experiencing.
Newborn Care and Screening during COVID-19 Pandemic
Tania Mangones, MD
Dr. Tania Mangones presented a great lecture on the peri-natal effects that COVID-19 has had and continues to have on management of the mother-baby dyad. She covered extensive ground including transmission of the virus, logistics of delivery, impacts on breast feeding, and recommendations for care – from the well-baby nursery up to resuscitation and NICU level management. This lecture was a potpourri of incredibly helpful information!