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Wisconsin Pediatricians Announce State and National Achievement Awards Recognitions Presented at WIAAP Advocacy Day at The Capitol

The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics ( recently acknowledged the child health advocacy work of state pediatricians and child and family health advocates during the Advocacy Open Forum, held in the State Capitol Building in Madison. Recognitions included Senator Julie Lassa for Legislator of the Year and Kristina Manke for Community Service Award, as well as numerous national awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Kimberly, WI, October 15, 2012 --( The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics ( recently acknowledged the child health advocacy work of state pediatricians and child and family health advocates during the Advocacy Open Forum, held in the State Capitol Building in Madison. James Meyer, MD, FAAP, WIAAP President and adolescent medicine specialist at the Marshfield Clinic, presented the awards. Among those recognized:

WIAAP Legislator of the Year: State Senator Julie Lassa
WIAAP thanked Senator Julie Lassa for her longtime legislative advocacy supporting the health and well-being of children and families. Notably, her record demonstrates a commitment to strengthening child abuse and neglect statutes, accommodating breastfeeding in the workplace, safeguarding products for children, championing newborn hearing screening and the requirement for health insurance companies to pay for hearing aids and cochlear implants and mandating the reporting of the death and/or disappearance of a child, also known as “Caylee’s Law.

WIAAP Community Service Award: Kristina Manke
Kristina Manke, Project Coordinator for the Patient At Risk Program, has built an impressive base of support across the health care, community services and parent advocacy sectors to strengthen this initiative. Patient At Risk is a collaborative consortium of hospital and emergency medical service providers who have designed an online database of medical information for use with children and youth with special health care needs in the event of an emergency. Her leadership has forged the way for a lasting impact for improved emergency care for children with complex medical protocols.

WIAAP Recognition of Service Award: David T. Bernhardt, MD, FAAP
Dr. Bernhardt has served for six years on the WIAAP Board of Directors and continues in his leadership role as the chair of the Chapter’s Sports Medicine Committee. He has received a Special Achievement Award on behalf of the national American Academy of Pediatrics for his work in continuing education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and was instrumental in securing passage of the “Sidelined for Safety” concussion bill earlier this year.

AAP Special Achievement Award – The Wisconsin Chapter AAP
WIAAP is actively engaged in workgroups and initiatives surrounding the implementation of a comprehensive developmental screening network using a standard, validated tool. WIAAP participates in the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC), the ECAC Home Visiting committee, the Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners (WECCP), the WECCP Healthy Children Committee, Project LAUNCH and the Wisconsin Statewide Medical Home Initiative (WiSMI) to further this goal.

AAP Special Achievement Award – Todd Mahr, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mahr was rewarded for his advocacy for awareness of adolescent mental health issues. “Kaitlin’s Table” is designed to break down barriers and reach out to youth and adolescents who are struggling with life’s challenges. The approach involves trained volunteers, including community members, students and peers, and behavioral health professionals, to provide appropriate support and care referrals in a non-threatening manner. The project pays tribute to his daughter, who suffered from depression died at age 20 of an accidental overdose.

AAP Special Achievement Award – Dipesh Navsaria, MD, MSLIS, MPH, FAAP
A specialist in early childhood development and children’s librarian by training, Dr. Navsaria champions the value of literacy for long-term learning and overall well-being. His efforts were crucial in the founding of Wisconsin Reach Out and Read (ROR) Coalition. ROR prepares Wisconsin’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to “prescribe” books and encourage families to read together. Physicians are able to gauge a child’s cognitive, emotional and social health by observing their interactions, and emphasize to families the importance of reading from an early age.

AAP Special Achievement Award – Joseph O’Grady, MD, FAAP
Past President of the Wisconsin Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr. O’Grady a champion for the improvement of child and adolescent mental health. With the Chapter and the WIAAP Foundation, he orchestrated the launch of a series of webinars on mental health issues for primary care providers. This important work provides professional guidance for non-psychiatrists who often are the first to evaluate a child with a potential mental health issue. The webinars provide didactic, case study and question and answer period, giving live access to these specialists. This series was awarded a Special Achievement Award from the AAP in 2011.

Comprised of nearly 1,000 members and a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics ( WIAAP works to assure optimal health and safety for Wisconsin’s children and their families through advocacy and collaboration with child interest groups. WIAAP supports Wisconsin pediatricians, enabling them to continue to be the most effective providers of health care to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
Contact Information
Wisconsin Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Kia LaBracke
563 Carter Court, Suite B
Kimberly, WI 54136

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