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NCPeds News Net -- November 2019

Monday, November 25, 2019  
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NCPeds News Net
November 2019


Giving Thanks For Our Members

As we go into this week of Thanksgiving, we know that people across the country will be gathering together to celebrate with family and friends, enjoying delicious meals, watching football and, most importantly, giving thanks.

We at NCPeds are getting into the spirit of the holiday a little early and thinking of the people and things for which we'll be giving thanks this year.

Here's just a glimpse of the many things we are grateful for this year:

  • Medicaid Provider Rate Increase: NCPeds and the NC Academy of Family Physicians worked diligently to advocate for this increase, and physicians statewide were able to see the benefit. Thank you to the NCPeds Board of Directors, Medicaid Task Force, Pediatric Council and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for advocating for and implementing this change!
  • Our MembersOur members are the backbone of our organization, and we are truly thankful for every one of them.
  • Our Partners: Our work to advocate for child well-being would not be possible without our many terrific partners.
  • Our Board Members, Committee Chairs and Committee MembersThe NCPeds Board of Directors, Committee Chairs and Committee Members selflessly devote hours of their own time to leading our organization.
  • Our Donors: Every donation that NCPeds receives helps keep us financially strong and able to continue our mission "to empower pediatricians and our partners to foster the physical, social and emotional well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. "This includes donations to our 2019 General Fund, which are still being accepted through the end of 2019 at our website.

Thank you for supporting NCPeds!



2019 AAP National Conference and Exhibition

NCPeds was well represented at the 2019 AAP National Conference and Exhibition in October. Thanks to everyone who attended from North Carolina!



Meet NCPeds' Leaders
Savithri Nageswaran, MD, FAAP
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Site Visit With County Officials

Improving Child Health Through Relationship Building

In October, Savithri Nageswaran, MD, FAAP, was appointed to the North Carolina Commission on Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs by Gov. Roy Cooper after being nominated by NCPeds.

“This Commission was established in 1998 by the North Carolina General Assembly to monitor and evaluate the provision of health care services for children and youth with special health care needs in North Carolina particularly for children who receive Medicaid or Health Choice services. In this role, I hope to advocate for policies to improve the well-being of children with special needs,” she said.


Savi is a Professor of Pediatrics at Wake Forest School of Medicine, a pediatric palliative care physician at Brenner Children’s Hospital and a health services researcher. She serves as the director of the Pediatric Enhanced Care Program, an integrated palliative and complex care program, and she directs the Declan Donoghue Collaborative Care Program for children with undiagnosed complex conditions.


“When I say that I am a pediatric palliative care physician, people respond by saying that it must be hard doing this work. But, I love my job. Even though the children I take care of have conditions that are often incurable, it is very satisfying to make sure they receive high-quality, family-centered care,” she said.


Originally from India, Savi came to the United States in 1998 and began a residency with the Wake Forest Residency Program in 2000. She was a practicing pediatrician in India before moving to the U.S. and graduated from Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai, India. She’s been active in NCPeds since 2000 and has served on the Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition of N.C. and the Committee on Children with Special Needs and Disabilities.


She is an avid reader who loves cooking, meditation and yoga. She lives in Carrboro with her husband.

In November, as we think about elections, it is important to remember that civic engagement doesn’t end at the ballot box. Developing and maintaining strong relationships with elected officials is an important way to improve policies affecting child health. That’s exactly what happened recently in Durham County when pediatrician Elizabeth Erickson, MD, FAAP, helped inform key partners about the importance of Reach Out and Read Carolinas and arranged a site visit with policy makers so they could see the program in action.

As the Director of Reach Out and Read Carolinas at Duke Children's Primary Care, Ellie had seen first-hand how beneficial the intervention can be for supporting children and their families.


The Reach Out and Read intervention is unique for its unparalleled access to children through the medical home, supporting families through the trusted voice of the medical provider.


By prescribing books and changing the way families interact together with their children daily, this program helps develop strong parent-child bonds that last a lifetime, buffer toxic stress and build resilience.

Ellie, who also serves as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Duke's Department of Pediatrics, has been working with Reach Out and Read since 2010 when she began her residency at Duke. Duke has three participating sites located at South Durham, Brier Creek and Lincoln CHC.


After sharing her experience with Reach Out and Read, Durham County began funding a pilot program to provide age-appropriate books to every patient from birth to age five at Duke Children's Primary Care. What started as a six-month pilot program in 2018 has now been extended through July 2020.


Some of the members of the Durham County Board of Commissioners were able to see the program in person when they recently visited one of the Duke Primary Care Clinics.


Ellie attributes the success of this funding partnership with the county to her involvement at many tables across the county like the Durham Partnership for Children, Book Harvest, Family Connects, and library programs such as the Book Mobile.


She recommends that other physicians seek out similar conversations with community leadership in their own areas. Providers can be strong advocates for children and families in a community through their voice, and Durham County Commissioners have listened, and invested in what providers are advocating for as important support, including Reach Out and Read.


"It's essential that we spend time engaging with community partners including policy makers. This partnership came from that engagement and not the other way around," Ellie said. "I wasn't seeking funding. I was sharing my voice as a pediatrician and an expert in child health and the funding happened because of that."



Dates to Remember


Mark your calendars for these upcoming NCPeds events.



Contact NCPeds



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