FCAAP Releases White Paper on Re-Opening School in Florida

As Florida’s schools prepare to re-open this Fall, superintendents are weighing options for doing so safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) today released “FCAAP Recommendations Regarding School Reopening”, a white paper to assist Florida’s school superintendents as they prepare their school districts to reopen. This guidance is pursuant to FCAAP’s recent letter to Governor DeSantis, outlining its position that schools should be allowed to decide how and when to open on a case-by-case basis based on COVID-19 infection rates in each school district.

COVID-19 positivity rates are currently extremely high in Florida with a rolling average of 12% of tests positive for new infections over the past two weeks. FCAAP recommends that school districts in locales with positive test rates averaging ≥5% over the previous two weeks delay the start date for school until positive testing rates are lower.

“Because infection rates vary so widely statewide, there is no universal plan that allows all of Florida’s school to re-open safely at the same time, and districts should tailor their plans accordingly. Ideally, each plan should be developed by each local school district in consultation with local pediatricians, family physicians, epidemiologists, and infectious disease specialists,” said Dr. D. Paul Robinson, FCAAP President.

In the white paper, FCAAP has highlighted key areas for consideration and offers guiding principles regarding:

·        Screening for Symptoms
·        Social Distancing in Classrooms
·        Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Sanitation Procedures
·        Considerations for Vulnerable Demographics
·        Role of School Nurses
·        School Sports
·        Returning to School After a Potential COVID-19 Exposure.

Recent studies referenced in the white paper show children do not become as ill as older age groups with COVID-19, and they do not spread the disease as efficiently as adults do. The data are relatively limited to make definite conclusions about these contentions. However, if children, as a group, do not become as ill as adults, it does not mean every child with COVID-19 does not become ill, and that they will not infect those entrusted to care for and educate them.

“FCAAP believes it is important for children to return to school to reap the benefits of face-to-face education and the provision of other school services, but the benefits must outweigh the medical risks to the children, teachers, school staff, and families. In many areas of the state, coronavirus prevalence will not decrease enough in the next 4-6 weeks to make the benefits of school attendance outweigh the risks,” Robinson concluded.

FCAAP remains available to give guidance to superintendents if they are interested.

The Florida Pediatrician, Summer 2020

The Summer 2020 edition of The Florida Pediatrician is now available! Click here to access this edition.

Featured articles include:

• Evidence-Based Medicine Curriculum: Our Experience at the University of Florida, Jacksonville

• The Impact of a Medical-Legal Partnership in Pediatric Care in Jacksonville, Florida

• Cold Hands, Warm Heart: Purple Discoloration of Bilateral Hands in a 15-year-old Female


FPP2020 Online – Connecting for Kids!

The Future of Pediatric Practice 2020 is moving online! Although we won’t be gathering in person this year, FCAAP has planned a fun, interactive, and educational virtual conference for all pediatric health care providers. Join us September 4 – 5, 2020, from the comfort of your home or office for engaging presentations, networking with colleagues, an interactive exhibit hall, games, and a little Disney magic. There is even a little something for the non-provider members of your family! The best part? FPP2020 Online is completely free to attend!

See the full agenda and register here.

Partner packages are available. Download the Partner Prospectus or visit the Partner Opportunities page on the event website.


FCAAP Launching NEW Forum Series July 2

By popular demand following the success of FCAAP’s hit COVID-19 Forum Series, the Chapter is excited to launch its NEW FCAAP Florida Health Care Provider Forum Series! This 12-part webinar forum series for Florida-based pediatricians will feature a new 30-minute session on the first and third Thursday of each month centered around hot topics requested by FCAAP Members.

The series kicks off Thursday, July 2 at 12:30pm EST with FCAAP Secretary Dr. Toni Richards-Rowley discussing Bringing Patients Back to Your Office, including ways to educate parents about vaccinations before the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Additional topics include Guidance for Schools Reopening with FCAAP School & Mental Health Task Force Co-Chairs Dr. Lisa Gwynn & Tommy Schechtman, Diversity & Inclusion and Racial Inequalities in Pediatrics with FCAAP D&I Task Force Co-Chairs Drs. Kennessa Hugger & Michael Maurer, AAP Works With You by AAP CEO/Executive Vice President Mark Del Monte, Disaster Preparedness for Pediatricians with FCAAP Disaster Preparedness Committee Co-Chairs Drs. Mavara Mirza & Tiffany Berkshire, Vaccine Confidence with Merck’s Southeast Regional Medical Director Dr. W. Michael Brown, Legislative and Advocacy Updates from FCAAP Lobbyist Doug Bell and FCAAP Secretary and Legislative Advocacy Committee Co-Chair Dr. Toni Richards-Rowley, Physicians and Gun Violence with Dr. Melanie Hagen, and upcoming topics to be announced! To view a complete list of dates, topics, and speakers, click here.

To register for the FCAAP Florida Health Care Provider Forum Series and receive event reminders, click here.

Thank you to the Exclusive Sponsor of the FCAAP Forum 2020 Series: PCC!

Provider Relief Fund Application Deadline is July 20

Below are important updates from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for Medicaid and CHIP providers.

Provider Relief Fund Application Deadline is July 20

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund targeted to eligible providers that participate in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. The payment will be approximately 2% of reported gross revenue from patient care. These funds are NOT first-come, first-served, so all eligible providers who apply can expect to receive funds, however, there is a deadline of July 20, 2020 to submit an application. If you are eligible for these funds, the Chapter encourages you to begin your application as soon as possible if you have not already done so.

To help simplify the process, AHCA has created this factsheet which outlines each step of the application process and contains links to detailed instructions, the application form, the application portal, terms & conditions, and FAQs.

We are collecting feedback on any barriers to applying for the Provider Relief Fund, common provider questions, and any other feedback that would help target future outreach efforts. Please take two minutes to complete this survey to give your feedback.

Medicaid Payment for Telehealth Services

There is currently no sunset date on the flexibilities implemented by AHCA during the COVID-19 pandemic related to Medicaid payments for telehealth services. These flexibilities will remain in place until further notice from AHCA. Click here for AHCA’s official Provider Alert issued 7.1.20. Click here to sign up to receive AHCA alerts.

To help eliminate confusion surrounding these flexibilities, please complete this survey to share your feedback on any trouble you have encountered in receiving Medicaid payments for telehealth services.

Supreme Court Rules DACA Cancellation Was Illegal

On Thursday, June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on the consolidated cases regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The 5-4 ruling concludes that the Trump Administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act when terminating the program, and therefore the program remains in effect. The majority opinion, authored by Chief Justice Roberts, will impact the lives of nearly 700,000 DACA recipients, many of whom are students, parents, and workers.

FCAAP leadership issued the following statement in support of the ruling: “The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) is very excited to announce that the Supreme Court has supported DACA, stopping the Trump Administration from dismantling it. We signed onto the brief requesting this action because we believe that these children deserve a chance to live and thrive here in the United States. It is a great day for DACA citizens, and the FCAAP is grateful to the Supreme Court for this ruling.”

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) had filed an amicus brief in the consolidated DACA cases, alongside the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, FCAAP, and dozens more children’s advocacy organizations, medical professionals, and child development experts. The brief was co-authored by Persyn Law & Policy and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. 

As the brief explains, society has a moral imperative to protect children from harm, and the Court must consider the consequences that rescinding DACA would have on the hundreds of thousands of young children whose parents rely on DACA for work authorization and protection from deportation. The brief states: “The imminent threat of losing DACA protection places children at risk of losing parental nurturance, as well as losing income, food security, housing, access to health care, educational opportunities, and the sense of safety and security that is the foundation of healthy child development.”

Click here to read the full CLASP release and amicus brief.

FCAAP Offices Closed in Recognition of Juneteenth

FCAAP Offices Closed in Recognition of Juneteenth

In recognition of Juneteenth, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Inc. (“FCAAP”), will be closed Friday, June 19, 2020. This day commemorates June 19, 1865, when news finally reached African Americans in Texas that President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Sometimes called Freedom Day, this date was more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Proclamation and has become a special day of reflection and celebration of the end of slavery.
This year’s Juneteenth has added significance because it occurs amid nationwide protests against racial violence. All are encouraged to use this day as an opportunity to reflect and learn about the day, the history of slavery in the United States, and its present day effects. 

FCAAP’s offices will reopen on Monday, June 22.

National AAP Election Results

The national American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) elections have concluded, and Dr. Moira Szilagyi has been voted AAP president-elect. Dr. Szilagyi will take over as president on Jan. 1, 2022, following Dr. Lee Savio Beers, who will serve as president in 2021.

At the district level, FCAAP Past President Dr. Madeline Joseph was elected District X Chairperson, Dr. Michael Ramsey was elected District X Vice Chairperson, and Dr. Yvette L. Piovanetti was elected District X National Nominating Committee Representative. Additional election coverage can be found here.

Congratulations to all newly elected officers!

FCAAP would like to recognize and thank AAP President-Elect candidate Dr. Mobeen Rathore and District X Chairperson candidate Dr. Lisa Cosgrove for their years of service to the AAP at the national and chapter levels. Your Florida colleagues are proud of you both, and the Chapter is fortunate to continue to count you among its leaders!

Vote in the AAP Elections Today!

Help the voices of Florida’s pediatricians be heard by voting in this year’s AAP election! Elect the future leaders of your AAP by visiting aap.org/vote. Elections will conclude on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 11:59 pm (CT). 

Personalized links to election ballots were sent to members via email in May. AAP members in Florida will choose the next president-elect as well as officers for district ten, which is comprised of the Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Puerto Rico chapters. The district officer positions include a district chairperson (who serves on the AAP board), a district vice chairperson (who assists and supports the district chairperson as needed), and a National Nominating Committee (“NNC”) representative (the NNC nominates the two candidates for president-elect).  

The candidates for the positions on which AAP members in Florida may vote are:  

* AAP President Elect: Dr. Mobeen Rathore & Dr. Moira Szilagyi 

* AAP District X Chairperson: Dr. Lisa Cosgrove & Dr. Madeline Joseph 

* AAP District X Vice Chairperson: Dr. Michael Ramsey & Dr. Robert Wiskind 

* AAP National Nominating Committee: Dr. Grant Allen & Dr. Yvette Piovanetti 

You can review all candidate profiles and position statements at aap.org/elections (AAP member login required). Any questions may be directed to the Elections Team at nationalelections@aap.org.


Chapter Quality Network (CQN) Improving Childhood Immunizations Project (ICHIP)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is pleased to announce the launch of a childhood immunizations learning collaborative convened through the National AAP Chapter Quality Network (CQN).  In collaboration with the Florida Chapter of the AAP and the Texas Pediatric Society (the Texas Chapter of the AAP), the CQN Improving Childhood Immunizations Project (ICHIP)  project will employ quality improvement techniques and clinical education/training to increase childhood immunizations in pediatric clinical practices using the Model for Improvement. The primary goal will be to increase rates of the vaccines recommended by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) schedule for children aged 15-35 months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many children have fallen behind on scheduled immunizations. We hope you will participate in this opportunity to increase immunization rates while earning MOC and CME credits. 

About the Project:
Practices will have the opportunity to participate in a learning collaborative based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Breakthrough Series Collaborative Model, which includes four practice learning sessions (2 in person, 2 webinars), and seven practice webinars in collaboration with other practices in their region. Project participants will have access to subject matter experts, curriculum, and QI coaching. Practice teams will implement process changes into their practices by conducting small tests of change and collecting practice-level data (Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles). Practice participation will begin in December 2020 and continue through December 2021.  Eligible participants will receive Maintenance of Certification Part 2 and Part 4, and Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education (PI CME). This project is funded through an independent grant from Pfizer Inc.

View the recruitment packet with more details on the project timeline, requirements, and MOC and PI CME here.

Deadline to enroll:
November 25, 2020.

To enroll in the project:
Complete this survey.

For More Information:
Contact Alicia Adams, Esq., at aadams@fcaap.org.

Questions Regarding MOC & PI CME Requirements:
Contact Kristie Marcelle, MSW, PMP, at kmarcelle@aap.org.