The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its member pediatricians dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The AAP has approximately 67,000 members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and many other countries. Members include pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists. More than 45,000 members are board-certified and called Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP).
The AAP was founded in June 1930 by 35 pediatricians who met in Detroit in response to the need for an independent pediatric forum to address children’s needs. When the AAP was established, the idea that children have special developmental and health needs was a new one. Preventive health practices now associated with child care – such as immunizations and regular health exams – were only just beginning to change the custom of treating children as “miniature adults."
The mission of the AAP is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. To accomplish this mission, the AAP shall support the professional needs of its members.
Structure and Governance
The AAP is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of ten members who are elected by members in their regional districts and who also serve as district chairpersons.
Members vote each year for a national president-elect. The Executive Committee, which conducts AAP business on a daily basis, consists of the president, president-elect, immediate past president, and executive director as ex-officio member. Current Executive Committee members are:
President: Colleen A. Kraft, MD, FAAP
CEO/Executive Vice President (Interim): Mark Del Monte, J.D.
Members also elect officers for their chapters, which serve states and territories in the U.S. and Canadian provinces. Chapters are individually incorporated, have their own bylaws, and further the aims of the national organization as well as local priorities.
The AAP is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation organized for scientific and educational purposes, exempt from income tax under Section 501(c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The AAP has been classified as an organization that is not a private foundation as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
One of the AAP’s major activities is to further the professional education of its members. Continuing education courses, annual scientific meetings, seminars, publications and statements from committees, councils, and sections form the basis of a continuing postgraduate educational program.
More than 30 committees develop many of the AAP's positions and programs. Committees have interests as varied as injury and poison prevention, disabled children, sports medicine, nutrition and child health financing.
The AAP currently has 11 councils and 52 sections consisting of more than 41,500 members with interest in specialized areas of pediatrics. This includes a section for medical students, residents and fellowship trainees with more than 10,000 members. Sections and councils present educational programs for both their members and the general membership of the AAP in order to highlight current research and practical knowledge in their respective subspecialties.
The AAP publishes Pediatrics, its monthly scientific journal; Pediatrics in Review, its continuing education journal; and its membership news magazine, AAP News. It also publishes manuals on such topics as infectious diseases and school health. In its public education efforts, the AAP produces patient education brochures and a series of child care books written by AAP members.
The AAP executes original research in social, economic and behavioral areas and promotes funding of research. It maintains a Washington, DC office to ensure that children’s health needs are taken into consideration as legislation and public policy are developed. The AAP’s state advocacy staff provides assistance to chapters, promoting issues such as child safety legislation and Medicaid policies that increase access to care for low-income children.
Sources of Funding
The AAP’s activities and programs are funded through a wide variety of sources including membership dues, revenues from continuing medical education activities and publications, and unrestricted support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Grants and contributions support more than 200 programs each year. Individuals and organizations may donate to the Friends of Children Fund annual campaign or through major or planned gifts to the Tomorrow's Children Endowment.
For more information on the AAP, please visit www.aap.org.