i Marking History…Making History Sara “Sally” Goza, MD, FAAP AAP President, 2020 Our founders created the American Academy of Pediatrics, because they believed children needed a voice. As our fi rst president, Dr. Isaac Abt, put it, we should “discover neglected problems and, so far as in our power, correct evils and introduce reform.” When you read their history in these pages, you can imagine—these founders were determined rebels in medicine. Th ey were determined clinicians, scientists, and advocates, with a vision for a diff erent kind of medical society and an imagination for what the profession of pediatrics should be. Our history, summarized here, shows us that each generation has taken on that mission anew and made it their own, responding to the evolving needs and opportunities of the times, whether that was fi ghting infectious disease, creating poison control centers, reducing infant mortality, working with community Head Start programs, tackling childhood cancer, taking neonatal resuscitation world-wide, addressing childhood obesity, or working to ensure all children have access to health care. When the year began, I knew we would be marking that 90-year history, but I never dreamed the extent to which we would be making history. Th e COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges unlike anything today’s pediatricians have seen. Once again, the AAP and our nation’s pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists have risen to the occasion. I have never been prouder of my chosen profession or of the Academy. Our history tells us that while much has been accomplished over 90 years, there is more to be done. Our inspiring mission was captured by Dr David Van Gelder in his 1977 AAP presidential address: “We can accomplish our goals, and we must. Our civilization is going to be in the hands of the children we care for. In this sense, we really work not for ourselves, but for the future. We have a great deal to say about the quality of life on a still-shrinking globe. We should speak with a voice that reaffi rms our commitment to a better future for children everywhere.”
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