Preface ii In July 1930, the Depression deepening, three founding members signed papers in Chicago to create the American Academy of Pediatrics, a new kind of medical society that would “foster and stimulate interest in pediatrics and correlate all aspects of work for the welfare of children which properly comes within the scope of pediatrics.” Today there are 67,000 members continuing that mission—primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists. The Children’s Charter from the White House Conference of 1930 provided a visionary framework for the Academy’s inspirational mission, with continuing relevance today. The vision as described by the first president, Isaac Abt, MD, FAAP remains strikingly true today, “As an organization, we should stand ready to assist and lead in public health measures, in social reforms and in hospital and in educational administration as they affect the welfare of childhood.” In creating the AAP, the founders established both pediatricians’ unique medical expertise and their commitment to speak on behalf of children’s welfare. Throughout its history, described by decade here, AAP members have responded to the needs of the times through education, policy and advocacy. The collective work over 90 years has advanced pediatricians’ clinical expertise, grounded its work in science, provided quality education and policy, and embraced a mission to communicate and advocate on behalf of all children. From the beginning this included efforts to effectively address health care access, health disparities and social determinants of health. The following articles celebrate the Academy’s 90th anniversary and illustrate the organization’s remarkably consistent goal of ensuring better health for the whole child and for all children. While the founders were concerned about threats that differ from those faced today, the underlying challenges are remarkably similar, as illustrated by the anniversary articles. The need for a tenacious voice that speaks for all aspects of child health remains as critical as ever. As its 100th Anniversary approaches, the Academy will continue to be that voice and support members in their work to ensure the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults is protected in the coming years and decades.
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