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James Chmiel, MD, PhD, Cleveland, OH
Assembly Chair
James Chmiel, MD, PhD

Welcome to the American Thoracic Society (ATS) website for the Scientific Assembly on Pediatrics.  This is your assembly.  This Assembly will be as great as its members want it to be.  We encourage all ATS members with an interest in Pediatrics to get involved with the Scientific Assembly on Pediatrics.  Our mission is to promote the respiratory health of infants, children and adolescents and to improve the care of children with respiratory disease through research, education, patient care, and advocacy. We want to improve the lung health of all children worldwide and advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The Assembly has an international, multidisciplinary membership (Figure) that includes specialists in pediatric pulmonology, allergy-immunology, neonatology, sleep medicine, and critical care (and related disciplines), nurses, respiratory therapists, and other caregivers (Figure). Indeed, the Assembly has more than 1700 primary and secondary members worldwide who have diverse backgrounds and interests (Figure), all brought together by the common goal of understanding and improving the respiratory health of infants, children, and adolescents. We want to further expand our presence in North America and worldwide.  A Virtual International Pediatric Pulmonary Network was recently launched with the support of the ATS.  Three-quarters of ATS members who choose pediatrics as their primary assembly are members of other assemblies, further reflecting our diversity.

The Scientific Assembly on Pediatrics continues to promote the careers of subspecialists, advocates, clinical investigators, and pulmonary scientists dedicated to improving treatment of children with lung diseases and breathing disorders. A growing shortage of well-trained clinicians and investigators has threatened the viability of the pulmonary medicine subspecialist and our ability to provide care for increasing numbers of children with acute and chronic lung disease.  In the coming years, we want to promote pediatrics by increasing the involvement of physicians-in-training and junior faculty members in the Assembly.  We encourage all fellows and junior faculty members to volunteer for Assembly activities.  The Assembly has strongly supported ATS efforts to address reimbursement inequities for pediatric subspecialists, which has negatively impacted access to care for some children.  We continue to work with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and offered recommendations to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) regarding research priorities for pediatric lung diseases.  The Pediatric Assembly was well represented at the American Board of Pediatrics Invitational Conference that began to consider various aspects of subspecialty clinical training, and we remain integrally involved with the initiative on pediatric subspecialty fellowship training.

We continue to serve as advisors to the ATS on child health issues, and work with other national and international organizations toward our common mission of improving the health of children. The Assembly was a strong advocate for the legislated Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which provides the Food and Drug Administration with the authority to regulate advertising, marketing and manufacturing of tobacco products, and the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) Priority List of Needs in Pediatric Therapeutics.  We also need to advocate on the behalf of children with respect to the adverse health effects of electronic cigarettes and work towards a ban on products that directly target children.

This year, the Assembly was prominent again at the ATS International Conference through our active participation in numerous symposia, mini-symposia, workshops, post-graduate courses, poster discussions and thematic poster sessions.  The development of an educational program which allows attendees to earn Part II maintenance of certification (MOC) credit has been wildly popular.  Recently published, Assembly-supported projects include an Official ATS Technical Standards: Flexible airway endoscopy in children, an Official American Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline: Classification, Evaluation, and Management of Childhood Interstitial Lung Disease in Infancy, and an Official ATS Workshop Report: Optimal Lung Function Tests for Monitoring Cystic Fibrosis, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, and Recurrent Wheezing in Children Less Than 6 Years of Age.  In addition, publication of American Heart Association and American Thoracic Society Joint Guidelines for Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension is forthcoming. These and many other documents relevant to pediatric respiratory disorders are available by links from this website.

The American Thoracic Society Board of Directors continue to fund four Assembly projects that are expected to be published in the coming year: Guidelines for the Evaluation and Treatment of Recurrent Wheezing in Infancy, Standardisation of Preschool Inert Gas Washout, Pediatric Chronic Home Ventilation, and Evaluation of Respiratory Mechanics and Function in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units.  In 2014, the Board of Directors also approved funding for a new project in Pediatrics: Clinical Diagnostic Guidelines in Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.

The Scientific Assembly on Pediatrics has been called to action by our patients, families, members, and the American Thoracic Society at large. A multitude of volunteer opportunities exist for those individuals who provide care to children suffering from lung disease.  We have several Aims for the coming years:

  1. To promote child lung health globally, especially for those children who live in disadvantaged areas
  2. To develop a plan for transitional care programs with our adult colleagues for older children and young adults with chronic respiratory conditions
  3. To address the impact of childhood lung disease on behavior and familial stress
  4. To educate children on the adverse effects of tobacco products and e-cigarettes and advocate for a ban on e-cigarette and similar products that appeal directly to children
  5. To increase the involvement of neonatologists and critical care physicians in the Scientific Assembly on Pediatrics
  6. To increase the involvement of fellows and junior faculty in Assembly activities
  7. To increase the number of students and residents who go into subspecialties that provide care to children with lung disease and to increase the number of trainees who are interested in becoming physician scientists in pediatric respiratory disorders

If any of these areas appeal to you, and you would like to get involved, please contact the Assembly Chair or any member of the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee for the Scientific Assembly on Pediatrics is:

Assembly Chair: James F. Chmiel, MD, MPH, Cleveland, OH
Assembly Chair-Elect: Stephanie Davis, MD, Indianapolis, IN
Program Chair: Anastassios Constantin Koumbourlis, MD, MPH, Washington, DC
Program Chair-Elect: Paul Moore, MD, Brentwood, TN
Planning Chair: Don Hayes Jr., MD, Columbus, OH
Nominating Chair: Theresa W. Guilbert, MD, Cincinnati, OH
PEDS International Relations Committee Chair: Laura Gochicoa, MD, Texcoco, Mexico
PEDS International Relations Committee Co-Chair: Ozge Yilamz, MD, Manisa, Turkey 
PEDS Assembly Liaison: Don B. Sanders, MD, MSc, Indianapolis, IN 
Web Director: Benjamin T. Kopp, MD, FAAP, Columbus, OH
PEDS Infant and Preschool Lung Function Working Group: Padmaja Subbarao, MD, Toronto, ON

Chair Appointees:
Carolyn Kercsmar, MD, Cincinnati, OH
Mary A. Nevin, MD, Chicago, IL
Felix Ratjen, MD, Toronto, ON

Your input and feedback are always welcome. You can contact the assembly by email at


Last Reviewed: May 2017