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Robin R. Deterding, MD
Assembly Chair
Robin R. Deterding, MD

Welcome to the American Thoracic Society (ATS) website for 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. 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. 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.  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 Conferencethat 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.

This year, the Assembly was prominent again at the ATS International Conference through our active participation in numerous symposia, minisymposia, workshops, post-graduate courses, poster discussion and thematic poster sessions.  Recently published, Assembly-supported projects include ATS Consensus Statements (Research Opportunities and Challenges in Pediatric Pulmonology and Care of the Child with Chronic Lung Disease of Infancy and Childhood), Clinical Policy Statement (Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome: Genetic Basis, Diagnosis, and Management), Workshop Report (Issues in Screening for Asthma in Children), and two joint ATS-European Respiratory Society (ERS) Statements (Pulmonary Function Testing in Preschool Children and Raised Volume Forced Expirations in Infants: Guidelines for Current Practice).

The American Thoracic Society Board of Directors continue to fund two Assembly projects: CT Imaging in the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Pediatric Lung Disease and Optimal Lung Function Tests for Monitoring Cystic Fibrosis, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, and Recurrent Wheezing in Children Under 6 Years of Age.  We anticipate that recommendations from these projects will be submitted this year, and hopefully published in 2011. The Board of Directors also approved initiation of an unfunded new project, Care of the Child with Pulmonary Hypertension.

Two projects were selected by vote of the membership of the Assembly as being important issues to be addressed.  One involved the care of the child with chronic dependency on mechanical ventilation, and the other addressed the approach to wheezing in infants and toddlers.  Each led to a workshop at the 2011 International Conference, and is expected to result in a Consensus statement.

Finally, recommendations and guidelines on the treatment of acute bronchiolitis, and influenza vaccination in children with asthma are forthcoming.  These and many other documents relevant to pediatric respiratory disorders are available by links from this website.

The Executive Committee for the Scientific Assembly on Pediatrics is:

Assembly Chair: Robin R. Deterding, MD, Aurora, CO
Immediate Past Chair: Howard B. Panitch MD, Elkins Park, PA
Program Chair: Felix Ratjen, MD, Toronto, ON
Program Chair-Elect: Margaret Rosenfeld, MD, MPH
Planning Chair: Debra M. Boyer, MD, Boston, MA
PEDS International Relations Committee Chair: Enrico Lombardi, MD, Italy
PEDS Membership Working Group: Adrienne L. Prestridge, MD, Chicago, IL
Assembly Liaison: Clement Ren, MD, Rochester, NY
Web Director: Wan Tsai MD, Ann Arbor, MI

Your input and feedback is always welcome. You can contact the assembly by email at peds@thoracic.org.