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Paul E. Moore, MD, ATSF
Assembly Chair
Paul E. Moore, MD, ATSF

Welcome to the American Thoracic Society (ATS) website for the Scientific Assembly on Pediatrics. We are an active assembly with diverse membership focused on child respiratory health. We have a number of exciting opportunities for those who are interested in getting 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 strive 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 2) that includes specialists in pediatric pulmonology, adult pulmonology allergy-immunology, neonatology, sleep medicine, critical care (and related disciplines), nursing, respiratory therapy, and other disciplines (Figure 1). Indeed, the Assembly has more than 1700 primary and secondary members worldwide who have diverse backgrounds and interests (Figure 3), all brought together by the common goal of understanding, improving and advocating for the respiratory health of infants, children, and adolescents. We strive to expand our presence in North America and worldwide.  Please visit our Virtual International Pediatric Pulmonary Network, which was launched with the support of the ATS at: http://vippn.thoracic.org/ 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 promotes the careers of subspecialists, advocates, clinical investigators, pulmonary scientists and other caretakers dedicated to improving treatment of children with lung diseases and breathing disorders. Tackling the growing shortage of well-trained clinicians and investigators in pediatric pulmonary medicine is a top priority of the Assembly.  To confront this issue, we promote pediatrics by increasing the involvement of physicians-in-training and junior faculty members in the Assembly.  There is now a pediatrics track for residents interested in attending a boot camp prior to the main ATS conference.  Further, fellows are offered opportunities to attend a Clinical Track Symposium prior to the main conference.  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 offer 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 is well represented at the American Board of Pediatrics and we remain integrally involved with initiatives focused on pediatric subspecialty fellowship training.  Further, the ATS Pediatric Division Chiefs groups, representing a diverse group of leaders, collaborate within the Assembly to foster common knowledge and best practices regarding the organization and management of Divisions of Pediatric Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine within medical institutions across the United States

We 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 is 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 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 educational program which allows attendees to earn Part II maintenance of certification (MOC) credit is wildly popular as well as the mini-symposium, Best in Pediatrics, highlighting our top abstracts.  Recently published, Assembly-supported projects include:

1) Clinical Practice Guidelines: Diagnostic Evaluation of Infants with Recurrent or Persistent Wheezing,

2) Pediatric Chronic Home Ventilation, and

3) Evaluation of Respiratory Mechanics and Function in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units.  

The American Thoracic Society continues to fund five Assembly projects: 

1) Standardization of Preschool Inert Gas Washout,

2) Clinical Diagnostic Guidelines in Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia,

3) Supplemental Oxygen in Children,

4) Clinical and Research Priorities in Sickle Cell Lung Disease and

5) International ERS/ATS guidelines on definition, evaluation and treatment of severe asthma (Pediatrics serves as the secondary Assembly).

These and many other documents relevant to pediatric respiratory disorders are available on the ATS website at: http://www.thoracic.org/statements/ 

A Long-Range Vision Working Group was recently formed to address institutional memory of the Assembly and provide advice to the Executive Committee on the needs of the Assembly as well as priorities for promoting child lung health.   

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: Paul E. Moore, MD, ATSF
Past Assembly Chair: Stephanie D. Davis, MD
Program Chair: Sharon McGrath-Morrow, MD, MBA
Program Chair-Elect: Paul David Robinson, MD, MRCPCH, FRACP, PhD
Planning Chair: Erick Forno, MD, MPH, ATSF
Nominating Chair: Stephanie D. Davis, MD
Web Director: Jane Bowen Taylor, MD, MSCR
Early Career Professionals Working Group Chair: Kristie R. Ross, MD, MS
PhD and Basic & Translational Scientist Working Group PEDS Rep: Denise Al Alam, PhD, MS
PEDS International Relations Working Group: Laura Gochicoa, MD & Ozge Yilmaz, MD
PEDS Infant and Preschool Lung Function Interest Group Chair: Jessica Pittman, MD, MPH
ATS Interest Group on Neonatal and the Developing Lung: Lawrence M. Nogee, MD
CP & PEDS Transitional Care Working Group (PEDS Rep): Gregory Sawicki, MD, MPH
Interest Group on Pulmonary Complications of Childhood Cancer Chair: Samuel B. Goldfarb, MD
Interest Group on Children’s Interstitial and Diffuse Lung Disease Research Network (chILDRN) Chair: Robin R. Deterding, MD
ATS / SIMRI Interest Group Chair: Enrico Lombardi, MD
Division Director’s Chair: Christopher M. Oermann, MD
Science and Innovation (SIC) PEDS Representative: Jason C. Woods, PhD
PEDS Advocacy Advisory Group Chair: Christy Sadreameli, MD, MHS
Chair Appointee: Debra Boyer, MD
Chair Appointee: Margaret Rosenfeld, MD
Minute Meeting Taker: Matt D. McGraw, MD

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