Our mission is to help our members and community promote health care services that will provide optimal physical, mental and social health and well being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
We exist to prepare its members with the tools, skills, and knowledge to be the best qualified health professionals
Chapter Statement on Gun Violence
Once again, we watch, in horror, the mass carnage of another senseless school shooting, a uniquely American experience.
A deeply troubled adolescent was able to legally purchase two assault rifles designed for military combat, as well as a stash of deadly ammunition. He attacked Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, far outgunning the six-man security team hired to protect the students and their teachers.
Local trauma surgeons waited in vain only to learn there were no survivors. Children rarely survive the Devastating injuries inflicted by military weaponry. The devastation was so severe that some families will need to await DNA confirmation of the identities of their children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. However, we must no longer tolerate legislative inaction. Assault rifles such as the ones used in this attack are designed to rapidly inflict devastating damage and have no place in the hands of civilians. They must be banned at a national level.
Adequate background checks are amongst the most effective deterrents to gun violence, and we should have them in place in every state in the union.
Finally, the crisis in access to mental and behavioral healthcare must be addressed. The Delaware Chapter has partnered with several state and national organizations to lobby for improved access to mental healthcare for all children and adolescents.
As the primary advocates for children in our communities, it is our responsibility to take a stand now. Access to safe living and learning environments is a fundamental social determinant of health. Several bills (to include HB450, HB451, HB423, SB6) are making their way through the DE state house, and bipartisan members of Congress are meeting to draft legislation that would be palatable to all sides. Reach out to your state legislators and congressional delegates now to voice your support of these important pieces of legislation so that no parent ever again has to endure this unspeakable tragedy.
Kirk W. Reichard, MD, FAAP
President, Delaware Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Chapter Statement on Racial Injustice
Events over the recent days shine a light on the continued problem of racism and racial injustice that continue to exist in our society. The Delaware Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics supports the movement to end racism, and asks our members to work with us to end racial disparities that impact the health and wellness of Delaware’s children, families and communities. We invite you to demonstrate your support in the days, months, and years ahead, until our society supports people of all races equally.
- The Delaware AAP opposes racism and recognizes the health impact of racial disparities. We recognize the structural racism embedded within our society, which promotes racial inequities in not just health and access to health care, but education, employment and justice disparities as well.
- The Delaware AAP recognizes that racism and discrimination impact the physical, mental and behavioral health of children of all ages, and that as pediatricians and health care leaders, we must work to change institutions and cultures that foster racism and racial injustice.
- The Chapter commits to working to end racial inequities and injustices that impact not only child health, but our community as a whole. Minority groups often have worse health outcomes related directly to racial disparities and we must continue to work to change this reality. We commit to supporting our members to work at the practice, local, state and federal level, to end racism and eliminate its impact on health.
- Wear your white coat to show that as a medical community, we oppose racism and strive to come together to end racial injustice. Share your support for this important movement on social media with hashtags #whitecoats4blacklives, #WC4BL, and #blacklivesmatter. Tag @DelawareAAP so we can collect posts by Chapter members or email your pics to email@example.com.
- Read AAP’s response to the nation’s recent events and find resources for both members and parents to use.
Let us continue to support and uplift one another and remain steadfast advocates on behalf of the children and families we serve.
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