Pediatric General Assembly Day


Each year, the Virginia Chapter of the AAP recognizes an individual(s) in our Commonwealth who stand up for the rights, values, and recognition of Virginia’s children.


Dr. Sandy Chung, President of the Virginia Chapter, AAP presented Dr. Bela Sood with the 2018 Virginia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics Child Advocate Award in recognition for all her support of many of our proactive initiatives as well as your tireless advocacy work throughout the years.


Our Virginia Chapter members wanted Dr. Chung to personally thank Dr. Sood, for her significant contributions to healthcare for Virginia’s children.


Dr. Sandy Chung presents
Dr. Bela Sood with award.

Virginia State Legislature


The Virginia state legislature meets in the winter every year to work on hundreds of bills proposed affecting minors & families.


Thank you to the pediatricians who come out to speak up for children and thank you to the representatives for listening.


The VA-AAP asks that you join us in supporting our top priorities for 2019 – improving access to mental healthcare, ensuring coverage of essential health benefits in new insurance plans, gun violence prevention and reducing food insecurity/poor nutrition in our state.



2018 Legislative Survey


You spoke and we listened.  We asked members to rank our legislative priorities and used this information in forming out strategic plan for the next 2 years.  We hope you will help us carry out this plan by joining us in continued conversations regarding the agenda, participating in White Coat Day in Richmond, or sending by us your ideas and proposals for legislation.


Top Four Answers:


  • Access for children and adolescents to mental health services and aid for physicians in finding these services (85%)
  • Reducing children’s risk of firearm injury (48%)
  • Maintain fair reimbursement for pediatricians from Medicaid (36%)
  • Finding solutions for food insecurity and obesity (32%)


2018 has been a busy year.  Below you will find our current legislative priorities which promise to affect pediatricians and children across the state.

Increase Medicaid Reimbursement

We are working with the Medical Society of Virginia to find a legislative proposal to improve access to physicians as we begin to implement Medicaid expansion by increasing Medicaid reimbursements to physicians.

Step Therapy & Prior Authorization
Mental Health Access
Nurse Practitioner Transition to Practice Regulations


About the Toolkit


Welcome to the Child Advocacy Toolkit. Here you’ll find quick references for use throughout residency training and beyond.  The toolkit is under development, so check back often! Individual patient advocacy is such an important part of clinical care that all pediatricians must be skilled and comfortable on the individual level. But beyond this, we must also develop the skills necessary to advocate for children and their families on a much broader level − within the community, state, and nation. As a pediatrician, you are an expert in child health and what is best for children. Our discipline has a long tradition of working to improve the health and well-being of all children. As Abraham Jacobi said: “The pediatrician is to sit in and control school boards, health departments, and legislatures. He is the legitimate adviser to the judge and the jury, and a seat for the physician in the councils of the republic is what the people have a right to demand.” The resources here, and the advocacy activities available to you throughout your training, offer the tools, skills and experiences necessary to establish your own individual advocacy foundation. Use these opportunities to the advantage of our children and their health!


The VA AAP is offering a new Child Advocacy Certificate for residents who complete and document certain advocacy experiences, as outlined in the attached Community Health and Child Advocacy Goals, Activities, and Competencies.  Certificate Requirements:

1. “Meeting With Your Legislator” Video

2. Legislative Advocacy:  Complete ONE of the following exercises:


  • General Assembly Day
  • Meeting With Your Legislator at Home
  • Federal Legislative Advocacy Training


1. Attend at least one “Resident Advocacy Leadership Institute”

2. Complete TWO additional exercises contained in the Community Health and Child Advocacy Goals, Activities and Competencies. 

Deadline for submitting completed documentation will be September 1. 
Certificates will be presented each fall at the business luncheon in Williamsburg.

Toolkit Contents General Why Advocacy? (powerpoint) Levels of Advocacy


History of Community Pediatrics and Advocacy Abraham Jacobi, MD: The Man and His Legacy, Burke EC. – Website


The Origin and Significance of the Academy’s Della Robbia Insignia, Beaven PW. – Website


Social Determinants of Child Health Influence of Multiple Social Risks on Children’s Health Larson K, Russ SA, Crall JJ, et al. –  Website


Revisiting the Social History for Child Health Kenyon C, Sandel M, Silverstein M, et al. – Website

Improving the Management of Family Psychosocial Problems at Low-Income Children’s Well-Child Care Visits: The WE CARE Project Garg A, Butz AM, Dworkin PH, et al. Website


Legislative Advocacy “Meeting With Your Legislator” Video (6:44)


Tips for a Successful Legislative Visit Legislative Resources AAP State Government Affairs – Website


AAP Office of Federal Affairs – Website


Community Advocacy Projects CATCH Grants – Website


Community Based Resident Projects Toolkit – PDF


Medical Home The Medical Home: Health Care Access and Impact for Children and Youth in the United States, Strickland BB, Jones JR, Ghandour RM, Kogan MD, Newacheck PW.  Pediatrics 2011;237:605-611  Website


The Medical Home Policy Statement, Pediatrics 2008;122:450 – Website


Care Coordination in the Medical Home: Integrating Health and Related Systems of Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs, Council on Children with Disablities, Pediatrics 2005;116:1238-1244 –  Website


Medical-Legal Partnerships for Children Why Pediatricians Need Lawyers to Keep Children Healthy Zuckerman B, Sandel M, Smith L, et al. –  Website