Montana AAP: Annual Pediatric Roundup Conference - October 11-13th in HELENA

September 2011 Newsletter

President’s Letter:
I am excited that our recent 2011 Round-Up has been the most successful Round-Up in our history! We had 73 attendees and this included physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses from across the state. In addition, we had several members from out of state–ranging from our neighbors in Wyoming to travelers from South Carolina and Alabama. Our speakers were excellent and our keynote speaker, Dr. Harvey Karp, was dynamic and fun. Our Friday night social was at the Wolf-Grizzly Discovery Center and was well attended by participants in the conference and their families.

In addition, we were able to have successful chapter meetings with great input in the new directions for our chapter. Our Young Physicians section seemed to have the most lively lunch meeting and is ready to take on new challenges in our state in the immunization arena.

As I finish my first year as president, I am excited to move forward and work to improve health care for children in our state. Thank you to all who are participating in our many ventures. Please read through the rest of this newsletter to see what else is happening!

Sheila Idzerda

Chapter Champions:
Chapter Champions are members of our chapter who are interested in working on a particular part of pediatrics. They act as a point person for information in their area from National AAP and as a contact person for members within our chapter. We are fortunate that we have a large slate of chapter champions. If I have inadvertently left someone off the list, please contact me at and I will correct the list.

Asthma: Gerry Eichner, Caitlyn Hall, and Lori Byron
Breastfeeding: Maryann Carlson
Child Abuse: Anna Antonopolous and Caitlyn Hall
Medical Home: Marian Kummer, Michael Blake, Sam Yang and Deb Agnew
Mental Health/Behavioral Health: Alison Young and Laura Nicholson
Obesity: Pepper Henyon
Perinatal: Bonnie Stevens
Hearing: Maryann Carlson
Pediatric Council: Cathy White, Michelle Pierson
Cardiology: Dennis Ruggerie
Dental Health: Cathy White
Children with Special Healthcare Needs: Laura Nicholson, Nancy Maynard, and Marian Kummer
Immunizations: Tanya Jagodzinski and Angie Ostrowski

Due to our low immunization rates, currently 45 or 46 in the U.S., our major priority as a chapter has been to improve these rates. We have started a multi-pronged approach which includes reaching out to other providers in the state, working with the state Board of Health and eventually to work with the state legislature. Saturday morning’s fellowship meeting was an update on immunization focus in the state.

Our next step in our plan has been taken up by the Young Physicians. They are planning to reach out to other providers in their communities–family doctors, urgent cares, mid-levels and Emergency Departments to see what we can offer to help with their struggles with immunizations.

In addition, the chapter has received a large grant to help with education about the Vaccine Hesitant parent. Our next meeting to plan for this state wide event will be October 30, 2011. We will be meeting in cyberspace. If you are interested in joining us, it will be by Go To Meeting. Please contact Pepper Henyon whose email is to be invited to this meeting.

Finally, we need as much investment as possible about ImMTrax. This is the state wide vaccine registry which is being rolled out this fall. It promises to be easier to access and update. We are looking for opportunities to help with implementation.

Medical Home:
Medical Home is becoming a reality in Montana. As pediatricians, we have been a model for medical home. Most recently, there is a state-based initiative to provide reimbursement for medical home providers. The Montana AAP has not been actively involved in this endeavor, but Marian Kummer, Michael Blake, and Sam Yang, have stepped forward to help with this process. The state is using NCQA certification. If you are interested in the process, start at the from AAP. This will provide you with a toolkit to start certification. In addition, go to the NCQA website for more information. Finally, if you are interested in helping with making sure that pediatricians are recognized and compensated for Medical Home funds, contact me at and I will include you in further planning for our state’s implementation.

Angie Ostrowski has been our young physician’s representative. She is now moving to CATCH coordinator. We are looking for two young physicians to step into her role–one from Billings and one from the Western part of the state. Contact me at if you are interested.