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Executive Committee


The Section on Tobacco Control Executive Committee includes pediatricians that face the daily challenges of addressing tobacco issues with patients, families, and the community. They know firsthand the health effects from secondhand smoke exposure, smoking during pregnancy, and smoking and tobacco use initiation.  


​Judith Groner, MD, FAAP
Judith GronerDr. Judith Groner, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, is a practicing general pediatrician and an attending physician in the Primary Care Network at Nationwide Children's Hospital (NCH) in Columbus, Ohio. She is also the Director of the Academic General Pediatrics Fellowship Program at Nationwide Children's and is a leader in the NCH Primary Care Asthma Quality Improvement Team. Dr. Groner has expertise in pediatric tobacco issues as a clinician, educator and researcher. The population that that she serves (low income and inner city) is disproportionately affected by tobacco usage with high prevalence of parental smoking and child secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure. Among these children, the concomitant prevalence and severity of respiratory illness is very high. Her research focus for many years has been SHS exposure and child health. It is through this work and her clinical practice that she views SHS exposure and active smoking as a major health risk disparity, harming the individuals from low income households throughout their life span. Currently, she is completing an AAP Richmond Center Principal Investigator grant for the project Secondhand Smoke & Vascular Endothelial Stress in Toddlers which examines SHS exposure as a precursor to vascular changes leading ultimately to cardiovascular disease. Prior funding has been through the NIH, the American Lung Association, and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, among other funding sources.


Sophie J. Balk, MD, FAAP — Membership Chair 
Sophie BalkDr. Balk is a general pediatrician at Children's Hospital at Montefiore and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She practices pediatrics and teaches in a community-based health center in the Bronx, New York. For the last two decades, Dr. Balk's academic work has focused on educating clinicians about environmental health issues relevant to children. She was Chairperson of the AAP Committee on Environmental Health from 1999 – 2003. She is Associate Editor of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and upcoming 4th Editions of Pediatric Environmental Health, a manual for clinicians published by the AAP. She founded and was Chairperson of the Academic Pediatrics Association Special Interest Group on Environmental Health. Dr. Balk has lectured regionally and nationally on smoking cessation, sun safety and other environmental health issues relevant to clinical practice.

Alice Little Caldwell, MD, FAAP — Publications Chair
​Dr. Caldwell is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusts, Georgia, where she is the Director of  the Newborn Nursery and a general pediatrician in the outpaitent clinic. Snce 2002, she has served as the editor of The Georgia Pediatrician, the newsletter of the Georgia Chapter of the AAP.

Brian Jenssen, MD, FAAP — Policy Chair
Brian JenssenBrian Jenssen, MD, FAAP is a pediatrician who completed his undergraduate training at Davidson College in North Carolina with a degree in history. He received his medical degree from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, NY and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. During medical school, he completed a fellowship with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Clinical and Translational Science Institute Student Fellow, conducting research in tobacco policy, smoking cessation, and adolescent use of social media. He completed his pediatrics residency training and a chief resident year at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Jenssen is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar Fellow at University of Pennsylvania and a primary care pediatric attending at CHOP. His research focuses on using health information technology, implementation science, and population health management techniques to protect children from secondhand smoke exposure.

Jyothi Marbin, MD, FAAP
Jyothi Marbin, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UCSF. She is the director of the Pediatrics Leadership for the Underserved Residency program, and is an Associate Program Director of the Pediatrics Residency Program at UCSF. As an educator, Dr. Marbin is interested in developing curricula around building leadership skills to further social justice and health equity. Her areas of interest include diversity and inclusion, design thinking and adaptive leadership skills, including reflection and mindfulness. Dr. Marbin's research interests focus on the impact of tobacco on low income, urban children and reducing the burden of secondhand smoke on children. Specifically, she designs and implements trainings for pediatricians to help them address smoking in low income urban populations. She is also studying the impact of electronic health record changes on clinical uptake of tobacco cessation interventions, as well as the use of online courses to train physicians on smoking cessation.

John E. Moore, MD, FAAP
John MooreDr. Moore is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Biology. He graduated with his Medical Doctorate from Wake Forest University Medical School. He served his internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He is board-certified with the American Board of Pediatrics.

Maria Rahmandar, MD, FAAP — Liaison to AAP Section on Pediatric Trainees​ 

Maria H. Rahmandar, MD, FAAP is a pediatrician subspecializing in adolescent medicine. She has accepted a faculty position as assistant professor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Lurie Children’s Hospital in her hometown of Chicago, IL, where she will develop an adolescent and young adult substance use program and plans to continue to provide long-acting reversible contraceptives and advocate for youth. Dr. Rahmandar will complete adolescent medicine fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the summer of 2017. She completed pediatric residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN and attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.

​​ Susan Walley, MD, FAAP — Publications Chair 
Susan WalleyDr. Walley is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is a practicing pediatric hospitalist at Children's of Alabama. She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and completed her pediatric residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham/Children's of AL. Her research interests include the reduction of childhood tobacco use and smoke exposure in the hospitalized patient and use of quality improvement methodology to improve the care of common inpatient diagnoses such as asthma and bronchiolitis. She was a 2012 Awardee of a Julius B. Richmond New Investigator Grant, and a 2009 Awardee of a Julius B. Richmond Visiting Lectureship Program.