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AAP Agenda for Children: Epigenetics Priority Initiative

In January 2011, the Board of Directors added Epigenetics to the Agenda For Children. This child health priority is in the planning phase and activity will include identifying current AAP programs and resources related to genetics and ​epigenetics, assessing member needs related to epigenetics, and identifying a group of leaders to develop a strategic plan.

Stra​tegic Plan Objectives

  1. Define, align, and promote genetics, genomics, and epigenetics within the AAP and in the delivery of pediatric care.
  2. Build the knowledge and skills of genetics, genomics, and epigenetics for use by primary care pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists.
  3. Address systems and clinical issues to facilitate the integration of genetics, genomics, and epigenetics into pediatric care.
  4. Enable and advance further pediatric research in genetics, genomics, and epigenetics.

Current Key A​ctivities

A multi-disciplinary Epigenetics Leadership Group has been formed with participants representing genetics; environmental health; early brain and child development; bioethics; research; general pediatricians; the board of directors; and the parent advisory group.  Initial strategic planning has been completed and the implementation plan is being refined.  Proposals for National Conference and Exhibition-related activities, including a “Pediatrics in the 21st Century” Symposium, are under ongoing discussion and development.

The Epigenetics Leadership Group is working closely with the “Genetics in Primary Care Institute” (GPCI) leadership on the goal of improving primary care provider knowledge related to genetics.  The GPCI is a 3-year cooperative agreement between the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (​MCHB) and the AAP.  GPCI activities include the convening of a “Genetics in Primary Colloquium,” the “Time Out for Genetics” webinar series, and the GPCI technical assistance center/web site (link below).

A new AAP professional manual, “Medical Genetics in Pediatric Practice”, has been released.  The manual features: must-know basics ​on genetic processes, inheritance patterns, and genetic testing; concise summaries of common genetic disorders; recognition, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment how-to’s; images of anomalies that may indicate genetic conditions; case-based examples of ethical issues; and much more.  An accompanying app for iOS and Android-based devices is under development.

Resources

Genetics in Primary Care


New AAP Manual: "Medical Genetics in Pediatrics Practice" 

Section on Genetics and Birth Defects
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