For more than 40 years, pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have been meeting to advocate for the health needs of American Indian and Alaska Native children. This committee, now called the AAP Committee on Native American Child Health (CONACH), offers its expertise to individuals and groups concerned about the issues facing Native American children.
Members of the CONACH are selected for their willingness to advocate on behalf of Native American children and for their previous experience in working directly with young Native Americans. Committee members maintain contact with tribal, urban, and Indian Health Service (IHS) programs, and keep up with important changes, legislation, and regulations that affect Native American health in general (eg, the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act) and Native American child health in particular.
The committee meets twice a year ‑ once for a meeting in Washington, DC, which includes Hill visits and a legislative briefing and once for a consultation site visit at an Indian Health Service Area. Each meeting addresses the major problems that affect Native American children and youth and how committee members and pediatricians can deal with these problems.