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2016 Child Health Advocate Award


Thomas J. Vitaglione, MPH


For more than 40 years, Tom Vitaglione has served as a leading advocate for children's health and well-being in North Carolina. In recognition of his dedicated career, Mr Vitaglione was presented the 2016 AAP Child Health Advocate Award at the AAP North Carolina Chapter's annual meeting in August.

"Tom Vitaglione is a true child health advocate whose drive and determination has led to policies that improve the health and well-being of children statewide.  He made such a tremendous impact on child health that the North Carolina Pediatric Society named its advocacy award after him," said Elizabeth Hudgins, Executive Director of the North Carolina Pediatric Society (NCPeds)/AAP North Carolina Chapter. "For decades, he has been instrumental in shaping a myriad of policies to improve child health, access to health insurance, injury reduction and much more."

Throughout his career, Mr Vitaglione served in various roles within the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the North Carolina Division of Maternal and Child Health. In this capacity, Mr Vitaglione played a key role in the development of state policies on child death review, minor consent, newborn screening, and many others. As part of his work, he oversaw the creation of the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force and served as the task force's cochair from 1999 to 2011. The NC Child Fatality Task Force is responsible for the state's graduated driver licensing program, which has resulted in reducing the number of vehicle crashes by 38% for youth who are 16 years of age and by 20% for youth who are 17 years of age.

Upon retiring from state public service, Mr Vitaglione joined NC Child (a statewide child advocacy group) as a Senior Fellow working to address issues such as breastfeeding, child abuse and neglect prevention, corporal punishment, and exposure to toxins.

Please contact Jeff Hudson in the Division of State Government Affairs at 800.433.9016, x7799 or jhudson@aap.org for more information.

The AAP Child Health Advocate Award acknowledges the significant accomplishments of public officials and advocates who have served as a voice for children in state government.

Related Links:
Child Health Advocate Award Past Recipients