The Committee on State Government Affairs (COSGA) coordinates all state legislative and regulatory issues of pediatric concern and recommends to the Board of Directors the priority of state issues based on their political feasibility and value to children.

The Committee assists AAP chapters with the development and execution of their state legislative activities. It also develops appropriate strategies for state legislative issues and reviews advocacy resources and background materials. Issues currently being addressed include access to care, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); promoting child safety and injury prevention (eg, firearms, swimming pools, bicycle helmets, sports concussions prevention, and child passenger safety); supporting adolescent health; promoting child abuse prevention; disaster preparedness and public health infrastructure; championing the importance of routine childhood immunizations; supporting the pediatric workforce and promoting the medical home; supporting juvenile justice reform; prevention of substance misuse; and tobacco control and prevention. Visit the State Advocacy site for additional details.

Contact COSGA

Antiracism Statement

The Committee on State Government Affairs (COSGA) is committed to antiracist principles in its administration, member recruitment, operations, educational activities, proposals for advocacy and changes to state level policy, and conduct as an AAP committee. The committee, through the words and deeds of its chair, members, liaisons, and staff, will advance the causes of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the committee and in its support of the Academy’s advocacy mission at the state level. Read the statement here.

Committee Vision

A future in which state governments fully partner with Academy members to prioritize and to enact policies that advance the health, safety, and well-being of children, families, and communities as well as the practice of pediatrics.

Committee Mission

To optimally guide state advocacy strategies for the AAP, its chapters and members by recommending advocacy priorities based on value to children, families, communities and members, and based on political feasibility. COSGA supports chapters with their development of their state advocacy work in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches by promoting engagement and learning opportunities among members. The Committee develops strategies for state advocacy issues, consults with policymaking entities of the AAP on state and chapter advocacy matters, assists in the development of state advocacy resources, and provides guidance to the activities of the state advocacy team staff.

Committee Members

Pamela Shaw, MD, FAAP
Kansas City, KS

Cindy W. Christian, MD, FAAP
Philadelphia, PA

Lisa Costello, MD, MPH, FAAP
Morgantown, WV

Lisa Gwynn, DO, MPH, MBA, FAAP
Miami, FL

Dena Hubbard, MD, FAAP
Kansas City, MO

Richard Pan, MD, MPH, FAAP
Sacramento, CA

Melinda Williams-Willingham, MD, FAAP
Liaison, Committee on Federal Government Affairs (COFGA)
Clarkston, GA

Paula Magee, MD, FAAP
Liaison, Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT)
Chicago, IL

Ruth Allen
Liaison, AAP Chapter Executive Directors
Nashville, TN

Committee on State Government Affairs History

The Committee on State Government Affairs has a number of antecedents established for various purposes. An early committee was the Committee on Relation of the American Academy of Pediatrics to Philanthropic, Welfare & Health & Similar Agencies. It is unclear just when the committee was established. It is not mentioned in the minutes of the Executive Board meetings in 1930 or 1931, but it reported at the annual meeting in 1931. It changed its name in 1931 to Committee on Relation of the Academy to Philanthropic Agencies, Welfare Workers, etc. In 1932, it changed its name again to Committee on Relation of Academy to Public Health Agencies, Philanthropic Agencies, Welfare Workers, etc. In 1934, it became the Committee on Child Health Relations. In 1941, it became the Committee on Governmental and Medical Agencies. In the course of its life, the committee sought to serve in an advisory capacity to state departments of health and other state and private agencies. It did not deal with legislation, but with state agencies. In its early years, the committee worked with similar committees at the state level and with state agencies in implementing Sections of the Social Security Act. The Committee on Governmental and Medical Agencies was abolished in 1948.

In 1984, the Academy established a Council on Government Affairs, but its concern lay with federal legislation and it worked closely with the Washington office. Meanwhile, the AAP headquarters established a Department of Health Care and Pediatric Practice in 1981. In 1983, the Pediatric Practice Division was split off to become part of a new Department of Child Health Care Finance and Organization, later shortened to Child Health Care Finance. In 1988, the Advisory Committee to the Board on Pediatric Practice (ACBOPP) decided to push for establishment of a Provisional Committee on State Legislation. The Executive Board agreed to this in 1989, and the provisional committee was established in June 1989. The provisional committee concerned itself with state legislation and regulatory issues affecting the health of children. In 1992, it became a regular Committee on State Government Affairs, which it remains to this day. During this time, the AAP Division of State Government Affairs was also formalized to support chapter advocacy efforts at the state and local level; today, this AAP business unit is organized as the AAP State Advocacy Team and can be reached at

Committee Chairpersons

Provisional Committee on State Legislation
Jay E. Berkelhamer, MD, FAAP, 1989-1992

Committee on State Government Affairs

Jay E. Berkelhamer, MD, FAAP, 1992-1996
Edward N. Bailey, MD, FAAP, 1996-2000
Thomas W. Pendergrass, MD, FAAP, 2000-2004
David Clark, MD, FAAP, 2004-2008
Molly Droge, MD, FAAP, 2008-2012
Anne Edwards, MD, FAAP, 2012-2016
J. Gary Wheeler, MD, MPS, FAAP, 2016-2020
Pamela K. Shaw, MD, FAAP, 2020-present

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American Academy of Pediatrics