Two events in the early 1970s set the stage for the establishment of the Section. In 1971, Joseph Butterfield submitted a resolution to the Colorado Chapter of the AAP petitioning the AAP Board of Directors to establish a Section on Perinatal Pediatrics. The AAP Board of Directors approved the resolution with an addendum that called for the establishment of a Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine subspecialty board by the American Board of Pediatrics. The first Section Executive Committee selected by the board included Chairman William Tooley, George Cassady, Jacob Kay, George Little, Louis Neumann, and James Sutherland.
In 1973 seven neonatologists from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah informally met at Rancho Encantado in New Mexico to discuss and share their experiences in setting up regional programs in the newly emerging field of neonatal medicine. The group identified the need for a national forum for neonatologists. They concluded that either an independent organization for neonatologists should be formed or a niche for neonatologists within the AAP should be established. The group continued to meet informally, and in 1976 they elected to support the AAP Section model and formed the first AAP District Perinatal Section. The Section now has nearly 3,500 members and each District has organized its own neonatal-perinatal group.
American Academy of Pediatrics