District 8 History

Historically, continuing medical education has been organized around defined professional activities. Neonatal-Perinatal practitioners such as pediatricians, obstetricians, nurses, social workers, dieticians, respiratory therapists, and occupational and physical therapists have expanded their knowledge and activities in neonatal care through their own professional organizations. Interaction between organizations has generally been limited to formal/informal liaison relationships, most frequently at the national level. Few opportunities for cross-professional regional educational interaction have existed.

The District VIII Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Perinatal Section was formed in 1976 at the first annual conference held in Scottsdale, Arizona. Prior to that, neonatologists had met in Tesuque, New Mexico (1973), Park City, Utah and Denver, Colorado (1974), and Carefree, Arizona (1975) to discuss the staffing, organizational, political, and practice-related issues that shape regional perinatal care. A formal set of bylaws was adopted (1981) establishing an Executive Committee and Section Council with representatives selected from each of the 12 states and two provinces in District VIII.  An election procedure for Section Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer was defined, and the organization was officially named the Section on Perinatal Pediatrics of District VIII (hereafter referred to as District VIII or the District). The primary goals of District VIII were and continue to foster regional cooperation and exchange of information, to support the same goals as the AAP Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, and to provide a mechanism within the District for the interaction of professionals from other organizations who share a common goal of improving the outcome of pregnancy.

Since 1976, District VIII has met annually, rotating the site to every state and province. On several occasions, the AAP Committee on Fetus and Newborn, the Canadian Paediatric Society Committee on Fetus and Newborn, and District IX, have met concomitantly with District VIII.  The AAP has long taught a Fellow’s Workshop at the annual conference.

District VIII also sponsors the Western Perinatal Club in cooperation with the four chapters of District IX during the annual Western Society for Pediatric Research meeting in Carmel, California.

In addition to the educational focus, the District also works to stimulate research and teaching of perinatal pediatrics to professionals and to the general public, and to make recommendations for programs and actions on matters relating to the fetus and newborn infant to the chapter chairmen in District VIII of the AAP.

Starting in 2004, several bylaws changes were made to broaden the membership base and provide additional opportunities for members to be involved in District planning and activities (see “Get Involved”). In addition, an education foundation was established to better position the District for future educational and financial challenges (see “Foundation”).