NEWS October 31, 2021

Doctor’s Note: October Newsletter Introduction from Dr. Ellie Hamburger


Read Dr. Ellie Hamburger’s October newsletter Doctor’s Note to PHN members and make sure to subscribe to receive important updates and announcements from the network.

Dear PHN members,

Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics joined with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association to declare a national emergency in children’s mental health, bringing to national attention the alarming trend that we have been seeing in our practices. The AAP announcement calls on policymakers to take action to address the soaring rates of emergency department visits, depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicidality for our patients, particularly in children from communities of color. 

Actions recommended include supporting models of school-based mental health and strengthening efforts to reduce suicide risk in children and adolescents. We are fortunate to have strong partners in these efforts in our region – partners that we as pediatricians may not fully recognize. In collaboration with our colleagues at the Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI) at Children’s National, we will be holding a Special Town Hall on November 17 on The Role of Schools in Suicide Prevention and Response: Opportunities for Collaboration. Please join us to learn about the considerable suicide prevention and response resources that our schools have in place as well as opportunities to partner with schools in keeping the children, adolescents, and young adults safe and thriving. Of note, our colleagues at CHAI have launched a 5-part webinar series called Achieving Better Collaboration for Children (ABC) that covers a range of innovative opportunities on collaboration with schools. 

As we recognize this crisis for the emergency it is and implore policymakers to take action, it is especially crucial for you as providers to take care of your own mental health. Reach out and lean on someone for support when you need it. None of us are alone in these challenging times. Last June, we created a Patient-Focused Mental Health Resources Handout and a Provider-Focused Mental Health Resources Handout. These provide a repository of resources that we hope you find useful. We encourage you to print them, offer them to patients in crisis or keep them on hand to use if the need arises.

Before looking forward to upcoming events, we want to draw your attention to an important webinar you may have missed in October that addresses the alarming increase in prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes. You can find the presentation and some excellent patient education and clinical guidance materials here. Take a look through this month’s newsletter for announcements including our new Arcadia Population Health System implementation beginning early 2022, and important information from Children’s National Hospital on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. We’d also like to congratulate all our providers named in Washingtonian magazine’s “Top Doctor’s” list for the region. We look forward to seeing you at our November grand rounds, Autism: A PCP’s Guide to Screening, Diagnosis and the Path to Prevention. Lastly, don’t forget to mark your calendars for this year’s virtual Business of Pediatrics on Tuesday, December 7, from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.



Ellie Hamburger, M.D.

Medical Director, PHN