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APPD Learning Communities

An APPD Learning Community is a group of APPD members who share learning interests and goals and who communicate regularly to collaborate on learning and projects. These communities may serve as a platform for cohort-based, interdisciplinary approaches to deeper learning and sharing, as well as work on common projects to develop new innovations and define effective methods to meet their shared goals. Learning Communities will facilitate valuable contributions to the ongoing work of APPD including mentoring programs, survey review, etc., as well as new projects.

The APPD has currently developed Learning Communities for the following:


The Assessment Learning Community is a group of program directors, associate program directors, coordinators, and other educational leaders seeking to improve assessment practices for trainees, faculty and programs. We welcome newcomers and returning members alike. The Assessment Learning Community has four main working groups: Assessment of Learners focusing on Learner Communication, Assessment of Learners focusing on Peer Assessment, Assessment of Faculty, and Evaluation of Programs. Our Learning Community has three main goals for 2017-2019: 1) To engage and develop members through project-based working groups; 2) To promote research and scholarship through the study of processes and procedures in the project-based working groups; 3) To foster leadership and collaboration through partnerships with other Learning Communities.


Jennifer DiPace, MD, Chair (2019-2021), New York Presbyterian - Weill Cornell

Mackenzie Frost, MD , Vice Chair (2019-2021), University of Texas Southwestern Medical School 

Behavioral and Mental Health

The Behavioral and Mental Health Learning Community is a new collaborative, established in 2018, and is seeking members, including PDs, APDs, coordinators, and all educational leaders interested in developing curricula and assessment tools for graduate medical education training to meet the emerging and evolving needs in pediatric behavioral and mental health. Expertise in behavioral health is not expected or required; anyone with a desire to improve this aspect of education in residency and fellowship training is welcome to participate and collaborate. As a new LC, we plan to partner with other LCs to address the needs of APPD members by creating a repository of motivated individuals with similar goals for collaboration in the design of innovative training curricula in this area and share these ideas within forums such as the APPD Share Warehouse.

Our learning community aims to:

  • Familiarize members with content of the ABP EPA #9: Assess and manage patients with common behavior/mental health problems
  • Provide a platform to discuss specific needs and challenges with providing meaningful and adequate experiences for resident trainees in Behavioral and Mental Health
  • Develop curricula for implementation within residency training programs to enhance the exposure and clinical training in Behavior & Development and Mental Health
  • Identify and develop innovative assessment tools for evaluating resident competency in Behavioral and Mental Health training
  • Disseminate scholarly initiatives and best practices amongst the membership to address this important educational topic and growing health care need
  • Partner with stakeholders in Behavior and Mental Health training and care provision (i.e. American Board of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, patients and families)


Kenya McNeal-Trice, MD, Chair (2018-2020), University of North Carolina Hospitals

Sue Poynter Wong, MD, MEd, Vice Chair (2018-2020), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Community Health and Advocacy Training

The Community Health and Advocacy Training Learning Community is open to program directors, associate program directors, chief residents, coordinators and other educational leaders seeking to share ideas and resources with the goal of strengthening community health and advocacy education in their programs. The LC aims to foster collaboration among leaders in community health and advocacy education within pediatric residency and fellowship programs. The LC serves as a forum to disseminate peer-reviewed educational tools and curricula among programs to increase the visibility of educational work in community health and advocacy. Through the LC, participants discuss curricular strategies and innovations that they have implemented in their own programs and work together to address common curricular and educational challenges. The LC engages both new and existing members by providing a setting for community health and advocacy educators (who may not have previously attended APPD) to discuss their work. Community Health and Advocacy Training LC leaders will continue their ongoing collaborations with the Community Pediatrics Training Initiative section of the AAP, as well other pediatric advocacy training networks.


Michelle Barnes, MD, Co-Chair (2017-2019), University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago

Sarah Garwood, MD, Co-Chair (2017-2019), Washington University/B-JH/SLCH Consortium



The Curriculum Learning Community recognizes we are in an incredibly innovative and evolutionary period of graduate medical education and is in line with the APPD's vision for change and growth. For the next year we plan to focus on several specific goals with three overarching themes: engaging our membership as much as possible, building of a needs assessment, and collaboration. Currently, the needs assessment is being conducted as part of a broader survey in collaboration with the AAP. Using that needs assessment, we may adjust and/or add to these goals as needed, but for now we are excited to:

  • Create a curricular consult process that can serve our membership.
    • Any APPD member may request a consult on the development of curricula at his/her site
    • A junior member of the Learning Community will be paired with a senior member of the Learning Community to review the curriculum
    • Participation as members of the APPD ShareWarehouse review committee
  • Investigate the need and potential for developing a national Core Pediatric topics curriculum
    • Core Pediatric topics will be covered through development of educational sessions that incorporate contemporary educational theory and tools
    • The educational sessions could be used by faculty to lead teaching sessions or by residents synchronously and asynchronously


Steve Paik, MD, EdM, Chair (2018-2020), NYP Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Christine Skurkis, MD, Vice Chair (2018-2020), Connecticut Children's Medical Center

Faculty and Professional Development

The Faculty and Professional Development Learning Community provides opportunities for collaboration among APPD members interested in faculty development. To meet these goals, our learning community has four subsections, each with a focal project.

  • The Educator Development subgroup manages the production and publication of "Nuts and Bolts" publications--short tip sheets on common education topics to be used as a resource for faculty development at the home programs of APPD members.
  • The Chief Resident Forum subgroup plans and runs the APPD Forum for Chief Residents at the APPD Annual Spring Meeting, designed to support and develop the Chief Resident roles at member programs.
  • The Mentoring subgroup organizes mentoring activities for APPD members.
  • The Professional Development subgroup plans the longitudinal pre-conference workshop series Professional Development 101 for APPD members.

Our leadership structure, with chairs of each subgroup, creates many opportunities for leadership roles within APPD. We encourage participation by any new APPD members in the subgroups to bring innovative ideas toward the aim of meeting the professional development needs of APPD and our home programs.


Kimberly Gifford, MD, Chair (2019-2021), Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center

Jerri Rose, MD, Vice Chair (2019-2021), Case Western Reserve University/University Hospital Case Medical Center/Rainbow Babies

Healthcare Simulation in Pediatrics

The overarching goal of the Healthcare Simulation in Pediatrics Learning Community is to serve as a resource in simulation for residency and fellowship programs to help advance everyone's work in simulation, regardless of level of expertise. We aim to promote collaboration, mentorship, and resource sharing related to simulation throughout the APPD community.

Specific objectives:

  1. Develop and administer an IRB approved survey to all APPD members about the current state of simulation education for residents to share nationally what is happening with respect to simulation in pediatrics
  2. Present two enhanced learning sessions at the APPD Annual Meeting as a learning community to provide an educational and networking opportunity for individuals interested in simulation
  3. Develop a mentorship program for people interested in various aspects of simulation to help encourage program advancement and scholarship
  4. Create an electronic forum for people to post simulation projects and resources to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing

We believe that these align well with the APPD Strategic Plan specifically in the areas of mentorship and scholarship. We look forward to serving as a resource to others involved with simulation and are always open to additional ideas on how to best support the APPD community's simulation needs.

Simulation Education Resource Guide


Amanda Rogers, MD Chair (2019-2021), Medical College of Wisconsin

Sofia Aliaga, MD, MPH, Vice Chair (2019-2021), University of North Carolina Hospitals


Educational Technology

The APPD Educational Technology LC is a group of technology interested members who desire to collaborate on educational projects. This community will identify and evaluate technology, including software, computers, personal digital assistants, telecommunication devices, mobile applications, and wireless technologies. In addition, the Educational Technology LC will promote APPD technological resources and provide the APPD membership with platforms to share best practices using technology in graduate medical education. The APPD Educational Technology LC welcomes all interested members to join, regardless of technological expertise.


Michelle Miner, MD, Chair (2019-2021), Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Amy Gaug, C-TAGME, Vice Chair (2019-2021), University of Minnesota


The APPD LGBTQA+ Learning Community has been in existence since 2013. It is composed of medical educators who either identify with the community themselves or are wholly committed to improving life and health within these marginalized communities. Past accomplishments include the development of a standardized LGBT+ curriculum for pediatric residents, partnering with medical school organizations to discuss common issues among the trainees we serve, and creation of a biannual newsletter to better network and provide information relevant to the community within the APPD. In the future, the learning community expects to present at other national conferences (for example the ACGME) on inclusion and creating safe share space training in medical education. The Learning Community also intends to continue working with other learning communities on creating diversity and inclusion trainings for our member institutions, which could be distributed. With this in mind, we will continue working with the APPD's Vision 2020 Enhance Mentorship and Enhance Diversity project teams to ensure that LGBT+ communities are well represented as the APPD develops its mission through 2020. With this broad reach, the learning group would also like to ensure that the trainees themselves are as involved in this mission as possible, and will continue to include trainees in authorship opportunities, social events, and community development.


Beth Payne, MAEd, C-TAGME, Chair (2019-2021), UTHSCSA

Anna Dusseau, BHCA , Vice Chair (2019-2021), Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron

Pediatric Global Health Educators

The APPD Pediatric Global Health Educators Learning Community's mission is to work collaboratively with pediatric faculty in the US and abroad to advance the science and implementation of global health education for pediatric trainees, to prepare them to better serve children in resource-limited settings locally and globally. Our vision is for high quality global health education in all pediatric training programs. Our work is undertaken through active work-groups, regional consortiums, and frequently in collaboration with other global health or pediatric organizations. We develop and disseminate shared resources for curriculum and implementation, organize faculty and professional development opportunities, undertake projects in research and program evaluation, and advocate for global health education in pediatrics. More details are available at our website:


Heather Crouse, MD, Chair (2019-2021), Baylor College of Medicine

Jennifer Watts, MD, MPH , Vice Chair (2019-2021), Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Research and Scholarship

The goals of the APPD Research and Scholarship Learning Community are to: a) understand the needs of the APPD membership in the domains of research and scholarship; and b) support the APPD's organizational processes and procedures that promote research and scholarship by APPD members. To successfully meet these goals, the Research and Scholarship Learning Community engages in a variety of activities, including developing and leading workshops focused on medical education research topics at the APPD Annual Spring Meeting, reviewing APPD meeting abstracts and enhanced learning session proposal submissions, reviewing research surveys intended for the APPD membership, and choosing research prize winners. We welcome all APPD members, regardless of experience with medical education research. This community is a great way to be connected with other APPD members with a particular interest in educational research and scholarship and take advantage of opportunities to improve your own research, appraisal, and mentoring skills.


Erika Abramson, MD, Chair (2018-2020), New York Presbyterian - Weill Cornell

Monique Naifeh, MD Vice Chair (2018-2020), Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center

Underrepresented Minorities in Pediatric Graduate Medical Education

The Underrepresented Minorities in Pediatric GME Learning Community, created in 2015, was in response to a lack of representation in academic pediatrics. The mission of the learning community is to improve diversity, inclusion, and equity practices within pediatric GME. The overarching goals of the learning community are addressed through four sub-committees: recruitment, retention and support, curriculum, and mentorship.

Vision 2020 Goals:

  • Expose URM housestaff to APPD community earlier in their training
  • Equip programs and departmental leaders with tools to enhance diversity & inclusion (partner with LGBTQA+ LC, Curriculum LC)
  • Equip future leaders within APPD with tools to enhance diversity & inclusion within the APPD organization and within their programs (partner with LEAD Council)

Along with working on these goals, we also foster community amongst our own LC members to support each other with connection and communication throughout the year (using discussion board, sharing celebrations, articles, social gatherings, etc). We welcome anyone with a passion for this topic to join us.


Lahia Yemane, MD Chair (2018-2020), Stanford Children's/Stanford Pediatrics

Emma Omoruyi, MD, MPH Vice-Chair (2018-2020), McGovern Medical School

Council of Learning Community Chairs
The Chair and Vice Chair of each Learning Community together form the Council of Learning Community Chairs (CoLCC).  The current Chair of the CoLCC is Patricia Poitevien, MD.

Learning Community Application

Learning Community Policies & Procedures