Message from the Chapter President - January 2018

Posted on February 02, 2018

Winter 2018 and it's a cold one, my wife and I are already through a cord of wood and half the oil we pre-bought. The days are getting longer, though and the robins and cedar wax-wings have shown up at the big crabapple in my yard so we're half way through.

The Maine Legislature has convened its 128th second session. The House has 74Ds and 69Rs, 6I's, 1G and 1 vacancy while the Senate has 18Rs and 17Ds.
Last legislative session we were able to move a bill requiring universal CMV screening to a workgroup staffed by the Maine CDC. The workgroup should release its final report soon, and the recommendations will be for:

  1. 1.       Education on CMV for parents, caregivers and providers that work with infants, children and pregnant woman
  2. 2.       A targeted screening approach for:
    1. a.       All newborns that do not pass the newborn hearing screen (they are much more likely to be CMV positive)
    2. b.      All newborns with microcephaly, IUGR or other signs of CNS involvement
  3. 3.       Consider  joining Minnesota in a study using the blood spot screen as a universal approach to CMV screening

If the Maine CDC moves forward with the recommendations, Maine joins 5 other states with a targeted screening approach to identify newborns with CMV and at risk for sensorineural hearing loss.
We recently learned that 605 children in Maine received certificates for medical marijuana over the last 3 years. We're not sure what the indications are for these children to receive treatment, the state isn't tracking that, but we do know that none of the children's providers had a second opinion from a pediatric specialist or subspecialist before initiating treatment. We were successful in getting the recreational marijuana workgroup to ban the sale of edible marijuana gummy form or in the shape of people or animals. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed the bill. The Governor's logic for the veto may not be wrong, he stated that the medical marijuana law was so loose that individuals that want to avoid the recreational marijuana tax and restrictions could easily get a medical marijuana certificate. We have some work to do to tighten up the medical marijuana law so is does a better job of protecting children.
Many of us have been hard at work on grants to improve transition of care for young adults with special health care needs and another on improving ADHD care in our state. We plan to have an educational session this spring on vision screening and we are partnering with the child and adolescent psychiatrists on a mini conference titled 'Treatment of Weight Related Issues in Pediatrics". And of course, we're looking forward to April and our spring conference! Stay warm everyone and keep up the great work caring for the children of our great state!