AACPDM President’s Message
AACPDM First Vice President's Message
Past President's Reflection
Committee Corner
Council Updates
SIGs Updates
Mac Keith Press February 2024 Highlights
Letter from the Editor

Save the Date 2024 Annual Meeting

Winter 2024 Follow us on:   Facebook Twitter Instagram

AACPDM President’s Message

I am very excited to move into 2024 as the President of the AACPDM.

AACPDM website

Membership renewal is open for 2024! We encourage you to renew your membership through the member portal. We are also always welcoming new members so if you are considering becoming an AACPDM member, or you would like to learn more about member benefits, please visit the AACPDM Membership page. Joining the AACPDM and getting involved in a committee or council is a wonderful way to start building a network of people that can play an important role in supporting you throughout your career.

One of the greatest benefits of this academy is the opportunity to engage with a community of like-minded people with diverse disciplinary backgrounds, who all work towards the AACPDM vision to advance the health and well-being of all individuals with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities.

Please watch for upcoming announcements for 2024 clinical research grants. We are grateful to our funding partners, Pedal with Pete Foundation and the Center for Progress for their ongoing collaborations that have resulted in research to make a difference in the lives of people with childhood onset disability and their families. More details on the grants is located here: http://www.aacpdm.org/professional-opportunities/grants.

Additionally, through the generosity of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, our donors, partners, and corporate sponsors, the AACPDM is proud to offer Annual Meeting Scholarships to AACPDM members in good standing. Three types of scholarships are offered for each year's Annual Meeting: International, Student, and OrthoPediatrics®.  Please visit the Grants page on the AACPDM website for more information and to apply today!.

I look forward to opportunities to connect with you in 2024!

M. Wade Shrader, MD

M. Wade Shrader, MD
AACPDM President (2023-24)

AACPDM First Vice President's Update

We have selected the theme, “Translating Discovery” for the 78th AACPDM Annual Meeting that will take place October 23-26, 2024, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. AACPDM members are deeply committed to research, quality improvement, and advocacy in the care of individuals with childhood onset disability. Our annual meetings celebrate this shared passion with presentations of our latest work. This year we want to place special emphasis on the journey of discovery from the bench all the way to implementation into everyday clinical practice. We are a unique academy with transdisciplinary representation, allowing for holistic, collaborative efforts to improve the care of this vulnerable population. We can't wait to see you in Quebec City!

This year the committee announced they will look favorably on submissions that directly address the following priority topics:

  • Technology and care delivery innovation
  • Patient prioritized outcomes & shared decision making
  • Integration of scientific evidence into practice (implementation science)
  • Health equity (diversity, equity, inclusion)

We look forward to seeing you all in Quebec City as we Translate Discovery!

Laurie Glader, MD

Laurie Glader, MD
AACPDM 1st Vice President (2023-24)

Past President’s Reflection Dr. Margaret Jones Kanaar

Past President’s Reflection Dr. Jessie Wright

Past President’s Reflection

Leading with Compassion and Dedication: A Reflection on Women Leaders of the AACPDM

The AACPDM has an outstanding history that embodies academic camaraderie, friendship, mentorship, and successful interdisciplinary educational collaboration between men and women. In 1947, Winthrop Phelps became the first elected president of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy (AACP), later to become the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM).

Between 1947 and 1962, two exceptional women, Dr. Margaret H. Jones Kanaar and Dr. Jessie Wright were elected as presidents of the AACPDM. Their leadership and contributions in the field of childhood-onset disability paved the way for future generations of women in leadership roles in the Academy. With Women’s History Month and CP Awareness Month upon us in March, now is a perfect time to reflect on their legacy and impact.

Dr. Margaret Jones Kanaar was a remarkable woman who graduated from Cornell University in 1933, at a time when very few women were able to pursue higher education. She held academic positions at both University of Southern California (USC) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was a pioneer in treating cerebral palsy (CP).

Dr. Jones was a compassionate and enthusiastic pediatrician who believed in providing personalized care to CP patients of all ages. She established one of the earliest nursery schools dedicated to caring for children with CP and successfully persuaded UCLA to open its own clinic focusing on children with CP.  At her urging, the Center developed a program to address the needs of adults with cerebral palsy.

Throughout her long career, Dr. Jones received numerous awards and honors and was an active member of several professional organizations. In 1956, she became the sixth president of the AACPDM, a testament to her exceptional work and dedication to the field of pediatrics and developmental medicine.

The legacy created by Dr. Jones continues, as she created an endowment to the UCLA /Orthopaedic Hospital Center for Cerebral Palsy that will enable it to continue her vision for quality care for persons with cerebral palsy.

Dr. Jessie Wright was a renowned academic physiatrist who is accredited to inventing the rocking bed for the respiratory management of children and adults with poliomyelitis. She was also a prominent leader in the field of physiatry, both locally in Pittsburgh, PA where she practiced, and nationally and internationally. Dr. Wright earned her BS and MD degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and later attended Harvard Medical School. Her notable contribution to the Pittsburgh area was the opening of several clinics for children with CP.

Dr. Wright achieved many accolades, including becoming the President of AACPDM in 1962 and receiving the Outstanding Merit Award from United CP. Throughout her career, she consulted with over 20 rehabilitation centers worldwide. Dr. Wright was a strong advocate of interdisciplinary teamwork and promoted collaborations with other disciplines such as psychology, therapeutic recreation, and occupational therapy. Her goal was to promote independence for individuals living with disabilities.

As we look back at the history of AACPDM, it is important to acknowledge the contributions of those who founded the Academy, and we are pleased to celebrate the pioneering women who have set an extraordinary example for all future members and leaders of AACPDM.

The work of Drs. Jones and Wright during their early careers embodies the mission and vision of AACPDM today. They dedicated their careers to advancing the health and well-being of individuals with cerebral palsy, by empowering and supporting multidisciplinary communities that advocate for equitable access to evidence-based and patient-centered care. Drs. Jones and Wright's advocacy efforts, tireless educational activities, and international initiatives highlighted the importance of academic collaboration in improving services worldwide.

This article was prepared with the help from Historian, William L. Oppenheim, MD and Veronica Schiariti, MD, MHSC, PhD.


  • Dr Margaret Jones biography (http://uclaccp.org/about-the-ucla-center-for-cerebral-palsy/margaret-jones/)
  • Jones M.H. The cerebral palsy child; diagnosis and treatment. The American journal of nursing. 46 (pp 465-468), 1946. 3. Banks HH. Presidential address to the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1972 Feb;14(1):102-7
  • Alexander M, Turk MA, Ayyangar R. Dr. Jessie Wright: breaking new ground in pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation.PM R. 2013 Sep;5(9):739-46.


Past President’s Reflection

Committee Corner

Submitted by: Lauren Fetsko, DO (Committee Chair)

The Advocacy Committee has looked at the results of our recent membership advocacy survey to identify priorities for upcoming committee projects.  Our first goal is to update the Advocacy Toolkit with resources that include specific, actionable tips and language to increase the odds of getting needed services, equipment and medications covered for our patients and families. We hope that this will be helpful to members who indicated in the survey that they are having trouble with this. 

Submitted by: Michelle R. Christie, MD (Committee Chair)

The AACPDM Awards Committee would like to thank all of those who submitted applications for the 2024 Transformative Practice Award. The application deadline has now passed. The Committee will begin reviewing applications for this innovative award, meant to facilitate the translation of evidence-based clinical management strategies into practice. Thank you to United Cerebral Palsy for collaborating on funding this award. More information about AACPDM awards can be found in the Professional Opportunities tab on the AACPDM website.

Submitted by: Mercedes Ruiz Brunner, PhD (Committee Chair)

Social networks are an important tool to disseminate the work of the AACPDM, reach out to the community and invite potential members to our Academy. That is why the Communications Committee invites all our members to help us to make the AACPDM more visible on social media. We need the contribution of all members to follow us on the AACPDM Facebook, Instagram, and X, and to interact with our posts and publications (liking, commenting, sharing or saving). The Communication Committee intends to generate more content for social media by working together with the other AACPDM Committees.

Follow AACPDM online!

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Submitted by: Maurice G. Sholas, MD, PhD (Committee Chair)

The Committee is actively considering additional eCourses in early Spring and Summer 2024 to provide value to AACPDM membership and to enrich and diversify the learning environment of the Academy.

We are in the final stages of adding our 17th Committee member and welcome any AACPDM members interested in contributing to the Education Committee to contact AACPDM staff.

2024 Spring Symposium

Submitted by: Kathryn Sigford, MD (Committee Chair)

The Membership Committee recently hosted a webinar titled “Preparing a Successful Abstract Submission,” which was timed to be presented about two weeks ahead of the submission deadline for abstracts for the 2024 Annual Meeting. We will plan two more webinars this year. The first will ask attendees to reflect on their experiences in AACPDM, sharing what they find valuable and what is missing. The second, scheduled shortly before the Annual Meeting, will build on the theme of the first by providing information on how to prepare a presentation for the Annual Meeting.

We have also been working on revamping the mentor/mentee program and it is ready to be relaunched. We continue with the regular business of the committee, including reviewing applications for membership and awarding the OrthoPediatrics Scholarship funding attendance at the Annual Meeting.


Council Updates

Community Council
Submitted by: Angi Harris (Council Chair)

The Community Council is in the preliminary planning stages for the 2024 Community Forum taking place during the 2024 AACPDM Annual Meeting this fall. This event is planned for parents, caregivers and individuals with cerebral palsy.

The Community Council webpage has 2 new additions: the recording of our 2023 Community Forum  and our newest recording on Bone Health, we are thankful to Dr. Fehlings for reviewing the Osteoporosis Care pathway. Please share the Community Council page with parents, caregivers and individuals with cerebral palsy.

Some of the Community Council members were invited to share their lived experience during sessions at the 2023 AACPDM Annual Meeting.  The feedback was well received. Our goal for the 2024 AACPDM Annual Meeting is to increase our presence, share our lived experience and encourage AACPDM members to plan their care, interventions, and research with mindset of how they can best support those with cerebral palsy and their families.

SIGs Updates

Technology SIG
AACPDM special interest groups (SIGs) are communities within the larger organization, created around a shared interest in specific areas of knowledge, learning, technology, or other characteristics of membership.

SIGs offer additional benefits for members, such as access to subject-specific information and resources, educational opportunities, networking, and volunteer leadership opportunities. SIGs complement the Academy's activities.

For information on the current AACPDM SIGs, please visit: https://www.aacpdm.org/about-us/aacpdm-special-interest-groups-sigs.

AACPDM Adapted Sports & Recreation (ASR) SIG
The AACPDM ASR Committee is excited to announce they are accepting members to join the ASR Special Interest Group (SIG). Members of this SIG will work closely with the ASR Committee on various efforts related to adaptive sports, recreation, physical activity, and fitness. The SIG is a great way to get involved and network with others who have a passion for adaptive sports, recreation, physical activity, and fitness, but may not have the capacity to fully commit to a committee position at this time. SIG members can contribute to efforts in these areas depending on their interest and capacity.

To sign-up for the Adapted Sports & Recreation SIG, please submit your contact information here.

Technology SIG
The newly formed Technology in Rehabilitation Special Interest Group is happy to announce they are planning a first meeting on March 7 at 4:00 pm CT. You can register for that meeting here. If you are interested in joining this group of forward-thinking rehabilitation technology enthusiasts, please sign up here. We welcome everyone from all specialties (MD, PT, OT, DO, Engineering, and more), including those with lived experience, to join for educational opportunities, project planning, and setting the goals of this new group.

AACPDM Adults & Aging SIG
The Adult and Aging SIG held a successful meeting on February 6 focusing on “Research Updates in Adults with CP". Please look for their next meeting to be held in June. You can register for their listserv here.

AACPDM Complex Care SIG
The Complex Care SIG will hold their first virtual meeting this summer! Stay tuned for information on the topic and the date. In the meantime, please register to receive notifications about their events here.

DMCN February 2024 Issue

Mac Keith Press

DMCN Editor's Choice

Disability and narrative medicine: Challenges and opportunities

DMCN February 2024 Issue

Key papers in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology this month:

Classification of events contributing to postneonatal cerebral palsy: Development, reliability, and recommendations for use

DMCN February 2024 Issue

Lesion detection in epilepsy surgery: Lessons from a prospective evaluation of a machine learning algorithm

DMCN February 2024 Issue

Using artificial intelligence-based technologies to detect clinically relevant changes of gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy

DMCN February 2024 Issue

Check out the rest of the February 2024 issue here.

Visit Early View to see the most recent publications.

Top podcast

DMCN February 2024 Issue

In this podcast, Ricardo Rodrigues De Sousa Junior discusses his paper 'Parents’ perceptions of a modified sports intervention for children with cerebral palsy'.

Read the paper

Letter from the Editor

As an AACPDM member, you have access to a range of benefits, including various awards, grants, and scholarships that honor exceptional members and recognize professionals who have made significant contributions to the field of developmental medicine. You can also get involved in the Academy by joining the newly established Technology in Rehabilitation SIG, as well as by participating in various educational opportunities. For instance, the 2024 AACPDM Spring Symposium will focus on modernizing education for the next generation and provide tips for creating an engaging educational experience. Keep an eye on your email for important announcements and opportunities, including details about the upcoming 78th Annual Meeting in Quebec City, Canada.

ulieanne P. Sees, DO, MBA

Julieanne P. Sees, DO, MBA
AACPDM Newsletter Editor