As a Member-at-Large, Dr. Cross sees her role as two-fold and will work to serve both her fellow pediatricians and the children in our community. She will continue to address the needs of our local community through volunteer and advocacy efforts understanding that in these new times those needs may be changing and that as the world adjusts to a new temporary normal we as a pediatric community will need to assess the needs of our patients and their families and may need to find creative and new ways to serve them.
Just as the lives of our patients have changed, the lives of our fellow pediatricians and their practices have been greatly impacted. As a Chapter, we will need to be accessible to our members to hear their needs and join as a community to help navigate these changes and support one another.
As a Member-at-Large of the Westside, I would hope that even if we could not hold in person events and town halls in the upcoming months, that we as a Chapter could serve our members by providing a forum to be able to host discussions where local pediatricians could collaborate and share information.
Throughout her time in service both at the local and national level, Dr. Cross has assessed the current needs of the community and her fellow pediatricians and collaboratively worked to find ways to address them. This is evident both in her work nationally with children and screens and locally in regard to obesity. Her experience makes her well suited to serve as a Member-at-Large during this time of changing needs.
Early in her career, it was evident that screens would have a profoundly different effect on this next generation. She joined the AAP’s Council on Communications and Media and has since served two terms on the Executive Committee. She was a lead author on the AAP’s “Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents” as well as the accompanying technical report “Children and Adolescents and Digital Media.” She has continued working and educating in this space, giving talks locally and nationally to parents, student, educators and pediatricians on the relationship between screens and children which is constantly changing and the impact this has on children and their health. She has partnered with Common Sense Media locally to give panel discussions and nationally to develop resources for pediatricians to address these issues in their offices. In 2017, she won an Outstanding Achievement in Innovation Award from the AAP for her work in creating the Family Media Use Plan toolkit on HealthyChildren.org. She is currently working with the AAP to update both HealthyChilren.org resources and the AAP’s children and media policy statement.
In 2017, she was also awarded the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) Community Volunteer Award for her near decade work in partnering with the nurses at LAUSD to address and curtail childhood obesity. During this time, she met with local leaders, participated in multiple Walk to School programs and spoke at many public schools about nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.
This effort columnated in the Fit to Play and Learn Obesity Prevention Curriculum that she and Dr. Tracey Zaslow co-created and which went on to be used in many LAUSD schools as a way to teach students and their parents about healthy lifestyle choices. It was for this program and her ongoing dedication to this cause that she received the AALA in 2017.
Dr. Cross graduated cum laude from Barnard College with a BA in philosophy. She attended The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where she obtained her M.D. and was elected to the AOA honor society. She then moved to L.A. with her husband where she did her pediatric residency at CHLA. She currently lives in the Pacific Palisades with her husband and three children.