AAP-CA2 Chapter Elections for the 2024-2026 Term

Dear AAP-CA2 voting member,   

It is time for our 2024-2026 Chapter Board Elections. The AAP-CA2 executive board is composed of 4 officers: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The AAP-CA2 executive board is joined by appointed area representatives from our various counties, and members-at-large to form the AAP-CA2 Board of Directors. Both the president and vice president must be a Fellow or Specialty Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. During the two-year term, the vice president also serves as the president-elect, becoming the Chapter President the following term. Our 2024-26 incoming President is Melissa Ruiz, MD, FAAP.

The voting period is now open.  The ballot link was emailed to voting members on May 16th at 7:00 AM (Subject line: “AAP-CA2 Elections. Please Vote”). Voting will close on Friday, May 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM. Results will be announced via the June edition of the Peds@CA2 e-Newsletter. Assumption of duties by newly elected officers will commence on July 1st.

Thank you for your dedication to children, and the people who care for and about them.


AAP-CA2 Nominating Committee (Past presidents)
D. Rajasekhar, MD, FAAP (2020 – 2022) 
Alice Kuo, MD, PhD, MBA, FAAP (2018-20)
Edward Curry, MD, FAAP (2016-18)
Jeanne Delgado, MD, MPH, FAAP – EDI Champion

The Nominating Committee is pleased to present the slate of candidates for your consideration.
Please watch the videos and expand the sections below them to read the position statements.

All candidates are listed alphabetically.

Candidates for Vice President/President Elect

Mitchell Goldstein, MD, FAAP

Dr. Goldstein attended the University of Miami’s Honor Program in Medical Education and completed a pediatric residency at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Goldstein is board-certified in Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and Medical Director of Neonatal ECMO.

In addition to being the current AAP CA2 Treasurer, Dr. Goldstein is Editor-in-Chief of Neonatology Today (NeonatologyToday.net), Chairman of Physicians Against Drugs Shortages (PADS), and Medical Director of the National Coalition for Infant Health (NCfIH). He was the Chair of the AAP Multidisciplinary Action Group 2 Section Forum Management Committee and past President of the National Perinatal Association (NPA).

Dr. Goldstein’s most important trait is his tireless devotion to patient access issues. He has been a vocal advocate for “right” sizing technology. When his hospital and many others nationwide could not purchase medical devices vital to patient care, Dr. Goldstein wrote senators and members of Congress. He testified before a United States Senate Sub-Committee of the Judiciary regarding practices of the Group Purchasing Organizations and restricting access to vital medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Dr. Goldstein’s vigilance in modifying these practices and improving patient access made the front page of the New York Times and was featured on 60 Minutes.   

Dr. Goldstein believes that current remuneration systems undervalue pediatricians and their services. He advocates that improving the physician-industry relationship is crucial to providing exceptional care. While advocating for better valuation of pediatricians, he supports transparency, dialog, and better engagement with insurers and industry to ensure the most advanced pharmaceuticals and medical devices are developed and available for at-risk neonatal and pediatric patients.

Dr. Goldstein’s interest in serving on the AAP CA2 board as Vice-President/President-Elect stems from his desire to represent best the need for leadership in the field of Pediatrics, specifically concerning supply-side issues, workforce shortages, maintaining high-quality care in the face of threatened decreased remuneration and his belief that continued efforts in this area will minimize the financial impact to our specialty.

His dedication to the AAP stems from its crucial role in advocating for the well-being of his patients. Addressing the fundamental needs of children is paramount, and the AAP tirelessly advocates for their rights and necessities. The AAP is Dr. Goldstein’s professional sanctuary, where he collaborates to advance these shared goals. He strengthens the professional community through mutual support, mentorship, and collective advocacy.

Dr. Goldstein has observed the impactful outcomes his chapter achieves through fostering community partnerships, championing local advocacy efforts, and prioritizing member engagement. He aims to sustain and enhance these initiatives, ensuring his chapter remains actively involved in local and state advocacy endeavors. Additionally, he is committed to facilitating mentorship opportunities for members at every stage of their careers.

Dr. Goldstein would be honored to serve as the AAP CA2 vice president, continuing their impactful work together. Thank you for considering his candidacy.

Christine Thang, MD, FAAP

Hi everyone. My name is Christine Thang, and I am deeply humbled by the nomination extended to me for the Vice President position of the AAP California Chapter 2.

In my professional capacity, I serve as a general pediatrician at UCLA, where I precept in the pediatrics continuity clinic for our pediatric trainees and medical students. I also serve as a pediatrician in our multidisciplinary craniofacial specialty care clinic. My commitment to pediatric care also extends beyond clinical practice – I am deeply involved in the educational realm, serving as an Education and Training Department Lead for the UCLA-UCSF ACEs Aware Family Resilience Network, and I am an Educational Scholar through the Academic Pediatric Association.

My journey with the AAP began in 2012, and since then, I have been an

advocate for pediatricians and the children and families they serve. From my early involvement as a medical student to a resident to my current role in the Section on Early Career Physicians, I have consistently worked to amplify the voices of medical students, residents, and early career physicians at the local, state, and national levels. I have actively participated in various AAP initiatives, including supporting local CATCH grantees, serving as a district representative at the AAP California state level, and advocating for pediatric practice and child health issues through the State Government Affairs committee

I am proud to share how I have contributed to the local AAP California Chapter 2. One of the initiatives close to my heart is the Life After Residency career fair, which I played a pivotal role in reinstating to support pediatric trainees in planning for their careers post-residency. I have made significant contributions to enhancing communication and engagement within our chapter as the inaugural Chapter Newsletter Editorial Board Chair. In this role, I spearheaded the creation of a dedicated committee tasked with recruiting, reviewing, and publishing the monthly chapter electronic newsletter. Working closely with the chapter executive director, we have successfully amplified the dissemination of important updates, resources, and opportunities to our members, fostering a sense of community and connectivity even amidst the physical distance of our chapter.

Overall, I am deeply inspired by the dedication of AAP leaders and members who tirelessly advocate for children’s health and pediatrician’s wellbeing. As Vice President of our chapter, I am committed to fostering a culture of engagement, advocacy, and education. I believe in the value of our chapter as a professional home for pediatricians, where we can collaborate, advocate, and support one another in our shared mission.

I envision leveraging our chapter’s strengths to address the challenges facing our pediatric workforce, engage medical training programs, and provide support and resources tailored to the unique needs of our members. Through collaboration and outreach efforts, I aim to ensure that our chapter remains responsive to the evolving needs of pediatricians across Southern California.

It would be an immense privilege to serve as Vice President of the AAP California Chapter 2, and I am wholeheartedly committed to advancing our chapter’s mission and supporting our members. I humbly ask for your vote in this endeavor. Thank you for considering my candidacy.

Candidates for Chapter Treasurer

Anthony Moretti, MD, FAAP

Greetings- My name is Dr. Anthony Moretti and I am running for the position of Treasurer for the CA Chapter 2 AAP. My background and expertise is in clinical, operational, and strategic leadership for quality and affordability initiatives across Commercial and Medi-Cal with a focus on value-based provider partnerships such as ACOs, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid contracts.

As a Quality Leader, I have served as the Committee Chair for Credentials and Peer Review Committees for the State of California, and as a Member at Large on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter 2.

I have built and led multidisciplinary teams, including the Southern California Pediatric Service Line for Adventist Health System, and served as Chairman of Pediatrics at White Memorial Medical Center. WMMC was the recipient

Malcom Baldridge National Quality Award 2019, Top 100 Best Hospitals 2017, 2018, 2019, and Leapfrog Grade A 2017, 2018, 2019.

I have served on Nationally-Appointed Board membership for the American Academy of Pediatrics Group Insurance Trust and Quality Portfolio Review Panels. 2012 – 2014.

I have been selected for numerous expert speaking roles in healthcare finance and leadership at UCLA, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and World Federation of Pediatric Intensive Care, Singapore. I am a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, International Children’s Heart Foundation, Society of Critical Care, and American Academy of Pediatrics.

With a background in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, an MBA in Physician Executive Healthcare, and a passion for financially-sustainable healthcare models, my expertise touches healthcare finance, insurance contract negotiation, quality improvement, and compliance at the organization, system-wide, and state level.

I would be honored to serve as Treasurer for the AAP CA Chapter 2. Sincerely,
Anthony Moretti MD, MBA

Ilan Shapiro, MD, FAAP

Dear Members,

I am Ilan Shapiro, a dedicated pediatrician with roots in Mexico City and training from the esteemed Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago. I’m currently serving as a pediatrician in a community clinic in AltaMed as the Chief Health Correspondent and Medical Affairs Officer for the past 8 years.

Over my career, I have had the privilege of serving children and families in California, Illinois, Florida, and Mexico, giving me a unique perspective on pediatric health needs across diverse communities. I currently serve as a National

Spokesperson for the AAP and as an Executive Board Member at the Communications and Media Council.

With over a decade of involvement in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), I have consistently advocated for underrepresented children both locally and nationally. My commitment has been fueled by a steadfast belief in the importance of pediatric care and the necessity of adequate funding to ensure that every child receives the best possible start in life.

As a vocal proponent for public health, I have devoted 14 years to enhancing health communication, offering crucial guidance to parents on fostering healthier futures for their children. This work has not only supported individual family units but has also strengthened the fabric of our entire community.

In seeking the position of Treasurer for our Chapter, my goal is to further solidify our foundation, ensuring we are financially robust and strategically poised to support our pediatricians and the communities we serve. I am committed to using my experience in healthcare administration and financial stewardship to enhance our chapter’s initiatives and funding capabilities. As the phrase goes: “No Money, No Mission”.

As your Treasurer, I will ensure that we continue to voice the realities we face in our practices. More importantly, I will work tirelessly to move the needle towards a healthier future for all our children.

I am eager to bring my passion for pediatric health and my financial acumen to the board of the AAP Chapter 2. Together, we can fortify our chapter and continue making a significant impact in the lives of the children we serve.
Thank you for considering my candidacy. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve and am looking forward to contributing to our chapter’s success. If you would like to know more about my activities, feel free to visit: 

Ilan Shapiro MD, MBA, FAAP, FACHE

Candidates for Chapter Secretary

Ozlem Equils, MD, FAAP

My name is Ozlem Equils. I am a board certified pediatrician and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and CA Chapter 2 for over 15 years. I have volunteered at the AAP-CA Chapter 2 in multiple capacities. I am proud to be a pediatrician because of the preventive care we provide and the critical role we play in children reaching their optimum mental, physical and educational potential.

I am very familiar with the problems of our community. During my infectious diseases fellowship at UCLA, I took care of mothers and children with AIDS and studied the effects of HIV medications on the prevention of maternal-fetal transmission. As an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, I studied the effect of generational and maternal stress and nutritional deficiencies on pregnancy and fetal outcomes. The blood preterm-delivery screening tool my laboratory developed was patented and licensed. I raised 2 children as a single working mother and I am very aware of the

challenges of a working-mother. When I found out that my dyslexic child was getting bullied at school, I moved from my clinic job to Pfizer vaccines; which gave me flexibility and allowed me to work from home.

I am very engaged in improving the diversity in STEM and healthcare. While at Pfizer, I started a public health education and research nonprofit called MiOra which means “my light”. MiOra partners with USC, UCLA and UC Riverside, and has agreements with Cal State University LA and Long Beach and Western Univ of Health Sciences in Pomona. In the last 8 years MiOra supported over 700 college students some of whom became pediatricians, nurses and pharmacists. After Pfizer I worked at the North East Valley Health Corporation as a pediatrician taking care of low income families; I understand the issues affecting those families and the pediatricians in those settings. During the pandemic, I was a COVID19 outbreak control physician at the LA County DPH and worked with many LAUSD schools. Currently I am a senior medical director at a biotech company that is developing a novel pan-influenza prevention. Artificial Intelligence is here and I am very passionate about the safe exposure of children to the AI. I am also involved in the appropriate development of AI tools for physician and clinic use to reduce staff burnout.

I am honored to be nominated as the secretary of the AAP-CA2. If elected, my goal is to support the chapter in their efforts to grow the current members and the trainees and reduce burnout. I am passionate about advocacy for neurodivergent children/youth, and bullying prevention.

Thank you for your consideration.

Kimberly Petko, MD, MPH, FAAP

Dear AAP-CA2 Members,

My name is Kimberly Petko and I am honored to accept the nomination for chapter secretary, running as the incumbent. Over the past two years, I’ve worked alongside the board to shape our chapter’s journey, organizing events, extending outreach, and championing causes dear to us as pediatricians. If re-elected, I pledge to continue advocating tirelessly for our community. Your voices matter, and I’ll ensure they’re not only heard but amplified.

As a pediatric hospitalist in Los Angeles, I have found great purpose in advocating for improved access to care for all children, particularly those who rely on public services. My journey led me to the AAP and its mission, where I discovered a community of like-minded pediatricians and pediatric specialists dedicated to ensuring every child thrives. I envision our chapter as a professional home that is inclusive, fostering connections and collaboration for progress.

One of my passions lies in advocacy education, and I’m deeply

committed to enhancing our chapter’s initiatives in advocacy training and mentorship. As interim chair of the advocacy committee, I’ve also witnessed

the transformative power of collective action. If re-elected, I am determined to build upon this momentum and drive even greater engagement in our policy and legislative advocacy activities. Together, we will unite our voices on the issues that matter most for children.

I humbly ask for your trust and vote. Together, let’s continue our journey towards a brighter future for our chapter and community.

Thank you!
Kimberly Petko, MD, MPH, FAAP

Members At Large 2024 - 2026

There are 12 candidates, listed in alphabetical order. Please vote for 7

Please click THIS LINK to view the twelve candidates for the position of Member-At-Large. When voting, please only select seven.

The voting period is now open.

The ballot was emailed to voting members on May 16th at 7:00 AM
(Subject line: “AAP-CA2 Elections. Please Vote”)