From the PACES President's Desk


Santa Claus is coming to town!

Hope you all had a chance to see the speech by the Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, to their Parliament, the Dail, recently. He said that Santa’s request for permission to fly to Ireland over Christmas had been approved and that the Irish government had classified Santa Claus as an essential worker and not subject to any restrictions on his movement due to the Covid pandemic. He did ask children to not stay up at night because Santa needed to maintain physical distance in order to stay safe and keep all other children safe as well. He went on to express the hope that this news would be met with relief and joy by all the children in the country.

To this I say: what a country, what a government! (Little known fact: I also have Irish citizenship through my wife who is Irish. It was a proud thing to listen to this speech).

Light-heartedness aside, I want to take this chance to ponder a key similarity between Santa Claus and us, pediatric EP’s.

Above all else, the one incontrovertible fact about Santa is this: He DELIVERS.

He goes door to door, house to house, chimney to chimney. And DELIVERS.

Santa is a doer. Not a talker. He does not go around giving speeches, or giving homilies to children on how to behave. He DELIVERS.

And we are the same. We DO things. We DELIVER.

Ask any organization or group that has one of our members on the team. Whether it is a meeting that needs to be organized, a guideline paper that needs to be written, a project that needs to be set in motion. Invariably, if one of our members is on it, the uniform response is: She or he delivered! They came through. They got stuff done.

Yes we talk, but we talk in order to get stuff done. We don’t talk for the purpose of talking. (My nurse who always brings me down to earth says: that’s because you EP’s are all on the “spectrum”, to which my reply is: so what?).

I look around and see a world full of noise, full of people talking, sometimes even shouting at each other whether it is on TV or on social media. And all the while we go about our business like Santa, doing stuff, taking care of kids, and delivering care.

So, to all of you I say: thank you for all that you DO. And, as Christmas approaches, here is wishing that the US congress has the wisdom to learn from the Irish, allow Santa to travel without restrictions and that he fills your stocking with good things.

Thank you!

President, PACES
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