Point of View

 

A "Q&A" with Outgoing President Nan Streeter

Last month we interviewed President-elect Phyllis Sloyer. In this issue, we asked Nan Streeter to reflect on her tenure as AMCHP’s outgoing President. 

Q: As AMCHP’s outgoing President, can you tell us what you are most proud of, and why? 

First of all, I am very proud of AMCHP, especially at this very important time in America’s history with the many challenges we face as a nation. Being President of this organization has been quite an honor. I have enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a number of efforts on a national level, such as preconception health and health care, adolescent health, and many more. 

What I am most proud of is the commitment of the AMCHP Board of Directors and AMCHP staff in helping to make the organization better than ever. The Board members, our CEO, Mike Fraser, and staff have committed to hard work to advance the organization’s mission and vision during the past two years. I believe that we have evolved into a stronger organization than ever before, far beyond my expectations. We have seen the evolution of the organization into a strong voice on issues that impact women, mothers, children and youth, including those with special health care needs, and families. I am proud to have been part of the growth and advancement process, along with many others who have contributed to this effort! 

Q: What would you say was your greatest accomplishment during your tenure as President?  

When I first assumed the role of President of the Board of Directors of AMCHP, I set out five goals to strive for: increased visibility, greater advocacy, engaging in partnerships (new and established), broaden member involvement in AMCHP’s work, and fundraising. During the past two years, I have seen each of the five goals advance through many activities and some visible results. Obviously we know that we have more work ahead to accomplish what we need to as an organization, but we are well-positioned at this time to make that happen. We invite members to join us in our efforts. It is exciting work and a great way to advocate for mothers and children on a national level. 

Q: Can you think of two or three new opportunities that AMCHP can pursue in 2009 now that there is a new Administration? 

With President Obama’s commitment to change, engaging in proactive discussions with those charged with the national health care reform efforts is vital. We need to make sure that policy and decision makers understand the important vital role of public health in promoting a healthy country, beginning with mothers and children. We need to make sure that the health care reform effort includes public health, especially for mothers and children through Title V, CHIP, Medicaid, and other funding streams. The role of public health is actually more important now than ever before. We fulfill a need that will not be solved with health care reform that is not inclusive of public health funding and efforts. As we all know, health coverage doesn’t ensure health care access and we need to make sure that public health is incorporated in any reformed health care “system.” 

I think that other important opportunities will present themselves in the new administration in terms of promoting more flexible regulations and policies that will benefit mothers and children. We have already seen that the President lifted the restrictions on funding for family planning services to foreign countries. I also believe that the new administration will be more sensitive to the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves.  

Q: Now that you are Past-President, what are you going to do in your spare time? 

What spare time??? Actually, I will continue to be active on the Board as Past-President for the next two years to support AMCHP’s ongoing efforts. In my “spare” time, I hope to be able to focus more of my time on other national efforts, such as preconception health and health care, etc. On a lighter note, hopefully I will have more time to spend with my grandchildren.