Change is on its Way!
By Nan Streeter, President, AMCHP
I was in Washington, D.C. the day after the election and I felt a lot of excitement, hope and levity in the air. Barack Obama’s election as President is an historical event in our nation’s history.
During the transition, AMCHP has positioned itself proactively to promote Title V and related programs that serve women, mothers and children. AMCHP has been involved in talks with the transition team early on to make sure our issues and concerns are heard as a new administration for Health and Human Services is developed. AMCHP staff members have been actively engaged in Hill discussions to promote issues that we are concerned about, such as ensuring health care reform includes public health and maternal and child health. We all know that insurance alone doesn’t necessarily mean access to care. AMCHP is busy gathering stories to illustrate what we in Title V do that no one else does or will do with or without insurance in a health care reform environment. We need to make sure that the work we do is visible, clearly defined and effective.
As we look forward to a government with new leaders, we need to keep on doing the work we do and we need to speak up for the necessary changes we believe need to happen, such as fully funding the MCH Block grant, more flexibility with family planning waivers, insurance for the uninsured, and so on. What can you do? Speak up – for women, mothers, children, youth including those with special health care needs, and families. Contact your state delegation to voice your concerns and needs to assist in helping our populations be healthier. We saw a record turnout for the election and we need to gather that same energy and numbers to speak up for what women, mothers and children, including those with special needs, require for optimum health and well being.
I too will be transitioning from President of AMCHP to Immediate Past President. The five goals that I identified as needed actions on the part of AMCHP are member involvement, visibility of AMCHP, advocacy, partnerships, and fundraising. I believe that we have made great progress in each of these areas and know we will see more for the future. We, of course, have more to do, but we have made great headways in these areas.
I have been honored and privileged to serve as President of AMCHP and to see its revitalization. I have had many great opportunities to participate in important activities, meetings and initiatives that I probably wouldn’t have been involved with otherwise. I have met many individuals along the way and that has been wonderful. I know I have friends all over the country now!
The Board of Directors and AMCHP staff have been working hard to position AMCHP as a national leader for the health of mothers and children. We have, I believe, a better organization than ever! I want to acknowledge the hard work and efforts of the Board of Directors, Michael Fraser and his never ending energy and vision, AMCHP staff that do the work of the organization. Thanks to each and every one of you for your vital contribution to AMCHP. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you.
I encourage each of you to get involved in AMCHP and join us as we advance the critical issues for maternal and child health in our country. Thank you for a wonderful two years!
My best to you for the future!