By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP
Throughout my career, I have been blessed to have a couple of leadership mentors who have modeled outstanding leadership behaviors. As mentors, they support my own development by providing excellent reading material and encouraging me to partake in regular training. The development of leadership skills takes intentional work and study over time. While certainly there are leaders who were born with natural talent, most leaders that I admire have worked diligently to develop their skills and abilities throughout their career.
The theme of my presidency has been around leadership development. AMCHP has regularly promoted and offered leadership development for our emerging maternal and child health (MCH) and children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) leaders. Our association has done an outstanding job to develop and mentor our new MCH/CYSHCN, youth and family leaders. In addition, they ensure that leadership topics are offered each year at the AMCHP Annual Conference and through the many Web presentations sponsored by AMCHP where members highlight and share the excellent work they are doing in their states. AMCHP staff and our CEO are also often invited to lecture on leadership topics at the MCH Leadership Institute and state-sponsored meetings. With all of these offerings, AMCHP staff members have ensured that the MCH Leadership Competencies are integrated into these offerings. I am very proud of the leadership role our association has provided for us in policy, advocacy and skill development. Take advantage of what AMCHP has to offer as you develop your leadership skills! The rewards are well worth the time and effort!