By Millie Jones, MPH
As the year comes to a close and I am approaching the end of year one of my two-year presidency, much energy is spinning in my head and it is not all "sugarplums." 2013 has been a year of change and challenges: sequestration, state and federal budget constraints, health reform, defining the future of Title V, personnel changes, and, perhaps of greatest impact, unimaginable losses in some of our communities and of family, friends and colleagues.
But through it all maternal and child health (MCH) continues and Magic Can Happen. For many of us the budget challenges have stabilized, health reform moves forward, new staff are joining our teams, and we begin the healing process of our losses.
Earlier this fall, I attended the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) affiliate meeting in the greatest land of Magic – Orlando. There I observed the little boy pictured to the left. (As I shared with many of you "I now see MCH in every situation.") This little boy, in that moment, seemed to epitomize all that we strive for each day in our MCH work world. He was traveling with his family, wearing his crown of wizardry, topped off with the necessary wane. In that moment, he was calmly coloring in his book, talking with his family, completely oblivious and most comfortably in his hat. He appeared to be a happy child, surrounded by love and most importantly claiming his mastery of his universe. Is this not what we strive for – every child safe, loved, happy and functioning to their full potential.
So, in the spirit of the holiday season, let us all recommit to go forward in 2014, attired in our own crown of wizardry and wane, and continue to make positive change happen with the conviction that Magic Can Happen.
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season and see you all in January at our AMCHP Annual Conference!