By Lori Tremmel Freeman, BS, MBA
Chief Executive Officer, AMCHP
Happy Anniversary, everyone!
This is truly a year of milestones for our important work. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and 40th of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Medicaid also celebrates 50 years and Title V will celebrate 80 years this August. Now is an opportune time to celebrate these anniversaries and consider ongoing practice and policy priorities and implications for moms, dads and their families. It also is a time to examine how far we've come, where we want to go and the opportunities to help us get there.
Obviously a clear standout among the many milestones and nearest to our hearts and work is the 80th anniversary of Title V. It's amazing, but not altogether surprising, that the Title V program is the senior-most leader in terms of longevity and endurance as a public health program. And not just by a few years! With 30 MORE years of history than the other nearest milestone achievement, Medicaid, all of our members should be particularly proud that the work done through our maternal and child health programs has long been and continues to be recognized as sustainable, of crucial importance to the health and well-being of our great country, and has stood the long-term test of endurance.
Since our past shapes so much of who we are today, take a moment here to review some interesting facts about Title V and about AMCHP. Being reminded of the rich history of Title V and AMCHP, and our accomplishments, provides the opportunity to think about how to share and educate others about why maternal and child health programs and our organization REMAIN relevant and important today more than ever before in our country's history.
Take some time right now to remember and honor the past and accept a challenge from me to pay it forward. Tell someone new this week – a friend, a business acquaintance, a family, a doctor, a community partner – about your MCH program, your work, and what it does to ensure that all women, children and families have an opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. Spread the messaging! Cathy Hess, AMCHP's first executive director, most eloquently wrote these words that I'll leave you with here: THE NEXT CHAPTERS (in our history) AWAIT OUR IDEAS & CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO IMPROVEMENT.