Maternal and Child Health Manager, Title V Director, State of Oregon
Board President, The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Hello, maternal and child health community! I am so honored to be serving as president of the AMCHP board of directors.
I'd like to share a little about where I come from professionally and where we intend to guide the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs in the coming year.
As I said at AMCHP's Annual Conference last month, I've had the privilege of working, living, or playing in all but two of the 50 states, as well as in several of the U.S. territories (Micronesia, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam). I have seen firsthand how, collectively, we in the United States represent diverse and culturally rich communities unlike anywhere else on the planet. Together those of us working in maternal and child health make a difference for the women, children and youth (including those with special health needs), and families of this nation and its territories.
A little about my path in the health field: I am originally from Ohio and will be a Buckeye forever! Early in my career, when I was more footloose, I spent eight years with Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, working throughout Asia, Africa and a little in the Middle East, supporting reproductive health communication efforts in several countries. I was blessed with learning so much from the women, families, and professionals I worked with – not only about public health, but about life.
After a while I decided I wanted to start a family, so needed to stop traveling so much. I joined Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette in Portland, Ore., as vice president of patient services, overseeing clinical operations for 11 health clinics and a Title X program. Eleven years ago (with my family going strong) I became the maternal and child health manager for the Oregon Health Authority, and eventually Oregon's Title V director. While my personal life seems to parallel my professional life, I appreciate how much I learn in both areas and that they always nurture one another.
So what's in store this year at AMCHP? There are several exciting opportunities on our horizon that promise to make this an exciting year. Working with AMCHP leadership, staff and board, we plan to prioritize three areas:
- We will finalize and operationalizing our new Strategic Plan: A Bridge to Action. This will serve not only as our North Star, but our navigational chart toward success. This will focus and strengthen AMCHP's ability to serve you and support Title V programs across the nation.
- We will elevate the voice of youth within the association. To do this well, we will start slowly, engaging youth and youth advocates and charting a course to create a system that is true to our youth, our association, and our work.
- While continuing to work with our tried and true partners, we will look for new and non-typical partners who believe in our mission, vision and goals and want to invest with us on our journey. There is no tent too small for our work.
I want to thank AMCHP's CEO, Jonathan Webb, for his smart, energetic, compassionate, and strategic start to his tenure at AMCHP; the AMCHP staff (You all are the best! – dedicated, insightful, innovative and super fun); and the AMCHP board – and an amazing and diverse group of thinkers, passionate professionals, and dear colleagues.
Most of all, I want to start my tenure by thanking you, our members, for everything you do each and every day with and for the women, children, youth, and families of our communities. AMCHP is committed to doing even more than ever to help you.