MCH Bridges: The Official AMCHP Podcast

BONUS Episode: The AMCHP Annual Conference Experience

April 19, 2023 AMCHP
BONUS Episode: The AMCHP Annual Conference Experience
MCH Bridges: The Official AMCHP Podcast
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MCH Bridges: The Official AMCHP Podcast
BONUS Episode: The AMCHP Annual Conference Experience
Apr 19, 2023

This bonus episode captures the experience of attending the AMCHP Annual Conference from a variety of perspectives. As past attendees, our guest speakers shared what they learned, some pro tips for taking advantage of conference opportunities, and why it's important that we encourage and support youth and young adults, family leaders, community-rooted organizations, tribal government representatives, and students and early career professionals to attend the AMCHP Annual Conference. You’ll hear from Katherine Harvey, representing the perspective of a young adult leader, and Dana Yarbrough, a family leader and proud parent of a daughter with disabilities and special healthcare needs. You will also hear from Quatia (Q) Osorio, doula and founder of Our Journ3i, and Xenia Mendez, alumna of our Graduate Student Epidemiology Program (GSEP) representing students and early career professionals.

Conference links (updated)


Show Notes Transcript

This bonus episode captures the experience of attending the AMCHP Annual Conference from a variety of perspectives. As past attendees, our guest speakers shared what they learned, some pro tips for taking advantage of conference opportunities, and why it's important that we encourage and support youth and young adults, family leaders, community-rooted organizations, tribal government representatives, and students and early career professionals to attend the AMCHP Annual Conference. You’ll hear from Katherine Harvey, representing the perspective of a young adult leader, and Dana Yarbrough, a family leader and proud parent of a daughter with disabilities and special healthcare needs. You will also hear from Quatia (Q) Osorio, doula and founder of Our Journ3i, and Xenia Mendez, alumna of our Graduate Student Epidemiology Program (GSEP) representing students and early career professionals.

Conference links (updated)


Katherine Harvey: [00:00:00] Opportunity to connect with others, an opportunity to learn a lot about a lot of different things in a short amount of time. 

Dana Yarbrough: Chalk full of presentations, timely. Relevant, exciting, [00:00:15] energizing.

Quatia (Q) Osorio: Resilience and fortitude, cohesiveness of community engagement.

Xenia Mendez: Opportunities, collaborations, networking, reconnecting. [00:00:30] Expanding your work. 

Maura Leahy: Hello, I'm Maura Leahy, Program Manager in Child and Adolescent Health at AMCHP and your MCH Bridges host. Those were some of the words and phrases that came to mind when we asked the four guests on this episode of MCH Bridges, [00:00:45] what the AMCHP Conference means to them. The AMCHP Conference is one of the country's largest gatherings of maternal and child health, or MCH, professionals, and we are so excited to welcome you in 2023, either in person in New Orleans, or virtually, for our [00:01:00] first ever hybrid conference.

We know that for many people, this could be your first in-person AMCHP Conference or your first AMCHP Conference of any kind. So we wanted to chat with some past attendees about what they learned, some pro tips for taking advantages of the different opportunities, the [00:01:15] AMCHP Conference presents, and why it's so important that we are encouraging and supporting youth and young adults, families, community rooted organizations, tribal government representatives, and students and early career professionals to attend [00:01:30] the AMCHP Conference.

Let's jump right into it with my conversation with Katherine Harvey, who provided some insight into the perspective of attending the AMCHP Conference as an adolescent or young adult. 

Katherine Harvey: Hi, I'm Katherine Harvey. My pronouns are she/her. I am [00:01:45] currently the 4H extension agent in Gilpin County, Colorado for Colorado State University. I attended AMCHP in the past on two different occasions when I was a young adult. 

Maura Leahy: At our 2022 AMCHP Conference, we had a plenary focused on sharing your [00:02:00] why. What is it that brought you to the MCH field? What drives you to do the work you do? With this year's conference theme being ‘Cultivating Diverse Leaders in Maternal and Child Health’, we asked all of today's guests to share what led them to the path that they're on and the [00:02:15] role that the AMCHP Conference plays in it. Here's Katherine again. 

Katherine Harvey: I had attended AMCHP as, right, a youth or a young adult, and was specifically brought along for that perspective as a young person and so the [00:02:30] way that I got there was when I was in high school, I worked for this small nonprofit up in the mountains that provided youth services for my town, which has like about 1800 people in it, and the staff there were [00:02:45] really there for me when I was dealing with a lot of stuff. 

Like my mom had cancer when I was in high school, I was dealing with a lot of stuff like disordered eating, um, suicidal ideation, that kind of stuff. I was going through a lot and having adult staff who were there and took my voice very seriously [00:03:00] and kind of uplifted me and supported me was very influential.

And it was because of those same adults that they gave me the reference to the job that I ended up having with Colorado State Health. Which was how I ended up at the AMCHP Conference, and [00:03:15] so why I do the work that I do and why maternal and child health and especially adolescent health is because I just think it's really important for adults to be able to be super supportive of young people, to be listening to young people's voices to make sure that we're bringing that into the [00:03:30] public health field through community and youth engagement.

Because just like on a very basic human level, that stuff was really important to me when I was a young person. Growing up in like a really tiny rural community. 

Maura Leahy: Katherine and I talked a little bit about the ‘how’ of this. [00:03:45] How do we grow diverse MCH leaders and in particular engage with young people who are already leaders that would be a value add to the MCH workforce?

Katherine Harvey: I have a lot of feelings about this. I would say that my perspective comes down to really two [00:04:00] major things in terms of how do we cultivate this diverse leadership base? How do we make sure that we are including those voices that are being most affected by the issues? Right, adolescents are the ones being most affected by adolescent health issues. And I would say first of all, just in terms of [00:04:15] once we get young people to show up at conferences like AMCHP, and like really anytime that you're interacting with young people in general, being able to connect with them first as humans.

I think that there's so much stigma attached to being [00:04:30] a teenager or you know, a young 20 something, and it just makes it really hard at a time in your life when you feel very isolated already, and then to feel like nobody takes you seriously. You don't really have any kind of [00:04:45] significant autonomy or level of decision-making power when you're an adolescent.

And so just being able to approach adolescents as, like in a professional sense is, I am treating you as a human being and I understand that my expertise [00:05:00] that I might have because I have a Master's in Public Health or right, I have some kind of degree or some kind of work experience that gives me a certain kind of expertise.

Understanding that our young people are the ones that have the context expertise. Like we need to be [00:05:15] able to work with them to be able to make our programs and our practices more effective. Because otherwise it's always going to be alienating, and I think that really starts with treating young people as human beings.

I would say that the other piece of it though is the really practical, like how do we [00:05:30] get young people to show up for this conference? It's by funding them to be able to do that. It's by making it a priority in your budget line of we are going to send this many staff to the AMCHP Conference and we are going to include this many young people or this many family [00:05:45] members, or whoever it is that's representing your community members to the conference. You're putting the money where your priority supposedly is. 

I had a coworker at the Colorado State Health Department who would always say that your budget is your policy [00:06:00] statement. So regardless of whatever you're claiming your policies are, if it's not in your budget, it's not real. So I would say that starts with organizations really committing to, we are going to send the, some of the young people that we're working with to this conference for their own professional development and for them to be able to [00:06:15] connect with other MCH professionals.

Maura Leahy: As someone who has worked in the public health field for over eight years, I know I still get a little nervous and apprehensive about attending conferences. Katherine and I talked about what this experience was like for her as a young adult. 

Katherine Harvey: Yeah. AMCHP was, [00:06:30] I think it's the first professional conference that I ever attended.

I walked in very afraid of like, I think the first one was in Washington DC, and I am a little mountain girl from a tiny rural community and like got to DC. It was like, this [00:06:45] is crazy. There's so many people here and there's people from like all of the states and all of the territories. And all of these people have so much experience and expertise and I just like this weird 20 year old, like got brought along and I don't know why. [00:07:00] 

And so it was a really exciting experience to be able to go. I was able to connect with like a few other youth, like right, the little pockets of youth that had also been invited or were able to attend, and that was an extremely cool experience to be [00:07:15] able to meet young people across the country that were invested in and working on the same kind of stuff that I was, whether it was in like a volunteer capacity or it was some sort of work experience, like what I was having.

And I would say, [00:07:30] the experience of attending the AMCHP Conference. The first time I noticed all of the spots where there were opportunities for youth voices to be engaged, much more the things that I would change about the conference. And so the next year I got really inspired and I ended up asking my [00:07:45] boss, is it okay if I write a proposal to do like a three hour workshop that's about engaging youth voices within your health department or whatever your organization is.

And so I wrote that and it got accepted. So it was awesome because I was [00:08:00] able to not just have that experience on my resume, but really be able to have the experience of, I'm only 21. I don't even have any kind of degree yet, but here I am and I'm able to present with my boss at this national conference and say that I have presented to like [00:08:15] federal and national audiences.

That was an extremely cool experience that I feel really, really fortunate to have. It's helpful to see from a youth perspective of how much young people can be getting out of attending a conference like that, as opposed to [00:08:30] just a thing where it's only helping affect, again, like the programs or practices of a given health department or organization. Like it's really a very uplifting and helpful experience for the young people who are attending.  

Maura Leahy: Katherine’s experience is just one example of why it's [00:08:45] so important that we support young people to attend the ACMHP Conference because like she said, youth are the experts when it comes to understanding their experiences and navigating systems of care and so many of them can clearly see what needs to change to improve these experiences. 

[00:09:00] Family leaders are another crucial group that we need to make sure we're supporting. To attend the AMCHP Conference, I have the pleasure of talking with Dana Yarbrough, who is also a recipient of the Merle McPherson Family Leadership Award.

Dana Yarbrough: I'm Dana Yarborough in [00:09:15] Richmond, Virginia. I am the Associate Director of the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University. I am also, uh, the Director of the Center for Family Involvement Home to the Family-to-Family Health Information Center in the Commonwealth of [00:09:30] Virginia, and I'm a parent of a daughter named Brooke, who has a variety of disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Maura Leahy: I asked Dana about her why, and I think it will resonate with many family leaders who are drawn to this work to create better opportunities and experiences for their [00:09:45] children in navigating our systems of care, which can be especially difficult for children and youth with special healthcare needs and disabilities.

Dana Yarbrough: My why is being the mother of a young adult daughter who has physical, intellectual, and sensory disabilities and special [00:10:00] healthcare needs. Anything I can do to be the best advocate for my daughter, that is what guides me. It is what led me into working in the disability and special healthcare field was because of wanting to create pathways for her [00:10:15] that provided her a life just like.

Maura Leahy: Dana is our only guest on this episode who has attended the AMCHP Conference, both in person and virtually. So we talked about the value of attending the AMCHP Conference in either format.

Dana Yarbrough: having an opportunity to attend a multi-day [00:10:30] event where I can pick from an array of presentations. It could be policy topics, it might be around equity, it could be around healthcare programming, family engagement, youth engagement.

So I can always find, in [00:10:45] every session block, more than one topic I want to listen to attend, both to feed me personally and continue on my journey from a professional standpoint. I think for me, the biggest draw for the AMCHP Conference has always been, [00:11:00] uh, and particularly in person, the networking with other parents and families.

I think I have met families and parents from all 55 states and territories that are attending and I feel like it becomes a [00:11:15] community when we're there. And a family member, if they're sitting there and they feel like they don't know a lot of people, other families invite them to go to lunch, other families sit with them. We, we network out in the lobby. 

It just becomes a place where you don't get lost because there's [00:11:30] someone with an affinity to your same situation. It allows us to have that time to come together and just share experiences. And boy, there's the who's who in the AMCHP Conference, whether it's virtual or in person of experts across the [00:11:45] field of family leaders that have just become emerging leaders to those that have been working in the field, 5, 10, 15, 20 plus years.

Um, so you have a chance to meet people you've read about, you've heard about, and you get to meet new friends. And every year when you come back, [00:12:00] you get to reconnect with them and see how life has changed in the past year.

Maura Leahy: Dana and I chatted about some pro tips for family leaders and how they can get the most out of their conference experience.

Dana Yarbrough: I think with families coming, whether it's your first time coming to the conference, if you're coming [00:12:15] from a family, uh, delegate or family leader role in an organization, I always encourage, uh, people to, to go to the AMCHP website, look to see who are the people that are involved in family engagement work.

Reach out to them, say, I'm coming to the conference. [00:12:30] If you don't know anyone, just letting them know. There's some things that families can participate in that aren't on the agenda. Learn a little bit about the experience, because there's always the formal agenda and there's always an informal agenda at these events, which is where that networking happens.

Parents coming should [00:12:45] absolutely look for anything in the agenda that speaks to family engagement, family leadership. Uh, go to the vendor tables, Family Voices, Parent to Parent USA. There's a number of organizations that have tables. Go and introduce yourself. [00:13:00] Don't be shy because we don't want people to go and feel like they're isolated and by themselves at an event.

We want them to connect with other families that are there. I don't think I would be here today where I am with my daughter if it wasn't from other parents. I so believe [00:13:15] in fair to parent and family to family support. And it doesn't happen just by meeting a person that lives in my community. It is also at these big national events and the power of family stories that have helped shape my journey and my daughter's journey is something that [00:13:30] I, I couldn't have ever predicted. And so I absolutely encourage families to attend the conference, whether it's virtual or in-person. 

One of the values of the virtual conferences was it allowed people to download, and I think the [00:13:45] in-person does as well, through the conference app or conference site. It's a great way to, uh, make the most of an app to download presentations and materials and resources, look at poster presentations. And again, to [00:14:00] go through the attendee list and star those people that you got to meet in an, in an event, uh, in a session, in a networking opportunity so you don't forget who they are because it'll be overwhelming with all of the great people you're gonna meet.

And so I always go to the app and make sure when I meet someone that [00:14:15] I was like, oh, I really wanna remember that person. I go right into that and star their name so I don't forget to go back and find them later. 

Maura Leahy: We also talked about the impact that the AMCHP Conference has had on her.

Dana Yarbrough: You know, there's this idea of nothing about us, and I think this conference reinforces that by having [00:14:30] parents as presenters and I have benefited from sessions where parents were presenters and where I've got to be a presenter and share some of the work that I'm doing.

And so both professionally and personally, feeds that drive that I have to not only [00:14:45] be my daughter's best advocate. But really support the work of families in general in my state and across the country. When I think of a professional impact that this conference has had for me over the years has been some of the partnering [00:15:00] that I've been able to do in our state with our Title V Office, around this idea of developing parents, particularly culturally and linguistically diverse parents, as cultural brokers to support and helping other parents navigate systems, [00:15:15] understand systems, get information that's in their language, the things that are accessible in plain language.

It really is exciting to see this year's theme because I think it does start with us taking a step back, looking [00:15:30] historically at our communities, our systems, where we've been, where we're going, who's being left out. How do we partner with families that are cultural, linguistically diverse as parents to help us in understanding the [00:15:45] impact of systems and the inequities?

How do we look at our leadership education and neurodevelopmental disabilities, our LEND programs, that are funded by maternal and child health who are preparing our next generation of MCH workforce? And they are doing a great job of bringing in diverse [00:16:00] trainees. And how do we capitalize on those training programs where they are identifying, um, young people who are eager to come into the field?

Maura Leahy: Talking about other opportunities for intersection at the AMCHP Conference. Another area that is ripe for us to cultivate [00:16:15] diverse MCH leaders is by supporting community-based and community rooted organizations to attend. I spoke with Q Osorio about her experiences and her why behind attending the AMCHP Conference.

Quatia (Q) Osorio: Hi, my name is Quatia Osoro but I go [00:16:30] by Q. I am located in Rhode Island and my field specialty is maternal child health. I'm a grassroots community-based organization that is a for-profit that does BIPOC workforce development and training specifically around maternal and child health. What brought me [00:16:45] to the 2022 conference I've been attending since 2021 virtually, and so I applied because I joined the newsletter in my research about maternal child health because that's the area that I wanted to work in, and then doing policy and advocacy here [00:17:00] locally in my state.

I just wanted to know, like from a government institutional perspective, what goes on at these conferences? Cause like I'm not a government employee, I'm not a nonprofit. My organization is a for-profit community-based. And so that's very different from a community-based [00:17:15] organization that either government sponsored or created from members from the community and then say that they're a CBO or a nonprofit CBO.

For me doing maternal child health, specialty and black maternal health, it was really important that I knew like what [00:17:30] was happening from a policy level, from a macro level on, you know, what do they do at these conferences? What are they talking about? We hear a lot about them when you're in these spaces, like, oh yeah, you know, MCH, HRSA, it just was a bunch of acronyms that I'm like, so what is this?

So I [00:17:45] signed on and I was offered a scholarship, which I think a lot of people don't know about, and I was able to attend and it's really informative. It is long. I used the scholarship money actually to offset like childcare so that I wasn't being interrupted and I [00:18:00] could fully immerse myself in the conference.

So yeah, my why is because I'm just tired of black people, birthing bodies dying, um, in the medical industrial complex. I wanna know what I can do at a community based grassroots level, whether it is [00:18:15] education information, providing services such as doula services, lactation services that help to promote an optimal birthing experience, prenatally, during and post-care.

Maura Leahy: Q talked about her experiences attending the AMCHP conference virtually two times, [00:18:30] some of the major takeaways that she could bring back to her organization, and some fabulous pro tips that I'd encourage any virtual attendee to take advantage of, and some that in-person attendees can take advantage of too.

Quatia (Q) Osorio: I think it's really good to know [00:18:45] that you can take certain aspects of what other people are doing in other states and modify it and adapt it, and potentially utilize it in your own community. I think the cookie cutter model just doesn't work. Like, oh, if it worked in California, of course it'll work in Rhode Island, but we don't have the [00:19:00] same law and structure, 

And so it's great to have a landscape of the entire nation and say this worked in this particular community, here's what their success was. Here's areas that they wanna improve upon. And I think from a professional standpoint, coming from [00:19:15] the grassroots level, you're really entrenched in the community. There's no like oversight, there's no agenda for the work that you're doing, I guess so to speak, other than to like help to benefit the community.

And so when you participate in these, it's a lot of times, people who are from those [00:19:30] communities, you know, community representatives, even though they're employees at these institutions that are at the AMCHP Conference, you're able to really see like how they feel as a community member engaging in this work.

I like it because the format for like registering, you know, doing your bio, you're able to add [00:19:45] someone to your contact list from a professional perspective. You're able to directly message them and say, hey, I attended, you know, your workshop. It was really good and you're doing it in a way where, It's not necessarily instantaneous, but it allows you to communicate with that person where like if you're at a conference, [00:20:00] the hustle and bustle of in-person is trying to get a seat at a conference or workshop room that you really wanna go in and hoping that like there's space for you and you're not stuck, like standing up for like the whole 45 minutes, 90 minutes.

So you don't run into that issue when you're [00:20:15] virtual because it's like, oh, there's space for me here. Um, automatically. So that was one of the benefits I think of attending. Really, being able to directly contact the presenter, being able to add them onto your contact list, getting your bio up, letting people know what you do, filling out all the [00:20:30] details to your contact information is really great because you'll get a hit back and then be like, oh, let me connect with this person.

You can also see like your Facebook, their social media links, um, their LinkedIn, sometimes they have like abstracts of their work and stuff like that that you can follow up on, all on a virtual level. [00:20:45] Not saying that you don't have that same capability when you register in person, but no one's really going like on the app or like logging on to check those things, um, when they're in person.

So it's also good to like have that ability from a virtual standpoint. It really is engaging. And when you think about it, like you're [00:21:00] actually able to talk during the workshop where like you kind of can't talk during a workshop in person, but you're like in the chat talking to other people as the workshop.

Actively happening, which I think is also a benefit when you're virtual because you can't, you don't have that capability to chat or engage with [00:21:15] people or be like, oh yeah, I definitely appreciate that comment, and oh, here's what I'm doing here. Very similar, and they're able to put a link to their work and so you can engage with people at the same time you're engaging during the workshop, which when you're in person, you're really just sitting in there listening and so you don't [00:21:30] get that.

So I think it like there's benefits to doing either or and it's not like one is better than the other. I think it's just really how engaged you really wanna be, what you're looking for, why you're going to this conference. 

Maura Leahy: Last but certainly not least, I talked with Xenia Mendez, who is a recent [00:21:45] graduate, early career professional, and a graduate of AMCHP 's Graduate Student Epidemiology Program or GSEP. We talked about Xenia's experience attending the 2022 virtual AMCHP Conference for the first time, and her why, for what's brought her [00:22:00] to the MCH field. 

Xenia Mendez: Hi, I'm Xenia Mendez. I use she/her pronouns. I recently graduated from UC Berkeley, with a concentration of maternal child and adolescent health.

I [00:22:15] am a GSEP alumni. And I recently started a new job as a research associate at UC San Francisco's Institute for Health Policy Studies. It's been a mix of my personal and professional experiences. I [00:22:30] am a child of immigrants and growing up just noticed and observed like inequities in my own community.

So ever since I started college, I gravitated towards equity focused causes and I naturally gravitated [00:22:45] towards the health field. Like people that might end up in public health, I explored pre-med and after I graduated, I realized that the health field was so vast and I wanted to get an opportunity to explore it.

I found myself working with children [00:23:00] and working at a reproductive health clinic that also focused on trans healthcare. And so I did that for about four or five years, and then I had to reflect where do I go from here? I did a lot of community-based work working directly [00:23:15] with community members and why I really enjoyed that work and hearing about their experiences and the barriers they faced.

I realized there was like more work to do and more upstream level of work that I wanted to be a part of. [00:23:30] And so I started exploring graduate school to help me get there. Then the maternal child and adolescent health program seemed like a right fit for me because those were the populations that I naturally gravitated towards, and my particular program also emphasized quantitative [00:23:45] skills, so it was important for me to learn some technical skills to be able to apply when being back in the workforce and working at that up upstream level.

Maura Leahy: Like many of our other guests, the conference seemed a little intimidating for Xenia at first, but it turned out to be a really valuable [00:24:00] experience that included building her professional network and gaining real world skills she can apply as an early career professional.

Xenia Mendez: It was my first time attending a conference and my first time presenting at a conference as well. And I'll say prior to attending I [00:24:15] felt intimidated, which maybe other students or early career professionals might resonate with. I felt that when it came to presenting, maybe feeling like I wasn't good enough, and it took the encouragement [00:24:30] and guidance of ACMHP staff to get me there.

The actual ACMHP Conference itself was, even though it was virtual, overall, very positive experience. And then in terms of being, just attending different [00:24:45] conferences, it was really cool. MCH is a very wide field, so it was really cool to pick and choose what interested me, what I wanted to learn more about, and what I naturally gravitated towards.

So I [00:25:00] attended one session by the CDC on how they were using data to inform birthing outcomes among like pregnancy pregnant people and how they were communicating those findings and how they were using that data. But then I also attended a session [00:25:15] with a community-based doula organization in the Bay Area and how they were using data to inform their work, um, and advocate for doula.

So it was really cool just getting those two perspectives. Um, and it got me thinking about, okay, like where do I want to be in on this [00:25:30] spectrum? Overall positive experience. 

Maura Leahy: Like she mentioned, the ACMHP Conference was also her first time presenting and Xenia was one of the presenters in the student and early career professional round tables. She shared a couple of takeaways from this first experience presenting at a [00:25:45] conference. 

Xenia Mendez: I learned so much and I learned something in every step of the way of the process, starting from what it takes to submit a proposal, which I had never done before, and it was a little bit scary for me, intimidating.

All [00:26:00] the way to the actual presentation, you know, the purpose of the round table is to get feedback on a project or work that you're doing. And I got helpful feedback and I got ideas of things that I hadn't thought about before. Anyone that [00:26:15] is in the middle of a project, I think could benefit from getting feedback from other people working in, in this space.

And then even afterwards, it's been a valuable experience being able to [00:26:30] speak on that experience. Uh, when I was applying for jobs. And then also learning how to adapt a presentation. I was already presenting on my capstone project in order to graduate from my program, [00:26:45] and I used pieces of it for my AMCHP round table presentation. And so learning how to adapt and fit the guidelines that AMCHP was looking for. Also a useful skill to learn and to apply. 

Maura Leahy: I wanted to close [00:27:00] out this episode with a call to action for our listeners about the importance of Title V and other organizations supporting youth and young adults, families, community rooted organizations, tribal government representatives, and students in early career professionals to [00:27:15] attend the ACMHP Conference.

Katherine Harvey: I would just say I really encourage any organizations that have the financial capacity to do so to sponsor a young person or a community member to be able to attend this conference. I think that the more we can grow the number of, [00:27:30] um, youth and community members that are attending am ship and are making up kind of a block of the folks that are attending. I think that's super important and I think that's where public health needs to go in the future. 

Dana Yarbrough: I believe it's a must for Title five programs to invest in [00:27:45] the development of family leaders in their state and the AMCHP Conference is a great place to help build, uh, the leadership skills, the professional development knowledge and awareness and skills for families to [00:28:00] attend.

Um, it's a place to come together at the event and really authentically. Live the nothing about us without us concept that when you take what you hear at the event, how can you take it back and apply it if you haven't had a family member [00:28:15] as part of that team who can talk through how that impacts them personally and what they should be considering if they're thinking of, uh, replicating or bringing something back to their state.

I just can't stress that enough that having [00:28:30] families in the team makes a world of difference. Um, and I know professionals in a Title V office also wear a parent hat, uh, particularly a parent of a child with disabilities or special healthcare needs. But I sometimes find it could be difficult [00:28:45] to separate your professional and parent role if you're going there as an attendee from the Title V staff.

So if you can have someone that's purely there representing that family voice, it does have a huge impact and it leads to that authentic engagement [00:29:00] and involvement with families and that equitable engagement with families. 

Quatia (Q) Osorio: It's really important for these Title V institutions, youth, maternal, child health, children, infancy, you need to have relationships with people who are in the community doing this work. And it's not [00:29:15] just the regular organizations that you participate with. You really need to look in the community and say, hey, why don't we ask the director of the afterschool program that's in this community to come, and then maybe if they wanna send a couple of students or participants in the afterschool program that [00:29:30] might want to come and help.

Let's look at, if we're looking into an institution that, like for, for me, for instance, that does doula workforce development. Let's have some of these doulas come and talk about it. And so my biggest thing is to make sure that you have the [00:29:45] people from the community at the table and not just the people that you want to hear in agreement with you, but what about the people who you don't necessarily agree with. 

Those are the people that you want to participate, you wanna bring to the table. There are other little nuances, other little small cogs and [00:30:00] wheels that you really need to address in order to get things moving and operating. But a lot of times, those community-based intentional small institutions that you often overlook or you may only be in small partnership with, you gave them a mini grant or something, those are the people that you want to [00:30:15] invite to this conference so they can see it at a macro level. 

Because they might even, you know, be able to offer you something that's never been offered before. And I think that's so valuable to Title V, to Departments of Health. Look beyond just who you're, you're usually dealing with and say, [00:30:30] hey, when we go into the community, who else? 

Xenia Mendez: I think it's a great opportunity to just learn. Learn different ways of learning. Learning if you like conferences in general, like is that something you wanna continue doing and [00:30:45] incorporating as part of your professional development? Learning how to network. If you decide that you want to try out what it's like to present learning what that's like. Speaking as, as a student, even with like [00:31:00] discount rate for students to attend conferences, it can still be a barrier. Thinking of like my own bias and thinking of like students attending, like grad students, right?

But going even younger than that. Undergrad students in high school, they can [00:31:15] really benefit from this. There's that. And then the other barrier that I personally face, which. How do I navigate this? Am I good enough? So having like a pipeline to guide students, give them that encouragement, [00:31:30] I think is also important.

Maura Leahy: We hope you enjoyed hearing from our guests about their AMCHP Conference experiences and are excited to attend this year's conference, either in person or virtually. If you haven't [00:31:45] already, be sure to register for the 2023 AMCHP Conference. You have the option to choose from in-person registration or virtual registration.

For those attending virtually, we have a dedicated work group that is working to ensure you have a meaningful conference experience. After hearing from [00:32:00] today's guests, we hope you'll be reaffirmed in the importance of supporting youth and young adults, community rooted organizations, tribal government representatives, and student and early career professionals to attend the AMCHP Conference and hope you can sponsor some [00:32:15] of these essential leaders of the maternal and child health workforce to attend the 2023 AMCHP Conference.

Learn more about the conference theme, schedule, speakers, and more at[00:32:30] You can also sign up for our newsletter to be the first to receive updates about the conference.

Thank you all for joining us on this MCH Bridges. You can find the transcript of this [00:32:45] episode Be sure to follow AMCHP on social media. We're on Twitter and Instagram at @DC_AMCHP. We hope this episode [00:33:00] created some new connections for you. Stay well, and I hope our paths cross on the next MCH Bridges.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services [00:33:15] Administration, or HRSA, of the US Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, as part of an award totaling $1,963,039 with 0% financed with non-governmental. This [00:33:30] information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the US government. [00:33:45]