Joan Slager, CNM, DNP, CPC, FACNM
Candidate for Treasurer
See Joan Slager's CV here
Question: What strategies would you suggest for increasing the influence of ACNM, and how would you support them?
Answer: ACNM leadership has made great strides recently in increasing ACNM's influence. These efforts include branding, setting strategic priorities, and the recent PR campaign, However, increasing ACNM's influence is not the sole responsibility of the Board of Directors and national office staff.
In order for ACNM to become more influential, it must cultivate and grow its most valuable resource: its members. ACNM is a member organization, representing and advocating for its members and the practice of midwifery. To be an effective, influential, and thriving organization, membership in ACNM must be of value to its members. To be of value, the ACNM Board and national office staff should listen to members, be responsive to the needs of members, and educate them in how to become ambassadors for the organization and the profession. There is strength in numbers and the agenda and goals of ACNM cannot be achieved by a handful of people.
ACNM should implement strategies that help its members become engaged in the organization. It has been my observation that those who invest the most into an organization realize the most benefits from their membership. Strategies for engaging members would include creating mechanisms for members to identify ways they can contribute to and participate in the organization, whether on the local affiliate or national level. As a member of the Board of Directors, I would set a goal of attending local meetings and visiting practices and education programs in order to personally connect with members and invite them to participate in committees, sections, or task forces.
An education offering or perhaps a booth in the [ACNM Annual Meeting] exhibit hall staffed by national office staff and members of the ACNM leadership could educate members about opportunities for involvement in the organization If a member can identify an area of interest, they are more likely to be enthusiastic participants.
I would advocate for and assist with creating a toolkit for representing ACNM and participating in the volunteer structure of the college and making it available on the ACNM Web site. All members should feel a sense of ownership in ACNM. In this way, they truly "belong" and will realize the best return on their investment. Many hands make light work. By increasing member participation (not just membership, but active participation), ACNM's influence has the opportunity to spread farther.