This blog is dedicated to our 48 local NAPNAP chapters and one e-chapter across the United States. Run by local leaders, NAPNAP chapters host meetings, offer networking and educational opportunities, and stand as the “home-base” for most of our members. Chapters interact in many ways with their communities, donating funds to charities that provide services to children and families, aligning with schools to provide support for athletes or offering health care through volunteering at clinics. Chapters also engage in “giving back” to their communities through sponsoring health fairs, running or walking events, or pediatric education for students and their families. Some chapters provide NP and doctoral students with scholarship money for graduate school, completing research projects or attending the NAPNAP national conference.
If your state does not have a chapter or you live too far to participate locally, you can join the NAPNAP e-Chapter, where similar opportunities are offered, but activities are all on-line! You can find updates and activities for your NAPNAP chapter or read about the contributions of other chapters, by visiting the chapters pages on the NAPNAP website at www.napnap.org/chapters. View the map and then click on the drop-down box to read your chapters’ claim to fame!
Chapters are an integral part of the NAPNAP community and for many years have provided roots and wings for dedicated members! Grooming local chapter leaders occurs with assistance from the NAPNAP national office, where education and mentoring in leadership and health policy are offered. Experienced chapter leaders often run for national office on the Executive Board or fill other vital positions in a variety of volunteer roles.
Another important endeavor by NAPNAP chapters is grassroots advocacy in their own neighborhoods. Belonging to a chapter allows members the opportunity to network within their local cultures and collectively address policy concerns with their local legislators. It is often much more satisfying to meet in person with politicians who share common concerns and may be willing to speak at chapter events and address pediatric healthcare issues important to the community. In many areas, political figures who are supportive of nursing, health care and children will align with NAPNAP local chapters to help support advocacy efforts.
As you discover your local chapter, get involved in policy by contacting your senators and congressional representatives to ask that they increase the budget cap as they vote to fund the federal government. Please encourage your colleagues to do the same! Many pediatric programs, such as WIC (Women, Infants and Children), Head Start and the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program depend on federal funding and are at risk if the budget is not sustained and increased! If you are not at the table for these discussions, you cannot affect the much needed changes! Your NAPNAP chapter can assist you in learning more about national and local policy issues! You can also find out about current issues through NAPNAP’s Advocacy Center.
At the same time we are focusing on the federal budget, many of us will be celebrating the fall season and Halloween with our pediatric patients! At Beacon Pediatrics, we begin this celebration on Monday, October 26 when all staff and providers are invited to dress up in our costumes every day for the entire week ending October 31. Our pediatric patients enjoy guessing who we are and telling us who they will “be” on Halloween. If you don’t celebrate this occasion, the fall weather and bright changing leaves may be an avenue for your NAPNAP chapter to become more involved with your local community!