President's Message

The Importance of Voting, Serving, Recognizing

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President Dawn Garzon Maaks, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP

I don’t know about you, but I am amazed we are almost halfway through September. Time seems to be flying by, and I am astounded we are almost to the last quarter of the year! I know many of you are dealing with natural disasters, be they fires or impending hurricanes. Some of you are recovering from natural disasters that have already happened. I lost my home in Hurricane Andrew, lived near Tornado Alley for 24 years and live in an area devastated by fires last year, so I can imagine where your concerns are at this time. I pray you, your loved ones and your communities stay safe. Remember that we offer disaster resources for you and your families on our website. For those of us not affected, please consider donating to organizations who help folks recover from these devastating acts of nature.

This is a busy time of year for all of us, but it is an extremely important time when it comes to choosing the elected officials who will govern us for many years to come. The mid-term elections are less than two months away. It is critical that each of you takes the time to educate yourselves about your candidates’ views on issues that are important to you, especially issues of health care and child health. Please find out what your candidates think now so you can vote thoughtfully in November. And, please GO VOTE! Democracies don’t work when only a small number of people participate. Start planning to vote absentee if you can’t get to your polls or determine where your polling place is and schedule the time now to make sure you cast your vote on Election Day. Model this behavior for your kids and other important children in your life. We all know they do what they see us do. Take a younger child with you to the polls to get an “I voted” sticker or talk to older children about your thoughts as you consider the candidates. You might be that one adult who awakens in them a sense of civic responsibility that is often missing in today’s world.

Speaking of elections, nominations for your Executive Board and Nominations Committee are now open. I sincerely ask that you consider nominating a peer or having someone nominate you. Our organization needs passionate people to get involved so that your board reflects you, the members of NAPNAP. It’s also Henry K Silver Memorial Award nominations time. This award recognizes one member for contributions to expansion or improvement of pediatric health care and advancement of the pediatric-focused APRN profession at the national or international level. It is a huge honor and one that so many of our members are eligible for. More information can be found on the NAPNAP website’s Award Opportunities page.

And lastly today, please know we haven’t forgotten about the families in detention. This situation is not over and merits that we all pay attention and make our voices heard. There are still approximately 400 children who have not been reunited with family members, and many are currently in detention with their parents. Just last Thursday (9/6) the administration moved plans forward to detain migrant families for extended periods by seeking standards to terminate the Flores agreement. This 30-year-old policy shapes how we treat people in detention and modifying it would allow detentions of more than 20 days. Please note, this doesn’t change anything yet and will likely lead to legal challenges in the days, weeks and months to come. So, it merits keeping our eyes on it, and not letting this critical issue get forgotten in the business of daily life.

As always, take time to care for yourselves. I for one will be glued to September baseball while rooting on my favorite team. Go Cardinals!!!! Speak up and let me know if there is anything I need to know about. Thanks for taking the time to read this message.

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