President's Message

September President's Message

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President Raji Koppolu, RN, MS, CPNP, MSL

A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.

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We are so lucky to identify a mentor in our lives. Whether that be a faculty member, family, close friend or just someone who reached out to us and identified a promise that we didn't even know we had. Often, when I am asked about choosing a career as a pediatric nurse practitioner, I realize that it was largely done on my own. I knew I wanted to work with children, and nursing seemed to fit with my personality, the influence nurses I met had with their patients, and the potential impact I could have. That being said, navigating school, clinical placements, an advanced degree and a job search were challenging milestones along the way. In addition, I wasn't prepared for the lack of knowledge patients, other providers, and our community would have about the PNP role, our value and what we can contribute. A large part of being a PNP is not only continuing to be a voice for children, but also sharing the value we provide. That may be defined by the visits we have, the RVUs we generate, or the more "invisible work" we provide that we strive to find ways to quantify. Along the way, mentors helped guide and shape the way I looked at these situations, and there is no doubt I would not be where I am today without their guidance.

In a recent article in the Harvard Business review, Anthony Tjan (2017) identifies things that best mentors can do. One of which is that mentors "go beyond competency, focusing on helping capture other's peoples' character, values, self-awareness, empathy, and capacity for respect."  If we think about our own individual mentors, we are reminded of their skills to not tell us whether something is right or wrong, but tap into our strengths, foster our growth, and build on our own capacities. I am so grateful that NAPNAP has become a place of many mentors-those who have paved the way, those who continue to challenge the status quo and those who are just there to remind us to do the best we can. Take the time to acknowledge and thank your mentors. I find that in times of change, chaos or uncertainty, it is these individuals who are there to support us and bring us along.

Blueprint 2020

A friendly reminder to complete our member Blueprint 2020 survey. This takes only about five minutes and will help inform our taskforce on what you feel are important priorities in child health.  The survey will be closing on September 13th. Thank you to those members who were able to call into our webinars on August 26th and to all our stakeholder interviewees. The information we have gathered will be extremely valuable to crafting a comprehensive and current strategic plan, reflective of our diverse membership.

NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth

Two years ago, we launched NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth. This new tax-exempt charitable organization is focused on recruiting and leveraging the expertise of PNPs and other partners to share knowledge of populations of vulnerable children. NAPNAP Partners' first initiative is the Alliance for Children in Trafficking (ACT). The work of ACT over the last two years has been multifactorial and has included, but is not limited to:

  • Federal advocacy for legislation such as the SOAR: Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond to Health and Wellness Training, ultimately signed into law in December 2018 and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA)/the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) signed into law April 2018.
  • Development of a Grassroots Toolkit.
  • Development of Best Practices and Protocols.
  • Launch of the ACT Advocate Program, a grassroots effort to educate healthcare providers on trafficking. I encourage you to sign up for the November Wonder Weekend ACT training. There is also a new online CE course, called 3-PARRT (Providers Assessing Risk and Responding to Trafficking), offering a comprehensive review of child trafficking for health care providers. Thanks to the support of Unbound Houston, this online course is free to all NAPNAP members through December 2019.

Many do not realize that human trafficking is occurring in our communities all over the country. Moreover, a study in 2014 estimated that 87% of all human trafficking survivors had come into contact with a healthcare provider while being trafficked without being recognized (Lederer & Wetzel). NAPNAP has taken the lead in educating our members and key partners to help identify these victims, support their wellbeing, and ultimately restore them to a happy and healthy childhood of which they are so sadly robbed. Join NAPNAP Partners and your colleagues in having the tools to help you in your practice. Join the discussion on our member community. Thank you for stepping up to educate yourselves, share knowledge, and carry out the mission and vision of NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth.


Tjan, Anthony K., (2017). What the Best Mentors Do. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from:

Lederer, L., & Wetzel, C. (2014). The health consequences of sex trafficking and their implications for identifying victims in health care facilities. Annals of Health Law, 23 (1). 61-91.

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