Happy New Year!
2020 was an incredibly challenging year—for our country, for our organization, and I’m sure, for each of our members. Although 2021 is looking brighter, I do want to acknowledge our shared accomplishment of making it to this point.
And as an organization dedicated to serving clinicians, we have had to find new and innovative ways to support our members when they need it most.
I am so proud of how our community has risen to these challenges.
We continued offering high-quality education and resources to providers who care for women. Our annual conference moved to a completely virtual format, and we had record attendance. We asked members what support they needed as they navigated practicing during Covid-19 and created a free webinar series to address those needs. We also offered more student-specific programming than we ever have before.
We shaped the policy landscape for practitioners and their patients. We released new position statements on timely issues facing our field, including “Structural Racism and Implicit Bias in Women’s Healthcare” and “Marijuana Use during Pregnancy and Lactation.” We worked together with our partner organizations on advocacy efforts like the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, and the Helping MOMs Act of 2020, signed on to amicus briefs and letters to protect women’s rights and health, and provided input into the HHS Action Plan to Improve Maternal Health in America. Our policy efforts highlight the role of women’s health nurse practitioners (WHNPs) as an integral part of the obstetric care team, providing uncomplicated and complex care for women before, during, and between pregnancies.
We strengthened our organization. Our membership grew by almost 20%, and we expanded our corporate membership to help underwrite and enable more educational opportunities. Our members have represented us on interdisciplinary committees and workgroups, bringing the WHNP voice to multiple tables. If this is what we can accomplish in the toughest of circumstances, I’m so excited for what is ahead.
As CEO, I am dedicated to continuing to lead courageous conversations about women’s healthcare. NPWH will continue to elevate the health issues others overlook and compel attention on women’s health from providers, policymakers, and researchers. This includes building off of our work combating racism and implicit bias and addressing structural determinants of health—in exam rooms, in classrooms, and in all aspects of our work. We are also looking to invest in the infrastructure of the organization with new technology to offer you a better online experience and a place to connect to our community and find others with similar interests and specialties.
This year will also bring our 2021–2023 strategic plan to life. We’ve been working for the last several months to check in with our members and revisit our unique place in the wider women’s health community. This plan will unify our mission, goals, and vision and ensure we are providing strong, high-quality, evidence-based continuing education, keeping you up to date on the latest scientific information, and shaping the future of a new generation of nurse practitioners in women’s health.
Thank you for the role you played in our organization over the last year. Our future is bright because of each of you. Let’s celebrate our successes and resilience and keep doing what we do best—caring for women.
In kind regards and in good health,
Heather L. Maurer, MA
Chief Executive Officer
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in
Women’s Health (NPWH)