Exploring the Conference Theme: Cultivating Diverse Leaders in Maternal and Child Health
October 17, 2022

The planning for the AMCHP 2023 Annual Conference is in full swing! Our conference planning committee has been working to incorporate feedback from our 2022 edition of the conference to make next year’s experience as productive and as memorable as possible. The conference will be held in person from May 6-9, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as virtually on our conference platform.

Each year, the AMCHP Annual Conference is represented with a theme that aligns with identifying practices and policies to address the key challenges that maternal and child health (MCH) programs and families face. It also aims to strengthen the partnership between local and state MCH programs and families. Ideas for the theme are solicited from our conference planning committee, AMCHP staff, AMCHP Board, and AMCHP committee members and then carefully considered and selected based on a prioritization process. Thus, the emergence of this year’s Annual Conference theme came about: Cultivating Diverse Leaders in Maternal and Child Health

Throughout the upcoming conference, in-person and virtual participants will be able to discuss how we can grow leaders in MCH who reflect the diversity of experiences, cultures, and abilities of the people we serve. As an organization, AMCHP recognizes that sustainable leadership requires attentive cultivation – we are all gardeners, fostering the growth of the MCH leaders in our midst and those yet to come. Who we raise up as leaders reflects our values.

Child's hand is holding a small green plant that looks like it is growing out of the child's hand. This connects to AMCHP's 2023 Conference theme: Cultivating Diverse MCH Leaders

“I love this year’s conference theme because it is such a big umbrella for us to convene under,” says Caroline Stampfel, AMCHP’s Chief Strategy and Program Officer and Annual Conference Planning Committee Liaison. “An overwhelming amount of public health workers are exhausted from the pandemic, and, in many cases, leaders are burned out and have just been in survival mode really. There have been very few moments to pause and reflect on professional development and growth, to intentionally connect with mentors, and to think about investments in leaders at all levels.”

Our goal is to nurture innovative, creative, and resilient leaders who, in turn, use their talents to support healthy communities. Cultivation is an intentional process, and cultivating leaders requires developing spaces that acknowledge, encourage, and sustainably support authentic leadership. The culture of our garden matters.

“When I think about ‘cultivating,’ my mind goes to a beautiful garden, filled with a variety of flowers and plants, thriving from soil to blossoms, and able to withstand the harshest of challenges,” Stampfel continues. “Like a thriving garden, building leadership within our field requires intention, focus, and constant tending – a flourishing workforce, much like a garden, doesn’t just happen by chance. I’m excited to learn more from the conference workshops, posters, roundtables, and skills sessions about the intentional and diligent cultivation happening across MCH.” 

What does it take to ensure that our leaders truly thrive? Through many public health challenges, our “field” has helped MCH leaders to weather storms, but only thriving people can transform systems. This year, our annual conference will delve into how we as gardeners, are cultivating an MCH field with varied blossoms who enrich our experiences, authentically engage with families and communities, and ensure a sustainable, equitable future for all.

Several young hands (of diverse racial backgrounds) coming together. Connects to the theme of working together to cultivate the next generation of diverse MCH leaders.

You might be wondering… how can I start contributing to this thoughtful conference theme? Submit a proposal to share your work and ideas here! AMCHP strives to ensure that at least 50% of accepted proposal submissions directly address the conference theme. We look forward to the fruitful discussions and exchange of ideas that will come from this conference theme and hope that it sparks the energy we need to cultivate the next generation of MHC leaders.


About the conference: 

The AMCHP Annual Conference is one of the country’s largest gatherings of maternal and child health (MCH) professionals. Every year, the conference aims to highlight the impact MCH programs are making at all levels for women, children, and families and to provide participants with tools and resources to develop, enhance, and sustain vital MCH programs and services.

To explore the 2023 AMCHP Annual Conference call for proposals, draft schedule at-a-glance, and registration rates, please visit our website at this link.