Family Representative (2023-2026)
Dawn Bailey has served as the Family Engagement Specialist since 2015. She has been an active AMCHP member since 2016. Dawn has also been a member of the Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS) Advisory Council since 2017. She joined the AMCHP Board of Directors as a Family Representative.
Dawn is the mother of a young adult daughter with complex medical, cognitive, and physical conditions due to a rare genetic chromosomal abnormality. Having many years of experience learning to navigate the vast systems of care her daughter needs has given her a good perspective and lived experience to share. Over the last 5 years, she has been committed to using her experience to collaborate with and improve the systems of care for all families in Arizona. Her experience has allowed her to serve on several councils, working collaboratives, taskforces, and trainings for both providers and families. [learn more]
As part of our Voices of AMCHP series, designed to highlight our dedicated Board members and their work, we invited Dawn to share some insights on her background, experience serving on AMCHP’s Board of Directors, and her advice for other family leaders who want to make an impact on their community.
What motivated you to join AMCHP’s Board of Directors?
When I became a Family Delegate in 2015, I had the chance to attend my first AMCHP Conference and to see that there were Family Representatives on the Board of Directors was really encouraging to me. As I had the chance over the years to meet some of the Family Delegates and prior Family Representatives on the Board, I saw a great opportunity to lend my voice to the work and appreciated the opportunities that AMCHP supported for those voices.
How do your background and experience contribute to your role as a Family Representative on AMCHP’s Board of Directors?
Having the opportunity to be a family advisor directly embedded with Arizona’s Title V program has given me an opportunity to learn more about the programmatic side of Arizona’s work and how it interacts with the other systems of care in Arizona. I am able to connect that with my lived experience as a user of these systems and programs. I believe having a lens into both sides allows me an opportunity to braid both sides for more impactful solutions.
How has your role on AMCHP’s Board of Directors contributed to your work?
This role has allowed me to grow my knowledge and network around the work being done in other states and territories. I am able to share that back with our state team to hopefully add value to the work here in Arizona. It has also allowed me to elevate my role both in my state and nationally as a family leader and create more opportunities for collaboration.
May you please share with us your ‘why’ for working in maternal and child health (MCH)? Who or what activities cultivated and supported you as you pursued your “why”?
My “why” is my daughter Taryn. Taryn was born with a rare genetic condition that has come with very complex and life-limiting medical conditions along with cognitive and physical disabilities. As Taryn has turned 18, I have had many years of navigating very complicated systems and programs and believe we can do better for our children and families.
I feel very fortunate that our Title V team over the years has been very supportive of my voice and my work and has recognized the value it has brought to our work. They have been very intentional in elevating my role and ensuring that I am part of our Title V Leadership Team and our Block Grant process, and reviewing and supporting my attendance at the AMCHP Conference and the HRSA TA Partnership meetings.
You have served on several councils, working collaboratives, taskforces, and trainings for both providers and families. May you share with us any valuable insight you gained from these experiences?
Being a part of different councils and projects has allowed me to meet and learn from so many individuals who work in various spaces that focus on our communities. I really believe that knowing how systems and programs work and are structured can help those of us with lived experience to better offer solutions that are feasible for the program and can meet the needs of those they serve.
What advice do you have for other family leaders who want to make an impact in their community?
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and be willing to learn about other systems that might be outside of the scope you may work in. Being knowledgeable and understanding how everything works is such an asset in sharing our lived experience.
What can other established MCH professionals like yourself do to empower young leaders?
Continue to create space and opportunities for those voices to not just be at the table, but to be part of the work. I am very fortunate to have the role that I do, opportunities to share my experience, and be asked to be a part of so many projects. However, I also know I have a responsibility to help create additional spaces for other voices to be included too. It is also important to be comfortable in hearing the feedback that may not always be positive and respect that experience. We all can do better in the work we do.
Seeing AMCHP’s strategic direction reflected in the strategic map, what are you most excited for our organization to potentially accomplish by 2027?
Definitely the emphasis on elevating those with lived experience and how we can really support the operationalization of that. It is really time we moved beyond the idea of it and we actually do it.