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Sitting at my desk, the media is full of things to sign up for to start the “New Year” off right. We are bombarded with diets to try, healthy drinks made in blenders with 27 ingredients, vitamins or other over the counter medications that can cure all problems, but has side effects that can kill you. This is a time for Chapter Leaders to look forward; ensuring that our Chapters are in good health and gearing up for the New Year. I think the theme “we are all in this together” is the best advice we can all heed.

It has been my privilege to be the Executive Director for the Idaho Chapter for 16 years. Over that time frame there have been changes, but one thing that is consistent is the dedicated Chapter leaders that I have the privilege to work with. These general pediatricians and subspecialists take precious time out of their practice, their family time and even their own personal time to volunteer to lead. I know how much I rely on their expertise and guidance as an Executive Director and one place that we seem to get a great boost of motivation is at the ALF. This year four chapter members will travel from Idaho, leaving one cold and snowy state for another one in March. You could view this as 10-12 hour marathon days, with no outside air as a chore or a task, or you can take this opportunity to set your chapter on the right path.

Some tips that have seemed to work for our leadership include, reviewing the outline and splitting up the breakout sessions to ensure that we get the valuable information we need and then sharing with each other. We set together in as many sessions as possible including those early morning breakfasts. This is valuable time just discussing and planning that doesn’t happen when you are doing most of your chapter business 400 miles apart from one another on a conference call. At the last ALF, when we were asked to work in small groups during a session it would have been easy to grab a coke, check email and check out. But we did take on the challenge and came up with our most successful activity in 2015; an Idaho specific website for providers, parents and preteens dealing with HPV. It is so exciting to watch the website hits each month and see how this vision is becoming a great tool for Idaho families and our members.

Take a few minutes this month to make one or two resolutions for your Chapter that will help ensure good health. This year one resolution is to host our first Pediatrician Day at the Capitol, something we have talked about for a long time, but have never pulled it together. We were challenged by the only pediatrician in our Legislature that every day he sees many organizations and professionals walking the halls of the Capitol and sitting in committee meetings but never a “white coat”. We hope to be there in full force on January 29th, in white coats, letting our policy makers know that we care and are here to help ensure the best for our kids. Our second resolution is to engage our members; both new and returning to get them involved and motivated about the topics they care the most about.

I can’t wait to see old and new friends at the ALF and look forward to seeing what resolutions you have made.

Sherry Iverson, RN
Executive Director — Idaho Chapter