The Establishment of a USLCA Advisory Board
When the USLCA board undertook its organizational examination in 2017-2018, it did so with the purpose of identifying how it could enhance its value to its members and grow in both numbers and prominence as an organization. USLCA embraced this task fully understanding that it might discover organizational challenges and weaknesses that were perceived as barriers to both its short- and long-term potential. USLCA also recognized that in peeling back its layers, it might uncover inherent forward-looking opportunities to address the challenges and to enhance and strengthen its role in the lactation care community.
The results of the organizational examination were telling from the standpoint of both ends of the organizational spectrum. Weaknesses and challenges were identified, as were opportunities for stronger growth, greater cohesion in the profession and ways to evolve to become a leader and trusted voice for maternal and child health across all our communities.
Prioritizing these opportunities, however, necessitated that USLCA embark on the difficult task of considering its reason for existence and the manner in which it would make that journey. In early 2019, USLCA’s board shared its updated Guiding Principles with members and other stakeholders and committed at that time to actionable initiatives directly aligned to meeting the spirit of the principles adopted.
Living up to the aspirations and promises of the Vision, Mission and Values is no easy task, and the board recognizes this. Opportunities for dialogue, input and feedback from members and from individuals outside the organization – both allied health professionals and others – who are eager to share organizational trends and best practices are critically important as USLCA continues its journey.
Among these opportunities is a process to formalize input and feedback through the creation of a USLCA advisory board, which the USLCA Board of Directors aims to have in place by January 1, 2020. The creation of an advisory board offers tremendous potential for USLCA going forward:
- It will bring together individuals with diversity of background, thoughts and experience to add to the knowledge and skills of the formal Board of Directors. This, in turn, will enhance the effective planning, monitoring and implementation role of the Board;
- It will provide recommendations and varied perspectives on programmatic opportunities and operational issues;
- It will be a sounding board for new ideas, policies and initiatives and provide independent viewpoints; and
- When and where appropriate, advisory board members can serve as liaisons with varied constituencies.
USLCA’s Board of Directors envisions the USLCA Advisory Board to be comprised of:
- No more than seven members selected by the Board of Directors through a nomination and application process
- At least two will have been members of USLCA for at least one year
- At least five will be lactation care providers and required to be a member of USLCA during their term
- No more than two may be from professions/disciplines outside the lactation field
- No more than two will be IBCLCs
- Terms will be set at two years with an option to renew for one additional term
- Four virtual meetings will be held annually
- No more than two meeting(s) per year can be missed
- Responsibilities of the advisory board include, but are not limited to:
- New program recommendations
- Program input and evaluation
- Advice and input on program and operational policies
- Advice and input on issues and opportunities that may arise
- A diverse representation of individuals. Special attention will be made to maximize the diversity of the group and ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion have a strong and consistent presence.
- Comment period to be open from July 22-August 31 — Comment period CLOSED
- Nominations to be open from September 1-October 31 — Nomination period CLOSED
- Selections to be made by November 30
- Appointments begin January 1, 2020