“This was my second NCCL. NCCL is a wonderful opportunity to learn how the AAFP legislative process works, and also had some great speakers and sessions. It is so exciting to engage with this new generation of constituency advocates! I felt like my concerns were validated. I plan to attend future NCCL events– NCCL leaves me hopeful and energized.”
Cynthia Heckman-Davis MD FAAFP | AAFP Liaison for the Indiana Cluster
Last month, a cohort of network advocates attended the American Academy of Family Physicians National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL). NCCL is an annual policy and leadership development meeting designed to amplify the voices of underrepresented constituencies within the Academy. During NCCL, family physicians who are part of member constituencies (women, minorities, new physicians, international medical graduates, and LGBT physicians) run for national leadership positions and have the opportunity to author and present resolutions. Traditionally held in Kansas City, this year’s meeting was virtual and had a record-high number of registrants, 361, which included 207 first-time attendees.
Over 20 Network members attended this year and advocated for a range of reproductive health, rights, and social justice-related resolutions including: Advocating for Informed Consent for Drug Screening in Pregnancy; Oppose Restrictions on Funding for Abortion; Support Gender Diverse Athletes’ Participation in Team Sports; Promote Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine for People Detained in ICE, and more! The ten resolutions our advocates prioritized for testimony were all adopted or reaffirmed as current policy.
Additionally, six network members ran for national leadership positions! The four Network members who were elected will help organize next year’s NCCL meeting and will be alternate representatives within the AAFP’s policy-making body, the Congress of Delegates (COD). Mobilizing within NCCL provides a great opportunity for Network members to learn the ropes of the AAFP policy-making process and to push the Academy to start taking action on reproductive health and justice issues ahead of the fall Congress of Delegates meeting. Transforming the AAFP, one of the largest national medical organizations in the US, to support reproductive health, rights, and social justice, takes a movement. It is amazing to see our Network members continue to organize as a community, build momentum, and harness the Academy as a powerful platform to advocate on behalf of patients and colleagues.