As the year draws to a close, I am delighted to share with you ACPA’s new Vision and Mission. The ACPA Board of Directors and National Office Team joined together to craft these statements to define and inspire our beloved association and to empower us to grow and evolve. I hope you agree that they capture the essence of what we love about ACPA.

ACPA’s Vision: Leading interdisciplinary cleft and craniofacial care so patients and families thrive.

ACPA’s Mission Statement: We empower and support cleft and craniofacial healthcare professionals and the patients they serve through research, education, and advocacy. We promote team care and professional collaboration to ensure the highest quality resources are available to all with craniofacial differences throughout their healthcare journey.

If I were to write my story about this year, it would start and end with presiding over ACPA. Honestly, it was my saving grace to dedicate my time to ACPA in a topsy turvy world during another topsy turvy year. It was a year of lots of sleepless nights as I pondered over difficult decisions or exciting new ideas to move ACPA forward when very little was predictable. It was also a year of new experiences:  an impressive new executive director who has been a joy to work alongside, an increased patient/family member presence on our board and on our committees, new initiatives to welcome more students and more professionals from developing nations, our first virtual annual meeting and business meeting, our first foray into advocacy, and perhaps a few new gray hairs. I was fortunate to work with an amazing board and a dedicated national office staff to position ACPA to move into 2022 on the strongest financial footing in our organization’s history with a new strategic plan to guide our way. In addition, we have planned many new initiatives for the coming year, including re-branding, revamping our website, and increasing diversity and inclusion. The world may have slowed down during this pandemic, but the 2021 board has continued to do the good work of ACPA.

The true heart of ACPA is in its members. To those who volunteered or donated or participated or just kept their membership active despite uncertain times, I thank you. I look forward to seeing many of you in Fort Worth or virtually this March and throughout the year.

As the New Year begins, I look forward to turning over the presidency to John Girotto. He has been a dedicated and effective volunteer and advocate for ACPA for many years, serving as treasurer, board member, vice president, and now president. Aside from his formidable institutional knowledge, his strong dedication to all that this association holds dear will serve him well as the new leader of ACPA.

It has been the honor and pleasure of a lifetime to serve as President of this great organization that has given so much to me. I look forward to many more years of membership and service.

Lynn Fox, MA, MEd, CCC-SLP
President, ACPA