I stood frozen in disbelief as I scanned the latest email in my inbox. It was October 2009 and I had just announced NANT to the world, or more accurately, to a room of about 100 people, which seemed like the whole world at that point. My little idea had grown up and become a reality. And just like now, the initial 60 Members were ALL IN. (I still remember you guys signing up on PAPER of all things!
The email was from an OT from Australia. She inquired as to whether she could join NANT as a Member. I thought, “Could our 61st Member really be from Australia? How did this happen, how did she hear about us when we are still so small and were born just 48 hours ago?”
That was lesson #1 in the power of the internet to connect a passionate, under-served group of people to each other.
Small and global. Hmmm.
This was promising. Maybe we could reach therapists in the middle of Montana too – the incredible ones who were geographically isolated. And maybe someday we could help a therapist be the first one to bring this specialty to her country, like Stavroula (our international scholarship recipient) will bring to Greece after the 2016 NANT Conference.
Isn’t it crazy to think that we were working hard all over the world (for decades) on similar issues with similar babies and families and couldn’t talk to each other? Couldn’t even say, “Is this what you would do in this situation?” Let alone set standards, develop a core scope of practice, or present our own highly regarded research.
The speed at which you have united to better serve infants and families from 2009-2016 is astounding.
And take a look – this is where your colleagues will be coming from in April (so far!).
Despite the vast number of miles between us and variations in practice, healthcare, and culture, you continue to teach me that the NICU is a very small world unto itself.
In just 2 months that world will convene in one beautiful hotel in Orlando.
One therapist, one baby, one family, one NICU, one city, one country at a time – you are improving the next generation.
I can’t wait to see you there.
P.S. It’s only fitting we have more participants from Australia this year. A full-circle, all-in adventure.