As the International Lactation Consultant Assocation® (ILCA®) prepares to begin our campaign for our 2015 Membership year, we want to make you aware of changes to our membership structure. We deeply value all members of the lactation field and we have put significant effort into identifying and delivering the services most important to you. We are also evolving to meet our vision of “World Health Transformed through Breastfeeding and Skilled Lactation Care.”
Up until now, ILCA members who lived in the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand had their membership “bundled” with one of our Partner Affiliate organizations (In the U.S., you are bundled with the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA); in Canada, with the Canadian Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA); and in Australia and New Zealand, with the Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ)).
This means that, when a member joined ILCA, they automatically received membership in the national or regional organization in their area. For example, our Canadian members were automatically signed up for both ILCA and CLCA. The membership fee was divided between the two groups and members received the benefits of both, independently administered, organizations.
That is now changing. Members living in the areas served by our Partner Affiliates will no longer be required to join both the international organization (ILCA) and their respective regional organizations (USLCA, CLCA, and LCANZ).
Recognizing the potential benefits, ILCA and the Partner Affiliates have considered this action for some time. The primary rationale for this decision is to provide our existing members the opportunity to freely choose membership based on their needs and objectives and to provide potential members greater latitude to join like-minded local, national and/or international organization(s) that are within their budget. This new option will allow all the organizations to run more effectively and meet the unique needs of their particular region.
Additionally, the ILCA Board of Directors has renewed our commitment to strengthen and expand our affiliate relationships WORLDWIDE. Until now, ILCA has been intently focused on our three Partner Affiliates, often to the detriment of organizations and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in other countries. This renewed commitment to emerging IBCLC institutions will allow ILCA to help elevate these organizations to the world stage by providing much needed organizational support.
Of course, ILCA remains strongly committed to our current affiliates and the needs of IBCLCs in those countries. If we are to truly embrace our vision of world health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care, we will need effective partnerships with both established and emerging affiliates. And most importantly, we need you: individuals committed to advancing the IBCLC profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research.
Finally, we strongly encourage everyone to join both ILCA and your local or national professional association, in order to support efforts to advance the IBCLC profession both worldwide and in your community.
Together, these steps to remove the membership requirement and to strengthen ILCA’s global outreach are major initiatives with far-reaching benefits. We look forward to continuing to serve you and hope you will renew your upcoming membership and partner with us to meet these exciting goals. Look for additional information about your membership renewal coming to you soon.
Sincerely, on behalf of the ILCA Board of Directors,
Decalie Brown, RN, CM, IBCLC, CFHN, BHMtg