The CSA held its first Board of Directors meeting of the 2015-16 fiscal year on September 18 and 19. The two days were packed with committee meetings, organizational business, and work on strategic planning for the year.
The Board welcomed State Assemblymember David Chiu, of District 17 in San Francisco, who delivered the keynote address. Mr. Chiu, the Assistant Speaker pro Tempore, is keenly interested in healthcare issues and especially in transparency for prescription drug pricing. He is particularly sensitive to the complex and costly regulatory environment physicians face today. Mr. Chiu told the story of how his father, an anesthesiologist who practiced in Boston, actually discouraged him from going into medicine, and recommended law instead.
Unified Billing Agreement with ASA
The Board formally agreed to enter into a partnership with the ASA to issue a single invoice each year for both ASA and CSA dues. This process, known as “Unified Billing”, will simplify payment, as members will receive only one annual bill for both organizations.
The process is managed by ASA at very little cost to the state component society. California will be the 20th state society to enter into a unified billing agreement with ASA.
Beginning in November, CSA members will receive the usual renewal notice from the ASA. What is different is that this invoice will include ASA dues for the full calendar year 2016, and CSA dues for the second half of the year (July through December, 2016). CSA members in good standing have already paid their CSA dues for the first half of 2016. In November 2016, CSA members will receive an invoice for the full 2017 dues for both ASA and CSA, completing the transition to unified billing.
Please watch for communications in the coming weeks with additional information on the unified billing process.
Membership Survey: Focus on Value
Delivering the services and information that CSA members value is our highest priority. Knowing what members want is the key. To that end, the Membership Committee, chaired by Rima Matevosian, MD, PhD, has decided to develop a new member survey to be conducted in November.
The Membership Committee, composed of all the CSA’s District Directors, discussed the critical need to need to identify priorities across different demographic groups. Younger members’ viewpoints are critical, as their engagement will secure the future success of the organization.
The survey also will ask members for information about their preferred means of communication from the CSA. Suggestions from committee members included asking about preference for text messages compared with email, and what devices and platforms CSA members routinely use to access information during the workday.
The survey will be short and will take only a few minutes of members’ time. Please participate—your input and perspective are essential!
GASPAC: Critical to Success in Politics and Policy
The CSA’s political action committee is known as GASPAC (Greater Anesthesiology Services Political Action Committee). It is an essential source of funds to support legislators and candidates who champion policy proposals that are important to our profession, practice, and patients.
As the political environment continues to place pressure on healthcare costs and scope of practice, it is critical for the CSA to have the necessary resources to engage and win in the legislative and regulatory process. As the late California politician Jesse Unruh often said, and past CSA President Paul Yost, MD, often quotes: “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”
As we move ahead to implement unified billing with the ASA, the line-item contribution for GASPAC will no longer appear on the annual membership invoice. The GASPAC Board of Directors, led by Jeffrey Poage, MD, will be working with CSA staff to develop a specific marketing and fundraising strategy to raise GASPAC funds.
Your response to GASPAC contribution requests will be crucial to the CSA’s success! In his remarks, Assemblyman Chiu congratulated CSA and its members for being well represented at the State Capitol in Sacramento by our legislative advocate, Bryce Docherty, of KP Public Affairs, by physician leaders including Dr. Poage and President-Elect Mark Zakowski, MD, and by CSA Executive Director David Butler.
Next Steps in CME
Samuel Wald, MD, MBA, who chairs the Education Programs Division (EPD), reviewed options for the CSA to deliver high-quality, relevant CME options to CSA members. The EPD is considering the expansion of online education, expanding and improving existing CME programs in Hawaii and San Francisco, and potential partnership with the ASA in delivering shared CME content.
Please watch for updates as the EPD considers these and other options. If you have suggestions or would like to provide input, please contact Lauren Stoddard, the CSA staff member for CME, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was the first CSA Board of Directors meeting coordinated by the CSA’s new office management team, led by Executive Director David Butler. Mr. Butler and his team, complemented by the staff members at KP Public Affairs, provided professional support to the Board and to the committees in logistics, content creation, and strategic advice. They will help develop and administer the upcoming Member Survey. It was very gratifying to see our new team in place, serving and representing the interests of the CSA with professionalism and dedication.
CSA’s next Board of Directors meeting will be held in our new headquarters in Sacramento on January 8 and 9. The meeting will feature a “Welcome to Sacramento” reception on Friday evening, and a daylong strategic planning session on Saturday.