CSA Members Raise $100K in 100 days!
The tagline for the California Society of Anesthesiologists is “Physicians for Vital Times.” This message refers to our role and our ability to intervene at critical times to protect and often save the lives of our patients. It also references our willingness, as physician leaders and as advocates, to step in when the need arises to protect and advance our specialty.
This need for physician anesthesiologists to step in and intervene during a critical case was never more apparent than this winter when CSA leadership crafted a strategy to save GASPAC – CSA’s political action fund - at a very critical moment.
In a recent CSAOF, Mark Zakowski, MD, CSA’s immediate past president, reported that contributions to GASPAC had diminished significantly since CSA partnered with ASA to administer a unified billing strategy in which ASA solicited and collected membership dues revenue for both organizations on one invoice. Since ASA is precluded by law from collecting state political action dollars, CSA members no longer had the ability to include contributions to GASPAC as part of the membership dues invoice. Many new members may not have even realized that GASPAC existed. As a result, individual contributions declined to the point where GASPAC had less than a $10,000 balance in January of this year. With an annual candidate contribution budget of up to $125,000 per year, the condition of GASPAC was indeed critical.
At the January board of directors meeting, CSA leaders established a set of goals to guide the long-term health and sustainability of GASPAC in support of CSA’s advocacy objectives in Sacramento. However, our patient – GASPAC – required immediate resuscitation.
CSA leadership and the GASPAC board of directors, along with the staff at AMG and KP Public Affairs, developed the “100 Days to $100K” campaign, a short-term fundraising effort to intervene and get GASPAC out of the ICU.
Between March 1 and the June 4 House of Delegates meeting, 157 individual members and four practice groups contributed $85,000 to GASPAC – an astounding number. This effort, combined with the $7,300 in CSA general funds that the House of Delegates authorized to be made to GASPAC for candidate contributions and the $10,000 contribution from my practice group – Medical Anesthesia Consultants of Walnut Creek – I am proud to say that we met our goal of raising $100,000 for GASPAC in the 100 days.
On behalf of my fellow board members, I thank each and every one of you who answered our call and made a financial contributions to support GASPAC at this critical juncture and protect CSA’s position within the House of Medicine and within the Legislature in Sacramento.
Below is a listing of those of you who stepped up during this vital time, and includes those practice groups who made significant contributions as well as 28 individual members who contributed $1,000 or more. These practice groups and the $1,000 plus contributors, the members of the Governors Club, were at a contributor recognition reception at the House of Delegates meeting in Irvine. Practice Groups were presented with plaques for display in their offices and members of the Governor’s Club received a commemorative paper weight for display on their desk at home or at work.
If you have not yet made an individual contribution to GASPAC – as a practice group or as an individual member – you can still do so by visiting www.gaspac.org. All contributors of $250 or more will receive a lapel pin so you can publicly express your support for GASPAC and physician-led anesthesiology. All contributors will be recognized within CSA’s annual publication, Vital Times, which is published each February.
As Dr. Zakowski informed you in his recent CSAOF, the CSA leadership unanimously approved a $125 per-member dues assignment to GASPAC, beginning January 1, 2018. This allocation will be partially offset by a $99 per-member dues increase, also effective January 1, 2018. This strategy is expected to raise approximately $300,000 per year for GASPAC, a significant amount but still short of the GASPAC board’s objective of $400,000 per year – to be divided evenly - $200,000 in annual candidate contributions and $200,000 toward the establishment of a $1 million “war chest” over five years.
A strong GASPAC account allows CSA to protect CSA's policy priorities and advance our political goals, focusing on issues such as "surprise" out-of-network bills, scope of practice proposals, and pediatric dental anesthesia regulations among others.
To achieve our goals and overcome this $100,000 shortfall, we will continue to require individual members and practice groups to step in, engage, and intervene to ensure the long-term health of GASPAC in support of CSA’s advocacy objectives.
In the future, rather than direct solicitation via e-mail appeals, the GASPAC board of directors will host an annual fundraising event at CSA’s Annual Meeting, where members and practice groups will have the opportunity to demonstrate their support for GASPAC and receive appropriate recognition for their financial contributions. Please watch for your invitation to this important event.
Thank you all once again for stepping up and offering your valuable support of and contributions to GASPAC at such a vital time.
Thank you to all who contributed during our 100 Days to 100K Campaign
and those who have contributed in 2017!
President’s Club ($7,000 and above)
Newport Harbor Anesthesia and its members
Anesthesia & Analgesia Medical Group of Santa Rosa and its members
CEP Anesthesia and its members
Governor’s Club ($1,000 and above)