Select Page

Your Chapter President Council Representative

A Message from:
Eric Bergman, RN, CCM
Your CMSA Chapter President Council Representative

Meeting in a Box

Back in August I started a poll on our CMSA Leaders Facebook page asking what leadership support is most important to your chapter? The top response was for “Tips and help retaining and recruiting members.” We have talked about this for several months on the blog and our CPC call and other webinars Nikki has helped to set up. The second highest response rate was for “Structured events and programs that come ready to plug and play organized at a national level for you to use at you chapter.”

Last month’s CPC call was devoted to how to build and host an event, but I have continued to think about how we could send a plug and play setup for a meeting. The more I have turned this over, the more I realize there is just too much work and too many local issues to be able to provide some kind of a package chapters could use. However, I have also been recalling what it was like the first time I began to plan our monthly dinner meetings. It took me a long time to understand the details of how to run a good event. So, this month, I will discuss the very basics, as I understand them, of putting together a winning event.

  • The purpose: CMSA’s mission is aimed at providing education and professional development for case managers. Therefore, the focus of your program should be educational; providing information on a topic relevant to your members.
  • The structure: this will be driven by your members’ needs and local variables:
    1. past tradition,
    2. size and density of the geographical area you will draw from
    3. member preference.

All of which will lead to a choice of venue, time of day, if you offer a dinner event, or breakfast, or if you will try to subsidize a meal or just have a few snacks.

  • The support: many organizations, in your community are likely prepared to present talks about subjects related to their work – post acute providers talking about trends in home, memory, or hospice care, for example. You may find experts in your area who help clients manage Medicare and Medicaid, who are excited to share that expertise with case managers. In exchange for a chance to get their brand in front of your members, many will pay for a meal and provide a speaker.
    1. You need to be sure the presentation is not just an advertisement for their business and the presentation is unbiased.
    2. Find sponsors/speakers by talking with members about who is reaching out to them at work to present their products or services. Your chapter event can be a place for them to meet many case managers at once, however see 3.a. above! Many will be willing to sponsor an event to get that time and contact.
  • The nuts and bolts: The event will need a basic and clear structure and solid planning. Our national staff have already put together detailed and excellent guides to running your events. You will find step by step instruction for every aspect of your event, as well as more general guidelines for planning your event. I encourage you to review these and put them to use even if you have been running events for many years, you may find helpful tips and ideas to improve your performance.
  • Few details to consider: your event should be chapter centered and organized to maximize the benefit for your members and their chapter.
    1. Begin with time a time to mingle and network – you may need to work hard to encourage people to mingle and meet those they don’t already know. You may need focused effort and support from leaders to make sure new comers are welcomed and introduced and long time members don’t their social time exclusive, so the networking is valuable for all
    2. Have a brief chapter meeting/announcement period at the start. Update the attendees on chapter events and plans, and encourage them to bring friends and perspective new members.
    3. Provide a time for new faces to be introduces and let people know where they work and what they do. Also ask attendees if they have job openings, trainings, or other professional development opportunities they want to share with the group.
    4. Then the presentation/CE event kicks off (during the meal if there is one). The sponsor should be introduced and given a few moments to talk about their business, and then they should introduce the speaker – if they are providing the speaker. If the Chapter provided the speaker, then the Chapter leadership should introduce them.
    5. Be certain to wrap up the event with final announcements and thank yous.

Running successful and beneficial events is the reason for being. All chapter much strive to present the professional development our members need and want.

Creating Value For Our Members

Last month we discussed the importance of membership. I believe this is the single most important challenge facing CMSA and most other organizations today, so I will continue to focus on membership building and retention.

Membership building requires focused work that is infused as a part of everything we do as an organization. It does not require a new agenda or major additional work. Instead, it is a way of looking at the activities of the chapter in view of using all we do to reach a wider audience and engage them. The great thing is that virtual cycle created by membership growth makes your work lighter with every success!

By helping to build connections with others we create the conditions for exciting and worthwhile engagement that will help the chapter build membership. Most people tend to do things in groups where they are comfortable and feel welcomed. All events need to have some people who are specifically assigned to be the greeters and connectors, so any new attendee is rapidly put at ease and drawn in, and any member who may not know many people is assisted to meet new people and extend their network. Nametags help, because we are all prone to forget little things, like the name of someone we see only every few months at a professional event, and then we feel embarrassed or shy about talking to others. If you have good IT resources – a subject for a later blog – get sophisticated and use subtle identifiers to help members and leaders know who the members and non-members are, or any meaningful subgroup of the crowd, i.e. sponsors vs. case managers, or providers vs. payers vs. indirect providers.

Since once we have members, we need to nurture and feed them, involve them and encourage them, the above strategies help to promote renewals. We cannot lose sight of the importance of maintaining the members we have, so a regular and intentional program should be built to reach out to every member who is up for renew to remind them of the value they received last year from their membership and encourage them to renew.

If you need some fresh ideas about what your chapter can do to promote membership, have a look at a few resources to see how the value of professional organizations is promoted to certain groups, and see if you are meeting their expectations. We all want to know how to engage the younger generation, so consider what your chapter can do to reach out to students who are advised by some that professional organizations can be valuable to them.

Most important are our events and services – the value we provide to our members. Building a worthwhile and engaging event can be a major challenge, so we will spend our next CPC call discussing how to create and host events that will attract members and sponsors to your chapter.

Please provide your feedback and engage your fellow leader on our CMSA Chapter Leaders Facebook page. Has your chapter produced a great event lately? Let me know so I can feature you on December 6 on the CPC call.

Building Membership

Membership is the lifeblood of CMSA, just as it is for any professional organization. After all, without members, what is our purpose? For at least the last year, our national leadership has been working on a strategic plan to increase our membership and add value to the services we offer as a national organization. While we can drive membership from a national perspective, it is at the chapter level that members are primarily engaged. Therefore, the drive to increase and retain members is one that requires significant support from the chapters.

Membership must produce value, because no one wants to spend money or time on something that does not return a benefit at least equal to its cost. One way for CMSA to provide value is to provide a wide variety of useful and meaningful events and services. The more things we have to offer, the more people we can appeal to. Likewise the more going on at CMSA, the more people will want to join us. It is a virtuous cycle. Additionally, a growing membership will increase our resources, not just in dues money, but also in potential new leaders, ideas, and energy. Frighteningly, a shrinking membership will rapidly decrease all the good things our organization can provide. Therefore, membership maintenance and growth must be among the top 2 or 3 priorities of every leader in our organization.

Those of you who read last month’s blog, know that my core goal as CPC rep this year is to build a community of CMSA Chapter leaders that are engaged with each other. We can make our organization more valuable for members by engaging them in useful and interesting professional development and networking. Likewise, as leaders, we can improve our leadership and, I hope, enjoyment of that leadership, by connecting with and engaging each other in meaningful and helpful discussion to generate ideas we can all use and benefit from.

So now it is time for you to weigh in. Please use the comment section in the CMSA Leaders Facebook group to let us know what your chapter is doing. Feel free to ask questions, and share your ideas and secret formulas, because CMSA leadership is not a competition, but a joint effort. We must work together to help our national organization succeed and grow as a vibrant professional resource for all case managers and our communities.

In the coming weeks, I’ll provide some ideas and plans of my own. Watch this space!

Chapter Presidents’ Council Update

My name is Eric Bergman and I enjoyed meeting many of you at National Conference in June. I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you in one way or another. I am full of enthusiasm to help us work toward making our chapters vibrant, exciting centers of professional development that will attract and energize members. My vision for the Chapter Presidents’ Council is that it be a collaborative community of leaders sharing tips and best practices, as well as an open and helping community that we can use for advice and support.

At root, our organization is a powerful tool to help us grow as professionals, and to increase the resources and support for our clients. However, to be truly effective in helping to improve the quality of our health care system (public policy), educational opportunities (national and local conferences), and educational tools (books, papers, on demand CEs, etc.), we need to have many thousands of engaged and active members. The growth of our membership can and will be driven by the important work of the National Board and staff, but just as all politics is local, so to is the organic growth of an organization. If our local chapters are vibrant and exciting places for case managers to meet, connect and learn, the national organization will benefit and grow.

I have been energized by our success in Chicago and want to do all I can to help other chapters match that success. In order to improve communication, I will use multiple forums to reach and engage with you: Chapter President’s Council calls, a blog, the Facebook CMSA Leaders group, and direct contact. The key is to have robust engagement with relevant useful information. We have a vast resource in our many strong leaders, and I will make time for open discussion and idea sharing. When the good ideas get flowing, it is hard not to generate serious enthusiasm for our collective work and growth.

Here is what I have done so far:

  • I am reaching out to each chapter President in person, but it is going slowly. I invite you all to find a quiet moment and just call or text me (630) 858-5123. Please also feel free to reach out via email – bergman@cmsa-chicago.org
  • I have been posting conversation stimulators, comments, and questions on our CMSA Chapter Leaders Facebook group. If you have a Facebook account, please find our closed group – Nikki will grant you access if you use the link on the page to join. If you are already member, please use the “+ Add” button to add other CMSA leaders you are connected with. Please “follow” the group and participate in the conversation there.
  • I am planning Chapter Presidents’ Council calls, but likely will do them less frequently than in the past. I think these are the perfect forum for educational topics, but do not lend themselves to robust conversation and the synergy developed by group participation.
  • I will continue the Chapter Presidents’ Council blog started by my predecessor Rita Richter. My goal is to put out a post that will stimulate some thought. Please use the comments section to engage in conversation with me and the other presidents.
  • I am exploring the idea of a national gathering – perhaps in Little Rock at the CMSA offices – for Chapter Presidents to spend a weekend strategizing, learning and networking.

My leadership style is one of significant collaboration. I thrive on engagement with my peers. As you can see I have lots of ideas, and I will obviously run out of time to pursue them all. Please help me by letting me know what you as a Chapter President (or other chapter leader) need and want from our group. Please think about the options and opportunities I’ve posted above and send me your frank opinions about them. I welcome your calls, texts, and emails. Let’s have a great year and take CMSA to new heights!

Previous Blogs from:
Rita Richter, RN, BSN, CCM
CMSA Chapter President Council Representative

The Value of CMSA - Rita Richter

 Welcome to our new website and the Chapter Corner Newsletter. This really is an exciting time for us! Not only do we have our new published Case Management Model Act that reflects our Standards of Practice, we have our new business leadership with Fraser Imagineers to help guide and promote those values of CMSA we hold dear. My plan is to periodically write articles for the Chapter Corner to promote and facilitate strong chapter relationships and demonstrate the value of CMSA.

You will find this updated website is much easier to maneuver in finding information you are searching for. The links and resource sites are clearly defined to direct us to our By Laws, Membership, Chapters, Education, Public Policy, Conferences, everything you want to know about CMSA and current events.

As stated in our Standards of Practice – “Case Managers are recognized experts and vital participants in the care coordination team who empower people to understand and access quality, safe and efficient health care services.”  CMSA is our building block that gives us the wisdom, courage and strength to provide these professional services.  It equips us with a strong voice in health care with about 7800 members, 35,000 subscribers and 74 Chapters.

CMSA offers numerous networking opportunities, legislative advocacy, education, leadership and support to enhance the professionals we are. We do not stand alone – we stand together. Be on the lookout for our monthly CPC webinars. Topics we will be discussing are: Technology, Social Media, Bylaws, Strategic Planning, Developing Budgets, Finances, Public Policy updates, Chapter Revitalization and Best Practices.

Remember our mission: “to promote the individual and collective professional development of health care case managers…”.  Be sure to check our website frequently for updates!

Transitioning Your New Chapter Board

Happy New Year Everyone!!  As 2017 comes to an end and 2018 begins, I would like to thank everyone for your hard work and dedication to CMSA.  Congratulations to the new 2018 Chapter Board Members! I am looking forward to working with you all!

Being a new board member can feel overwhelming at times so don’t forget to outreach your previous board members – they make wonderful mentors!   Clear and effective communication is the key to a successful year!  To assist your chapter in making a smooth transition into the new year, I would suggest chapters conduct an orientation meeting and provide each new board member an orientation manual. The manual might include: Mission/Vision Statements, Bylaws, Policies, minutes of board meetings for the past year, annual report, audit reports, current budget/financial reports, roster of board members including addresses and telephone numbers, lists of the committees/committee members, calendar of activities/meetings, etc.

New officers and directors need to feel informed and empowered to do the job for which they were elected. No matter how qualified, new members need time to digest key information and feel comfortable working with the new team. The steps you take toward reaching that comfort level will greatly enhance the process and lead to an effective team.

My tip for a successful 2018 to our new board members - remember who we serve.

With Spring, We Find New Growth

Spring is finally here! My favorite thing about Spring is watching how beautiful new growth develops. The many vibrant colors; the sweet smells of different flowers, trees and grass; the fresh clean smell of rain that makes everything grow. We need to make sure we grow as well.

As health care professionals, we are familiar with helping our patients grow and develop healthier lifestyles. To do that, we must also grow and keep our health care knowledge current and up to date. Have you considered what you are going to do to accomplish this? Why not consider attending our National CMSA Conference?

Whether we want to change a behavior, learn something new or experience more in life – we must grow as an individual to help improve ourselves. We can accomplish this by attending our National CMSA Conference.

Our conference provides case managers tools to engage in our case management community. This year’s conference is offering over 35 CE’s, intriguing speakers and education sessions, and networking with other case managers and vendors. Attending past conferences, my biggest take away has been - growing as a case manager. The conferences helped me to maximize my knowledge to care for my patients and serve my community with the most significant and relevant resources available. It’s time for all of us to grow!

Please join us in Chicago, June 19-23, 2018.

For more information please visit: www.wearecasemanagement.com

Thank You

As I reflect on my experiences this year as your CPC representative, I cannot believe everything that I have learned and accomplished that has increased my personal and professional growth!

  • Networked with case managers across the United States
  • Led and spoke on webinars (I never had the confidence to do that before)
  • Learned about our CMSA Board and the work they do
  • Discussed health care and how case managers are professionals with my congress men/women in Washington D.C.
  • Enhanced my case management skills and knowledge by participating more in our organization
  • Gained new friendships across the country
  • Expanded my career
  • Most importantly, I had FUN

The case managers I’ve met through CMSA are such strong role models for our profession. They are leaders, go getters, compassionate, kind and skilled professionals. I have learned from Chapters across the country how as case managers we have advanced our profession and we must be mentors/coaches that support and teach our next generation.

Health care professionals are consistently searching for best practices, quality health care, and safer care for patients. As professional case managers, we must share our voice. We must keep up with our professional skills and new advanced technologies – we can accomplish this by participating in our organization. Together we are strong! Together we have a voice!

It has been my pleasure to serve you this past year. I must send out KUDOS to Nikki and Breonna with Fraser Imagineers for supporting me as much as they did this year! I couldn’t have accomplished what I did without you two. Ladies, you are the BEST!  My plan is to stay as active as I can in CMSA. I hope to see you all at national conference in Chicago.

I thank you all for giving me this opportunity.

Case Management Society of America
6301 Ranch Drive
Little Rock, AR 72223