By Rosie Pung, RN, MSN, BSN, CCM

“Is there room for me?” is a question that can come to mind before beginning something new, for example joining a professional organization, attending a conference, or running for a board position.

Think back to your beginning, perhaps a CMSA chapter meeting, national conference or even considering CMSA membership — did “Is there room for me?” cross your mind?

Recently, a chapter member and I were discussing her beginning when she confided that when she first began attending CMSA local chapter events she just wanted someone to say hello to her. I instantly apologized for not being that person and for failing to reach out to her for far too long. Her experience brought back memories of my first CMSA national conference (I believe it was in Orlando, Florida. It seems that every 5 years or so CMSA returns to Orlando for the national conference, so I have a 20% chance of being right). I attended not knowing anyone from my chapter let alone any “national” CMSA figures. I was sitting by myself poolside and noticed there were Detroit Chapter members, board members mainly, gathered nearby, but I wasn’t sure if there was room for me. Betty Buechel came over and introduced herself. She mentioned that she recognized me from chapter meetings, invited me to join their poolside group and from that point on, continued to introduce me to many others both at chapter and national levels. Thank you, Betty, for making room!

I recall the excitement at many a chapter meeting when a sponsor gave away CMSA memberships to a non-member winner. Now, when I look through CMSA membership directories, it thrills me to see many of those membership winners have continued their CMSA membership.

So, how can we make sure people know that there is room for them at CMSA? Perhaps it is sensing when a member needs “assistance” with renewal. It might be making an introduction, furthering their connections and potentially advancing their career. It could be as simple as sharing resources or realizing that someone just needs a “hello, we’re happy you’re here”. That might be the moment that turns the question “Is there room for me?” into the resounding answer, “Yes, there is room for me at CMSA!

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Bio: Rosie Pung, RN, MSN, BSN, CCM has over 50 years of nursing experience and has been an integral part of CMSA for 20 years. A strong advocate for case managers and the practice of case management, Rosie uses her knowledge and expertise to be a resource for her colleagues. She has served in numerous CMSA roles both locally and nationally including CMSA Detroit Board Director and currently serves on the CMSA National Bylaws and Membership Committees.