By Anne Llewellyn, MS, BHSA, RN, CRRN, CMGT-BC, BCPA, FCM
Florida has always had chapters throughout the state that were engaged locally, regionally, and nationally. Florida can boast of having four national presidents from its state. It has grown statewide leaders that have led case management organizations throughout the country. The local chapters have been part of the collections of chapters that formed the backbone of the national organization, the Case Management Society of America.
The leaders from the State of Florida have raised case management recognition for their work across the broad healthcare continuum. So, when the various chapters across the state started to talk about closing, I contacted the president of each chapter and asked them to come together to discuss their challenges and to find a way to save the organization from collapse.
On the initial call, I learned that leaders were tired, frustrated, busy or retiring from their jobs and wanted to turn over their leadership roles but could not find someone to take over in their respective areas. I could feel their pain, but I did not want to see the members of Florida lose the opportunity to be a part of their professional organization, the Case Management Society of America.
I asked each of the presidents to stay on if we centralized the Board of Directors and took the responsibility of running their chapters by forming a statewide chapter within the State of Florida. They liked the idea and said they would stay involved!
The next thing we did was take the idea to the Board of the South Florida Case Management Network, the last standing chapter with an active board, to see if they would agree to become the central board for the state. They agreed to the plan!
Next, we asked for a meeting with the national office's membership team and Executive Director at CMSA National to see if they would approve the idea. They did approve our plan, so we moved to the last stage of the reorganization.
Our last task was to put the idea out to the members throughout the State of Florida and ask them for their permission to make this change. They agreed!
Once approved by all, a team came together to revise the bylaws to allow Florida to become a statewide chapter representing the entire state vs. local chapters.
The All Florida Case Management Network was born with member support, the support of the South Florida Case Management Network, and the National Office.
We added regional managers to the Central Board, whose role is to identify the needs of case managers in their areas and organize local networking and continuing educational meetings in their respective regions. The regional members are voting members of the Central Board of Directors.
The Central Board:
* Assists with finding venues and reviews contacts for events throughout the state
* Holds virtual CE and networking events to reach members across the state
* Handles the finances of the organization
* Maintains the organization’s website
* Writes and distributes the monthly e-newsletter
* Holds monthly board meetings
* Produces and coordinates the annual conference
* Grows membership
* Raises the level of awareness surrounding the role and function of case managers throughout the broad healthcare continuum
* Answers member and prospective members' questions and supports them
As we begin the second year of the restructuring process, we are looking to focus on growing membership and helping the residents of Florida become aware that case managers are in place to help them coordinate care when they enter the broad healthcare system.
Being awarded the Phoenix Award at the 2023 CMSA Annual Conference was an honor for all involved in the All Florida Case Management Network. The past few years have been challenging, but we are proud that we looked outside the box to find a way to support the case managers in the State of Florida.
Our mission is to promote case management practice and recognize case managers from all settings throughout the State of Florida.
To learn more, visit our website at https://cmsa-florida.org/
Our local chapters are the lifeline of CMSA. Connecting locally with your peers and colleagues provides an enriching benefit to your CMSA membership, builds your professional network, and advances your practice as you interact with case managers from every discipline in every setting. Learn more here: https://cmsa.org/membership/chapters/
Bio: Anne Llewellyn, MS, BHSA, RN, CRRN, CMGT-BC, BCPA, FCM is a registered nurse with 40+ years of experience in critical care, risk management, case management, patient advocacy, healthcare publications and training and development. Anne is a leader in case management and patient advocacy. Anne is the current president of the All Florida Case Management Network. She served as the national president of the Case Management Society of America from 2003-2004. She received the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and was part of a team that founded the Case Management Fellowship Program in 2022. To contact Anne, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.