By Kathleen Parry, RN, BSN, CCM
Why do we join CMSA? The reason case managers join is varied. I am sharing my journey as a member of CMSA. I have been a case manager for 20 years and a member of CMSA for 16 years. My initial membership was an employer membership. I started attending the monthly chapter meetings initially for the educational offerings however it became evident that networking with other case managers was the highlight of the meetings. We shared our experiences which we could apply to our current positions. During this time, I would promote the benefits of membership.
The lifeblood of local chapters is the volunteers who develop programs and run the chapter. I started volunteering with WMCMA in 2008 becoming a member of the education committee. I was elected to the board as a director in 2009. This helped me get the most out of my membership and supported my growth as a case manager. I continued my involvement at the chapter level as president in 2013 and again from 2018-2020. I stayed involved with the education committee to provide education to the membership at the monthly meetings and annual conferences. I changed my membership to an individual membership in 2010 when I changed positions.
As I continued my involvement with CMSA it became evident that I needed to step up and become more involved at a national level. I ran for a board of director position in 2021. I was not elected at that time however I was appointed to the board of the CMSA Foundation. This was an exciting time to see the importance of case managers giving back to case managers through process improvement and research. This is important work, and the membership can see what case managers are doing throughout the nation and the world.
I attended my first conference in June 2008 which was an experience. The national conference is the best professional conference I have attended. The educational offerings alone are well worth attending. Meeting case managers from all over the country and the world is inspiring. This gave me the bug to attend every year. You develop friendships at conferences that continue year after year. Since attending the CMSA conference for several years I have shared my knowledge in various ways including participating in roundtable talks, panel presentations, and shared poster presentations.
Through my attendance at conferences membership and involvement are promoted. After the conference, there are calls for volunteers to participate on the various committees. Recently I have been participating on the membership committee. This committee is tasked with maintaining and increasing membership. As a committee, there have been different workstreams identified to meet the goal of maintaining and increasing membership. I have been involved with the special interest membership group. This team has identified 3 specific groups to focus on due to their unique needs. The International Special Interest Group was the first membership group. The group members are from several countries and have identified programs of interest to them. The military/DOD special interest group is in the process of developing a program specific to the military/DOD. This is exciting work these interest groups should promote increased membership. The rural special interest group will be starting soon. Members of these special interest groups will be able to participate in their specific area as well as take advantage of all the benefits of CMSA.
As a longstanding member of CMSA, it is important to promote the benefits of membership to the premier Case Management organization. The educational benefits are worth the price of membership and the networking is an added benefit.
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Bio: Kathleen Parry, RN, BSN, CCM, is a Manager of Complex Case Management at Kaiser Permanente of Washington in Seattle WA. In her position, Kathleen manages the complex case managers for the state of Washington. The case managers work with patients with chronic disease and assist with engaging in their healthcare needs, coordination and navigating the healthcare system. Prior to her position at Kaiser Permanente, Kathleen was a case manager at Qualis Health in Seattle, where she assisted Medicaid clients with their health care needs. She has extensive Utilization Management experience at Qualis Health, AETNA and Evergreen Hospital Medical Center. Kathleen's clinical experience is diverse, ranging from psychiatry to general med-surg. She is active in CMSA's local chapter Washington Medical Case Management Association (WMCMA), served as president from 2018-2020 She has also served as Member-at-Large from 2009-2011, and President in 2013 on the WMCMA board. She participates as co-chair of the education committee. She currently serves as the WMCMA secretary 2022-2024. Kathy is also the current Inland Northwest CMSA Chapter (Spokane) president, 2020-2024. And she serves as a Director on the CMSA Foundation board. She was recently elected to the CMSA Board of Directors and serves on several committees including the membership committee. Kathleen represented Kaiser Permanente as the recipient of the CMSA Foundation's 2022 Practice Improvement Award for Readmission Prevention with Patients diagnosed with COVID discharged with home oxygen. She subsequently authored an article for CMSA Today. Kathleen received her BSN from McMaster University and her CCM certification in 2006. She received the "Excellence in Case Management Award" from WMCMA in December 2010; and was nominated for Case Manager of the Year Award from WMCMA in December 2011.