February 2020

President's Message

Your TMAA leadership took to the roads of West Texas last week to meet our alliance colleagues. We held listening sessions in Abilene, Odessa, Midland, and Amarillo to learn what was working and what challenges exist for each area. You can follow along on our journey via the TMAA Facebook page.

Our first stop was Abilene, where we toured downtown hot spots for the perfect place to host our 2020 Regional Conference. Save the date – Friday, Oct. 2 – and join us in Abilene, where we found an amazing venue for both the Thursday evening welcome reception and the all-day meeting on Friday. Big thanks go to Sue Schackmuth for being our tour guide and hosting a past presidents listening session in her beautiful home.

Our second stop was Odessa, where we checked into the city’s gorgeous new Marriott hotel before meeting with Ector County Medical Alliance members Sirisha Neerukonda, Suzanne Rathbun, and Melanie Lively for a working dinner. Together, we drew up a plan to grow membership and increase advocacy engagement. I can’t wait to see how these three talented individuals reenergize the Ector County Alliance over the next year.

Next, we made our way to Midland, where we lent a hand stuffing envelopes for Midland Medical Alliance’s upcoming Doctors’ Day event. Christina Erickson hosted the stuffing party, where several members renewed their membership on the spot, while others joined TMAA for the first time. Midland has a lot of growth potential, as medical families are moving into the area.

Amarillo invited us to a strategic planning session, STAT! After losing both their president and president-elect this past year, everyone has been pitching in to finish out the year with a Hard Hats for Little Heads giveaway, Texas BookShare event, and free backpack program. Members shared a lot of great ideas for resident and resident spouse outreach, as well as more community health and advocacy events in the future. In lieu of electing a president, Potter-Randall Medical Society Alliance members decided to elect committee chairs to oversee membership recruitment and retention, community outreach, and programming – a good reminder that the needs of each county will vary, and that it’s okay to break from the norm if that is what your members need! The alliance hosts Amarillo’s Doctors’ Day and Family of Medicine event each year with support from its county medical society. If you want to know more, check out the chapter’s webpage.

It was a whirlwind trip, but TMAA Director Pam Udall and TMAA President-Elect Martha Vijjeswarapu made wonderful company. We are planning two more regional road trips and are ready to hit the road again later this month. We look forward to seeing you!

Lisa Queralt, RN, MSN
TMA Alliance President

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TMAA Annual Awards Now Open

Has your county chapter gained new members this year, led an innovative health project, or hosted an impactful community event? Tell us about it! Each year, the TMA Alliance honors a handful of county chapters with our annual awards. To learn more about each award and how to enter your county chapter, visit the Awards page on our website. The deadline to submit your application form is Sunday, March 15, so don’t delay!

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2020 Survey Extended

To help TMAA identify the needs and interests of our members and to improve our programming, we have launched a short survey. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete, and your responses are anonymous.

Take the survey before Friday, Feb. 14.

As a thank-you for providing feedback, $50 gift cards will be awarded to the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 100th respondents to the survey. Gift card winners will be announced the week of Feb. 20.

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Don't Let Your Membership Lapse!

We need only 900 more people to renew their membership or join TMAA to reach our 2020 membership goal. With just eight weeks left, we need you to help. If haven’t renewed your dues yet, please do. It only takes a minute, and your small action yields a huge dividend (see the ROI calculator on the TMAA website). If you’ve already renewed for 2020 – thank you! Help us start the year off right by taking a moment to ask a friend to join. Remember – if you have not renewed by March 31, 2020, your membership will lapse until you rejoin. This is a change from previous years, so be sure to get your dues in early to avoid losing your membership!

Next week, TMAA will send out another email, as well as a mailed invoice to those who have not yet paid for 2020. Below is the schedule for the remainder of the billing cycle:

Feb. 10: sixth email reminder
March 9: third invoice + seventh email reminder (drop date reminder)

Alert your members to look for the TMAA renewal notice in their inbox. TMAA does not have email addresses for more than half of our members. We need your help to ensure your local members know when and how to pay dues. If you know someone who does not currently receive TMAA emails, including the Monthly Memo, please have them email Sasha and request to be added back to the mailing list.

REMEMBER: Alliance members have three ways to pay dues:

1. Online: Go to www.texmedalliance.org (look for blue button in the upper-right corner of website; click on “Renew” if you’re a current member and want to renew your membership).
2. Call: TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955 with credit card information.
3. Mail: Application form or mailed statement along with a check to TMA Alliance, 401 W. 15th St., Austin, TX 78701

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2020 Membership Incentive Funds Available

Apply now for funding for your membership recruitment events! Counties can request up to $1,000 to host an event geared towards recruiting new and/or former members of the alliance. Just fill out the application, and TMAA staff will get back to you within three business days.

Read on for some best practices for planning your event:

  • Think ahead:We all know medical families lead busy lifestyles, and it can be hard to work around existing commitments. We recommend picking a date at least 60 days out to allow time for adequate marketing and for attendees to plan for it in their personal schedule.
  • Utilize TMAA resources:Remember that TMAA staff are available to help you design and market your event, and we have access to TMA’s graphics team and print shop to help you. This enables you to have professional, affordable materials to distribute before and during your event. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your ideas, and we’ll help you get started.
  • Partner with your county medical society: The TMA Alliance is a group for the Family of Medicine, and one of the best ways to show that is by opening up your event to members of your county medical society. The most successful and well-attended events we saw last year were co-hosted by alliance chapters and county medical societies, so make it a point to reach out to yours in 2020 and help each other meet your outreach goals.
  • Keep it simple: The most effective events have a one purpose and a clear message – You should join the alliance, and here’s why. Keep things fun; make sure there is ample time for guests to meet and socialize; and don’t get bogged down promoting a local initiative, raising funds for your chapter’s foundation, or planning an educational segment.
  • Use what you’ve got: Not every recruitment event needs to be brand-new. If your alliance chapter has a long-standing, popular event such as a luncheon, fundraising dinner, or annual party, use it as an opportunity to bring in new faces and show them what the alliance is all about. You can request incentive funds to help market the event to potential members, or even to help cover the cost of inviting them as guests.

  • February is Member Recruitment Month

    Many members have shared that the alliance was their lifeline during the difficult stages of residency and the early years of practice. Make it a point this month to reach out to the new members of your medical community, whether they be resident couples who have just moved to town or medical families who have relocated when their physician spouse accepted a position at a new hospital. Invite them to be a guest at your next event or meeting. If they want to join the alliance, great! But if they’re hesitant, let them know you’d still like to grab a coffee, and that they are welcome any time. Simply reaching out to provide a warm welcome and support to a physician spouse can make a world of difference.

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    Holiday Sharing Card Funds Donated

    During TMA Winter Conference, TMAA presented a check to the TMA Foundation in the amount of $4,545, raised from the 2019 Holiday Sharing Card. These funds, along with other TMAF contributions, enabled the foundation board to fully fund the Tarrant Alliance chapter grant request for the long-running Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County. TMAF President Susan M. Pike, MD, a plastic surgeon from Georgetown, accepted the check from TMA Alliance Present Lisa Queralt and President-Elect Martha Vijjeswarapu, who were joined by alliance representatives Angie Donahue, Sunshine Moore, and Debbie Pitts.

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    TMAF Gala Tickets Available

    The TMA Foundation’s 27th annual gala will be on Friday, May 1, at the Omni Fort Worth during TexMed 2020. The event helps support initiatives carried out by TMA Alliance members, including TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads and Be Wise – ImmunizeSM, as well as local programs led by alliance chapters.

    Chaired by TMA Alliance member Debbie Massingill and her husband, G. Sealy Massingill, MD, this year’s gala, themed The Art of Medicine, recognizes Fort Worth for its vibrant art scene and honors the unique way in which physicians treat each patient. The décor will be bright and artistic, and “pop art” cocktail attire is encouraged. Attendees will enjoy cocktails, a seated dinner, live music, dancing, an auction, and more.

    Tickets are available now. Individuals may purchase a table of eight starting at $2,200. VIP tickets are $300, and general admission tickets are $250. You may also purchase tickets by contacting TMAF at (800) 880-1330, ext. 1664.

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    2019 Highlights

    Last year’s numbers for TMA-sponsored programs are looking pretty great, and the TMA Alliance is a big reason for that! Here are some numbers you can be proud of:

  • 26,768 helmets were provided to children through the Hard Hats for Little Heads program, with events hosted by 13 alliance chapters around the state.
  • 26,235 shots were given through Be Wise – Immunize.
  • Patients joined their physicians at 56 Walk With a Doc sites – including 22 brand-new sites.

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    Winter Conference Recap

    TMAA President-Elect Martha Vijjeswarapu convened the TMA Alliance 2020-21 Board of Directors on Thursday, Jan. 23, for the annual board retreat. The group had a jam-packed day with board and membership training sessions, media training from TMA’s media team, a private tour of the Texas Capitol, and a lively dinner at Truluck’s in downtown Austin. They finished the day tired but inspired and ready to lead the TMA Alliance into a great year this May!

    The TMAA board and Membership Committee met on Friday, Jan. 24. The board heard reports from its vice presidents relating to alliance’s 2019 financials, community outreach membership, legislative affairs, and more. One of the highlights was hearing reports from Rowland Pettit, the Alliance’s APT chair, and Mark Baerd. Rowland is working on medical student recruitment, while Mark is creating a resident spouse alliance in Houston.

    Are You a County Leader?

    We know many of our alliance chapters passed the reins last month to the next set of county leaders. If you have a new leadership group in your county, email Sasha to update your county’s webpage.

    Now is also a good time to make sure all your projects and programs are featured on your webpage, so please spend some time going through your page, and let us know what you would like to edit, add, or remove.

    We look forward to visiting with new leadership and hearing what you have in store for 2020!

    Around the State

    Bexar County Medical Society Alliance (BCMSA) and Bexar County Medical Society held their joint installation at the Witte Museum on Jan. 25. Past BCMSA President Jenny Shepherd installed Danielle Henkes as 2020 president of the alliance, while Gerald Greenfield, MD, was installed as president of the medical society.

    On Saturday, Jan. 11, Hidalgo-Starr Medical Alliance delivered items to Comfort House Services, a nonprofit that provides a home-like environment for individuals with a terminal illness and less than four months to live. Hidalgo-Starr President Nelly Padilla and Laura Faye Gephart, MD, collected donations by hosting a mixer on Jan. 4 and asking attendees to pay a “cover charge” of one to two items for Comfort House. President-Elect Alex Aguirre joined Nelly to deliver the items and speak with a Comfort House representative.

    Lubbock County Medical Society Alliance hosted a First Tuesdays in the Districts reception on the evening of Jan. 14 at the home of Libby White. State Sen. Charles Perry and State Reps. Dustin Burrows and John Frullo joined more than 30 physicians and alliance members at the event. The lawmakers had the opportunity to meet and speak with attendees, and learn how they can improve health in their community.

    TMA President David Fleeger, MD, joined Travis County Medical Alliance members to present State Sen. Dawn Buckingham with a Champion of Medicine Award to celebrate her advocacy for patients and the medical profession. The group also visited with State Sen. Kirk Watson for First Tuesdays in the Districts.

    Be Wise – Immunize Grants Available

    You can help your community prevent disease by hosting a shot clinic or vaccine education event in your town. Use the TMA Foundation Online Grant Interface to submit a Be Wise grant application by March 1 for events in the summer or later. Grantees are eligible to receive up to $2,500 and have up to 12 months to use the funds. Special consideration is given this year to events that occur in high-need areas as identified in the 2019 Be Wise – Immunize Survey Report (see pg. 4 for maps). Funding for vaccination education events, such as a town hall meeting or presentation to a PTA, is a new offering of the Local Impact Grants program.

    For help planning your event, check out the Be – Wise Immunize Quick Start Manual: A Step-by-Step Vaccination Outreach Guide and Be Wise Event Ideas.

    Upcoming Events

    In addition to the events below, please be sure to check out the new calendar on www.texmedalliance.org, where you can sort events by county. If your chapter has an upcoming event you would like featured, email details (date, time, location, ticket prices, description) to Sasha.

    Feb. 13, 11:30 am-1:30 pm @ Hilton Garden Inn
    Smith County Medical Society Alliance will honor veterans at its Valentine’s Luncheon at Willow Brook Country Club. Guest speaker Elizabeth McCormick, former Army Black Hawk Helicopter pilot, will present “You in the Pilot’s Seat.”

    Feb. 14, 6:30-11 pm @ Ridglea Country Club
    Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance (TCMSA) will host its annual Medicine Ball, complete with various pop-up stores, cocktail hour, dancing, dinner, and casino. Proceeds from the evening go towards funding TCMSA programs, including Be Wise – Immunize, Project Access Tarrant County, and Allied Health Scholarships.

    March 28, 6 pm @ Fiesta Gardens
    Travis County Medical Alliance’s annual Party with a Purpose raises thousands of dollars each year to help fund numerous local nonprofits. This year’s theme is Havana Nights, featuring tiki drinks, tropical food, music, and dancing. Buy tickets here!