January 2020

President's Message

I cannot believe I am writing a President’s Message for a BRAND-NEW YEAR. I don’t know where 2019 went, but I do know it was an action-packed year filled with hard work and exciting developments for the TMA Alliance.

Over the past year we revamped our communications and marketing efforts with a new website, e-newsletter, membership outreach materials and toolkit, and recruitment brochure, and provided more marketing support to county alliances. In addition, we adjusted the TMAA budget to provide more funding for county alliance membership outreach and recruitment events. Our goal is to ensure every county alliance has the tools it needs to be successful.

We made a lot of progress toward that end. Houston now has more resident spouse members; Plano is launching its first alliance chapter; Hidalgo-Starr relaunched its alliance, held a Hard Hats for Little Heads event, and is launching a BookShare program; and the Travis County Medical Alliance just held a membership recruitment event that yielded new members. Look for a complete list of 2019 accomplishments in a special bonus newsletter later this month.

As I reflect on the year and our many accomplishments, I am filled with pride. I am proud of the TMAA leadership for its support, ALL the amazing people who make up TMAA, and the work YOU do.

One of the best things about my job is traveling the state. Over the past three months I’ve traveled from Harlingen to Lubbock, and from Tyler to Abilene visiting alliance chapters. I have met the most incredible people and experienced firsthand what makes each community so special. It has deepened my genuine appreciation for our great state and for the many ways in which physician spouses give of themselves to their communities. For instance, I had the chance to revisit my youth at the Brownsville Jump-a-thon, toasted Houston’s relaunch and reinvigoration, “mixed and mingled” in Abilene at that chapter’s lively welcome party for new physician families, attended a beautiful brunch in Harlingen, and had a fun and memorable tour of Lubbock’s Christmas lights.

I also have enjoyed getting to know TMA President David Fleeger, MD, and TMA’s new executive vice president and CEO, Michael Darrouzet, at county medical society installations in Plano, Midland-Odessa, and Corpus Christi. All three medical societies invite physician spouses and partners to their events, providing me the opportunity to discuss the TMA Alliance and its work.

I’m now looking forward to 2020. May the new year bring blessings to you and your family!

Lisa Queralt, RN, MSN
TMA Alliance President

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Survey: What Do You Want from TMAA in 2020?

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

Take the survey before Tuesday, Jan. 21.

As a thank-you for providing feedback, we’ll award a $50 gift card to the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 100th respondents to the survey. Gift card winners will be announced the first week of February.

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Renew Your Membership By March 31

We are only 1,100 new or renewing members shy of our 2020 TMAA membership goal. With just 12 weeks left until the drop date, 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 your alliance start the year off right by taking a moment to ask a friend to join.

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:

  • Jan. 13: second mailed invoice + fifth email reminder
  • Feb. 10: sixth email reminder
  • March 9: third mailed invoice + seventh email reminder (drop date reminder)
Remember – if you have not renewed by March 31, your TMAA 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.

Alert your chapter 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 him or her email Sasha and request to be added back to the mailing list.

Alliance members have three ways to pay dues:

1. Go online 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 an 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 Now 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.

Remember: Membership events should include a call-to-action for attendees, whether that is a short pitch about the alliance, a table with membership forms to fill out, or some other method to make joining easy. TMAA staff will assist with marketing and outreach of your event.

Be Our Star Recruiter!

TMAA is holding a contest for the alliance member who recruits the most new members for 2020! All you have to do is instruct your new members to include your name on their membership form, or to enter your name when they see the “Who recruited you?” question on the online membership application. We will do all the tracking for you. A winner will be announced after the 2020 billing cycle closes on March 31, so stay tuned!

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Advocacy Retreat Recap

More than 130 physicians and alliance members met in Austin Dec. 6-7 for TMA’s annual advocacy retreat. The event, which took place over the course of one and a half days, was packed with educational sessions led by Texas state legislators. “It was great to have so many legislators take time out of their schedules to help us improve our advocacy outreach efforts,” said TMAA President Lisa Queralt. “One of the key take-aways for me personally was learning why being concise is important. The average attention span is only eight seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000.”

We highly recommend TMA’s advocacy retreat for anyone who wants to make a difference in their community or in organized medicine. Why not pencil it in to your 2020 calendar now? The next retreat will be in early December, just in time for the 2021 Texas legislative session.

Legislative Update

Welcome to a new column in Monthly Memo! Here, you can stay in the loop on current medicine-related legislation.

Last month, two physician legislators were appointed to serve on a newly created House Select Committee on Statewide Health Care Costs. Read more, and keep an eye on this column in future Monthly Memos for important updates!

Sharing Card Thank-You

We would like to give a big thanks to those who participated in our Holiday Sharing Card campaign last month. Alliance members raised $3,935 for the TMA Foundation – great job!

Your gifts allow the TMA Foundation to award even more medical community grants to alliance chapters. Several counties received grants in 2019, and your donation will help TMAF continue to fund medical projects around Texas in 2020.

Around the State

Bell County Medical Alliance held its annual Christmas brunch on Dec. 7, honoring past presidents and celebrating 100 years of community service. Seventeen past presidents were in attendance, including past (and current) president Amee Tuggle.

Brownsville Medical Alliance held its second annual Christmas Posada on Dec. 15. Local physician families flocked to the party for kids’ crafts, games, food, and a visit from Santa himself. Proceeds from the event will help fund next year’s annual Jump-a-Thon.

Harris County Medical Society Alliance’s annual Touch, Hear, Smell event took place on Dec. 9 at The Health Museum in Houston. The chapter had the pleasure of hosting more than 400 special needs children, teachers, and parents for the festive winter party. The children enjoyed a puppet show, followed by photos with Santa. Attendees enjoyed a sweet treat before wrapping up the evening, and each child took home a teddy bear from Santa.

Lubbock County Medical Society Alliance and Lubbock County Medical Society joined forces to host a festive evening with their Holly Jolly Trolley Christmas Lights Tour. Fifty physicians and their families filled two vans to tour local neighborhoods decked out in holiday lights, enjoying homemade apple cider and cookies while caroling.

Nueces County Medical Society Alliance (NCMSA) hosted its annual holiday coffee, where TMAA President Lisa Queralt brought holiday greetings and the alliance chapter honored its past presidents, along with TMAA President-Elect Martha Vijjeswarapu and TMAA Immediate Past President Sunshine Moore. The group enjoyed quiche and sweets, then participated in an ornament swap. The following week, NCMSA held its annual Shop With a Cop event, with about 80 children joining alliance members and county officers to purchase necessities like toothbrushes, pillows, shampoo, socks, and more, in addition to selecting a gift for themselves. The trip ended with a visit to Santa, who gifted each child with a wrapped surprise.

On Dec. 17, Smith County Medical Society Alliance and Smith County Medical Society delivered 750 bike helmets to the Salvation Army to accompany each bike or trike given away through the annual Angel Tree project. Members followed this up with a fun day of activities on Dec. 18, starting with a performance of the Robinson Handbell Ensemble at Marvin United Methodist Church. A group lunch followed, and members wrapped up the day with a book club meeting and ornament swap.

Travis County Medical Alliance (TCMA) had a busy month of December, starting on the sixth with its annual holiday luncheon, where members collected books and cash donations for BookSpring. The very next day, members volunteered at a Hard Hats for Little Heads giveaway at the Junior League’s Coats for Kids Community Fair at the Palmer Events Center. On the 19th, TCMA partnered with Travis County Medical Society to host a tent in Zilker Park at the Austin Trail of Lights, where the alliance recruited six new members!

First Tuesdays in the Districts continued into December, with Deborah Fuller, MD, of Dallas presenting State Rep. Morgan Meyer with two TMA awards: the 100% Vote for Medicine and Patient Protection awards. Representative Meyer said he would display them in his office with pride.

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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.

Jan. 14, Lubbock
First Tuesdays in the Districts reception featuring guests Sen. Charles Perry, Rep. Dustin Burrows, and Rep. John Frullo. RSVP

Jan. 24-25, Austin
TMA/TMAA Winter Conference at the Hyatt Regency. Registration closes Jan. 17.

Feb. 13, Tyler
Smith County Medical Society Alliance will honor veterans at its Valentine’s Luncheon, 11:30 am-1:30 pm 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, Fort Worth
Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance will host its 11th annual Medicine Ball at Ridglea Country Club. More details to come!

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