November 2019

President's Message

Happy fall, everyone! I didn’t think Jennifer Lewis, Texas Medical Association Alliance VP of membership, could top last year’s Regional Conference, but she created another engaging event filled with useful information. We kicked off the day with a Walk With a Doc, hitting the trails on a chilly autumn morning to find our reward at the end – breakfast tacos!

Nonprofit expert Leslie Wang opened the conference with a session focused on developing our county boards through a strategic mix of leadership skills that provide management balance and help us get things done. Following our theme of Discover Your Super Power, Leslie shared her secret weapon, the StrengthsFinder assessment tool, and taught us how to unveil the unique strengths that drive our individual success.

After lunch, Rice University PhD candidate Cannon Lewis gave us a look at of the future of artificial intelligence in medicine. More advanced surgical equipment, enhanced screening in mammography, and morbidity predictions that help physicians identify patients with greater risk for disease were just a few of the benefits Cannon previewed for us.

In our afternoon session, “The Mission Matrix: A Powerful Framework for Decision-Making,” Leslie asked us to look at our programs objectively and evaluate them in terms of cost and impact. She illustrated the method with personal examples of programs she has led or participated in, as well as the criteria she used to evaluate their success. Using this tool to analyze programs ensures that alliances make the most of our often-limited resources: money, time, and volunteers.

Jenny Shepherd, TMAA VP of legislative affairs, closed out the day with a laugh-out-loud presentation on the two-way street of relationships – in particular, relationships with our local legislators. It’s time to empower medicine by building these bridges during the off session, while legislators are in their hometowns. First Tuesdays in the Districts is coming to your neighborhood – be sure to follow us on Facebook to see what’s happening in your county!

Lisa Queralt, RN, MSN
TMA Alliance President

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Renew Your Membership Before the Holidays

With the launch of our 2020 Membership Campaign in September, TMAA is more than one-third of the way to meeting our goal of 100% renewal by the end of the year.

Later this month, TMAA will send out another email to those who have not yet paid for 2020. Here’s the schedule for the remainder of the billing cycle:

  • Nov. 12: third email reminder
  • Dec. 9: fourth email reminder
  • Jan. 13: second mailed invoice to current and lapsed members + fifth email reminder
  • Feb. 10: sixth email reminder
  • March 9: third mailed invoice + seventh email reminder (with drop date)

Alert your members to look for the TMAA renewal notice in their inbox. Keep in mind that TMAA does not have email addresses for many of our members. We need your help to ensure that 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 to the mailing list.

REMEMBER, TMA Alliance members have three ways to pay dues:
1. Go online to (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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Membership Resources on TMAA Website

  • Check out the NEW Membership portion of the website, featuring a Membership Toolkit and ROI Calculator. The toolkit provides valuable talking points, elevator speeches, sample phone scripts, FAQs, and much more to help you share the benefits and value of the alliance. The ROI Calculator is a fun way to demonstrate exactly how far your investment goes toward making a difference in your community.
  • Make sure to visit your county’s personalized webpage! We are adding updated leadership rosters, upcoming events, flagship programs, and more. If you have information you would like included on your county’s page, email

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Apply for a Membership Incentive Before Dec. 31

TMAA has funds to support county alliances in recruiting new members and retaining current ones. With this new incentive program, you can request up to $1,000 for a membership event.

Fill out and submit this form, and TMAA staff will respond within three business days of your request. It’s a great time to get creative, plan fun new events, and invite more friends and family members to join the TMA Alliance.

We still have funds remaining for 2019, and they will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Apply today for events held before Dec. 31, 2019!

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Don't Forget to Recruit!

This year, TMAA is holding a contest for the alliance member who recruits the most new members! All you have to do is instruct your new member recruits 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, 2020, so stay tuned!

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Share the gift of good health by supporting the community outreach work of your colleagues. Please consider a gift of $25 or more for the TMAA Holiday Sharing Campaign as it celebrates its 25th year of giving!

Your gift will allow the TMA Foundation to award even more medical community grants to alliance chapters in the new year. These alliance chapters received grants in 2019:

  • Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance Foundation received $7,500 for its Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County. The program provides low-cost vaccination events for more than 7,000 children and adults annually.
  • Bexar County Medical Society Alliance received $2,500 for its Campaign to Reduce Bullying and Build Self-Esteem for children with craniofacial deformities.
  • Lubbock County Medical Society Alliance/South Plains Immunization Network received $2,226 for pneumonia vaccine for the South Plains Food Bank.
  • Nueces County Medical Society Alliance received $5,000 for battling opioid misuse in Nueces County.

Help us reach our goal of $6,000 by Dec. 31, 2019. Your gift is tax-deductible.

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Last Call for TMAF Grant Funding

Twice each year, the TMA Foundation accepts applications from TMA county medical societies and alliance chapters for community health improvement programs focused on any TMA priorities in the areas of public health, science, medical education, and quality of care.

Applications are accepted through an online grants portal. For fall, Letters of Intent must be submitted by Nov. 15, 2019, and applications completed by Nov. 30, 2019. Applicants will be notified of application decisions the week of Jan. 27, 2020.  Don’t hesitate – foundation staff are available to help you write your Letter of Intent and fill out the grant application. Learn how to apply.

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First Tuesdays in the Districts

Several alliance chapters launched First Tuesdays in the Districts in October, partnering with their county medical societies to conduct more than 30 legislative visits last month. Many more are scheduled for November and early December. “They have been so positive,” said Martha Vijjeswarapu, TMAA president-elect, who participated in a visit to State Rep. Philip Cortez. “What really works is going to their office. Representative Cortez appreciated local physicians and alliance members taking the time to visit with him and his staff. By the end of the visit, he even invited us to his Christmas party in December,” added Martha.

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Around the State

Brownsville Medical Alliance and Cameron-Willacy County Medical Alliance-North Chapter held a joint meeting on Oct. 22. TMAA President Lisa Queralt, President-Elect Martha Vijjeswarapu, and Immediate Past President Sunshine Moore attended the event in Harlingen at Rancho Viejo Country Club. Lisa addressed the group and shared ideas on advancing advocacy through First Tuesdays in the District. Several local alliance members run their spouse’s practice and relished the opportunity to host their local legislator for a day to “share” with them firsthand how red tape and nonpayment issues are harming their practice.

Smith County Medical Society Alliance (SCMSA) held its Heels for Healing event in Tyler on Oct. 3. The first event of its kind for the alliance, Heels for Healing was held at women’s clothing retailer Mary V’s by Shelby. More than 70 individuals gathered for beverages and bites, fun conversation, and tips on fashion trends. Most importantly, SCMSA raised approximately $15,000 for Hospice of East Texas (HOET) in memory of D'Anna Wick. D'Anna was instrumental in establishing HOET as well as a very active, long-time member of SCMSA, TMAA, and the American Medical Association Alliance. She served as president of TMAA in 2012-13. Those attending were generous with their purchases, as was Mary V’s with the donation of a percentage of the evening’s sales going to the cause as well. What an astounding success!

Harris County Medical Society Alliance (HCMSA) held an evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres at Cru Food & Wine Bar in Houston on Oct. 22. Current and potential members of HCMSA shared drinks, food, and conversation.

Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance is in the midst of planning its 100th anniversary, but took time out Oct. 25 for brunch at Magdalena’s in Fort Worth, where Chef Juan Rodriguez demonstrated how to create a cheese board focused on taste, texture, and color. TCMSA members also brought along new and lightly used children’s coats for their annual Warm Hugs drive.

Several alliance chapters held Hard Hats for Little Heads events in October. Alliance members in Henderson County held a Hard Hats for Little Heads giveaway in Eustace on Oct. 2. The event included a short instructional portion and fittings for first- and second-graders, who were very excited to receive helmets.

In Odessa, Ector County Medical Society Alliance joined up with Pilot Club of Odessa for a Fall Festival on Oct. 19. The alliance held a Hard Hats for Little Heads giveaway and helped out with the other festivities. This was the alliance chapter’s first year participating in the event.

On Oct. 29, Hidalgo-Starr Medical Alliance (HSMA) and Hidalgo-Starr County Medical Society participated in Silva Elementary’s Fall Festival, working with medical students in the area to fit students for their new helmets. The event was the alliance chapter’s first since HSMA relaunched in July.

Great job, everyone!

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Don't Forget: Join TEXPAC Today for a Special Holiday Gift!

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