January 2020

President's Message

Happy 2021!

As we focus on the New Year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution for the whole year, join me in making a monthly goal. It’s less daunting than making a full-year commitment and sets us up for success.

Each month I am focusing on how I can make a difference in my personal life and in someone else’s.

For example, in January I’m taking these actions:
For me: Establish a manageable exercise routine.
For someone else: Mentor a resident or early career spouse by sharing my journey, providing the encouragement they need, and sending them a card.

In February:
For me: Compliment myself daily while looking in the mirror.
For someone else: Give a gallon-size plastic bag with a pair of socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, and gloves with a $5 bill to a person experiencing homelessness. Maybe even include a Valentine’s Day card.

You get my point. When we feel good about ourselves, we can love those around us even more. I love our Alliance because we all care about those around us and serve our communities. Our world needs more care and loving actions right now.

Thank you for taking this challenge with me to make your world a better place. My hope is that 2021 will bring more tranquility and joy in our lives, and in the work we do in our communities.

Martha Vijjeswarapu
TMA Alliance 2020-21 President

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TMAA Webinar Series: My Medical Journey as a Physician, Spouse, and Mom

With Diana L. Fite, MD, President, Texas Medical Association

Our first TMAA Enrichment Webinar of 2021 will feature TMA President Diana L. Fite, MD. Dr. Fite is board certified in emergency medicine and has practiced in Houston for 40 years.

The Amarillo native earned her bachelor of science degree from West Texas State University at Canyon, and her medical degree from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, now known as McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. She has battled for physicians and patient care throughout her four decades as a member of the Harris County Medical Society. She is also a mother of eight and has more than a dozen grandchildren.

Dr. Fite will share her experiences as a physician, spouse, and mother, as well as her vision and hopes for TMA. Register below and join us to hear her story.

Thursday, Jan. 21
Noon-1 pm

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NEW: TMAA Mentorship Program

We’re excited to launch a new program to help the spouses of medical residents and early-career physicians connect with current alliance members. Allies in Medicine (AIM) is for current and potential alliance members across the state seeking fellowship, networking, community connection, and insider knowledge on how to navigate the life of a medical family. If you are a current alliance member and would like to volunteer as an Ally (mentor), email Pam Udall. Ally guidelines and expectations are available on the website.

If you know a resident or early-career spouse who is interested in being paired up with an Ally, please ask him or her to fill out this form or contact TMAA.

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Register NOW for Winter Fitness Challenge

For many of us, the new year is a time to renew our commitment to health and set goals – but did you know that research shows accountability and social support are key to maintaining motivation and consistency? That is why it’s the perfect time to join our Winter Fitness Challenge. Sign up today to compete with and cheer on your fellow alliance members.

For this challenge, we have created peer groups to help you compete against others who match your activity levels. They are:
Athlete: Over 10,001 steps OR more than 60 activity minutes per day
Active: Between 5,001-10,000 steps OR between 30-60 activity minutes per day
Casual: Up to 5,000 steps or up to 30 minutes of activity per day

We will be using MoveSpring again for this challenge, so click the button below to sign up now and get moving!

Step Challenge           Activity Challenge

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NEW: Mask Wearing Campaign Launched

Check out TMA’S new Texas Strong campaign.

The Texas Strong public service announcement (PSA) encourages Texans to come together to fight COVID-19 by wearing masks to protect one another. It features two Texans – Grammy award-winning musician Lyle Lovett and singer-songwriter Lisa Morales – who lend their voices to narrate the English and Spanish versions.

You can find the TV spots here, as well utilize our social media toolkit to help spread the word.

The TV spot highlights the strength of Texans coming together for the common goal to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. “What makes us strong is us,” the spot says. By wearing a mask, Texans are protecting themselves, their loved ones, and our health care heroes.

The TV spots are running on 132 TV stations across the state as PSAs.

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NEW: Vaccines Defend What Matters Campaign

TMA launched its new integrated, multimedia public health education and advocacy effort to overcome vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates in Texas, called Vaccines Defend What Matters (VDWM). The campaign is funded by a grant from the TMA Foundation and sends a strong message from today’s medical heroes that choosing to be vaccinated against infectious diseases safeguards health, jobs, schools, and the Texas economy. VDWM will replace TMA’s Be Wise – ImmunizeSM community education and outreach program, which ended Dec. 31. Alliance chapters can continue to apply for Local Impact Grants to offer shot clinics in their communities as part of VDWM.

The new public health initiative has three primary aims: To educate leaders and policymakers about the importance of vaccines, inform physicians about how to counter vaccine hesitancy in their patients, and to enlighten the public about the positive impact vaccination can have on their lives. Watch TMA publications for more details about how to get involved and check out the campaign TV spots and more.

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Register for the Virtual First Tuesdays at the Capitol

Lobbying your legislator has never been easier – or safer. Join TMA and TMAA on the first Tuesday of the month (February through May 2021) for a virtual legislative update. TMA’s lobby team will outline issues important to medicine and actions you can take to make a difference.

Registration is FREE. Sign up below for all dates.
February 2
March 2
April 6
May 4

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2021 Membership Campaign Continues

Thanks for renewing your dues. It really makes a difference, as we work to wrap up the membership renewal campaign by the end of January. Be sure to ask your friends and colleagues to join the TMA Alliance too. During these trying times, we all need support and fellowship. The Family of Medicine is here for YOU.

If you haven’t renewed yet, look for an email in this month with your personalized auto-login information. All you need to do is click the link in the email, and it will take you directly to your TMAA account to renew your dues. [Note: Please do not forward this email to your colleagues, as the email is personalized to your account only.]

The full renewal notice schedule is below:
Jan. 13: Second mailed invoice and email reminder (includes physicians and retired spouses)
Feb. 10: Email reminder
Mar. 9: Final invoice and email reminder
Mar. 31: Delinquent date

Ask your friends and colleagues to join the alliance. There are three ways to renew your dues or join:
1. Go online to www.texmedalliance.org (click on the blue “Renew” button in the upper-right corner if you’re a current member).
2. Call TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955 with credit card information.
3. Mail an application form or paper statement with a check to TMA Alliance, 401 W. 15th St., Austin, TX 78701. 

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COVID-19 Resources

TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center has ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, including guides on personal protective equipment distribution, resources on practice viability, and much more. Be sure to bookmark the page and check it frequently to stay up to date on COVID-19 in Texas.

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Upcoming Events

In addition to the events below, please be sure to check out our new calendar, 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. 7
TMAA Finance Committee Meeting (Virtual)

Jan. 12
TMAA Board of Directors Meeting (Virtual)

Jan. 21
TMAA Enrichment Series: My Medical Journey as a Physician, Spouse, and Mom
with TMA President Diana L. Fite, MD - Register