CSA Board Meeting: Moving Forward on Governance Redesign, Advocacy, Member Engagement, Fiscal Responsibility

  • Wald, Samuel, MD, MBA, FASA
| Sep 24, 2018

waldAt the September Board of Directors meeting, CSA leaders advanced a thoughtful and innovative proposal to redesign the organization’s governance model intended to enhance members’ participation in state advocacy and improve our ability to serve individual members effectively. This is based upon their identified interests and needs.

The proposal, first authorized by the House of Delegates in June, was refined over the course of several months by a task force chaired by President-Elect Christine Doyle, MD, FASA and discussed thoroughly by board members during an extended session September 15 at the LAX Marriott in Los Angeles.  

The final governance proposal calls for eight geographic districts, each aligned with the boundaries of five state Senate districts, and six practice forums, based on the type of practice group with which individual members choose to align themselves:  Large Group, Medium Group, Small Group/Individual, Academic, Young Physician (40 and under or less than five years in practice), and Residents/Fellows (which already exists).  

Each CSA member will have an opportunity to select two directors on the board of directors to represent them – one director based on geographic district and one director based on practice forum.  Each year, individual members will be asked which practice forum they choose to join.

Recent membership research commissioned by the board of directors demonstrated clearly that state-level advocacy was the top priority of CSA members.  Reconfiguring geographic districts to align directly with legislative districts, ensuring that directors and delegates are clearly responsible for developing relationships with their local legislators, was mission critical.

Secondly, CSA leaders wanted to organize our members based on their expressed interests and their individual priorities in order to better facilitate two-way communication and to more effectively deliver resources to help CSA members build their practices and advance their careers.  

I am proud that our colleagues on the board and among the House are not satisfied with CSA being good as the status quo.  We are committed to helping CSA become great by boldly reorganizing ourselves to become more effective advocates and more responsive to your individual needs.  

I am also proud that this Governance proposal is a reflection of the Guiding Principles that the CSA Board of Directors approved at its planning retreat last January in Sacramento:

  1. Create value for our members
  2. Perpetuate CSA as a self-sustaining professional association
  3. Promote the reputation, unique identity, and brand of CSA
  4. Provide strong advocacy for CSA and the practice of anesthesiology

Assuming the Governance Redesign proposal is approved by the House of Delegates, nominations and elections will be held in the spring of 2019 for all new director positions and for delegates to the House representing the geographic districts and the Practice Forums.  I encourage you to review the call for nominations when it is released in early March and consider the opportunity to serve.

In other business…..

Certified Anesthesiology Assistants in California

The board had a robust discussion, led by Legislative and Practice Affairs Division Chair, Jeffrey Poage, MD, concerning the prospect of developing training programs in California for Certified Anesthesiology Assistants – physician extenders who are trained by, and work under the supervision of, physician anesthesiologists.  CAA’s already practice in California at VA Hospitals and are viewed in many states as essential members of the anesthesia care team.

New Member Engagement Strategy

The Board of Directors approved a proposal by the Membership Committee, chaired by Assistant Secretary Phil Levin, MD to undertake a more deliberate strategy to “on board” new members.  CSA staff has developed a new membership brochure outlining the value of CSA membership and opportunities for engagement.  CSA District Directors will be called upon to welcome each new member by a phone call and an email and invite the new member to take advantage of a new offer – a 50% discount off registration for one CSA Annual Meeting during the member’s first two years.  At the annual meeting, new members will be identified by a ribbon on their name badge, will be personally invited to attend the GASPAC VIP Reception, and will receive a special briefing from CSA leaders.

Resident Program Engagement

We all agree residents are the future of our specialty, and transitioning residents into active membership is key to the sustainability of the organization and to the professional success of our residents and fellows.  To this end, the board members approved a strategy for the CSA leadership to effectively and sustainably connect with resident program leaders and to engage with the residents at each program.  Upon approval of this “job description”, as President, I had the privilege of assigning these tasks to Mark Singleton, MD a CSA Past President, who is in his first year as President Emeritus.  With Dr. Singleton’s stewardship, I have great hopes for the future of CSA’s relationship with our residency programs and opportunities to benefit our residents and fellows.

2019 Operating Budget

The board also approved a final draft of CSA’s 2019 Operating Budget, presented by CSA Treasurer John Hsieh, MD, FASA.  The budget estimates $2.9 million in revenue with $1.8 million from membership and nearly $700,000 in revenue from CSA’s education programs.  Projected net margin for 2019 is estimated at approximately $200,000.  The final budget proposal will be considered for approval by the House of Delegates at a first ever virtual meeting in November.  Previously, when CSA’s fiscal year ran from July 1 to June 30, the House approved the budget at its annual meeting in June.  After beginning the unified billing process with the ASA, CSA leadership changed CSA’s fiscal year January to December to coincide with the billing cycle.  Since we wanted to ensure the House retained final approval of CSA’s annual budget proposal, we established the “virtual” House of Delegates meeting in November.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank the 30 members of CSA’s board of directors who attended our September meeting and also to the scores of committee members and guests who took the time to attend in person or virtually to lend their perspective and experience to the benefit of CSA and our members.

CSA board meetings are open to any member of CSA.  Our spring meeting will be held Sunday, March 10 in conjunction with CSA’s 2019 Annual Meeting, at the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego.  I do hope you’ll consider joining us!


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