A “Brand New House” was convened June 1-2 at CSA’s annual House of Delegates meeting in Irvine at the Hotel Irvine. The meeting was the culmination of over two years of effort to re-shape CSA’s governing bodies to better reflect CSA members’ top priorities and the CSA membership itself.
As a result, the 2019 HOD meeting was one of the most engaging, interactive, and productive in recent memory.
Five resolutions were brought forward by individual CSA members and were debated, discussed, and amended in Caucus meetings, the Reference Committee and on the House floor itself before being approved by the assembled delegates.
Four Bylaws amendments were approved, which are intended to expand and better engage membership, and to preserve the history of anesthesiology in California.
Several of the new officers and Board members elected are relatively new to leadership and are from practice groups that have not been represented in leadership in recent past. In a reflection of CSA’s ongoing dedication to engaging private practice physicians, CSA’s top two officers are private practice physicians – myself and Dr. Jeffrey Poage, of Medical Anesthesia Consultants in Walnut Creek.
Finally, after the House meeting, a new Board of Directors was seated. The new directors represent geographic districts (aligned with state legislative boundaries) or practice forums (based on individual members groups – small/solo, medium, large, academic, early career, or in-training). Board members received an in-depth orientation to affirm their new responsibilities and to review their roles as members of the Board of Directors.
As your President for 2019-20, I am committed to ensuring that this new governance structure achieves what we have set out to do: to better reflect our membership, to advance your top priorities within the state legislature and to equip you with resources to prosper your practice environments. We believe that this will advance our shared objectives to better serve our patients.
I am especially grateful to my two immediate predecessors, Karen Sibert MD, FASA of UCLA and Sam Wald, MD, MBA, FASA of Stanford – both of whom were instrumental in leading the Board of Directors and the House of Delegates through the redistricting process and new governance structure. As a former journalist and an MBA/administrator respectively, Dr. Sibert and Dr. Wald were able to effectively articulate a vision and translate it into functional, effective reality.
I hope you will contact me if you have ideas, suggestions and/or concerns. I look forward to the opportunity to serve you in the coming year.
Background on “The New House”
In 2017, CSA- commissioned research helped us to better identify who our members are and what they want from CSA. After focus groups, interviews and survey work, the results were clear – CSA members wanted CSA to focus on state-level advocacy and provide members with information and resources to better navigate their practice environments.
We learned that members’ needs vary depending on their practice setting and stage in their careers. Finally, we also realized that CSA’s governance structure, which included a high percentage of academic physicians, did not reflect the composition of the membership which is comprised of approximately 70% private practice and Kaiser Permanente physicians.
As a result, the Board of Directors recommended and the House of Delegates ultimately approved a revised governance structure that replaced the existing fourteen geographic districts with eight geographic districts (each aligned with five state Senate districts) and created six new practice forums (each representing distinct membership segments: Small/Solo, Medium, Large, Academic, Early Career and In Training).
In March of this year, an entirely new set of delegates and directors was elected to represent you, our members, in the House of Delegates and on the Board of Directors. Now, if and when you select a practice forum that best represents your practice environment, you will have TWO directors representing you in the House of Delegates and on the Board of Directors – one from your geographic district and one from your practice forum.
District Directors and Delegates are now responsible for cultivating relationships with State Legislators whose legislative districts are included within their CSA geographic district and advancing CSA’s state policy priorities, in coordination with CSA’s lobbyists in Sacramento. The Practice Forum Directors and Delegates are now responsible for cultivating two-way communications between CSA leadership and its members within that practice forum to better find out what you want and how CSA can deliver.
To learn more about CSA’s new governance structure, visit CSA’s website here.