Working Toward CSA’s Strategic Objectives

  • Butler, David, CSA Executive Director
| Sep 05, 2017

dbutlerYour Board of Directors, committee chairs, volunteer leaders, and staff are hard at work implementing the set of strategic objectives ratified by the CSA House of Delegates in June.

Based on membership surveys, as well as committee and board member input, CSA’s 2017-19 Strategic Framework focuses on four priority areas:


                             - Advocacy and political action
                             - Member value and engagement
                             - Communications
                             - Organizational best practices

Advocacy and Political Action

        Financial Support for Advocacy

Responding to members who consistently identify political advocacy as their top priority, CSA board members sought a long-term fix to ensure sustained and robust funding for advocacy work and for GASPAC, CSA’s political action committee. After reviewing successful tactics employed by other state level associations and medical societies, the CSA Board and the House of Delegates authorized a $99 increase in active member annual dues. 

This strategy, combined with some additional fundraising and allocation of reserve funds, will enable GASPAC to achieve its goal of raising $400,000 a year -- $200,000 for direct campaign contributions to legislative candidates, and $200,000 toward building a $1 million war chest. Notifications will be distributed to members beginning in October, and the dues increase and dues assignment will be reflected on the 2018 membership renewal.

Member Value and Engagement

        Practice Management

Responding to members who have expressed a desire for more tangible practice management resources and information, the Board approved establishment of a stand-alone Committee on Practice Management, now chaired by Keith Chamberlin, MD, MBA. 

Dr. Chamberlin and his colleagues have worked with Shalini Shah, MD and John Brock-Utne, MD, chairs of CSA’s 2018 Annual Meeting, to add a specific Practice Management track within the program offerings. They also have established a special lunch-time event to provide attendees with time to connect with practice management service providers.  The new Committee on Practice Management will convene in September to establish priorities, identify volunteers to develop content, and determine appropriate platforms. 

       Engagement Strategy for Residents

Under the leadership of CSA President, Karen Sibert, MD, and District 15 (Residents) Director Rex Pearce, MD, CSA has reinvigorated the Committee on Resident Engagement to ensure residents are informed about, and take advantage of the many resident engagement opportunities provided by CSA. These include participating as members of the Resident Delegation to the ASA Annual Meeting, attending the CSA/CMA Legislative Day in Sacramento, and more. The committee will meet in September to develop a more comprehensive strategy to identify resident priorities and help residents effectively transition into practice and active membership.

        Tangible Member Benefits

The Membership Committee, under the leadership of Assistant Secretary Phillip Levin, MD, has been asked by Dr. Sibert and the board to identify and prioritize a set of member benefits that are unique to CSA, relevant to our members, and provide a meaningful and tangible impact to their professional and personal lives. At the September meeting, the committee will review proposals for an online career center, which has been consistently identified by CSA members as a priority. 


         Research on Members and Non-Members

CSA has never invested significant time and resources into research to identify the top priorities of our members and non-members, and to sort those priorities by member segments – including practice type, practice size, length of time in practice, geography, and personal characteristics.

Just as important, CSA wants to know how California anesthesiologists want to receive communications, and how they’ll best respond to invitations to engage. This research strategy is a best practice that will inform CSA’s leadership how to invest limited resources for maximum member benefit.

        New Communications Task Force

As this larger research project gets off the ground, Dr. Sibert and the members of the Committee on Public and Professional Communications, chaired by Rita Agarwal, MD, have undertaken a limited initiative to assess the desirability and the value of communicating via innovative ways. 

Drs. Sibert and Agarwal appointed a task force, chaired by Ryan Field, MD, and Roya Saffary, MD, and including residents and CSA members with an interest in new information technology, to identify preferred means of receiving communications and priority content.  The Task Force on New Communications has met via conference calls, and will present a report to the Board in September.

Organizational Best Practices

        Focus on Strategy

Under the leadership of Dr. Sibert, President-elect Sam Wald, MD, MBA, and past Presidents James Moore, MD, and Mark Zakowski, MD, our goal is for the Board of Directors to establish the strategic focus for the organization, identifying overall goals and objectives and evaluating the performance of committees, committee leadership, and staff. 

CSA’s Executive Committee and Board will review a “dashboard” tracking the progress that committees and staff are making on the 2017-19 strategic framework, and will dedicate more time during meetings to high-level discussions, rather than to review of committee reports. Encouraging the Board to focus on strategic discussions is an organizational best practice, and takes full advantage of board members’ experience and perspective.

        Operations and Management

Since taking on the management and daily operations of CSA, the leadership and staff at AMG have worked effectively to improve many elements of CSA operations, including meetings and events, membership, communications, grassroots advocacy, operation of GASPAC, and strategic planning. In response to an annual performance evaluation at the June board meeting, working in partnership with CSA leadership, the management and staff at AMG have made key adjustments to enhance performance in the areas of administrative support, finance, and accounting.

Together, these four priorities, and the work outlined for each, reflect the values of your society. As we make progress toward achieving these objectives, I am confident that the result will be a CSA that continues to best represent you as physician anesthesiologists, your commitment to the future of your profession, and your dedication to the patients you serve. 

For more information or to find out how you can engage to help advance CSA's strategic objectives, please contact Dave Butler at or by phone at (916) 290-5830. 

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