It is with great respect that I stand here today to thank you for this wonderful year as President of CFHA. When Frank deGruy called me several years ago and asked me to consider this position, I has just had my third child and was working hard to grow a newly established doctoral program at East Carolina University. My love for CFHA overrode any hesitancy I had because I saw who I would have the privilege to work alongside during my presidential year. My belief is that if you want a successful outcome you surround yourself with smart, talented people. You cannot be afraid of great ideas or ideas that may change the direction of your organization because both of those events are what take good associations to great. Most of you in this room aspire for great and CFHA is a professional home for those who want to make healthcare great in our country…one context at a time!
I would like to share with you some of the accomplishments of your CFHA board and members this year. I cannot believe we have done as much as we have with a group of volunteers who in their day jobs are already stretched thin but who find the time to not only make the difference but be the difference.
Since we last reported to you at the conference in Louisville KY, our membership has increased by 24%, and is still growing. Today we are at 530 members! We are averaging about 100 new members a year! As far as our financials, we are $82,000 ahead of budget and much of this is due to an increase in our membership, sponsorships for the conference, conference attendance (which is also up by about 100), and grants. These resources are being used to grow our association and the staff support needed to maintain it. This year we have been awarded a contract through the Colorado Health Foundation. Several of our members Sam Monson, Randall Reitz, Ben Miller, and Laurie Ivey have been critical to its success. It has allowed us to help make the case for integration through a statewide assessment of integrated care in Colorado including the current solutions and obstacles to sustaining it. The next step would be to take this to the policy makers in Denver and help transform healthcare delivery to a more integrated system of care.
Colorado is a starting point for CFHA’s leadership across the country in integrated care policy. This year your board created the Office of Collaborative Care Policy chaired by Ben Miller. We also established a new committee, the research committee, of which Chris Hunter and I will co-chair. These committees will help organize CFHA’s development in the areas of collaborative care research and healthcare policy. These new committees will work collaboratively with the events committee to ensure that cutting edge research and discussions about healthcare policy are a part of our annual meetings and help us to advance the scientist-practitioner model. It is important that our association reflects all the vital components to advancing collaborative and integrated care: clinical, operation, financial through training, research, and policy. Change is not sustainable without attention to each moving part.
Highlighted today at this awards luncheon are mechanisms of change and transformation that reflect the future of CFHA. We have been trying to find ways to keep members connected to our association and the "medically unexplained symptoms” working group lead by Norm Rasmussen is one of the ways members are organically rising up to network throughout the year. Several other working groups are in motion and this is exactly what the board was hoping for by the time this year’s annual conference began. We are also proud to have initiated the first research fellowship awarded to Lindsey Lawson. CFHA stands behind the future of the association and it is with students and new professionals. They are responsible for much of our growth in membership. This effort is due to the energy of the membership committee lead by a new professional himself, Kenny Phelps. We have also instituted several other membership benefits, one for our retiring members who may now invest in a lifetime membership that will make paying for membership dues post retirement easier. We have also implemented institutional memberships to encourage entire departments and agencies to join CFHA together at a discounted rate. We are an association that we know all of you will add on to your main professional association so we are trying to make this affordable and meaningful to your work.
Lastly, our events committee, led by Barry Jacobs, not only implemented a planning committee for the 2012 CFHA conference in Austin TX but led us to commit to 2013 in Denver CO and 2014 in Washington DC. Planning this far in advance not only allows us to secure the best venues but allows us to form the recruit high profile conference chairs and form the most talented planning committees.
Given all that CFHA has accomplished this year, we attribute much of this success to one key person who we will recognize here today. Dr. Randall Reitz has served as our Executive Director since 2009. He has been a major contributor to many of the advancements in our association that I reported above. This year he decided that the job required more than a 50% staff role, he has grown us to that level of need, and because of his love for CFHA he respectfully recommended that we recruit for a new ED who could do this job full time. Randall has a full time job as a behavioral science faculty at the St. Mary’s Family Medicine residency program in Colorado. This month we have successfully completed our search and hired Polly Kurtz into this new role. Polly is going to take CFHA to the next level and comes with years of experience vital to the position of ED of CFHA. Information about Polly Kurtz will come to our membership soon via the webpage and email but we would like for her to stand now and be recognized.
Randall I am not through celebrating you though. Randall has gone above and beyond in his position which is true Randall style. He never misses a detail, deadline, or opportunity to think of what others need to do their job well. He is known to work late into the night and be up early in the morning to get the job done. One of the things that draws me to certain collaborators is their work ethic and passion for the mission of CFHA. Randall cares about CFHA and to show Randall how much CFHA care about him I would like to present to him the following award in honor of his exemplary service to CFHA. Please know that Randall is not going anywhere though...we would not allow it. Randall will be overseeing our association’s social media initiatives which include the website, blog, and facebook page to name a few.
Lastly, I want to recognize and introduce your new President, Ben Miller. Ben is always working to advance collaborative care and integrated care policy. He also has a passion for making sure the research is available to make this happen through his leadership over the Collaborative Care Research Network. Those who know Ben knows that he has several grants going at all times and is quickly building an army of post docs to assist him in this work. He has quickly risen to a place within several associations of critical importance. He has a love for policy and affectionately refers to himself as a "policy wonk.” He is a full time faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver and an esteemed frequent flyer on several major airlines. His pride and joy though is his family and he will quickly tell you that the best thing he has done is being a father. I got the chance to know Ben better while on a trip to Nova Scotia this summer and it was clear to me that he is not only committed to the outcome, he is a systemic thinker who appreciates how important it is to have all key players at the table for change to occur. He has a way of making sure everyone around him feels important and drawn into the cause. I have full confidence in Ben as my successor and it my honor to present him as your 2011-2012 CFHA President.
Jennifer Hodgson, PhD, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Associate Professor in the Departments of Child Development and Family Relations and Family Medicine at East Carolina University, and President
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