STATE OF THE ASSOCIATION – SEPTEMBER, 2021
“Foundation Established; Positioned for Success”
Table of Contents
Since MASELA was founded in late October, 2020 by Jefferson Parish Medical Society (JPMS) and Orleans Parish Medical Society (OPMS), MASELA’s Board of Directors and staff have made great strides toward accomplishing the shared vision of a unified, stronger voice for all physicians, physicians-in-training and patients in the Southeast Louisiana area. 2021 has been a formative and foundational year. Actions and initiatives have focused on the effective functioning of the organization and positioning it for future success. Your MASELA Board of Directors is pleased with the progress made to date and looks forward to continuing to achieve the vision that JPMS & OPMS initiated.
The initial Board of MASELA was chosen (terms noted) – which ensures equal representation from JPMS and OPMS:
Articles of Incorporation and Constitution & Bylaws were accepted and filed with Louisiana Secretary of State. The Board adopted the following policies and best practices of good governance, including Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality, Whistleblower, and Records Retention which are required by the IRS.
The Board established the following Mission & Vision Statements:
MASELA’s mission is to unify and empower physicians in Southeast Louisiana to enhance medical care and the quality of life in our community.
MASELA’s vision is to create a medical practice environment which supports and encourages physicians’ professional satisfaction and well-being and enables them to provide accessible, equitable, and quality medical care.
MASELA’S Board also established Value Statements which guide the organization’s activities:
We recognize the interconnectedness of all things and people and the power of common purpose.
We respect individual strength and value the greater combined strength and voice of our members.
We believe in the value of working together.
We believe in camaraderie, strong professional relationships and supporting each other, putting aside any professional differences to promote valued outcomes for our members and community.
We will advocate in favor of just causes or policies when they benefit patient-physician relationships and/or when they support the effective practice of medicine, and professional satisfaction, or uphold the health of our patients and communities.
We recognize the importance and unique contributions of all physicians to the field of medicine. MASELA strives to support all physicians in all practice modes, including but not limited to academic, employed, public health and private practice.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
We embrace difference as a strength, and by being fully inclusive, we gain a more complete understanding of each other, our needs as a profession and the needs of our community. We recognize our responsibility to acknowledge, address and reorganize structures that limit or oppose these values through leadership, education, and collaboration.
We are dynamic and promote new ideas in physician practice, professional advancement and patient care.
We will strive to meet the needs of our physicians and community with integrity, humility, and respect.
In March, 2021, MASELA’s Board of Directors convened to establish organizational priorities based on the focus groups and survey which were conducted.
MASELA’s Board of Directors met again in a brainstorming session was held in late June which was also attended by board members of JPMS and OPMS. Attendees were asked to provide feedback about membership recruitment and retention, nondues revenue and brand awareness/marketing.
An important component of the shared vision to form MASELA was the objective to centralize operations in the new organization, reduce duplication within the parish societies, reduce annual financial losses to the parish societies, and increase efficiencies as well as enhance cost-savings. This aspect of the shared vision is being achieved.
The Board adopted an operational budget developed by the Finance Committee and banking was established at Gulf Coast Bank. To initiate operations, JPMS & OPMS each contributed $12,500.
During 2021, MASELA has received membership revenue and corporate partner and sponsorship revenue.
In March, 2021, an application for tax-exempt status was filed with the IRS and approval was received in September. MASELA is a 501c6 (trade/professional association) tax-exempt nonprofit. Member dues are tax deductible as business expenses.
MASELA’s Board of Directors monitors revenue and expenses carefully. With much of the focus on building value for our members and potential partners this year, MASELA will strive to enhance nondues revenue through partnerships with corporations and organizations in the community. To date, partnership agreements have been established with LAMMICO, Favorite Staffing and Eagle Capital.
The investment in time and expertise to establish an effective and highly functioning organization is significant. MASELA’s Board of Directors are committed to the organization’s financial success.
Qualified staff are key to running all successful membership associations. Ms. Jodi Schwing, formerly Executive Director of Jefferson Parish Medical Society, was named Chief Operating Officer of MASELA and is employed by MASELA. Ms. Susan D’Antoni, FAAMSE, is contracted as a part-time consultant in the position of Chief Strategy & Advancement Officer.
WildApricot, a cloud-based membership software, was chosen as the membership software for MASELA and it is also be the data management program for JPMS & OPMS.
Transition of staff and operations have been successfully transferred to MASELA again reducing the expense and responsibility to the parish medical societies which are now managed by contract through MASELA.
All three organizations are operated out of JPMS’ office in Metairie, Louisiana. MASELA has a condo use agreement with JPMS which allows for a cost-effective approach to headquarters management.
To increase awareness of MASELA, a corporate brand was chosen and website was created (www.masela.org). The website includes an online application. Social media sites were activated: 1)LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/71060368; 2)Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/medicalassociationsela; 3)Twitter: https://twitter.com/MedAssnSeLa; and 4)Instagram.
Email communications have been sent to potential members using the database which has been developed through sponsorship of the COVID calls. This email list includes more than 2,500 physicians. Another recruitment effort will be launched in October.
MASELA coordinated a virtual Launch Event - Meet MASELA in May which mixed business with pleasure and an introduction to MASELA. This virtual event included Drs. Busenlener, Gershanik, Rice, Ellis, Maupin and Pridjian as MASELA speakers. This virtual event was well attended and feedback was very positive.
MASELA’s Summer Sipper, another opportunity to introduce physicians to MASELA, was held on Thursday, 6/24 at the home of Dr. Tanya Busenlener. 40 physicians and guests attended. Follow up efforts were initiated to encourage membership.
Collaterals have been developed to assist in membership marketing efforts, including a small flip card which outlines MASELA’s mission and priorities, a one-page summary with Mission/Vision/Value Statements, and email communications.
A social media strategy was launched recently and will include graphics and messaging to various physician segments to encourage engagement. All social media posts direct engagement with MASELA’s website.
MASELA has submitted articles for each issue of the HealthCare Journal of New Orleans to share the MASELA story with physicians and other health care professionals.
Another initiative focused on the development of relationships with hospital/health care system staff to make them aware of MASELA and to ask for their support in promoting MASELA to their physician community.
The first MASELA dues billing for 2021 was sent to previous JPMS & OPMS members at the end of December. Communications explained the parish medical society unified membership relationship with MASELA and invited physicians to join. The dues were set for $250.00 for a full active member to join both MASELA and a parish society. Also, a Founding Member category was approved by the Board. This resulted in more than $60,000 in revenue from JPMS and OPMS members. This effort has resulted in 50% of OPMS dues-paying members converting to MASELA/OPMS and 65% of JPMS dues-paying members converting to be members of MASELA/JPMS. Efforts are still underway to convert more previous members of MASELA and the parish society of their choice.
To date, MASELA has 323 total members, including 275 dues paying members.
The backbone of MASELA will be the development of value which encourages engagement by physicians throughout Southeast Louisiana. Much effort has been dedicated to the following areas since MASELA’s inception.
COVID Update Series - MASELA continues to offer COVID Update Calls for physicians throughout Southeast Louisiana since the beginning of the pandemic. Fourteen calls have been coordinated featuring public health experts and specialists in many areas of medicine. To date, there have been more than 2,500 unique physicians to participate in these calls. JPMS, OPMS and MASELA initiated these calls long before other educational efforts were being provided to the medical community. MASELA remains in contact with public health authorities and will offer additional calls as needed.
Ad Hoc Committee Development - MASELA established multiple ad hoc committee for the purpose of engaging physicians in the organization and to bring value to physicians and to our community. These ad hoc committees are:
Committee leadership has been chosen and orientations are underway. The charge of each committee is being shared with the leadership and future members. Chairs are being asked to recruit physicians who would be engaged in the work of the committees to contribute their insights and expertise. Board liaisons have been named. These MASELA Board members will provide direction and serve as a resource to the committees.
Physician Well-being Program Development - The MASELA Board wishes to develop a complimentary, confidential counseling program patterned after many other successful programs across the country. This program is upstream of physician impairment and isi focused on enhancing professional satisfaction. Foundational work is being completed including reaching out to the LSBME, LAMMICO, and hospital medical staffs to ensure this type of counseling isn’t reportable. An advisory group is being formed to customize this model to the SE Louisiana area to ensure its effectiveness. In addition, peer groups are being considered as another benefit to physician members to share their challenges with colleagues. The Greater New Orleans Medical Foundation and the Jefferson Physicians Foundation will be approached about providing funding for this initiative.
Celebrating Physicians - MASELA has initiated two programs to date: 1)Residents Recognition was distributed for Residents-Fellows Week, March 1-5 to Tulane, LSU & Ochsner and on social media; and The Proud to be a Physician Campaign was launched in March in conjunction with Doctors’ Day. We are encouraging physicians to tell their stories about why they are proud to be physicians and whether there was a defining moment that they remember and wish to share.
Preferred Vendor Program - To assist MASELA members with their practice operations, MASELA is looking for relationships to be preferred vendor and offer incentive pricing to physicians. Favorite Staffing, LAMMICO and Eagle Capital are three such programs to date.
Advocacy re: Scope of Practice - During the legislative session, MASELA communicated directly with members and key legislators about the APRN & PA bills which were intended to increase their scope and remove supervision. Both of these bills were defeated due to organizational and individual physician efforts.
Business of Medicine Education Collaboration - MASELA has approached the University of New Orleans about collaborating with MASELA to offer business of medicine education. This would require a contribution of resources. We are awaiting a proposal. This type of educational was cited time and again as being needed by physicians in the focus group and surveys MASELA conducted.
MASELA is a shared vision of Jefferson Parish Medical Society and Orleans Parish Medical Society. It is a vision to create a new organization that would be unified, stronger, and more able to serve physicians. MASELA’s Board of Directors and staff have built the foundation to achieve this vision in 2022 and beyond.
Achievement of this vision requires continued support of JPMS and OPMS, the medical community through membership in MASELA and JPMS or OPMS, and through engagement in MASELA’s programs and initiatives.
TOGETHER, we can make a difference for ourselves and for our patients. Join us in this journey.
If you are already a member of MASELA, thank you!
If you are a physician, and you are not yet a member, we need you!