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MAOPS President Calls for Member Unity

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 13, 2015

Bringing the Profession Together Today for a Stronger Tomorrow

By Lee Parks, D.O., MAOPS 2014-2015 President

As I end my tenure as MAOPS President in a few weeks, I wanted to thank each of you for your support through your membership and volunteer time. It is our members who make our organization strong. I also wanted to inform you about some issues that need resolution and invite you to participate in developing a solution.

MAOPS district osteopathic associations (we have 13 active ones) were originally formed to allow members of certain geographic areas to meet, discuss pertinent professional issues, and submit policy ideas to the state organization. However, for quite a few years now, the MAOPS Board has struggled with trying to help districts be more active, engaged and functional. Districts are meeting less frequently, and when they do meet, attendance is low. Physicians are busier now than they ever have been with other priorities and interests, and evening meetings just don’t seem to work any longer. We have realized that we are not the only professional organization to be looking at this issue, so we’ve been researching ways to progress. I believe it’s time to consider a new way to meet member needs, and that is where each of you come in.

You have seen some of the results of our efforts. For example, we have tightened our mission and goals, sharpened our strategic plan and discarded some of the time-honored, but unnecessary and unproductive, committees and activities. The House of Delegates is no more. Standing committees have largely been replaced by fast action teams with distinct, limited mandates for problem solving. We have stopped trying to force inactive districts to meet. We are offering members more opportunities to be better and more conveniently informed that do not involve district meetings. Some of these methods include social media, a state-of-the-art website, a weekly Legislative Journal during the legislative session, a twice-monthly electronic Prognosis eNewsletter and an annual hard copy of the Health Care Legislative Rundown magazine. We are putting resources into publicizing the role and scope of osteopathic medicine in Missouri through awareness campaigns and news releases.  We are also actively seeking to identify and mentor new leaders for the future. If you haven't been noticing these changes, that fact only underscores the need to address the problem of making organized osteopathic medicine powerful, relevant and responsive to today’s and tomorrow’s physicians.

MAOPS Annual Membership meeting will be held on Wed., April 29 at 5 p.m. at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri. This will be the first meeting since dissolution of the House of Delegates. It’s vital that every member of this Association makes a valiant effort to be in attendance, as the Board of Trustees will be forming a plan for the future of MAOPS and our districts. The primary purpose of the meeting is to receive direction from our members regarding the next steps of the organization. We need to know what issues are most important to you and your practice now and what you foresee as needs in the future.

I encourage you to send your thoughts to MAOPS Executive Director Brian Bowles for consideration on the agenda. We need to know what kind of organization you want, what you need and what you expect from a professional organization representing YOU. Additionally, we need your input on the future of our osteopathic districts. We know what we have now is not functioning as it should. We have an opportunity to shape the structure of our organization to become more responsive to member needs and more efficient in accomplishing that task.

We want to kick start a real discussion about the future of MAOPS and its governance, and we need your input. During the meeting, we’ll discuss some options we’ve developed after researching how other organizations maintain a foothold on the unique needs of their membership bases. The Board of Trustees has to make some difficult decisions regarding our districts’ futures. We cannot continue to provide support (both time and financial) to keep districts on life support when most serve so few members in a meaningful way, as is evident by the extremely low turnout out a majority of district meetings. I suspect we will see some dramatic changes in our district structure in the near future in order to better meet the needs of a majority of our members. The annual membership meeting is your opportunity to have input about what that structure will look like.

I hope to see everyone at the Annual Membership Meeting on April 29, so together, we can discuss how planning today can help shape the MAOPS of tomorrow. The general Board meeting will begin at 5 p.m., with the conclusion of business by 6:15 p.m. Reports will be given from the American Osteopathic Association, Auxiliary to the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, our Executive Director Brian Bowles and myself. The meeting will conclude with a discussion about the future of our districts and a general membership forum where your ideas and issues can be addressed. Following the forum, all attendees are invited to a reception hosted by the Board.

Please choose to be involved in our future. Thank you!

RSVP to the Membership Meeting Now

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