Planning a strategy for success

Tags: tafp, membership, survey, report, strategic plan

Planning a strategy for success

By Kate McCann

In anticipation of longtime Executive Director Jim White’s retirement, more than 20 TAFP members and the entire TAFP staff participated in a strategic planning meeting Sept. 7-8 in Austin, Texas. The goal of the meeting was to review the Academy’s current operations, review the Academy’s mission and vision statements, chart a course for the Academy over the next two to three years, provide guidance to the TAFP staff, and prioritize issues important to Academy members.

Prior to the meeting, TAFP President Linda Siy, M.D., asked the staff to prepare reports from their various departments—Public Affairs, Education, Member Services, Operations and Communications—to help guide the group’s discussions.

The staff also conducted a member survey and compiled demographic information on the total membership, which TAFP Chief Operating Officer Kathy McCarthy, C.A.E., presented to the group. The most noticeable changes demographically were in gender and age as female physician members have steadily increased to outnumber male physician members in the younger age groups, and the bulk of the TAFP membership now falls between the ages of 35 and 54. As reported by the member survey, TAFP members’ top priority is advocacy in state and national government. Read the sidebar to the right for more information on overall demographics and results of the member survey.

Incoming CEO and Executive Vice President Tom Banning reported on TAFP’s Public Affairs efforts and made recommendations for moving forward. This division of TAFP encompasses political advocacy, public health, workforce and education, and insurance and private sector advocacy. Over the next few years, the Public Affairs Department will work to strengthen family physicians’ practice viability, improve patients’ access to primary care and specialty services, protect Texas’ public health, and foster a strong family physician workforce. These goals will be achieved by further building relationships with other medical organizations and increasing membership in the TAFP Political Action Committee, which funds the Academy’s political activity. Because Texas’ demographics and physicians’ practice environments continue to worsen, Tom encouraged more physician participation in order to maintain our ground and make strides for the specialty.

Jessica Miley, TAFP’s associate director of education, presented the Continuing Medical Education summary. The Education Department organizes TAFP’s four annual symposia, coordinates PrimeCME dinner programs and participates in joint sponsorship events. The Education staff will continue to coordinate high-quality, sustainable CME in compliance with ACCME, and assist members in maintaining CME requirements, while working to secure more grant funding for future programs.

Kathy McCarthy returned to the podium to present the report on Member Services. The goal of the department is to provide appropriate member services to enable TAFP to recruit and retain family physician members. Because association membership has lost popularity with younger audiences, TAFP must evolve to meet the needs of younger family physicians, especially residents, she said. Member Services aims to recruit more of this group as well as make improvements to the TAFP governance structure and re-write the TAFP vision and mission statements.

Robert Montoya, director of accounting, and Nathan Moore, marketing specialist, gave the group an overview of TAFP business operations. The goal of the department is to ensure TAFP’s financial integrity and wellbeing. Montoya reported that TAFP is financially well-positioned because of a healthy return-on-investments and assets over the past five years. TAFP also acquired the National Procedures Institute through a partnership with AAFP and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine as of Jan. 1. With this and other strategies, TAFP will secure more non-dues revenue.

Director of Communications Jonathan Nelson and Associate Editor Kate McCann detailed the activities and recommendations of the Communications Department. The department produces several communications pieces—, QuickInfo e-newsletter, TEXAS FAMILY PHYSICIAN quarterly magazine and conference marketing pieces—to reach members and keep them informed of the activities of the Academy. The department will build on the successes developed for reporting during the 80th Legislative Session to make communication more valuable, efficient and effective.

From the recommendations set forth in the strategic planning meeting, TAFP officers and staff have established timelines, goals and plans to implement the strategic recommendations. This roadmap will guide the staff and TAFP committees and commissions in the coming years and will provide TAFP with a tool to measure success.

TAFP member demographics

The most noticeable changes in the Academy’s demographic makeup over the years have been in gender and age. The number of female-to-male active physician members has increased steadily so female physician members now outnumber males in the 34-and-younger age group. The bulk of TAFP’s membership falls in the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups, with these two groups comprising 64 percent of active members. Also, the Academy has seen a slight increase in the average age of members, from 46.4 to 47 years.

The majority of active members, 58.6 percent, are graduates of Texas medical schools, while 21.6 percent graduated from other U.S. medical schools and 19.8 percent from international medical schools. More than 20 percent of active members are in group practice and more than 20 percent are solo practitioners.

2007 TAFP member survey

When asked to identify the most serious problems faced by Texas family physicians, the top three member responses were Medicaid reimbursement, Medicare reimbursement and managed care reimbursement. Members also ranked national and state legislative advocacy high in importance, though they ranked TAFPPAC—TAFP’s political action committee and political advocacy arm—30 percent lower. Other priorities included Maintenance of Certification training, private sector advocacy and CME seminars.

TAFP conducted the 2007 Member Survey in July and August, polling active members and second- and third-year resident members on their needs, concerns and priorities for the Academy. The results helped shape the goals and staff recommendations presented during the September Strategic Planning meeting. More than 300 members responded by the deadline.

Overall, more than 90 percent of members reported being satisfied, very satisfied or extremely satisfied with TAFP.