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2003 is the "HPNA Year of the Chapter" (formerly called the Regional Group). In January, the board of Directors launched the new-and-improved model to increase local support. Regional Groups have been a part of HPNA since 1996. Due to concerns about confusing rules and lack of growth, in 2002 the HPNA Board decided to address this as a major project. A taskforce of board members and Regional Group leaders worked to evaluate the state of Regional Groups and created a new Chapter model. Using the ONS (Oncology Nursing Society) Chapter program as a guide, a new model for HPNA Chapters was created. Here are several of the changes:


* HPNA Chapters are integrated into national HPNA and operate under national bylaws.


* Local Chapters represent HPNA in their communities.


* Local Chapter HPNA members are required to be National HPNA Members.


* Chapters will hold elections for their executive board.


* Chapters will hold a minimum of four meetings per year.


* HPNA continuing education process is available to Chapters for educational offerings.



To assist local Chapters in implementing this new model, HPNA appointed seven District Leaders. These leaders are experienced members who will provide support and direction to the Chapters. The seven District Leaders are: Judy Goldthorp (Chair), Patti Collett (Chair-Elect), Corrine Anderson, Kathy Hoke, Sandy Muchka, Molly Poleto, and Monica White.


Leadership Weekend

To launch the new chapter model, HPNA invited the Chapter Presidents (or their designees), as well as Provisional Chapter leaders and District Leaders, to the first HPNA Leadership Weekend in Pittsburgh on January 17-19, 2003. The weekend was planned to coincide with the HPNA Board of Directors meeting.


The training provided an opportunity to educate everyone on the new Chapter model and provided needed information on topics such as legal issues, financial reporting, writing newsletters, creative programming, and recruiting and retaining membership. It also gave the Chapter leaders the support and resources they need to develop and grow their chapters. Leadership training will occur annually, so future officers will have the opportunity to participate each year. The next Leadership Weekend is planned for July 2004.


Reasons you should join an HPNA Chapter:


* Meet other hospice and palliative care professionals.


* Educational programs foster professional growth.


* Networking opportunities are a source of information, advice, and support.


* Establish mentoring relationships.


* Good climate for developing leadership skills.


* Socialization and renewal.


* Access to local contact with other professionals who value membership in National HPNA.



The Future for Chapters

The HPNA board is committed to the growth, nurturing, and development of Chapters across the United States. Currently, we have 12 Chapters and two more with provisional status. Chapters in every state and in most major cities is the goal by 2012.