1. Fraser, Kathleen MSN, MHA, RN-BC, CCM, CRRN
  2. CMSA Executive Director

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At CMSA, our dedicated membership inspires us to do better each day, and that is what we're doing! We are hard at work, improving the membership experience and tangible benefits associated with being a CMSA member.


One of the most significant changes to CMSA over the past year is a big one: free membership! Attending our annual conference and expo is a big commitment in both time and resources, and we want to recognize that dedication. In that light, for our June 2018 annual conference in Chicago, IL, all full conference registrants receive a complimentary, 1 year CMSA membership.


CMSA National Board of Directors, 2017-2018

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The free membership offer is available for both current members and nonmembers; for nonmembers, membership begins upon registering for the conference, whereas for current members, the complimentary year begins upon expiration of the member's current membership. The value of our community in the areas of continuing education, camaraderie, and community is important year-round, not only during conference week!


Our annual conference and expo are perhaps the most inclusive representation of our strength in continuing education. At our June 2018 conference in Chicago, we offer eight blocks of concurrent sessions, an expo with 250+ exhibitors and sponsors, fabulous keynote presenters such as The Doctors host Dr. Travis Stork, countless networking opportunities, and a lot of fun. Early in my career as a case manager, this conference was a career changer for me, and face-to-face connections are ever more important in an increasingly digital world.


Aside from our many in-person educational offerings, we offer hundreds of educational opportunities to case managers in any stage of the career path, as a new case manager, seasoned business owner, and any phase in between. We are busy in this area! Currently, we are working on the development, or redevelopment, of our educational pathways.


First is our recently released and completely reinvented Career & Knowledge Pathways (formerly CKP) program. The former CKP was one program that covered many general case management topics. Instead, the name of Career & Knowledge Pathways will serve to hold, as the name indicates, pathways to enhance and extend your career and provide the help you need for growth in all aspects of case management. The first aspect of this pathway, the Standards of Practice program, offers a comprehensive review of CMSA's 2016 Standards of Practice for Case Management. Additional pathways are being updated and/or redesigned, including the Case Management Adherence Guides (CMAGs), Educational Resource Library (ERL), and our new "Integrated Case Management: A Manual by Case Managers for Case Managers."


The newly envisioned Integrated Case Management (ICM) program and manual, released fall 2017, bring both the United States and the international scopes of ICM. This excellent program, as well as the Standards of Practice and CMAGs, is the sole sanctioned material of CMSA for these areas of our practice; CMSA members receive discounted pricing on all.

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As a 24/7 option for fully digital continuing education, our ERL is your answer. Included with CMSA membership, this online resource offers approximately 160 online sessions with continuing education credits. CMSA members take full advantage of this important member benefit, which is included free of charge.


As case managers, we know and recognize the importance of industry and community collaboration. One of the changes to membership made in 2017 we are particularly proud of: our partnership with the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) to work collaboratively to promote case manager professional development. This is a partnership near and dear to my heart, as it is a project I worked on with our dear friend, Patrice Sminkey.


While she passed away before she was able to see the collaboration come to fruition, I am proud that our two organizations have come together to see it through and do what's best for case management as a whole. With this partnership, CMSA members now receive a 20% discount when applying for the CCM certification and the same 20% discount upon renewal. Those who hold the CCM certification receive a 20% discount on CMSA membership.


In the area of public policy, our focus is on the new Case Management Model Act, which recognizes the critical role professional case managers assume in managing chronically ill and complex populations and helping patients in transitions of care, among many other services. The Model Act helps identify and standardize best practices, which, in turn, can optimize clinical and financial outcomes. Reflecting the scope of services in CMSA's Standards of Practice for Case Management, revised 2016, the Model Act seeks to truly demonstrate and recognize the value of professional, licensed case managers.


We have two upcoming events later this year during which the Model Act and other important recognitions of case managers will take place. First is our Hill Day event in September 2018 in Washington, DC, where CMSA members have the important opportunity to advocate for themselves, all case managers, and the health care industry as a whole. Second, in October 2018, our annual celebration of case management commences during National Case Management Week.


As you continue to serve your patients and clients in a new year, remember that sometimes we need to take care of ourselves before we can help others. This self-care can come in small steps or big steps, in the form of expanded knowledge or confidence, and in both mental and physical forms.


We are here to serve all case managers to achieve goals, pass milestones, and enjoy a long and fulfilling career. Especially if you haven't visited recently, please explore our redesigned website at http://www.cmsa.organd and consider where to get started. Keep your passion for case management alive!


As Lou Holtz said, "It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it." Let CMSA help you carry your load!




Kathleen Fraser, MSN, MHA, RN-BC, CCM, CRRN


CMSA Executive Director