TMA 2015 Introduction

Texas Medical Association has long been blessed with strength and success. Your Board of Trustees wants to keep it that way. Beginning in August 2004, your TMA Board of Trustees began a planning process to ensure we remain successful, stick to our core values, and yet be nimble enough to push the envelope to address issues affecting our ability to care for our patients.

We began by examining trends in health care financing and delivery, the changing health care team, and threats to the sanctity of the medical license. We studied the influence that health information technology will have on our practices and discussed ways in which TMA could support its members in this transition. We evaluated declining access to care, threats to practice viability, and the changing demographics of the Texas patient and physician population. Tomorrow's Texans are projected to be sicker, poorer, and less well educated, and tomorrow's physicians must be prepared to care for them. We will need physician leaders willing to step to the forefront and lead our Association into the future.

From this work, came the development of only four goals . Our intent was to focus our efforts and our resources so that we are strong when and where we need to be. Under each goal are targeted strategies, which will be achieved through several tactics and activities. We also will measure our progress along the way to ensure we are on course and that we are using our resources wisely.

I am sure the first goal will resonate with all of you - it is about ensuring financially, operationally, and legally sound practices. It is about which TMA services can best help us achieve this. A key strategy is to teach physicians about available information technologies to promote viable practices and patient safety.

Goal 2 addresses practice viability and much more. It describes the need for success in legislative, legal, and regulatory advocacy. From Goal 2 came the development of Healthy Vision 2020, Second Edition, a document that served to educate policy makers about Texas medicine's priorities during the 79th Texas Legislature.

Goal 3 is about strengthening our role as leaders in our communities, within organized medicine, and most importantly, as leaders of the health care team. Goal 3 also encompasses physician image and professionalism.

Goal 4 speaks to unity of our profession and the strength we gain from this. Key strategies include maintaining strength in numbers, dedicated leaders, and fruitful alliances within and without the federation of medicine.

Your board is proud of these four goals. I invite your comments. As physicians, we have a duty of the highest calling and the TMA vision, "To improve the health of all Texans," reflects this. Today's environment certainly threatens chaos and uncertainty, but it also offers incredible opportunities. And this is what TMA 2015 is all about - opportunity. What follows is our roadmap to the future, one that represents a multitude of opportunities along the way to ensure that Texas Medical Association fulfills its vision.

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