Central Florida Chapter
Case Management Society of America
The Central Florida Chapter of CMSA was founded in 1992, with Betty Reid serving as the first President. The CMSA Mission “…to promote the growth & value of case management and to support the evolving needs of the case management professional” has been at the heart of the chapter since its inception. While the initial group was small, it has grown to be the largest chapter in the State of Florida, with 170 members in 2004.
The first meeting was held on the FOURTH THURSDAY of the month at the Florida Nurses Association building on Hillcrest St, and the meeting day has remained the same for the dozen years of the chapter’s existence. The meeting location, however, has not been as consistent. Subsequent to the FNA building, meetings were moved to the Florida Hospital Wellness Center on Adanson St. When the attendees outgrew this room, they changed both location and time (but not the day!), moving to a luncheon meeting at the Morrison’s (now the Piccadilly) Cafeteria on E. Colonial Dr. The luncheon format prevailed from that point on, but the location migrated to the Family Resource Center at Florida Hospital Altamonte, then the dining room at Central Park Village. Finally, the Bahia Shrine became the meeting place in 1996. It has proved to be so convenient for our members, that it has remained our monthly meeting location ever since.
The chief fundraising activity for the Chapter is the annual Vendor Show, an event that allows area vendors the opportunity to showcase their services in a single location, attended by the leaders of the case management industry in Central Florida. The first Vendor Show was held at the Arbors (now Tandem) in 1994, and was the inspiration of Cindy Bishop, a CMSA member. She had been involved in organizing similar events for the Jacksonville Chapter, and had seen how successful they were there. Vendor Show Chairperson is a critical Board position for the Chapter, and Cindy got it off to a great start. It has grown each year, and the 2003 Vendor Show had 55 vendors and 270 attendees. It is considered the ‘premier’ event for case management professionals in Central Florida, but is also a fun event, with displays and costumes centered around a yearly theme. The 2003 theme was ‘Circus Day’, with the Shriners even bringing their ‘baby’ camel to kiss all the guests. In 2004, the show will be a ‘Masquerade Ball’, and participants are already clamoring for booth space.
Largest chapter in Florida
The Central Florida Chapter has been the largest chapter in Florida since July 1996, when a merger with the ICMA group brought the total members to 111. As noted earlier, membership in 2004 consisted of 170 members, most of whom actively participate in the chapter events. Attendance at the monthly meetings, for example, ranges from 80 (on a bad month) to 130. Each meeting consists of a catered luncheon (usually sponsored by a vendor company) and an educational program. The educational program provides CEU and CCM certificates for the attendees, thus enhancing the skills of our professional membership – and providing an incentive to employers, who encourage their employees to attend.
Thanks to funds raised at the annual vendor show, plus sponsorship by vendor companies, members enjoy the luncheon and educational program at a no cost. Non-members are also welcome, but must pay a small fee to help defray the cost of the meeting. The success of the Vendor Show has also allowed the Chapter to send members to the National Case Management Society of America Annual Conference, and purchase audio and video equipment for our speakers to use during the monthly meetings. There is a drawing at each meeting to reimburse a member for their local dues. The Chapter has also been able to make an annual donation to a charity, usually at the December meeting. In 2003, for example, a donation of $1,000 was made to the MS Centers of Florida.