As 2019 draws to a close, we say good-bye to our Board of Directors:
Cynthia Sontag, President
Lacey Stewart, Vice President
Dan Best, Secretary
Rickie Palmer, Treasurer
Beverly Nomberg, Member-at-Large
Lisa Johnson, Ex Officio
I want to thank everyone for their time, hard work and contributions to SWBHIPA this year.
And welcome our new Board of Directors:
Lacey Steward, President
Hal Agler, Vice President
Dan Best, Secretary
Beverly Nomberg, Treasurer
Genevieve Davidge, Member-at-Large
Kelly Chicas, Member-at-Large
Cynthia Sontag, Ex Officio
We have had an incredible year of growth!
The SWBHIPA Board of Directors worked hard to make multiple decisions that required us to accomplish many tasks. Our first decision was to apply for non-profit status with the IRS (501c6). This has been a goal since the inception of our Association. We had to update and upgrade several items of infrastructure to meet the application requirements. Since membership has increasingly grown over the last 7 years (now 245 members; 44 this year alone including the 9 individuals and 35 added to existing groups) we needed to do this anyway. Here is a summary of what we did:
- Improved our mission statement and adding it to our newly designed brochure
- Hiring a new website designer and maintenance company.
- Hiring new personnel to administrate our business. We are looking forward to hiring an Executive Director too. It has been a goal to transition from a working board to an advisory one.
- Consolidated our infrastructure to enhance communication with members and ease workload on staff and board for administrative services. This included G-Suite for online tasks, Google voice, Efax and Hushmail for secure emailing on the website to protect members personal information.
- Using Zoom internet platform for Board meetings, so anyone in the state or in the country can attend. Even out of the country, which I had to do when I was in Ukraine.
- Ensuring we have the CEU certificate from the Counseling Board for our ongoing educational opportunities.
- Continue to remind members to use referSWBHIPA for internal referral. We instituted an agreement with True Health to refer diabetes patients directly to members for improved access to care.
- Improved member communication by starting a quarterly newsletter with Mail Chimp, which will be posted on the website. Adding advertising for services and trainings on the site. Used Survey Monkey more regularly for getting member input in decision making.
- SWBHIPA now has an attorney, who can help us with non-profit status issues and advice without having to keep him on retainer.
Two major accomplishments finalized in the last 2 months have been the approval by the IRS for the 501c6 non-profit status and getting approval for most of what we asked for with the new New Mexico Health contract. Of special note with regard to this new contract, they agreed to panel all new SWBHIPA members that want to be included. (Getting paneled with insurance companies has been a problem with several major insurers, as they close their networks. SWBHIPA is continuing to address this issue and seek out new contract opportunities.)
As I step down from my position as President into the Ex Officio role of advising the Board, I want to say it has been a pleasure and an honor to serve. Thank you to all who have contributed to our growth and change this year.
Please volunteer for our committees so we can keep growing and offering more benefits to members.
Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous year to come.
Cynthia Sontag, LCSW