IMPORTANT UPDATE: Chapter Restructuring

Dear TSAOHN Members:

I would like to start by saying “Happy Holidays” to each of you. While we are experiencing the worst year imaginable, we are still here and should be thankful for that. The pandemic is going to be etched in our memories for our lifetime. While we may want to say 2020 was just a horrible dream, the reality is that we have experienced so much during this year that changed our lives forever.

Because of these changes, your TSAOHN Board of Directors have had to sit down and evaluate where we are as an organization and face some harsh realities. The most important one is the fact that we cannot continue to do business as usual. We have five local chapters and membership is diminishing each year. We had over 300 members at the beginning of the 2020 year and we are down to 216. We have met with the chapter presidents and out of the five chapters, four has stated that they are contemplating or going to dissolve because of lack of member participation or finances. When we canvassed the membership last year, those who responded wanted to remain a local chapter. When we spoke with the chapter presidents at our board meeting last week, they all stated that they were going to have to consider dissolving their chapter because of poor member attendance at meetings and/or lack of participation.

Reality is upon us and we are going to have to act swiftly if we are to be able to sustain as an organization. Covid-19 has shown us that we can function in many ways to be able to continue. Virtual meetings are the way of communicating as well as how we do our jobs in our perspective fields. Employers have had to make some decisions that affected not only the company, but; the effect to their employees was evident by these decisions.

All five chapters have shown a constant and consistent decline in membership and participation. One chapter has gone from 28 active member down to 12 with only 6 actively participating. Another chapter has 24 members with no member attendance at meetings. The largest local chapter has experienced a decrease in membership and in-person attendance has all but dwindled. They do virtual meetings and even though there is participation, attendance is still low. Member participation in voting is a real concern. Voting is a way of making your voice heard. In the last election, only 35 people voted. The board has reviewed where we are now and where we would like to be in the future. Because we have had to accept the realities of changes that have occurred, we have decided to recommend the dissolution of all local chapters and combine to become one state chapter. This decision did not come easily.

By dissolving the chapters and becoming a state chapter, we will be able to work with members throughout the state to encourage participation and have representation statewide. We will sit down with some of our AAOHN counterparts who have gone state only organizations to gain input in how making this change helped to sustain the organization. Some have already experienced an increase in participation and enthusiasm about their organization.

We also realized that the way we used to do things is gone and will not return. If we want to continue, we are going to have to look at new ways of doing our business and change with the times. We will be discussing our decision with AAOHN. After this discussion, we will be sending out a formal 30-day notice of our intention to vote on becoming a state chapter only to the membership.

We hope this decision will be receptive to all members and we can go to work on making Texas the best state chapter it can be.

Thank you,
Karen Barrett
President TSAOHN