The CMSA Foundation: What’s In It For You?


The CMSA Foundation is a charitable, non-profit organization that aims to be the leading philanthropic organization dedicated to enhancing the practice of case management. The Foundation works relentlessly to raise money to fund case management research, practice improvement and public policy advocacy efforts. But how does that help you?

It is critically important to document the value proposition of case management to preserve existing programs and start new ones. Payers, legislators and consumers must clearly understand why an investment in case management is a good one. During a recent meeting, I overhead a health plan executive state, “Everyone says their case management program works, but nobody has the data to prove it.” Sadly, there is a lot of truth in that statement. There is an insufficient body of knowledge to objectively demonstrate the superior treatment outcomes and cost savings that professional case managers deliver. The reality is that case managers are vulnerable in most any setting without data to substantiate our impact.

In 2021, the CMSA Foundation board decided to focus the Foundation’s work on the advancement of case management practice through research and process improvement. This decision was specifically made in recognition of the insufficient documentation of evidence-based case management practices. Research and practice improvement builds a compendium of resources that validate the impact of case management. This is the mission of the CMSA Foundation.

As you know, case managers are examining problems and exhaustively looking for solutions every day. We improve processes to achieve better results. This IS research and process improvement! The Foundation recognizes and rewards these accomplishments through the provision of process improvement awards and research grants. Recipients are given the opportunity to publish the results of their projects in CMSA Today in addition to receiving a monetary award. These awards are important because the findings expand the compendium of evidence-based, case management practices that can be applied and customized to different practice settings.

Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed over $34,000 in grants and awards. The funding is used in several ways:

1) Practice Improvement Awards ($1,500): Rewards and publishes evidence-based case management practices to promote awareness and expand their adoption.

2) The Margaret Leonard Public Policy Grants ($2,500 – $5,000): The grant is available to individuals or groups who advocate for health policy initiatives that promote and support the practice of professional case management.

3) The board is also reviewing potential funding for research grants to be made available to individuals or organizations to facilitate studies that examine the impact of case management.

Some examples of the outstanding work that the Foundation has supported include:

  • Kaiser Permanente of Washington, which received the Case Management Practice Improvement Award this year for its Virtual Inpatient Case Management Program. This program stabilized staffing and balanced caseloads through pooled resources during the COVID pandemic.
  • The Coordinated Behavioral Care IPA’s Pathway Home model, which provides integrated, field-based case management to individuals living with serious mental illness and co-occurring physical health conditions. The CBC IPA has expanded their award-winning model, and it has now been implemented across multiple agencies and teams.
  • West Suburban Medical Center’s novel approach to patient engagement to improve patient outcomes and reduce readmissions.
  • Anthem’s High Outreach to Promote Engagement (HOPE) program.
  • Through the Margaret Leonard Public Policy Grant, Eric Bergman led a grassroots effort to establish Illinois as a member of the multistate licensure compact.
  • Theresa Quinn and Jenny Quigley-Stickney promoted the Case Management Model Act to local legislators in the Northeast.

The Foundation’s goal is to build a library of resources that CMSA members can consult to propose, preserve or expand case management programs in their own practice settings. These documented outcomes can be persuasive in convincing funders, legislators and administrators to invest in programs that are proven to deliver positive returns.

The Foundation operates on donations alone. We rely on CMSA members, chapters and other contributors to support the Foundation’s mission. There are several ways to support the work:

  • Monthly or recurring donations are the easiest for donors and the most sustainable for the Foundation. For as little as $10 per month, you can support the Foundation’s mission of improving case management practice through research and process improvement.
  • Chapters can host fundraising events such as raffles or make recurring contributions.
  • Tributes and memorial contributions can be made to honor an esteemed colleague or mentor.

Please remember that many companies will match donations to the non-profit of your choice.

The Foundation offers CMSA members the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments and share their achievements with current and future case managers. We want all CMSA members to have access to readily available information if they are ever challenged to provide objective evidence that case management is effective. And we want legislators, policymakers and payers to know about the impact and power of case management. In academia, the maxim of “publish or perish” is both an admonition and strategic guidance for professional success. This maxim also applies to case management. If we do not document and disseminate our evidence-based outcomes, then our profession cannot prosper. The CMSA Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the practice of case management, and it is a good investment in your career. We invite you to submit your own process improvements for consideration for an award. The CMSA Foundation is committed to elevating your hard work as best practices.


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