Letter From President

October 2013
Dear ALAS Community,

It gives me great pleasure to write to you as your president! My acceptance of the role of president reflects my new hope. I want to begin by thanking my predecessors, the board, our volunteers, and our members for their hard work and dedication to the ALAS mission. We would not be in the position we are without your volunteer spirit and leadership. I am honored and humbled to serve you and I have deep gratitude for the leadership of the too many.  

I want to talk about our organization’s history, our structure, and share some of our plans for the upcoming year. I will also tell you about my vision for ALAS and our progress toward it; the establishing of an independent clinic for the underprivileged Hispanic community of the CSRA; and dialogue and feedback.

HISTORY: ALAS is an organization with a rich and important history. While we are a relatively small organization, we have provided a home to serve many underprivileged Hispanics in the CSRA since 2005. Historically, ALAS has had an important impact in the lives of many Hispanics in the CSRA. Thanks to the efforts of many, ALAS has many accomplishments. We enter 2013 in good shape and have a bright future full of possibilities to further our mission. Year 2013 marks a number of important turning points for ALAS. I believe we have solid foundations to move ahead on several fronts.

STRUCTURE: ALAS is growing!! We have new members of the board: Craig Nichols as vice president, Ms. Skarlet Velasquez as Secretary, Mrs. Ana Rivera as Treasurer, Mrs. Lisbeth Hunter as Director, Mrs. Liliana Noble as Director, Mrs. Sonia Quinn as Director, and Dr. William Salazar and our Medical Director.

PLANS: I invite all of our community to join in our effort. “Joining” could range from volunteering to help out on one of our future working committees, making a donation to one of our programs, or simply raising awareness by inviting colleagues and people in the community to join and help our organization. Why give back? From my few months of experience as president within this organization I have experienced nothing less than professional renewal. I found here people and colleagues who offered shared interests and values within nurturing relationships. It is going to be an exciting year! ALAS is my new professional home and I am looking forward to the work we will do together in the upcoming year.

We are planning to have members from all disciplines in health care. I am interested in developing working committees and developing a functional organizational chart for ALAS.

VISION: My vision for ALAS has been to put the association on the map as the "go-to” organization for the Hispanic community of the CSRA. ALAS will provide health services under the umbrella of the future “Centro Medico William Salazar.” We also provide data cards and information of how to help Hispanics navigate the US system. We want also to provide legal services, to create strong and meaningful relationships with the many different entities that provide services for the Hispanic Community in the CSRA. I believe together we can make a difference for the Hispanic Community of the CSRA.

I want to launch a marketing campaign to have a better presence in the CSRA and to have other healthcare organizations learn more about ALAS and the different services we offer. All this is with the main goal to improve the well-being of the Hispanics in the CSRA.

The second part of my vision is to start a grant writing process to bring funds further develop the “Centro Medico William Salazar.” Ideally develop a Research Committee to develop an evaluation and delivery program to demonstrate the efficacy of our many services and programs to the underprivileged Hispanics and also to achieve desired outcomes.  My hope for the rest of 2013 is that with the help of our board, other members, volunteers and other agencies, we work together to create better health care services along with other services for the Hispanic underprivileged community of the CSRA.

CENTRO MEDICO: We are embarking on an ambitious plan to build an independent “Centro Medico” to increase our visibility among the Hispanics and other organizations that also provide services to the Hispanic and other underserved communities in the CSRA. “Centro Medico William Salazar” already has its own building to start providing health services for the Hispanic community in the CSRA. This year is the year to remodel the building and make it appropriate to provide services for the Hispanic community of the CSRA. We also want to have the headquarters of ALAS in the building.

DIALOGUE AND FFEDBACK: Finally, I would like to invite you all to share your feedback and ideas about the future and vision of ALAS with myself and the board. We want to develop a number of vehicles for creating dialogue and discussion, including an interactive website, LinkedIn group, Facebook and more. The goal of developing an open dialogue is a worthy one and one that we continue to strive toward. I welcome your ideas on how we can do better.

Let’s keep our hope high to make the vision, dreams, and plans a reality for 2013.

With deep respect,

William Salazar, MD, FACP, FAACH
President ALAS
Medical Director “Centro Medico William Salazar”