In July 2016, the ALS Association of Texas welcomed Jessica Welch as the organization’s first Regional Director on its statewide team. Tasked with leading the full mission of the ALS Association in the Greater Houston and East Texas region, her leadership in this new role has catapulted the Chapter forward in achieving its mission.
Thanks to this new on-the-ground leadership in the region, the team in the Houston office has a greater sense of ownership of their work and a renewed passion for ensuring they successfully meet the needs of those living with ALS in the region. And the results are evident with improved communications and team cohesiveness among the care services, fundraising, and operations functions.
With the new partnership with Dr. Appel at the Houston Methodist ALS Clinic came an increase in patients connected with the Texas Chapter and a greater need for a stronger service model in the Greater Houston area. The new regional leadership has helped create more efficiency and focus on patient support through the clinic and the Chapter.
“We have been pleased by the success of this new model in the Greater Houston and East Texas area,” said Tanner Hockensmith, Executive Director for the Texas Chapter. “The ALS community has grown closer, the three support groups in the area are bursting at the seams with attendees, and we’ve seen an increase in patient involvement in the Walk to Defeat ALS and other events throughout the year.”
The roster of signature events in the region has grown to include a Sporting Clay Shoot each March, as well as taking on the All in for ALS casino event in January, an event that has been in existence for 15 years. These events have increased revenue significantly, allowing a greater Chapter-wide investment in patient care programs and research.
When Hurricane Harvey tore through the Greater Houston and South Texas area in August 2017, the team was able to stand together to support those affected by the storm. Thanks to stronger relationships with vendors serving the various needs of people with ALS, our staff was able to rally a team to put together a warehouse of equipment, water, and formula that people with ALS could either pick up or have delivered in the days following the storm.
The Texas Chapter continues to refine the organizational model to create a more localized focus, while still being able to draw upon the resources and expertise of the a statewide organization. This model will continue to drive The ALS Association closer to fulfilling its vision of creating a world without ALS.
Feel free to reach out to Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or ideas concerning The ALS Association’s work in Greater Houston and East Texas.