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Anysia Drumheller held the position of Medi-Cal Program Manager in the local education agency Butte County Office of Education in California, from 2004 until her untimely death in May 2013 after a two-and a-half-year battle with breast cancer. Anysia joined the NAME organization in 2005 seeking more knowledge about “these crazy programs” that bring Medicaid reimbursement to school districts. She began attending the NAME Annual Conferences, made friends quickly and soon was an active member.
Recognizing her strengths in organization, multi-tasking and attention to detail, in 2008 then-President Liz Touhey appointed Anysia as the Chair of the Membership Committee. Anysia soon moved NAME into the twenty-first century by creating Membership reports and converting records with relational database software. She created reports based on member statistics that were then used for strategic planning by the Board of Directors, in conversations with other national organizations and federal agencies and used for member recruitment. The NAME membership data and statistics also helped ease the work of other Committees over the years, by facilitating the annual election process; providing the Conference committee with valuable information to develop pertinent educational programs and sessions; and reminding the Leadership Team that service’s for members were the organization’s top priority.
In 2011 Anysia was elected as one of two LEA Representatives at-Large on the Board of Directors. Anysia’s insights, creativity and perspectives as Membership Committee Chair played a key role in the organization restructuring in 2011. In that year, NAME made changes to its Bylaws allowing all LEA members to be voting members. NAME also re-organized that year from twelve to three geographic regions.
From her initial diagnosis of breast cancer in the Fall of 2010 until her death at age 42 in May 2013, Anysia remained a member of the NAME Leadership Team and attended phone meetings, sometimes calling in from the oncology center while receiving chemotherapy treatment. She was not secretive about her diagnosis or treatment, and appreciated the support of her NAME colleagues for the mental and physical battle of her life. Many friends are convinced that loving support from her two young children, her feisty personality, determination to defeat this foe by continuing her workout regimen, and sharing her battle with others, were not only inspirational to those around her, but prolonged her life in spite of setbacks.
In 2011, as chair of the Membership Committee, Anysia convinced the Board of Directors to set as a top priority, outreach and recruitment of potential members from the states that did not have NAME members. They began a campaign to locate those individuals and invite them to join NAME and attend the Annual Conference, one of the best values of membership.
In April 2013, the Board of Directors with a unanimous vote designated Anysia Drumheller an Honorary Board Member. In May 2013, only weeks after her death, the Board created the Anysia Drumheller Memorial Scholarship. The Membership Committee presented the plan for the scholarship to the Board as a way to provide outreach and recruitment to potential NAME members who are hindered from attending the NAME Annual Conference by their agency’s limited travel budgets.
The purpose of the Anysia Drumheller Scholarship is to help others like Anysia, who are seeking knowledge about the Medicaid in Education programs (“these crazy programs”) to meet and network with others who work in this unique field. The NAME Board will fund this annual scholarship which will cover up to $1000 in reimbursement for the costs of travel and lodging to attend the Annual NAME Conference for those whose agencies will not approve. The scholarship also includes a complimentary Annual Conference registration (which includes an annual membership).
NAME will periodically sponsor fundraisers to increase the Scholarship fund. For every $1000 that is added to the fund by June 1at each year and based on Scholarship criteria, there will be another recipient.
Those who knew and loved Anysia Drumheller, hope the Scholarship recipients appreciate that her determined and feisty personality while Membership Committee Chair, to bring more members to NAME was the catalyst for its creation. In the spirit of its namesake, the Scholarship will be an ongoing gift to other professionals in the field of Medicaid in Education.
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