At the 2016 Members Assembly held last August, a resolution was adopted titled “Evaluate OAFP’s Resolution Process.” In response to that action, Ohio Academy of Family Physicians’ President Ryan Kauffman, MD, appointed a taskforce of eight member leaders to explore ways to enhance the OAFP’s process for resolutions and policy proposals to be more inclusive, efficient, and knowledge-based.
Since last summer, the Resolution Review Taskforce held two, in-person meetings and discussed the fundamental purpose and process for collecting, debating, and adopting resolutions that are submitted to the OAFP. The consensus of the group confirmed that having a formal resolution submission process is an important mechanism for members to engage their Academy and their elected leadership. They further reaffirmed the OAFP’s long held principle that an individual members’ voice is paramount when advocating for issues that affect family medicine in Ohio and on a national level.
After evaluating the merits of our current resolution submission process, members of the taskforce agreed that the current process of accepting, reviewing, and adopting resolutions once a year at the Members Assembly is antiquated and does not conform to today’s rapidly changing health care environment. The taskforce agreed that the best way to generate member engagement in the resolution/policy proposal process is to create a more efficient system to address members’ issues at the point and time their need arises.
After thoughtful discussion, the taskforce approved a process statement that outlines the steps that members can take to submit a policy/resolution proposal that will be addressed at any point in the year. Additionally, the taskforce created an online submission tool to help streamline the process and prepare the proposal for Board action in a structured and thoughtful manner.
To move these process changes forward, the resolution review taskforce made a recommendation to the Bylaws committee proposing an amendment change to the OAFP Bylaws. The Bylaws Committee agreed to the taskforce’s recommendation and will present the following Bylaws change to the 2017 Members Assembly for adoption:
1. Remove the following section from the OAFP Bylaws
CHAPTER X – Members Assembly, Section 3 (Page 7)
Except by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Members Assembly present and voting, no resolution may be submitted to the Assembly unless said resolution has been submitted in writing to the executive vice president of the OAFP at least thirty (30) days prior to meeting at which it is to be acted upon.
Replace with a new CHAPTER XXI – Policy/Resolution Proposals
Section 1. Process for Submission
So that issues from the membership can be addressed in a timely fashion, OAFP members are encouraged to submit policy/resolution proposals at any time throughout the calendar year. Members are required to submit their proposal by using an online submission form (found on the OAFP website) that details the issue, scope, and impact of their proposed change.
The OAFP speaker will receive the policy/recommendation proposal and work directly with the author to prepare for its discussion at the next Board of Directors meeting. If the speaker determines that the proposed resolution needs to be addressed before the next Board of Directors meeting, the speaker has the authority to bring the proposed policy/resolution before the Executive Committee for deliberation.
Authors of proposals are welcome to attend the Board meeting to provide personal insight and background on the proposal being considered. The speaker will notify the regional director that a proposal from a member in their region will be discussed at the next Board meeting.
Once the proposal has been discussed by the Academy’s elected leaders, they may choose one of the following actions:
- Take immediate action and/or create an Academy policy;
- Refer the proposal to an OAFP entity to conduct additional research on the issue and then report back to the Board on their findings;
- Reaffirm OAFP policy that is already established;
- Determine that the issue would be better dealt with at the national level and referred to the American Academy of Family Physicians for consideration;
- Not adopt the proposal. If the Board determines that the proposal does not adhere to the mission, purpose, or strategic initiatives of the Academy, the speaker will work with the proposal’s author to refocus its original intent for future proposal submission.
Section 3. Communication with the Membership
The Speaker will communicate, through an official OAFP publication of the Academy, any action taken by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee.
Replace the title “Members Assembly” or “Assembly” with the generic term, “annual meeting.”
The purpose of changing the title of the Members Assembly to a more generic term, allows for annual meeting program planners to use a more fitting (and upbeat) title to promote the meeting.
The 2017 Members Assembly will be held Saturday-Sunday, August 12-13, at the Columbus Marriott Northwest in Dublin, OH. Registration and program details will be in June. If you have questions, please contact Deputy Executive Vice President Kate Mahler, CAE, or call 800.274.7327.