20151023_165527Delegates to the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly in favor of changing the Society’s constitution and bylaws to move the governance and policymaking functions of the organization from the House of Delegates to the Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting on Oct. 23-24 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro. After lengthy discussion and debate over the two days of the meeting, 78 delegates ultimately voted in favor of the change to the organization’s constitution with seven opposed.
After adopting the change to the constitution, a separate vote to amend the bylaws to support the constitutional change in governance structure also carried with 81 votes in favor and none opposed.
“Delegates have one last duty — to go home and tell their constituents they can vote,” Art Apolinario, MD, a family physician in Clinton, NC, and Region 3 Representative to the NCMS Board of Directors told the delegates after the vote. “All NCMS members are now voting members.”
The vote to change the constitution and bylaws came after a two-year process of analysis, review, input and debate over how well the House of Delegates was serving the rank-and-file NCMS membership. For a brief overview of that process, watch this video in which NCMS President and CEO Robert W. Seligson reviews the timeline leading up to last weekend’s decision.
Going forward under the new constitution and bylaws, each NCMS member will now have the opportunity to bring important issues directly to the Board of Directors throughout the year. To facilitate this, Board meetings will be held across the state so members will not have to travel long distances to meet face-to-face with their representatives. Watch the Bulletin for notices about upcoming meetings in your area, or contact your area Board representative at any time. Board members are listed on the NCMS website under About NCMS. This new process is designed to make the Board more directly accountable to members.
To help ensure that no one group will co-opt the process, a referendum provision allows a petition by 5 percent of NCMS voting members to bring any matter to a referendum for a decision by the majority of the voting membership. The new process also allows more timely changes to the bylaws, if necessary, rather than waiting a full year for the Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates.
“This is the proper process, with the proper people, in the proper timeframe,” Robert “Charles” Monteiro told the delegates.
While the House of Delegates will no longer meet, the Annual Meeting and traditions like the inauguration of the incoming NCMS president will remain intact. The NCMS’ next Annual Meeting will be held at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, Sept. 15-18, 2016. This meeting will be held jointly with the North Carolina Medical Group Managers Association with the theme of “M3 – Merging Medicine and Management.” This conference will offer robust CME programming tracks as well as the popular traditions you associate with past NCMS Annual Meetings. Mark your calendars now!