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AOA Communication  |   June 2010
Proposed Amendments to the AOA Constitution and Bylaws
Article Information
AOA Communication   |   June 2010
Proposed Amendments to the AOA Constitution and Bylaws
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2010, Vol. 110, 316-319. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2010.110.6.316
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2010, Vol. 110, 316-319. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2010.110.6.316
The following are proposed amendments to the constitution and bylaws of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Consistent with the requirements for amending this document, this proposal has been submitted to the AOA executive director, who has arranged for its publication in JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association before the next annual meeting of the AOA House of Delegates, which occurs Friday, July 13, 2010, through Sunday, July 18, 2010, at The Fairmont Chicago hotel in Chicago, Illinois. 
These amendments will be presented at the July 2010 House of Delegates meeting. Amendments to the AOA Constitution are being presented to the House this year for the first time and will be presented for action at the July 2011 meeting of the House of Delegates. Except as otherwise noted, proposed amendments to the Bylaws will be considered by the House of Delegates in July 2010. If the House of Delegates approves the amendments by a two-thirds vote, they will become effective at the July 2010 meeting. 
Distribution of Amendments Before the Annual Meeting
In light of the trend in online publication, and in the interest of ensuring that members of the House of Delegates are fully educated about the issues coming before the House of Delegates during the annual meeting, the Bureau of Constitution and Bylaws recommends the changes identified below. 

CONSTITUTION

Article IX—Amendments

This Constitution may be amended by the House of Delegates at any annual meeting by a two-thirds vote of the total number of delegates accredited for voting, provided that such amendments shall have been presented to the House and filed with the Executive Director at a previous annual meeting, who shall cause them to be DISTRIBUTED BY FIRST CLASS MAIL, POSTAGE PREPAID, TO EACH DIVISIONAL AND SPECIALTY SOCIETY ENTITLED TO SEND VOTING REPRESENTATIVES TO THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES, POSTED ON THE AOA'S WEBSITE AND PUBLISHED printed in JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association not less than two months or more than four months prior to the meeting at which they are to be acted upon.

BYLAWS

Article IV—Code of Ethics

Section 1

The House of Delegates shall establish a Code of Ethics for the information and guidance of the members. Members of the Association, in their daily conduct, shall comply with the provisions of the Code of Ethics. The Code shall cover duties of physicians to patients, duties of physicians to other physicians and to the profession at large, and responsibilities of physicians to the public. The House of Delegates shall not adopt any provisions of the Code of Ethics, which may be in conflict with the Constitution or Bylaws of the Association.

Section 2

The Code of Ethics may be amended by the House of Delegates at any annual meeting by two-thirds vote of the total number of delegates accredited for voting, provided a copy of the proposed amendment is deposited with the Executive Director at least 90 days before the annual meeting at which it is to be voted upon.

It shall be the duty of the Executive Director to have the proposed amendment DISTRIBUTED BY FIRST CLASS MAIL, POSTAGE PREPAID, TO EACH DIVISIONAL AND SPECIALTY SOCIETY ENTITLED TO SEND VOTING REPRESENTATIVES TO THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES, POSTED ON THE AOA'S WEBSITE AND published in JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association not later than one month before the annual meeting at which the amendment is scheduled for consideration.

Article XI—Amendments

Section 1—Bylaws

These Bylaws may be amended at any annual or special meeting of the House of Delegates by a two-thirds vote of the total number of delegates accredited for voting, provided that the amendment shall have been filed with the Executive Director at least two months before the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted upon. Upon receiving a copy of the amendment, it shall be the duty of the Executive Director to cause it to be DISTRIBUTED BY FIRST CLASS MAIL, POSTAGE PREPAID, TO EACH DIVISIONAL AND SPECIALTY SOCIETY ENTITLED TO SEND VOTING REPRESENTATIVES TO THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES, POSTED ON THE AOA'S WEBSITE AND PUBLISHED printed in JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association at least one month before the meeting. The Board of Trustees may revise the proposed amendment if necessary to secure conformity to this Constitution and Bylaws and shall then refer it to the House for final action not later than the day prior to the end of the meeting.

Section 2—Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation of this Association may be amended by the adoption of a resolution by the Board of Trustees setting forth the proposed amendment and directing that the amendment be submitted to a vote at a meeting of the House of Delegates, which may be either an annual or a special meeting. Written or printed notice setting forth the proposed amendment or a summary of the changes to be effected thereby shall be POSTED ON THE AOA'S WEBSITE AND delivered not less than five nor more than 40 days before the date of the meeting, either personally or by mail, by or at the direction of the President, the Executive Director or the officers or persons calling the meeting, to each delegate entitled to vote at such meeting.

Written or printed notice shall include the printing of the amendment in the ELECTRONIC AND/OR PRINT issue of JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association published not less than five days or more than 40 days before the date of the meeting. The proposed amendment shall be adopted upon receiving at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by the total number of delegates accredited for voting.

 
Addition of New Physician in Practice to Board of Trustees
At the March 9, 2010, meeting of the Board of Trustees Executive Committee, the AOA president-elect requested that a position for a new physician in practice be added to the Board of Trustees. This requested change was approved by the Board of Trustees Executive Committee and sent to the Bureau of Constitution and Bylaws for consideration. This amendment affects only the constitution. No provisions in the AOA bylaws are impacted. 

CONSTITUTION

Article VIII—Board of Trustees and Executive Committee

Section 1—Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of this Association shall consist of the President, President-elect, the Past Presidents for the preceding two years, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Third Vice-President, and twenty-ONE other members, six of whom shall be elected annually by the House of Delegates to serve for three years, A NEW PHYSICIAN IN PRACTICE TO SERVE FOR ONE YEAR, an intern/resident member elected by the House of Delegates to serve for one year, and a student member elected by the House of Delegates to serve for one year. CANDIDATES FOR THE NEW PHYSICIAN IN PRACTICE POSITION SHALL BE OSTEOPATHIC PHYSICIANS WHO HAVE COMPLETED THEIR POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING WITHIN THE PAST FIVE YEARS OR RECEIVED THEIR DO DEGREE WITHIN THE PREVIOUS TEN YEARS AND SHALL BE NOMINATED BY THE COUNCIL OF NEW PHYSICIANS IN PRACTICE. Candidates for the intern/resident position shall be enrolled in an AOA-approved internship or residency or, if enrolled in an ACGME-approved residency, shall have applied for AOA approval of their ACGME-approved residency. Candidates for the intern/resident position shall be nominated by the Congress of Interns and Residents. Candidates for the student position shall be nominated, in alternating years, by the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA). The Board of Trustees shall be the administrative and executive body of the Association and perform such other duties as are provided by the Bylaws. All trustees, with the exception of the President, President-elect and the Past Presidents for the preceding two years, the aggregate terms of Office of Trustees shall be limited to twelve (12) years, with the exception that a trustee may complete the term in which twelve (12) years or more of service is completed. The intern/resident member shall be elected for a one-year term, but may be elected to serve an additional one-year term as the intern/resident member.

 
Membership Requirements for Osteopathic Physicians
Based on the fact that some AOA members received the degree title doctor of osteopathy and others received doctor of osteopathic medicine, the following stylistic changes are presented on the initiative of the Bureau of Constitution and Bylaws. 

CONSTITUTION

Article V—Membership

The membership of this Association shall consist of OSTEOPATHIC PHYSICIANS Doctors of Osteopathy and of such others as have met the requirements prescribed by the Bylaws of the American Osteopathic Association.

BYLAWS

Article II—Membership

Section 2—Membership Requirements d. Associate Member

By specific action of the Board of Trustees, or its Executive Committee, associate memberships may be granted to the following:

Graduates of accredited schools of medicine, dentistry or podiatry holding teaching, research or administrative positions in AOA-accredited healthcare facilities and colleges or who practice jointly with regular members of this association; Doctors of philosophy or education and other nondoctoral personnel holding teaching, research or administrative positions in AOA accredited healthcare facilities or colleges; administrative employees of this Association, affiliated organizations and divisional societies; and any other professionals as determined by the Board of Trustees, excepting doctors of osteopathy OSTEOPATHIC PHYSICIANS and students in COLLEGES OF osteopathic MEDICINE colleges.

Such associate members shall be required to pay dues and assessments as determined by these Bylaws. They shall receive a complimentary subscription to the Association's publications and shall be eligible for such benefits as are periodically established by the Board of Trustees.

Associate members shall not be eligible for membership in the House of Delegates or the Board of Trustees, or to hold any elective offices of this Association. Special listing in the AOA Yearbook and the Directory of the Osteopathic Profession shall be provided.

 
Composition of the House of Delegates
At its February 2010 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved recommendations from the Special Task Force on the House of Delegates Operations—specifically, the number of delegates allotted to divisional societies. The Bureau of Constitution and Bylaws was asked to propose amendments to the AOA's basic documents to implement these recommendations. To ensure consistency between the constitution and bylaws, amendments to the constitution and amendments to the bylaws on this issue will be presented to the House of Delegates in July 2010 for initial reading and will then be presented for action at the July 2011 House of Delegates. 

CONSTITUTION

Article VI—House of Delegates

The House of Delegates shall be the legislative body of the Association, shall exercise the delegated powers of the divisional societies in the affairs of this Association, and shall perform such other functions as are set forth in the Bylaws.

Section 1—Composition

The House of Delegates shall consist of delegates elected by the divisional societies and other authorized units, the elected officers and trustees of the Association and of such other members as may be provided for in the Bylaws. Each divisional society shall be entitled to one delegate and such additional delegates as follows:

FOR YEARS PRIOR TO AND INCLUDING 2011, EACH DIVISIONAL SOCIETY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO one additional delegate for each 100 regular members of this Association located in the state represented by that divisional society, provided that if there are 75 or more unrepresented regular members of this Association in the area of that divisional society, it shall be entitled to one additional delegate and. THE AGGREGATE NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL DELEGATES ALLOTTED TO DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES IN 2011 SHALL BECOME THE BASELINE NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL DELEGATES TO BE ALLOCATED AMONG THE DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES, SUBJECT TO REAPPORTIONMENT EVERY FIVE YEARS. ADDITIONAL DELEGATES BEYOND THE AUTOMATIC DELEGATE SHALL BE ALLOCATED AMONG DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES BASED ON THE PROPORTION OF MEMBERS OF THIS ASSOCIATION WHO ARE LOCATED IN THE STATE REPRESENTED BY THAT DIVISIONAL SOCIETY, WHICH SHALL BE CALCULATED BY USING A FORMULA THAT MULTIPLIES THE AGGREGATE NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL DELEGATES BY A FRACTION, THE NUMERATOR OF WHICH IS THE NUMBER OF PHYSICIAN MEMBERS OF THIS ASSOCIATION WHO ARE LOCATED IN THE STATE REPRESENTED BY THAT DIVISIONAL SOCIETY AND THE DENOMINATOR OF WHICH IS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PHYSICIAN MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION IN THE UNITED STATES. DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES SHALL ALSO BE AWARDED one additional delegate as a student council representative of each college of osteopathic medicine accredited by this Association and located in the state represented by that divisional society, such student delegate to be elected according to the Bylaws of the American Osteopathic Association. THE NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL DELEGATES AWARDED TO DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES SHALL BE REAPPORTIONED EVERY FIVE YEARS.

Section 2—Presiding Officer

The presiding officer of the House of Delegates shall be the Speaker and, in his absence or at his request, the Vice Speaker shall preside.

BYLAWS

Article V—House of Delegates

Section 1—Certification of Delegates and Alternates a. Divisional Societies

The Executive Director of this Association shall furnish to the secretary of each divisional society, 75 days before the first day of the annual meeting of the House of Delegates, a statement of the number of DELEGATES AND ALTERNATE DELEGATES TO WHICH IT IS ENTITLED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION ALONG WITH A STATEMENT OF THE NUMBER OF regular members of this Association located in the area represented by that divisional society or, in the case of the uniformed services divisional society, the number of regular members of this Association currently serving in the uniformed services of the United States AND THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REGULAR MEMBERS OF THIS ASSOCIATION.

Based on that statement, each divisional society shall select, in a manner prescribed by its Constitution and Bylaws, the number of delegates (and their alternates) to the House of Delegates of this Association to which it is entitled under the provisions of the Constitution of the American Osteopathic Association. Delegates and alternates must be regular or student members in good standing of this Association and of the divisional societies, which they represent. Delegates (and their alternates) shall serve during the annual meeting of the House of Delegates and during the interim between annual meetings or until their successors are elected. The secretary of each divisional society shall certify its delegates and alternates to the Executive Director of this Association in writing at least 30 days prior to the first day of the annual meeting of the House of Delegates.

In the event that any state, provincial or foreign osteopathic association does not become a chartered divisional society, the regular members of this Association in that jurisdiction, at a regularly called meeting, may elect or appoint one delegate (and alternate) as their representative in the House, and such delegate (and alternate) shall be accredited in the same manner and have the same privileges as those of a divisional society.