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2016 Bylaws Amendments: The Nitty Gritty

Ellen Brassil, Chair, AHIP, MLA Bylaws Committee, and Chris Shaffer, AHIP, Board Liaison, MLA Bylaws Committee

You’ve probably been hearing that members will consider changes to MLA’s Bylaws and Special Rules of Order later this year. How did we get here?  

Last year, MLA leaders began reviewing the association’s governance structure to identify strategies that will speed decision making and the establishment of new and enhanced member benefits. The Board of Directors quickly realized that changing member benefits can take up to eighteen months—the time it takes to implement bylaws changes from start to finish. At the MLA Board’s direction, the Bylaws Committee has proposed modifications to the MLA Bylaws and Special Rules of Order to help ensure our governance can effectively serve the rapidly changing needs of members and customers.

The blog article by Sandra G. Franklin, AHIP, Revitalizing Institutional Memberships, highlights one area where member value could be enhanced, but implementation would be slow because of our current bylaws. We have identified several other areas of change that will make MLA more nimble and responsive to member needs and benefits. 

So what happens next?

  • We want you to look at the proposed amendments. Fair warning: they are long. Read the executive summary (the first two pages) for a quick overview. Visit the bylaws landing page for links to all bylaws-related information in one place. An official announcement of proposed amendments to the MLA Bylaws and Special Rules of Order was published in the February MLA News.
  • Ask us questions and let us know your thoughts. We’ve set up a new forum for bylaws discussion to collect all the feedback from members on these important changes.
  • Between February and June, the Bylaws Committee will post several new threads on the bylaws forum asking for your feedback on specific areas of the changes. You can also watch this blog and MLA-FOCUS for more information on how the process is progressing.
  • On May 17, 2016, those present at the MLA business meeting during Mosaic ’16 in Toronto will discuss the changes and vote on whether to pass the bylaws amendments on to the full membership.
  • During summer 2016, ballots will be distributed for full member vote on bylaws changes, and if approved, the new bylaws will become effective January 1, 2017. 

The bylaws support MLA’s governance and mission. They may not be changed without prior notice and without discussion and vote by you, MLA's members. We encourage you to post your thoughts on the bylaws forum, learn, discuss, and most importantly, vote. Your voice counts!

For more information, contact Ellen Brassil, AHIP, chair, 413.794.1866, or Chris Shaffer, AHIP, board liaison, 503.494.6057, MLA Bylaws Committee. 

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