In 2020, we are uncoupling our House of Delegates from our annual Spring Refresher CME conference. The House of Delegates will be held June 13, 2020, at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. Our goal is to make the meeting more nimble and accessible, which is also why we moved it to a Saturday and will be offering the opportunity to participate remotely. These changes will also allow us to move the meeting around the state with more ease in future years.
CEO Maria Huntley, CAE, MAM, shares more ways we’ve been working to increase engagement and improve effectiveness of our House of Delegates.
My first year working with the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP), there was a lot of transition in the professional physician and health care organizational space challenging the effectiveness of the House of Delegates policy-making structure.
I heard about the challenges that organizations faced: lack of engagement, concern about accessibility, concern about timeliness and the desire for new ways to connect with members on issues of importance to them. There was also question about what actually happens with adopted resolutions after the House of Delegates adjourns.
MAFP Leadership decided that before we considered what the right platform is for our members to engage in policy, we wanted to look at our current House of Delegates process—make improvements and evaluate the effectiveness. Here’s what we’ve done so far.
Increased awareness and training opportunities
We have created more opportunities for our members, family medicine residents and medical students to learn about the importance of resolutions and how to write them, including opportunities for members to connect with other members who may want to collaborate on resolution writing.
- Launched Intro to Advocacy training event (includes hands-on training on resolution writing).
- Developed House of Delegates web pages, includes resolution writing resources and the status of past resolutions.
- Increased engagement at local chapter meetings across the state (which include chapter prep for House of Delegates).
- Created Advocating for Family Medicine, our advocacy blog to keep members up-to-date on issues that are important to them and their patients. See past House of Delegates posts: Resolutions Shape Policies, House of Delegates 2019 Recap.
Increased reporting and accountability
We want members to be informed about what happens AFTER the House of Delegates and have created an online resource to keep members updated on the actions taken on adopted resolutions. View Resolution Activity Reports.
Meaningful debate and engagement
We want the House of Delegates to be a space for meaningful debate and engagement for ALL our members.
We have created a House of Delegates app that allows delegates and members to have easy access to all submitted resolutions and reports before, during and after the meeting (the app will be available for the 2020 meeting for download in May).
In 2020, we are piloting new technology to allow delegates to actively participate remotely. The technology will also allow for resolutions to be reviewed and feedback to be provided to reference committees prior to the meeting.
We are inspired about the increased engagement with our House of Delegates over the past several years. That being said, we still are challenged with getting members from all geographic locations to show up and engage. We are committed to continue our training, outreach and the opportunity to leverage technology to allow more members to be part of the conversation and decision making.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Post author: Maria Huntley, CAE, MAM, chief executive officer, @mariahuntley1