Districts and Delegates and Directors, Oh My!

Districts and Delegates and Directors, Oh My!

As each year ends and another begins, January brings us many new things. The NFL playoffs, having to remember to write a different year when you date checks (for those of us that still do that), and Election Season! I’m not talking about the nasty and deceiving commercials that are already starting to assault us on TV and other media. I’m talking about the selection of our leaders throughout POMA.

POMA governance is set up as a checks and balance system with three main areas: the House of Delegates, the Board of Trustees (or Directors), and the Districts. The structure is designed for the different groups to work together for the betterment of POMA and our members. The House of Delegates is the ultimate governing body of POMA that meets at least once a year and is made up of members selected by their districts. Just like the US House of Representatives, the number of delegates each district sends to the House is determined by the DO population of the district. Similarly, like the US Senate, each district sends one trustee to the Board of Trustees, although our current bylaws also call for an additional seven at-large trustees on the Board selected from the entire state membership and not specific to a district. This group meets at least four times a year and because of its considerably smaller size can act more quickly to make policy and other decisions for POMA that will later be presented to the House (hopefully) for endorsement. Finally, districts act as smaller autonomous units of POMA representing the smaller regions of the state that POMA is divided into. Some functions of districts are conducted on their own authority such as elections for officers and representatives to the two aforementioned bodies, while other functions require approval of one of the other bodies such as spending money on events for the district. This system makes sure that POMA is always working for the good of its members and that your valuable membership dues are being used appropriately for that purpose.

Elections in POMA are held on an annual basis, although not all positions are elected annually. District officers are elected biannually in odd-numbered years, as are trustees from the districts. However, at-large trustee positions are selected biannually on even-numbered years, and delegates are elected annually. And as I said, election season is upon us.

If you are reading this, you belong to a district in POMA. If you are not sure of which district you belong to or who your representation is click here. That means that your district will be selecting delegates to represent you at the House between now and the end of March, in preparation for the convening of the House of Delegates in early May. This is your chance to decide who will represent you at the state level, or perhaps you would like to be selected to represent your district. Based on the way the House of Delegates convenes, this would be a commitment of two meetings during the 116th Annual Clinical Assembly (click here to register!) to be held at Kalahari Resorts in Pocono Manor, PA, from May 1-4, 2024. At-large trustees to the Board will be selected by the delegates during this House meeting. If you are interested in serving as a delegate or an at-large trustee, talk to your district leadership or email us to show your interest so someone can contact you.

Although we may not be electing district officers and trustees until next year, it’s never too early to start thinking about who will represent you in these positions. We have many wonderful current officers and trustees and typically they are eligible for re-election, but this should never be taken as a given. For example, trustee positions have term limits, or sometimes a leader feels they have served their organization well and it is time to pass the torch. Whatever the reason, all of these positions will be up for election in 2025, and we all know how quickly a year goes by!

All that being said, the Governance Review Task Force, commissioned in 2023, is currently evaluating our governance structure and because POMA is a member driven organization, we want your opinion. This is not being done with the intent to change anything above, but to ensure that we are governing POMA in the most efficient and effective way. As the chair of this task force, I would love to hear your ideas which you can submit here.

Whether you are interested in helping to lead POMA through one of the positions above, answering the Call for Volunteers from President-elect William Swallow, DO, or letting us know how we are doing for you, we need your participation to keep POMA moving FORWARD, TOGETHER!

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