#APHA2015 Governing Council Report

The following summary of the Governing Council session at this year’s Annual Meeting in Chicago was compiled by Carol Dabbs, the Section’s Whip for this year. We look forward to next year’s summary by Governing Counselor and 2016 Whip Caroline Kingori.

Seven members of the IH Section represent us on the APHA Governing Council (GC); the number of representatives is based on the number of primary members in the section. State affiliates and the other sections also are represented on the GC. Each year, we meet on Saturday afternoon and again all day on Tuesday. Many items are introduced during the Saturday session, with votes being taken on Tuesday. This provides an opportunity for GC members share the status of the agenda and options to be decided with the rest of the section during the Sunday afternoon and Monday morning IH Section meetings.

GC conducts the basic business of the Association, including setting bylaws; electing the President, Executive Board members, and Nominating Committee members; and approving APHA Policies. Because of the importance of these matters to the Association, serving as a GC member is rewarding for those who have patience with large meetings following strict parliamentary procedure. We also receive reports from the Executive Director, the Executive Board, and many APHA-wide Committees.

This year’s agenda was fairly typical. The following decisions were taken by the GC this year:

  • As discussed on our conference call in June, we approved revisions to the SPIG policy, which allow new SPIGS to have sufficient time to identify those who would join the SPIG if formed, and also a new policy regarding sections which details the process for a SPIG to become a section.
  • The Program Emphasis for the 2017 Annual Meeting will be Climate Change. Further refinement of the exact wording will be done in a smaller body. (Wordsmithing in a group of over 200 is not considered a good use of time!)
  • The proposed dues increase of 10% for each category, rounded to the nearest $5 was approved by a majority of 68%.
  • Bylaws changes to increase student representation on GC, and to improve wording concerning the editor of the AJPH and women’s issues were approved.
  • Proposals for archiving of older policies were approved, except for those relating to civil rights, which were instead approved to be reviewed for updating during the next year. Such updated policy proposals would be considered at the 2016 Annual Meeting.
  • Fifteen policy proposals were approved as part of a consent agenda recommended by the Joint Policy Committee. Two proposals were removed from the consent agenda at the request of GC members, for discussion during this meeting along with the two late breaking proposals. These were as follow:
    • B8: Cancer Prevention. The Joint Policy Committee (JPC) advised against passage of this policy for several reasons; it failed by a wide margin.
    • D4: Role of Health Educators. Amendments were offered and passed regarding the definition of Clinical Social Workers (CHW) and the relationships between Health Educators and CHW. The policy passed as amended.
    • LB1: Leveraging Community Development Investments to Improve Health. This passed with 96% of the vote.
    • LB2: Negative HIV Test as a Condition of Employment for Foreign Nationals. This proposed policy, developed by our own Jessica Keralis, passed with 95% of the vote. As with all approved late breaking policy statements, it will be considered (possibly in amended or refined form) for approval as a permanent policy at next year’s Annual Meeting.
  • The president-elect is Thomas Quade.
  • Elena Ong, Benjamin Hernandez, and Marc Guest were elected to Executive Board. The new chair will be Lynn Bethune.

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