Members of the House of Delegates:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we develop a plan for the Annual Meeting of the Medical Society.  As the Covid-19 situation continues to unfold we know that cancelling the in-person meeting of our HOD was the right decision.

Leadership and staff have discussed at length various ways in which we can approach the business of the House of Delegates.  Our goal is keep things moving as best we can, understanding that there may be limitations to some of the resources at our disposal.  In addition to the restrictions on travel and social contacts, some have experienced marked slowdowns of internet speed, cell phone disruptions, etc.  In order to protect the health and well-being of MSSNY staff, most will be working from home as of Friday– at least for the next two weeks, and possibly longer.

Over 100 Resolutions have been submitted as of the date of this communication.  We have allocated them to the various reference committees and are planning to have them posted on the MSSNY website today.  Here are some changes to procedure which you need to know:

All resolutions are referred to a reference committee
.  While this may seem like a redundant statement, it is not.  We have decided that there will be no reaffirmation consent calendar as you know it and as it usually is referred to the Rules and Credentials Committee.  Any resolutions deemed to qualify as reaffirmation of existing policy will be reported as such in the reference committee reports.  Additionally, Late resolutions will not be referred to the Rules Committee, but will be referred to the appropriate reference committee and considered along with the normal business of the ref com.  We felt this makes for a more efficient system.  Everything is passing through the appropriate reference committee for consideration.

I
n addition, because of the extraordinary circumstances we all currently are working under, we have agreed that “late” resolutions can be accepted until April 1.  Those resolutions (and all resolutions received after 5 PM, March 11) will have a “LATE” designation to differentiate them from the on-time submissions.  ONLY CREDENTIALED DELEGATES may submit resolutions, late or not.

At this time, we ask that you go to the MSSNY website, 
www.mssny.org/HOD.  You will find the resolutions which have been submitted as of this date.  They are sorted into the reference committees by which they are to be addressed. You will need your MSSNY ID and password to access the resolutions since they are in Members ONLY area of the website.

We ask that you read through the resolutions.  You should see them as blue “hot links.”  By clicking on that link, you will be able to read the resolution in its entirety.  We urge all HOD Delegates 
and MSSNY members to provide their feedback on each resolution.  There is a dedicated email address to which your comments can be sent.

At this time,
 providing comments by email is the only means by which we will be accepting resolution testimony.  There will be no reference committee hearings, either in person and or by “virtual” means. 

Our logic about this process was this:  

~EVERYONE right now is focused on patient care, dealing with the pandemic and trying to do everything to keep the infection rate in check.

Our physicians have extraordinary demands on their time and attention right now.  We felt limiting resolution testimony to only online/email allows everyone to give whatever time they can, 
at their convenience, to HOD business.  

~Online testimony does not have to be accomplished at one sitting.  Anyone wishing to, can return to the webpages over and over until they have had their say.

~As more and more companies and organizations ask their employees to work from home, and school children and college students are attending classes remotely, internet capability will become strained.  Bandwidth in certain rural parts of the State could become problematic – thus potentially restricting our physicians’ ability to comment on resolutions. We are hopeful that physicians can find a time when others are not straining the internet.

~All members of the Medical Society are permitted by MSSNY Bylaws to participate at reference committee hearings.  In our “normal” course of business not many non-delegate physicians were able to physically attend reference committee hearings to provide their feedback.  We are hopeful that this option will provide an opportunity to other members of MSSNY to give us their thoughts on these issues.

Resolutions are posted and ready to be commented upon.  
We also ask that comments be posted by 5 PM on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8.  

If you wish to comment on a resolution – 
and you are encouraged to do so – please follow these steps: 

Use the dedicated email address provided for that specific reference committee.  That address will appear at the top of the reference committee section and will be a blue hotlink that immediately opens a blank email.  If it does not open a blank email, copy and paste the address into one you have opened using your browser.
House Committee on Bylaws - BylawsComments@mssny.org
Governmental Affairs and Legal Matters – A - GovAffairsAComm@mssny.org
Governmental Affairs and Legal Matters – B - GovAffairsRefCommB@mssny.org
Public Health and Education - publichealth@mssny.org
Reports of Officers and  Administrative Matters - ReptsofOfficersRefComm@mssny.org
Socio-Medical Economics - 
SMERC@mssny.org

Put the number of the resolution in the subject line of your email
.  This will ensure that the reference committee knows to which resolution your comments pertain.

Include your name in the body of the email.  While your email address will be apparent on the received end of the transmission, that does not always reflect your full name.

On April 9, MSSNY staff will commence the process of distilling comments, providing facts and important information for their reference committee members and essentially start drafting the reference committee report.  A meeting will be set up with the respective reference committee team and the Speakers to discuss the resolutions, the recommendations in the draft report and come to a consensus on those recommendations.  The report will be edited as directed by the ref com team with staff input.  Once accomplished the completed reference committee report will be posted to the MSSNY website – just as past procedure has been.

While we are hoping that the completed ref com reports will be posted by April 24, we can provide no guarantees in the current climate/situation.  As the process develops and leadership and staff have a better feel for how this procedure is progressing, we will contact you to describe the next steps. 

We are acutely sensitive to the time that all of you and especially reference committee members may be able to devote to this process.  We may need to adjust the timeframe as we move into April and can assess the influence the pandemic crisis continues to have on our physicians, patients and the work of the HOD.  
Our most ambitious plan would be to conduct a virtual House of Delegates on Saturday, April 25. Whether this is something we can achieve remains a big question, but we are working on it.

Thank you – good health and safety to you and your family.  We will continue to provide updates as the HOD develops

Click here for resolutions and reports


Please forward your comments to:  HODComments@mssny.org

William R. Latreille, MD                                          Maria Basile, MD
Speaker                                                                     Vice Speaker

Arthur C. Fougner, MD                                           Bonnie Litvack, MD
President                                                                   President Elect

Philip A. Schuh, CPA
Executive Vice President