How Members Engage with MMA: Out with the Old

    Post date: Monday, Nov 12, 2018
    By Janet Silversmith

    On September 22, 2018, the MMA House of Delegates (HOD) held its final meeting. After more than five years of study, debate, and gradual adoption of alternative models of governance and member engagement, the HOD agreed the old model had run its course.

    This is a significant decision. The HOD has been around nearly as long as the MMA itself and is a model of representative governance that has been used by many other medical organizations, including the AMA. Yet the challenges the MMA HOD experienced – such as declining attendance; attendees who increasingly did not reflect the demographics of MMA membership; and, complex and intimidating procedural rules – are consistent with the challenges many other state medical associations face. The MMA is not the first state to sunset its HOD; we join at least 11 other states that have eliminated their HODs.

    To most MMA members the demise of the HOD is arguably a non-issue. Most MMA members never attended an HOD meeting and its significance to them is far less important than how effectively the MMA can accomplish work on their behalf and the patients they serve. The work the MMA addresses on behalf of Minnesota physicians must – to the greatest extent possible – reflect the priorities and perspectives of Minnesota physicians.

    The MMA is committed to listening to and capturing physician input. Our dominant means of doing that today are varied – through member surveys, committees/task forces, policy forums and other events, through your submitted issues and/or feedback, through your election of MMA leadership, and through the decisions made by the MMA Board of Trustees.  But there is more that we can and plan to do, including leveraging technology to make it even easier for you to connect with your medical association.

    I can assure you that the MMA does not take lightly the decision to sunset the House of Delegates. Moving forward, it is up to us to continue to evolve and explore additional ways of listening and keeping you informed about our shared goals of making Minnesotans the healthiest in the nation and Minnesota the best place to practice medicine. And it all starts with your membership and support – thank you.

    Silversmith is the MMA’s CEO.
Current rating: 1 (1 ratings)
Susan Jenkins, MD
I read this post with interest. I left the MMA more than 10 years ago after attending several annual meetings and watching motions that were passed at the meeting just be ignored by the powers during the next year. Then we'd raise them again -- and be ignored again. Like previous commenters, I found it more effective to work through my professional society.
12/7/2018 2:19:12 PM
john larsen
as a former speaker of the house i find this dispiriting. times change and most specialist like myself find representation through our specialty societies. at onetime the house brought together a cross-section of mn drs that was valuble. i hope new lines of communication for all mn. drs can be found,
11/29/2018 8:55:27 PM
Jeff Taber
While I cannot comment on the HOD with first hand knowledge / experience, I've never truly had a confidence in our HOD system's ability to credibly / accurately represent the whole. I may be wrong in my personal assessment, but I would be very open to a system created to more completely and equitably canvass, hear from, and represent our entire state wide membership. I am personally interested in a new system of representation and decision making which provides rural MN physicians with an increase in presence at the decision making table. I believe this will require an improved system of state wide representation & voting equity.
very Respectfully
11/16/2018 9:57:55 AM
Patrick Zook, MD
Thanks Janet for this concise and clear statement. I hope that MMA will continue with an Annual Meeting of some kind each September (our traditional time), but consider adding certified CME presentations on timely medical issues that affect all physicians in one way or another - like dementia, its etiology, risk assessment, prevention strategies, management and newest research findings. Although I like an occasional "administrative/social/relationship"-type of presentation, I felt that the medical audience would have preferred less of this type of presentation and more hard-core medical-topic CME presentations at our last Annual Meeting in September. I would be happy to work on content for such a meeting if desired. We in St. Cloud continue to work on improving access to quality dementia care for the past three years in collaboration with Central MN Council on Aging and over 80 dementia professionals.


Pat Zook, MD
11/16/2018 9:45:09 AM
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