In light of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to cancel the face-to-face meeting of the 2020 House of Delegates in Hershey. Plans for an alternative remote meeting format are underway for the same weekend of October 24-25, 2020.  This site remains the most comprehensive resource for details about those plans and other important information about this year’s HOD.
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Frequently Asked Questions
 
Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Virtual 2020 House of Delegates


When will the virtual HOD take place?
Members serving as delegates to the House should plan to login before 9:00 am on Sat., October 24 to connect to our Zoom-like platform. Although this platform may be accessible through some smart phones and tablets (with possible decreased function), continuous computer internet connectivity for the Saturday morning session is preferred.

While we plan for the main HOD business to conclude by noon, that will depend on the agenda progress. Delegates should then be available by their email and/or cell numbers for brief remote election sessions (either by computer or smart phone) for any necessary run-offs through Saturday evening and Sunday morning. (See below details for the Election Buddy voting process).


How were resolutions submitted this year? 
The same online portal was used to submit resolutions this year as in prior years. The portal opened on Feb. 15 and deadlines were published for submitting timely resolutions with and without administrative review and guidance (July 26 and Aug. 25, respectively).

Although our previous live meetings sometimes allowed considerations for additional “late resolutions” with valid reasons for lateness after the stated deadlines, the remote format of this year’s meeting does not have the capability for advance testimony on late topics. However, one of your member benefits is that you may contact the Knowledge Center (KnowledgeCenter@pamedsoc.org)  at any time with issues that impact Pennsylvania physicians and their patients and you will be directed to the appropriate resources.

Emergency issues that warrant urgent input by this year’s House of Delegates shall be referred to the Speakers to determine appropriateness for consideration with a required supermajority vote of the House. These issues are historically extremely rare. Since they are likely to be highly disruptive to House proceedings, they are typically related to sudden unanticipated—and possibly catastrophic—state or national events.


How will I testify on resolutions that are important to me?
Beginning on Mon., September 14, you will be able to access the resolutions and background information at www.pamedsoc.org/HOD. There, members will need to identify if they are speaking for or against a resolution and may enter their thoughts after logging in. These written thoughts will serve as official testimony and will be considered by the members of the Special 2020 HOD Reference Committee in producing their report. The online comment period will close on Wednesday, October 7 at 5:00 pm.


I understand there is only one reference committee studying the resolutions this year, as opposed to four in years
past (in addition to the Bylaws Committee). Can you explain how this will work
?
With the unusual circumstances and challenges facing our physicians, the Speakers requested that 2020 resolutions focus on the urgent issues impacting Pennsylvania practices and patients this year where PAMED advocacy is needed most. This remote meeting format cannot duplicate the wide topics and debate that our live HOD accommodates. The Special 2020 HOD Reference Committee was formed to study these focused resolutions, consider the virtual testimony by members, and formulate recommendations for the House to consider.

At the HOD session on Sat., October 24, the Reference Committee will present its recommendations in the form of a consent calendar (please note that the recommendations will also be posted at www.pamedsoc.org/HOD on October 19). Delegates will have the opportunity to extract items from the Consent Calendar provided the extractions are accompanied by a written reason for the extraction.  Delegates can then vote to REFER an item for further study or action or ADOPT/NOT ADOPT the item. House actions will occur via the same online Zoom-like voting platform being used for the House proceedings. This remote meeting platform cannot accommodate the debate required to amend the language of a resolution “on the floor” at an in-person meeting. Therefore, delegates are strongly encouraged to submit written testimony that fully and accurately reflects their concerns for prior consideration by the Reference Committee.


How will nominations and elections work this year for the remote 2020 HOD? How will candidate backgrounds and information be shared with delegates?
As outlined in previous communications and on the HOD page of the website, the deadline to submit nominees for PAMED elected offices to be included in the 2020 Official Call was July 26. In addition to being listed in the Official Call, these candidates will appear in the comprehensive online Election Manual at its first publication on Sept. 22.


How will nominations “from the floor” happen in the remote HOD?
Since this remote meeting lacks a physical floor from which “floor nominations” can be made, any nominations which were not made in time to be included in the Official Call still need to be made in advance of the opening of the House to ensure receipt of all requested candidate documents and to allow time for voting delegates to review the candidates’ qualifications for office. The names of candidates being nominated from the floor must be submitted via email to Ellen Yasinski at eyasinski@pamedsoc.org before the deadline of Fri., October 16 at 5:00 pm. Nominations must come from a delegate in the county, specialty, or section where the candidate seeks office. You will receive confirmation of receipt of your nomination within one business day.

Upon confirmation of your nomination submission, qualified candidates will be provided with a template for completing the required Candidate Biographical Sketch. They will be required to obtain an appropriate endorsement letter from their nominating county, specialty, or section, and will be asked to complete a Conflict of Interest statement. Candidates have the option to submit a video speech/recorded statement, but those requiring technical assistance with their videos must schedule an appointment with Jeff Wirick (jwirick@pamedsoc.org) by Thurs., October 1 at 5:00 pm. Those not requiring assistance or anyone who does not meet the Oct. 1 deadline may upload their video to the following Dropbox link: https://bit.ly/33Lp9an.



The deadline for receipt of ALL required candidate information is 5:00 pm on Mon., October 19 to be included on the 2020 HOD Ballot. 


How will the election process work remotely?
The voting process is identical this year to what has been done for the past couple of years at the HOD. Delegates will again use the secure Election Buddy voting software to place their votes for elected offices following recess of the House of Delegates on Saturday afternoon, October 24. Election Buddy will notify eligible voting delegates of the opening and closing of the polling period. If a run-off election is required, this will be announced through the Delegate’s preferred text and/or email contact method with instructions regarding how to vote. Depending on the candidates, positions, and results, multiple election run-off sessions could be required into Saturday night and Sunday morning before final adjournment of the HOD. Delegates should be available by their preferred contact email and/or cell number for voting notification updates throughout Saturday afternoon and evening. 


How will the PAMED sections determine their leadership for the coming year?
While the sections cannot meet in person, the section election process is live now and can be found on each of the sections’ pages at www.pamedsoc.org/HOD. Click on the PAMED Family drop-down box, then select the section of your interest. The deadline to complete the form and upload your video to run for an elected section office is September 14.


Where can I find the list of Delegates and Alternates for this remote HOD?
Delegate names submitted before the Aug. 16 deadline will be included under the HOD Informational Reports/ORB tab of the website (www.pamedsoc.org/HOD).



The deadline for receipt of Any requests for exceptions, additions, or changes to previously submitted delegate and alternate lists must be submitted in writing by Thurs., October 1 at 5:00 pm and subsequently approved by the Rules & Credentials Committee.


Credentialed delegates and alternates will receive targeted communications about IT platform training. The training must be completed prior to the HOD to assure proper functioning and a smooth flow of House business to avoid disruptions due to technology. The training—and an attestation of completion—must be done by 5:00 pm on Fri., October 16 to be eligible for seating and voting in the 2020 HOD.