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.


I would like to announce my candidacy for Vice President next year. How do I do this?

First, obtain the endorsement of your sponsoring county/specialty/section. Then, complete this quick form. All endorsed candidates will be shown on the screen at the conclusion of this year’s HOD.


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.


If I am serving in two roles (for example, I am an Ex Officio and an alternate delegate) do I have to register twice?
No. The registration is for the virtual platform that will be used to conduct the HOD meeting on October 24th. One thing to note, though, is the way in which you register will affect your ability to vote. In this example, some Ex Officio members have voting privileges. Alternate delegates do not have voting privileges. The member would want to register as a voting Ex Officio.





What exactly counts as having “qualified” for appropriate training (per attestation)?
All delegates, alternate delegates, and voting members of the HOD must:

  • View or attend live at least one of the HOD training webinars being offered. If you miss the live presentations, please access the recorded versions which will be made available at www.pamedsoc.org/HOD.
  • Review the HOD website frequently for updated instructions and FAQs (www.pamedsoc.org/hod).
  • Be familiar with the proposed Bylaws amendments, proposed resolutions, and the reference committee reports that will be decided by the voting members of the HOD.
  • Test your laptop or PC for Zoom functionality and features before Oct. 16. During the HOD, please use a laptop or PC with a current Zoom platform downloaded. (Tablets, iPads, and smartphones may not be able to fully display the Zoom voting and other features).
  • Seek additional training before Oct 16th if the HOD website and Webinars do not provide sufficient information for you to attest your ability to participate. There will not be any training capabilities on Oct 24th during the meeting.


When will the Reference Committee reports be available?
They will be posted to the website by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 19.


How do I submit a resolution at this time?
Late resolutions are not permitted. Although previous live HOD meetings sometimes allowed consideration of additional urgent resolutions submitted less than sixty (60) days prior to a meeting with valid reasons for lateness, this 2020 remote format does not have the ability to receive advance testimony for late resolutions. 

PAMED members can always bring issues that severely impact our Pennsylvania physicians through the PAMED Knowledge Center at any time during the year.


How do I extract an item from the Standing and Reference Committee consent calendars presented during the virtual HOD?
You may extract an item by using the Q and A function of the platform to make a motion to extract. You must provide a rationale for the extraction and include identifying information (resolution name/number, Bylaws amendment subject name/number, etc.) for the proposal you wish to extract.

For more information on these and other parliamentary procedures, please refer to the Parliamentary Procedures Quick Reference Guide posted under the "Informational Reports" tab of the HOD website.


How do I make a motion?
To make a motion, you will use the Q&A function of the virtual platform. The Speakers will be continuously monitoring Q&As and responding.  If necessary, the Speaker may verbally recognize you to provide further information or clarification. At that time we will request that you unmute your microphone.


How do I give live testimony during the meeting?
Given the limitations of moving the HOD meeting to a virtual platform for the first time, there is no plan to include live testimony during the House of Delegates meeting. 


How do I raise a Point (of Order or Inquiry or Privilege)?
To raise a point of order or privilege, please first click on the “raise hand” function. Then, you will use the Q&A function of the virtual platform and provide an accompanying rationale or explanation for the extraction and include any other information identifying the item of concern. Once the Speaker of the House of Delegates recognizes you, you will be provided the ability to verbally raise the point of order or privilege. At that time we will request that you unmute your microphone.


If a runoff is necessary for the elections that are happening on October 24, when will that occur?
Please remain available for elections and any necessary runoffs throughout the afternoon and evening on Oct. 24 until adjournment. (Elections can be carried out by smartphone, tablet, PC, or laptop.) Additionally, please reserve Sunday morning, October 25 at 9:00 a.m. for a possible final runoff election (only if absolutely necessary). 


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 must be done by 5:00 pm on Fri., October 16 to be eligible for seating and voting in the 2020 HOD.