Much has changed in NY since NYSSPA was founded. The 2018-2019 NYSSPA Board has put in place many initiatives to ensure that the organization thrives into the future. The amendments to the NYSSPA Bylaws encompass the overall competitive landscape that PAs practice in and the survival of AAPA Constituent Organizations of which NYSSPA is one. Competing demands on a volunteer’s time have also changed and volunteer leader concerns need to be addressed. As a Board that represents our membership, it was imperative that the Board act. In July 2018 the Board began a deliberative process of updating NYSSPA's Bylaws. Some of the reasons were:
NY has 23, soon to be 25 PA Programs
NY has more than 14,000 licensed PAs
There are health systems in NYS which employ anywhere from 400 to 1,500 PAs
The language in the Bylaws was not aligned with AAPA Parliamentary language
The language in our Bylaws was not inclusive of all populations
Members were not supportive of a four-year Secretary position
The volunteer pipeline was reduced as many said they would run for Secretary but did not want to serve as President.
Other members questioned how this was advantageous to the organization as the skills necessary for Secretary are very different than that of a President and vice versa.
The Governance Committee executed their charge to update the Bylaws and the Board, upon establishing quorum, unanimously approved them. A vote by members taken subsequent to Board approval of the Bylaws reflected that 96% of members were in support of the Bylaws change, a resounding endorsement of the Board's action.
Highlights of the updated Bylaws are as follows:
NYSSPA will now have eight districts instead of five. Volunteer District Directors will have smaller geographic regions and the ability to better engage with PAs, PA students and PA programs in their districts. The five retired districts were reflected by letter of the alphabet. The eight new districts will reflect the regions of NYS whose counties are in that district. Each region will have a vote on the NYSSPA Board via their District Director. The new districts are:
Catskills/Lower Hudson Valley District
Central NY (Greater Syracuse) District
Finger Lakes (Greater Rochester District)
Long Island District
Western NY District
Members voting for a Secretary will only be voting for a Secretary, not a Secretary who would automatically proceed into President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President positions. This will allow more members to declare for office based on their interests/skills.
On behalf of the Board and Committee Chairs, I thank you for your ongoing support of NYSSPA. Your membership and membership support of every PA in NYS is vital to our ongoing success.