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How to Write a Resolution

As a WSMA member, you can help guide the direction of the association and raise awareness of issues of importance to the practice of medicine in Washington by authoring a resolution. A resolution is a proposal asking the WSMA to take a position or act on an issue. Resolutions, which are key policy drivers for the association, are considered for adoption at the annual meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates each fall.

First steps

If you have an idea for a policy that you’d like the House of Delegates to adopt, take a moment and consult the WSMA Policy Compendium, to make sure the subject isn’t already addressed in current WSMA policy. Alternately, you may seek to modify existing WSMA policy.

For help developing your proposal, check out the WSMA online forum where you can post a topic for discussion with other members. Tapping the expertise of your colleagues can help you hone your proposal and increase its chances for adoption. The forum is password-protected and available year-round.

Requirements for submitting your resolution

Once you’ve decided on a proposal, you must:

  1. Organize your proposal into the required resolution format. For details on how to format your proposal using the five basic elements of a resolution, review our detailed instructions.
  2. Identify a sponsor for your resolution. Resolutions must be sponsored by a WSMA delegate, alternate delegate or member of the board of trustees. If you are interested in authoring a resolution but are not a delegate or board member, the WSMA will work with you to develop your resolution idea and find a sponsor. Contact us at hod@wsma.org or 206.441.9762 for assistance.
  3. Submit your resolution to the WSMA for review at hod@wsma.org. WSMA staff will review the resolution for any legal or legislative concern and will work with you to establish a fiscal note (the cost, if any, to implement the resolution if adopted). Your resolution may be submitted at any time during the year; however, if you’d like your resolution to be considered at the 2018 WSMA Annual Meeting, be sure to meet the deadlines for resolution submission.

Submission complete—what’s next?

Once your resolution has been reviewed by WSMA staff, it will be posted online in our virtual reference committees to give other WSMA members a chance to review and discuss the merits of your proposal prior to the annual meeting. During the meeting, in-person reference committees allow members an additional opportunity to offer input on proposed policies.

Reference committee members will consider all testimony, online and in person, as they prepare their reports that contain recommendations for delegates on how to act on resolutions. These reports are distributed during the final House of Delegates session at the annual meeting prior to voting.

The 2018 WSMA Annual Meeting

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the WSMA House of Delegates will take place Saturday, Oct. 13, and Sunday, Oct. 14 in Spokane at the Historic Davenport Hotel. Free for WSMA members, the meeting is not only your chance to help set the agenda of your state medical association, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your colleagues and peers from throughout the state.

If you have never attended a WSMA annual meeting, learn more about the how, when, where and why of our premiere policy-making event.

How to Format a Resolution

Before authoring a resolution, please research existing WSMA policy by reviewing the WSMA Policy Compendium. Current policy may already address the issue in question, negating the need for a resolution. Alternately, the author may wish to modify the resolution entirely or may seek to modify existing WSMA policy.

A resolution typically consists of a series of “Whereas clauses” which serve to explain the reason for the resolution, and one or more “Resolved clauses” which state the specific action proposed.

Whereas clauses should carry a message and develop a set of statements that requires a solution. Collect relevant facts to form the basis for the Whereas statements in the resolution. Include only a few of these facts as their purpose is to outline a problem, not to provide an exhaustive discussion. Statements of fact in Whereas clauses should be cited with references.

Resolved clauses should address what the WSMA should do or what position the WSMA should take on the identified topic. If adopted by the House, the resolution may become the foundation of a new WSMA program or policy. The Resolved clauses must make sense as standalone statements—if a resolution is adopted by the House, only the Resolved clauses become WSMA policy; the Whereas clauses do not.

How should I format a resolution?

A resolution should include five basic elements:

  1. A title, concisely reflecting the action for which it calls
  2. An author (see “Who can introduce a resolution” below)
  3. Whereas clauses
  4. Resolved clauses. Each Resolved clause in a resolution must be followed by one of the following notations indicating its purpose:
    • New HOD policy
    • Modify current HOD policy
    • Modify bylaws
    • Rescind HOD policy
    • Reaffirm HOD policy
    • Directive to take action
  5. A fiscal note. The fiscal note will be determined by WSMA staff in consultation with the resolution author.

Can I get help? 

WSMA staff are here to help you develop your resolution idea. If you have questions or need assistance, help is just an email or phone call away at hod@wsma.org or 206.441.9762.

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