By becoming a member of the WSMA, you not only have the security of knowing you have a strong advocate looking out for you and your patients’ interests, but you also have an opportunity to get involved in our various initiatives and governance.
Below is a list of WSMA’s governing bodies, standing committees, councils, work groups, and task forces. To learn more and find out how you can get involved, contact the staff member listed.
The House of Delegates sets policy for the WSMA. The House is composed of members who represent, and are designated by, their respective county society and specialty society sections, as well as representatives of WSMA’s special sections and members of the WSMA board of trustees. The House meets annually in October. If you want to serve as a delegate representing your specialty or county, please contact your local county society or state specialty society.
Staff: Shannon Bozarth
The board of trustees carries out the mandates and policies of the WSMA as determined by the House of Delegates. On a more informal basis, the board serves as a representative group of physicians elected by the House to provide guidance and feedback to the WSMA executive committee.
The board comprises: The officers of the executive committee
(president, president-elect, immediate past president, 1st vice
president, 2nd vice president, and secretary-treasurer), the speaker
and vice speaker of the House, finance committee chair, trustees (21
total), young physician trustee, resident trustee, student trustee,
four AMA delegates, and four AMA alternate delegates. The WSMA president
serves as chair of the board.
The board meets approximately four times per year. Applicants to the board are submitted to the WSMA nominating committee, which prepares the slate of candidates for the House of Delegates to act upon.
The executive committee carries out the mandates and policies of the WSMA as determined by the board of trustees and the House of Delegates. The executive committee supervises and directs the executive director/CEO and has the power to exercise all powers of the board in the management of WSMA’s affairs and business, except when the board is in session.
Officers of the executive committee include the president,
president-elect, immediate past president (who serves as its chair),
1st vice president, 2nd vice president, and secretary-treasurer.
Staff: Jennifer Hanscom
The finance committee supervises the funds, investments and
expenditures of the association, together with the board. The finance
committee is composed of five members, three of whom are elected by the
House of Delegates to serve a three-year term, plus the
secretary-treasurer from the
executive committee. The finance committee annually designates one of
its three elected members to serve as chair, and the chair also serves
as a voting member of the board of trustees.
Staff: Amy Fredericks
The nominating committee reviews applications to serve on the board of trustees and nominates at least one candidate for each open position on the board to be elected by the House of Delegates during the WSMA Annual Meeting each fall. The nominating committee is composed of one member from each of the state's congressional districts and is chaired by the immediate past president of the WSMA (who does not represent a congressional district). The president-elect serves as an advisory member. Nominating committee members are appointed by the president and serve three-year terms.
The bylaws committee reviews and makes recommendations to the House of Delegates on proposed amendments and other issues pertaining to WSMA bylaws. The bylaws committee is composed of six members, all of whom are appointed by the president with the approval of the board of trustees. Committee members serve three-year terms.
The foundation board of directors governs the WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all Washingtonians through clinical quality improvement initiatives and other efforts. The foundation board of directors is composed of nine members, all of whom (except for the WSMA CEO) are appointed by the WSMA board of trustees. Members serve three-year terms and can serve up to two terms.
Staff: Jessica Martinson
The WAMPAC board of trustees governs the Washington Medical Political Action Committee, WSMA’s campaign arm. WAMPAC provides analysis on elections and meets with those running for office to learn about their legislative priorities and to educate them about policies important to the WSMA. The WAMPAC board consists of one physician member from each of the state’s 10 congressional districts. There are also membership positions for a physician assistant, a resident physician, and a medical student. Leadership positions on the WAMPAC board (chair, vice-chair, secretary-treasurer, and assistant secretary-treasurer) are two-year terms and are voted on by the WSMA board of trustees.
Staff: Sean Graham
The advocacy council reviews WSMA’s lobbying agendas, current events, and policy development at the state level and communicates relevant information to council representatives’ respective societies and groups. The advocacy council is composed of any specialty society, county, or large-group members interested in legislative, regulatory, legal, and other advocacy. The advocacy council meets three to four times per year.
Staff: Alex Wehinger
The WSMA’s AMA delegation represents the interests and needs of Washington state physicians and their patients in the creation of policies and programs at the American Medical Association. The AMA delegation is comprised of delegates and alternate delegates based on AMA membership. Currently, the WSMA is allocated four of each. AMA delegates and alternate delegates are elected by the House of Delegates for two-year terms.
The Young Physician Section governing council directs the programs and activities of the Young Physician Section, WSMA’s special section for physician members under 40 years of age or within the first 10 years of professional practice after residency and fellowship training. The governing council is composed of the chair, vice chair, a delegate to the House of Delegates, an alternate delegate to the House of Delegates, and three at-large members. The council also may appoint designated seats on the council for non-voting liaisons. Each of these offices is voted on annually prior to a meeting of the executive committee in September.
Staff: Milana McLead
The Resident and Fellow Section governing council directs the programs and activities of the Resident and Fellow Section, WSMA’s special section for resident and fellow members. The governing council is composed of the chair, vice chair, a delegate to the House of Delegates, an alternate delegate to the House of Delegates, and three at-large members. The council also may appoint designated seats on the council for non-voting liaisons. Each of these offices is voted on annually prior to a meeting of the executive committee in September.
The Medical Student Section governing council directs the programs and activities of the Medical Student Section, WSMA’s special section for medical student members. The governing council is composed of the chair, vice chair, a delegate to the House of Delegates, an alternate delegate to the House of Delegates, and three at-large members. The council also may appoint designated seats on the council for non-voting liaisons. Each of these offices is voted on annually prior to a meeting of the executive committee in September.
The Washington End-of-Life Coalition (WEOLC) is a broad-based cross section of individuals and organizations across the state interested in improving care at the end of life. There are no dues or requirements for membership. Members will receive news and information via email and will be invited to participate in an annual meeting in support and celebration of end-of-life and advance care planning initiatives across the state, typically in the fall.
The WEOLC Steering Committee coordinates the annual day-long conference while also advising the state POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) task force and the WSMA on its end-of-life initiatives. The steering committee strives to be representative of the areas of expertise and interest applicable to improving end-of-life care in Washington state, and to be representative geographically. Committee members each agree to a minimum term of two years. The steering committee is guided by three officers: chair, vice chair, and immediate past chair (chair emeritus), each with a term spanning two years. Candidates for the vice chair position are chosen based on qualifications, not years of committee service. One of the three officeholders must be a WSMA member.
Staff: Brendan Cox
The POLST task force coordinates the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program to help ensure the form keeps pace with current practice standards. The task force is chaired or co-chaired by a WSMA member. The task force consults with a larger ad hoc POLST advisory group every two years, or as needed, to review the form for revisions.
The Choosing Wisely task force leads a statewide effort to implement the Choosing Wisely® campaign; identifies opportunities for clinical practice improvement through data reports; and develops, tests, and spreads interventions to reduce overuse of unnecessary tests, treatments, and procedures. The task force is composed of physician and administrative leaders from health care organizations, insurance companies, associations, Qualis Health, and state Department of Health, and is co-sponsored by the WSMA, the Washington State Hospital Association, and the Washington Health Alliance.
The Medical Officer Collaborative, co-sponsored by the WSMA and the Washington State Hospital Association, is a forum for medical leadership from across the state to collaborate on important topics of quality and leadership. The collaborative is composed of chief medical officers, vice presidents of medical affairs, and chiefs of staff from hospitals and large medical groups in Washington state. The Medical Officer Collaborative advisory group establishes the collaborative’s priorities and helps inform discussions at WSMA and WSHA. The advisory group is comprised of a representative mix of regular collaborative attendees from a variety of hospital and clinic types around the state.
The Honoring Choices PNW advisory council guides the WSMA and Washington State Hospital Association jointly sponsored Honoring Choices® PNW advance care planning initiative and informs both associations on advocacy matters related to the initiative and advance care planning. The advisory council is composed of physician and administrative leaders from medical groups, hospitals, insurers, AARP, and advance care planning/end-of-life associations from around Washington state.
The Honoring Choices PNW campaign cabinet assists in fundraising for the Honoring Choices® PNW advance care planning initiative. The campaign cabinet is co-sponsored by the WSMA and the Washington State Hospital Association and is composed of senior executives from organizations that made founding donations to the initiative.
The WSMA and Washington State Hospital Association Joint Opioid Safe Practices Task Force looks for opportunities for physicians and hospitals to address prescription drug opioid abuse, addiction and overdose in Washington state. The joint task force reviews and advises the co-sponsoring associations on legislation under consideration, policy proposals by state agencies, and clinical developments. The joint task force is composed of six members, with an emphasis on variation in geographical and specialty representation. Three members are appointed by the WSMA and three from WSHA. The joint task force meets monthly.
Staff: Jeb Shepard
The behavioral health work group provides the WSMA with physician input on the development of WSMA positions on behavioral health issues, and better enables the WSMA to react to proposals offered by various external parties, including the governor’s office, the state Health Care Authority and others. Work group members include representatives from specialty society leadership, including addiction medicine, child psychiatry, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and psychiatry.
The accreditation committee accredits institutions and organizations in Washington and Alaska to provide Category 1 continuing medical education for physician relicensure. The accreditation committee comprises eight WSMA physician members and four CME professionals from throughout Washington state. The committee meets three times a year.
Staff: Kendra Peterson
The CME program committee reviews and awards credit for WSMA and jointly sponsored Category 1 continuing medical education activities. The CME program committee comprises five WSMA physician members from throughout Washington state. The committee meets once per year.
The health equity task force helps identify health equity issues and the mechanisms by which the WSMA can act on these issues in our state. These findings are reported to the executive committee and board of trustees, and, as appropriate, are crafted as resolutions for action by the WSMA and submitted to the House of Delegates. In addition, the task force seeks to raise awareness among WSMA members of health equity issues and ways to address them. The task force is composed of WSMA medical student and practicing physician members.
The artificial intelligence work group will build an agenda on artificial intelligence to be implemented in 2019. The work group will be composed of physicians interested in investigating how artificial intelligence may impact the medical profession in the future.