How to Write a Resolution

Participating in the policy-making process is a powerful benefit of WSMA membership. To help guide the policy decisions of the association and/or raise awareness of issues of importance to the practice of medicine in our state, all members are welcome to author a "resolution," a key policy driver for the WSMA. 

What is a resolution?
How should I format a resolution?
Who can introduce a resolution?
What are the deadlines for submitting a resolution?
Can I get help?


What is a resolution?

A resolution is a proposal asking the WSMA to take a position or act on an important issue. 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:

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

You may also use this resolution template to assist you in preparing your resolution.


Who can introduce a resolution?

While any WSMA member can write a resolution, all resolutions must be sponsored by a WSMA delegate, alternate delegate or member of the Board of Trustees in order to be considered by the House of Delegates. If you are interested in authoring a resolution but you are not a delegate or a member of the board, the WSMA will work with you to develop your resolution idea and enable its introduction. Email hod@wsma.org or call (206) 441-9762 for assistance.


What are the deadlines for submitting a resolution?

Board members or delegates/alternates must submit their resolutions by email to hod@wsma.org by Aug. 18 to be included in the WSMA Delegate Handbook distributed prior to the 2017 WSMA Annual Meeting. The final deadline for receipt of resolutions at the WSMA Seattle office is Sept. 14. Resolutions received after Sept. 14 will be distributed to the House of Delegates at the opening session and require a two-thirds affirmative vote by the House to be accepted as official business. 


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.