We are still in need of several volunteers for the reference committees at the upcoming June Special Meeting of the House of Delegates. Individuals experienced in working via a virtual meeting format are particularly welcome, even if you have served within the last three years, which is our normal exclusion window. The usual eight reference committees will meet.

Reference committees for the Special Meeting are currently planned for the following times:

  • Saturday, June 12, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 12, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 13, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Reference committee hearings will be conducted using Zoom. Following the hearing, committee members will meet in executive session using Microsoft Teams on Saturday afternoon or evening or during the day on Sunday.

To volunteer, please complete the form found on the speakers’ information page. The form may also be used to serve on the Rules & Credentials Committee or the Resolutions Committee.

Should you wish to review our prior communications about the Special Meeting, please see dates listed below.

Thank you for your assistance and cooperation.

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Responses should be directed to [email protected]

Pursuant to the action of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees (Board) on March 11, 2021, this notice will serve as the Official Call to convene a Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) on June 11-16, 2021. The purpose of this meeting, as defined by the action of the Board, is to accomplish leadership transitions that would otherwise be addressed in association with an Annual Meeting of the HOD and to conduct priority business of the Association. This Special Meeting will be convened on the same platforms, Lumi and Zoom, that were used at the November 2020 Special Meeting.

The House will commence with the Opening Session at 7 pm CDT, Friday, June 11. We anticipate that we will utilize all of the scheduled days through Wednesday until our business is completed. Note: We will NOT have a hard stop on Wednesday, June 16 as there is no need for travel time and this day should have already been cleared on your calendars.

Business of the House

Although your Board and Speakers recognize that there is an abundance of business that has been left unattended over the past year, the inherent inefficiencies of a virtual meeting demand a prioritization of the business to be considered, thus the Board motion specified that the purpose of the meeting is to conduct leadership transition and priority business.

To accomplish leadership transition, nominations will be accepted during the Opening Session of the House on Friday evening with election by acclamation of any unopposed candidates. Elections for the remaining races will be held at a specific Election Session on Tuesday morning. The Inauguration of Gerald E. Harmon, MD will occur on Tuesday, June 15 at 6 p.m. CDT.

In keeping with the defined purpose of this Special Meeting, all delegates and delegations are strongly encouraged to submit only priority resolutions. Our councils and the Board have been asked to do the same. To facilitate the prioritization process, resolutions must be accompanied by a statement of priority (not to exceed 250 words), and if submitting more than one resolution, delegations must rank their resolutions in order of priority. Resolutions submitted without these required elements will not be accepted.

A Resolution Committee will be convened to review all resolutions and make recommendations to the House regarding the priority of the resolutions. Your submitted prioritization statement and ranking will be considered by the Resolution Committee as a factor in their recommendation to the House. The final determination of the business to be considered by the House at this Special Meeting will be decided by majority vote during the Opening Session of the House.

In response to comments received from the Federation, the Resolution Committee will be expanded and the prioritization process has been updated. The Prioritization Matrix (PDF) previously adopted by the Resolution Committee at the November Special Meeting has been modified for use at this meeting. Delegates considering submitting a resolution are encouraged to review this matrix. The detailed Prioritization Process will also be posted on the AMA website.

Online forums

Online Forums will once again be open for comment on all submitted resolutions and reports. Your Speakers request that all authors please present an opening comment regarding your resolutions/report. In addition, we ask that members comment not only on the merits of the proffered resolution/report, but also to the priority of the resolutions. Your Speakers strongly encourage the use of the Online Forum to facilitate the live deliberations. As a reminder, there is no limit on debate via the Online Forum, however, there will be a limit at the live hearing.

To further encourage use of the Online Forums, the Reference Committees will be instructed to give equal weight to testimony presented in the Online Forums to that presented at the live hearings.

Reference committees

Reference Committees are scheduled Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning. Reference Committee Reports will be posted as soon as available. Sunday afternoon and early morning Monday have been kept open on the schedule to allow for Delegations to consider the reports.

House of Delegates sessions

The Opening Session of the House will be held Friday, June 11 at 7 p.m. CDT. The House will consider Reference Committee Reports beginning at 10 a.m. CDT Monday, on Tuesday following an Election Session, and continuing on Wednesday until all business has been completed. Please keep open Wednesday afternoon as we do not know when we will adjourn. See preliminary agenda (PDF) for further details.

Your Speakers are sensitive to the fact that our schedule may continue past sundown on Friday and on through Sunday. Delegates for whom this schedule potentially creates a conflict may wish to coordinate with their alternate delegates. Saturday and Sunday will include reference committees where attendance is optional, and individuals are reminded of the opportunity to present testimony in the Online Forum which will be open for several weeks. If further accommodations are needed please contact us at [email protected].

Email addresses

Although this notice is being sent both electronically and by postal mail, delivery delays and the need to expedite communication as we approach the upcoming meeting necessitate that we have correct email addresses for ALL members of the HOD including alternate delegates and any other involved individuals. Email will once again be our primary method of sharing important information, including delegate credentials, with the House. In some cases this notice may have been sent to “spam” or been removed by a security filter. If you receive this notice by postal mail only, you need to confirm your email address and check your filters.

In addition, because delegation rosters may have changed since our November Special Meeting, we remind delegation chairs and/or staff to confirm that all delegation members have received this communication electronically. If you or a member of your delegation needs to correct or update their email address, please contact the HOD office at [email protected] immediately.

Campaigns

Given the virtual nature of this meeting, all interviews and other campaign activities will be conducted electronically. All delegations/caucuses who anticipate holding interviews MUST submit to the HOD office prior to Friday, April 30 the name and contact information for the individual in charge of scheduling your interviews. Interviews may be scheduled between May 21 and June 10, 2021. The HOD office will once again this year be sending an electronic message on behalf of candidates who wish to participate and will be recording interviews of all Board and Council candidates which will be posted on our website. Your speakers will be sending out further instructions to candidates and their campaigns.

Committee volunteers

Your Speakers are seeking multiple volunteers who are experienced in working via a virtual meeting format; therefore, our usual embargo on those who have served in the recent past will not be observed. If you are interested in serving on one of the Reference Committees, the Rules & Credentials Committee, or the Resolutions Committee, please submit a Committee Volunteer form (PDF).

Final reminders

Please watch for further communication from us as details are finalized. As a reminder, notices regarding the upcoming June meeting will have J21-HOD in the subject line (which is short for the June 2021 meeting of the AMA House of Delegates) and will be sent from [email protected]. Please add this address to your contact list.

Your Speakers share your disappointment that circumstances have once again prevented us from meeting in person, but rest assured that plans are well underway to facilitate the policymaking role of our House of Delegates in a fair and deliberative fashion and to conduct elections securely.

Meeting resources

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Responses should be directed to [email protected]

The Board of Trustees has been closely monitoring conditions in Chicago and around the U.S. to gather the most up-to-date information before making a decision regarding the upcoming House of Delegates meeting. Recognizing the need for our AMA to make logistical plans and to provide adequate notification to the federation, the Board of Trustees determined that a decision should be made no later than 90 days in advance of the meeting. To that end, a special meeting of the Board was convened last evening to allow timely and thorough consideration of this topic.

Although conditions are improving around the country, as of this date, meetings of over 50 people in Chicago are prohibited through June 3, 2021. Most physicians will likely be vaccinated prior to June, but vaccinations of staff in the Chicago area who are not in a priority group are scheduled to begin May 31, 2021 and cannot reasonably be expected to be completed with enough elapsed time for immunity to ensue before our June 12 scheduled meeting. Federation staff also are generally not among priority groups for vaccinations. In addition, the latest CDC guidance recommends against large gatherings and travel, even for vaccinated individuals. Given these facts, among other considerations, the Board believes that a quorum cannot reasonably be achieved at an in-person meeting in Chicago June 12-16, 2021 and has made the difficult decision to cancel the scheduled Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates.

Recognizing the important policymaking role of the House, the Board simultaneously adopted a motion asking the speaker to call a Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates to be held on June 11-16, 2021 using a virtual platform. The Official Call to the June 2021 Special Meeting, including further details and a preliminary agenda, will be sent by the speakers. As previously announced, the AMA Section meetings will be held prior to the Opening Session of the House and will also be held using a virtual format.

Your Board regrets that the ongoing pandemic has once again dictated this difficult decision to cancel the in-person meeting of our House of Delegates. However, we are confident that with your ongoing patience and cooperation our House will be able to continue our fair deliberative process even in a virtual setting. We are optimistic that recent declines in positivity rates and ongoing vaccinations will allow us to meet together in Orlando in November.

—Responses should be directed to [email protected]

No decision on the format of June’s House of Delegates meeting has been made, but we want to bring you up to date.

Our Board of Trustees has directed staff to collect data on the current conditions and likely state of affairs in Chicago in early June. That information will be reviewed during a special meeting of the Board and allow the Board to make a decision regarding the upcoming House meeting. The Board’s decision will be transmitted to members of the House and throughout the Federation by mid-March.

Regardless of the format, the dates for the meeting are June 12-16, and we encourage you to hold Friday evening June 11 open as well. We ask again that you keep the scheduled dates of the meeting open but not make travel plans unless your arrangements are easily canceled and any fees are fully refundable.

No matter how the meeting develops, volunteers for service on meeting-related committees are welcome. The forms for volunteering are online.

Thank you for your forbearance.

—Responses should be directed to [email protected]

In an effort to keep the HOD updated, your Speakers present the following. As requested, all future notices regarding the upcoming June meeting will have J21-HOD in the subject line which is short for the June 2021 Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates. This will facilitate a search for all communications sent regarding the upcoming meeting. We will also attempt to send all emails from [email protected], so please add this to your “white” contact list.

Plans for the June 2021 Meeting of our HOD

Your Speakers are aware of the desire of the House to know definitive plans for our meeting in June of 2021. As we noted in our message dated December 10, 2020, we plan for the meeting to be held on June 12-16, as previously scheduled, possibly including an opening session on Friday evening, June 11. The meeting will take place on these dates whether it is held in-person in Chicago or held virtually. Once the Board of Trustees makes a decision regarding this matter the Speaker will send out an official call for the meeting.

Again, we remind you to hold these dates open on your schedule, as we anticipate that the meeting will require the use of all of these days in their entirety to complete our business. If you wish to make travel arrangements, we remind you not to make non-refundable travel reservations at this point.

Considerations for a possible virtual J21

While we do not yet know which format the meeting will take, your Speakers wish to remind the HOD that there may be a need to limit the number of items considered at J21. We ask delegations to consider this as resolutions are reviewed for potential submission.

In addition, there may again be a need to make an earlier deadline for on-time submissions from exempted groups, which would include societies that meet after the 30 day on-time deadline as well as the AMA sections. We ask that all impacted delegation and section leadership consider this possibility as they make tentative meeting plans.

Election/Campaign information for J21

“Active campaigning” is prohibited prior to the candidate announcement made after the conclusion of the April Board meeting. Your Speakers are aware that candidates, their teams, and indeed all caucuses and delegations will need to make plans regarding the conduct of our upcoming elections earlier than this.

The virtual campaign process followed for the June 2020 Special Meeting received overall positive feedback, but concern was expressed that there was short notice given. In 2020 this was unavoidable due to the timing of the decision to proceed with the virtual June 2020 Special Meeting. Understanding this concern and given the uncertainty surrounding the June 2021 meeting, your Speakers have decided to delineate the following campaign protocols to be utilized in the campaign process for the upcoming meeting, regardless of it being held in-person or virtually.

  • Given the possibility of not meeting in-person and therefore no opportunity to distribute campaign gifts and memorabilia, your Speakers strongly encourage campaigns to forego any expenditure for any such items.
  • The Speakers will again facilitate recording of candidates providing introductory remarks followed by Q & A, which will be made available on the meeting website for delegates to review prior to the meeting.
  • Interviews by delegations and caucuses will be permitted with the following guidelines:
    • Virtual or in-person interviews (if in-person meeting) may be held but not both.
    • Any caucus or group electing to interview candidates must provide an opportunity for all candidates in a specific race to be interviewed using the same format.
    • The HOD office will again coordinate contact information for candidates to schedule their interviews; caucuses will need to identify a contact person responsible for scheduling interviews.
    • The candidate/team will be responsible for scheduling the interview.
    • Virtual interviews by delegations and caucuses may only be recorded with prior notice to candidates and may only be shared with members of the delegation/caucus once all interviews for a given race are complete.
    • Further details will be provided to candidates and caucuses.

J21 HOD Meeting committee volunteers

Your Speakers are again seeking volunteers who would be comfortable with serving on Reference Committees, the Rules Committee, and potentially a Resolutions Committee for the upcoming meeting. Given the possibility of again holding a virtual meeting, your Speakers are asking that all volunteers complete a new application (available here) and email it to [email protected]. Please specifically note if you would be comfortable acting as a chair in a virtual setting.

Thank you for your patience as we make plans for our meeting in June. While we continue to hope to have the opportunity to meet in-person, we are nevertheless working hard to plan for a possible virtual meeting.

—Responses should be directed to [email protected]

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