News & Media

Overview of the 2019 MSMS House of Delegates

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The House of Delegates (HOD) is the official policy-making body of the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS).  On May 4th and 5th, more than 200 Delegates and Alternate Delegates convened for the 154th annual meeting of the MSMS HOD in Kalamazoo to debate and determine the policies, priorities, and direction of MSMS during the ensuing 12 months and beyond.

During the meeting, Mohammed A. Arsiwala, MD, a Livonia internist and founder of Michigan Urgent Care Center and Occupational Health Centers, was inaugurated as president of the Michigan State Medical Society. S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD, a Flint otolaryngologist, was voted president-elect (MSMS).

Some of the timely issues addressed by this year’s resolutions include:

  • Supporting the implementation of naloxone box stations in high risk areas throughout the state
  • Advocating for legislation to allow minors seeking vaccines to consent to vaccination in the absence of parental consent
  • Calling for studies on the impact of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals on human health
  • Allowing the sharing of Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) reports with patients, but prohibiting direct access by law enforcement without probable cause
  • Supporting the repeal of prior authorization for medication-assisted treatment in addiction medicine
  • Developing comprehensive telemedicine policy
  • Advocating for pay equity for female physicians
  • Encouraging the use of more neutral terminology such as “allow natural death” over terms that are viewed more negatively when discussing advance care planning and end of life care decisions.
  • Supporting AMA policy H-60.906 – “Opposing the Detention of Migrant Children”

Overall, eighty-three (83) resolutions were introduced for consideration by the HOD. After thorough consideration by the HOD Reference Committees and final action by the full HOD:

  • Sixty (60) move forward as policy and/or directives for action:
    • Approve - 26
    • Amend - 32
    • Substitute - 2
  •  Four (4) were approved under the Reaffirmation Calendar Report and the following MSMS policies related to prior authorization, marijuana, and firearms will be reaffirmed:
    • Compensation for Prior Authorization Efforts (Resolution 59-14)
    • Prior Authorization for Delivery
    • Prior Authorization for Surgical Procedures
    • Prior Authorization Reform
    • Marijuana
    • Publish the Contents of Cannabis
    • Dangers of Adolescent Access to Marijuana
    • Firearm Regulations
    • Firearm-Related Injury and Death: Adopt A Call to Action
    • Address Gun Violence Using a Public Health Approach
    • Handgun Control and Education
    • Evidence-based Research on Firearm Adverse Incidents
    • Reduction of Gun Violence
  • Five (5) resolutions were referred for further study by the MSMS Board of Directors:
    • 28-19 - Regulation and Oversight of Retail Marijuana in Michigan
    • 56-19 - Good Samaritan Laws Expansion
    • 57-19 - Oppose Licensure of non-NCCAOM Acupuncturists
    • 68-19 - Hospice Care and the “Adult Failure to Thrive” Diagnosis
    • 52-19 - Forced Organ Harvesting
  • Fourteen (14) resolutions were disapproved.
  • Additionally, nine (9) Board Action Reports were considered and addressed as follows:
    • Approve - 8
    • Approved on 1st Reading – 1
    • Amend - 1

The HOD also overwhelmingly approved the Final MSMS Organizational Remodeling Recommendations; culminating a multi-year effort to assure MSMS remains a strong and viable organization into the future.

Based on 2018 HOD discussion, the effort focused on Board composition. A follow-up survey indicated that 91 percent believed that updating the Board structure was a necessary first step in modernizing MSMS’ governance structure.

The proposal presented to the 2019 HOD represented input from delegation and county leaders, as well as HOD surveys. Key provisions as passed by the HOD:

  • Board size remains the same – 34 members.
  • Current Board members will be able to serve out their regular terms.
  • Nine (9) regions (please see documents to download below for map) - ensuring geographic representation on the Board is maintained, while eliminating fluctuation with membership changes.
  • Retains current seven (7) officer positions (President-Elect, President, Immediate Past President, Speaker, Vice-Speaker, Secretary, and Treasurer) and three (3) section positions (Young Physician, Resident, Student).
  • Up to six (6) new designated (non-geographic) seats created with the same three three-year term limits as geographically elected members.
  • Nominating Committee consisting of one representative from each of the nine regions and the Immediate Past President as chair.
  • Board review of its composition every three years with a report to the HOD on any recommended adjustments.

Board Seat Allocation

  • Regional Directors (two/region): 18
  • Designated Directors: Up to 6
  • Officers Elected by HOD: 7
  • Section Representatives: 3
  • Total: 34

Designated Directors and Nominating Committee

Pursuant to Article IX (1)(e) of the Constitution, the Board of Directors shall include “up to six Directors elected by the House of Delegates representing those constituencies deemed from time to time the most relevant to the current health care marketplace to be designated by the nominating committee of the House of Delegates with input from the Board of Directors and the House of Delegates.”

Pursuant to Section 13.80 of the Bylaws, the Nominating Committee shall consist of ten (10) members – the Immediate Past President (chair) and “one member from each Region who shall be elected by the members holding membership in a county located in that Region.” Elected members must be delegates to the HOD with a right to vote and cannot be members of the Board of Directors.

The Nominating Committee will vet candidates for each of the designated seats. The Committee will present the slate of candidates for open positions at the House of Delegates each year. The HOD will have the final vote on the slate of candidates for the designated seats. MSMS will work with the counties in each region as needed to facilitate the process of electing the Regional Director.

Previously, the Board recommended the following six (6) categories it believed were most important in the current environment; however, implementation will be executed by the above-mentioned Nominating Committee and the final determination is made by the House of Delegates:

  • Physician Organization (PO) Leader
  • Independent Small Practice
  • Physician Leader from Health System
  • Physician Serving in Government/Public Health Role
  • Designated Institutional Official or Physician Representing GME Training
  • At Large Physician

If you would like additional information regarding reference committee reports, current and past resolutions, etc., please visit


Documents to download