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2019 ANA Membership Assembly Update.

On June 21 & 22, 2019, Maryland Nurses Association (MNA) was represented by its four elected voting representatives to the ANA Membership Assembly (MA). The two MNA Officer Representatives were current MNA President, Dr. Mary Kay DeMarco, and MNA Secretary, Dr. Barbara Biedrzycki; the two MNA Members-at-Large were Ms. Rosemary Mortimer and Ms. Linda Stierle, Past ANA CEO & Chair, MNA Committee on Bylaws & Policies. Also, in attendance as an MNA official observer was MNA member, Mr. Christopher Rhodes. Two other MNA members were also in attendance representing their organizations as ANA Organizational Affiliates: Dr. Vernell Dewitty, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, American Association of Colleges of Nursing and Dr. Katherine Fornili, President of the International Nurses Society on Addictions. And last, but certainly not least, MNA Executive Director, Ms. Jennifer Arigo.

On Friday evening after a long day of dialogue and debate, MNA Representatives met with our colleagues from the Eastern Seaboard Regional Executive Conference (ESREC); this is one of four informal geographic ANA regions. ESREC is comprised of the following states: CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI and VT. MNA had met with the ANA Parliamentarian and gave an update on what to expect on Saturday during the COB Report block of time, as well as shared a strategy for success. MNA's Executive Director was unanimously elected as Chair of ESREC for the 2019 to 2021 term.

The first major item of business was the adoption of the ANA Board of Directors (BOD) 2019 proposed amendments to the June 2017 ANA Bylaws. MNA submitted written comments on 33 of 47 separate amendments to the COB prior to the Bylaws Hearing. At the Bylaws Hearing on Friday, the proposed amendments were divided into 25 subsets. MNA was the driving force and spoke to each of the 17 proposed amendments that MNA opposed; other Constituent/State Nurses Associations (C/SNAs) and the Individual Membership Division (IMD) went to the microphones to support MNA's position. Consequently, the ANA BOD requested that nine of the 25 subsets be withdrawn for consideration by the ANA MA voting representatives, and the ANA COB concurred; MNA was opposed to all nine of those subsets. On Saturday, 16 of the 25 subsets were considered for adoption by the ANA MA voting representatives. MNA was opposed to four of these subsets, and all four subsets were defeated and the 2017 ANA Bylaws language was retained. ANA adopted new bylaws language addressing the following: ANA Functions; Organizational Affiliates; Individual Members; Individual Affiliates (E-Members); Apportionment of Votes at the MA; Removal from the MA; BOD Qualifications, Task Forces & Meetings; ANA Leadership Council Authority, Composition & Voting; Nominations; and Subsidiaries of ANA. MNA received many positive comments from C/SNAs, ANA Staff and ANA BOD members for orchestrating such a successful campaign against the proposed amendments that many believed jeopardized fundamental and longstanding rights of ANA members and C/SNAs.

The next major item of business was the adoption of three ANA Policy proposals. The first was the adoption of an amended ANA MA Dues Policy allowing each C/SNA to decide if they wanted to participate in the Value Pricing Program. MNA was a participant in the pilot program for the past 27 months, and MNA membership has grown by 32% during that time. It was adopted by 96% of the voting representatives. There were four subsets to the Dues Policy and they all were adopted overwhelmingly with 95-98% of the MA representatives voting in support. The proposal to delay the dues escalator decision until 2021 also was adopted by 99% of the voting representatives. The ANA MA voting representatives also adopted a revised position statement on the Nurse's Role When a Patient Requests Aid in Dying; it was adopted by 98% of the 409 voting representatives. This policy focuses on education and critical conversations on hospice care and the process of Aid in Dying (AID) in approved states. The final ANA Policy considered for adoption was the ANA BOD's recommendation to rescind the 1985 ANA House of Delegates policies on Presidential Candidate Endorsement & Endorsement Procedure and adopt a revised MA policy, ANA Presidential Election Engagement. This item of business generated considerable discussion which could have gone on for quite some time with each group reiterating their same position over and over. The question was called and the voting representatives voted to stop discussion. The Presidential Election Engagement proposal was adopted by 87% voting in favor of the new policy. ANA will no longer endorse Presidential candidates, but will educate nurses on candidate views on health care issues and encourage all members to vote.

There were four Professional Dialogue Forums on Friday: Removal of Outdated ANA Language to Increasing Access to Vaccination Compliance; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Recipients Eligibility to Take the NCLEX; Visibility of Nurses in the Media; and Human Trafficking: A Nursing Perspective on Solving a Public Health Crisis. On Saturday, the recommendations from all four dialogue forums were adopted with support ranging from 93% to 99% by the voting representatives. MNA will be posting the formal recommendations/policy statements on each of the ANA positions on the MNA Members Only website so all MNA members can be more informed about the issues impacting the nursing profession and the populations we serve.

The four MNA Voting Representatives cast the MNA eight weighted votes for candidates for the MNA Board of Directors and the ANA Nominations and Election Committee. There were seventeen candidates for eight elected positions. The ANA election results were as follows: Susan Swart elected as Vice President (IL); Treasurer Jennifer Mensik was reelected for a second term (OR); Director-at-Large James "Jeff" Watson (TX); Director-at-Large Recent Graduate, Marcus Henderson (PA) and four members to the Nominations & Elections Committee (NEC): Gayle Peterson, Chair, (MA); Sara McCumber (MN); Larlene Dunsmuir (OR); and Laure Marino (WV). MNA was pleased with the election results and believe that both ANA members and the profession will be well served by the newly elected ANA leaders when they start their term of office on January 01, 2020 thru December 31, 2021. It was two very intense and long days, but also very rewarding days, as together we were positively impacting our chosen profession, Nursing, and its future!

Linda J. Stierle, MSN, RN/MNA Member-At-Large ANA Representative
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Title Annotation:ANA/MNA NEWS
Author:Stierle, Linda J.
Publication:Maryland Nurse
Date:Aug 1, 2019
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