Dear CHIMA Members,
The CHIMA board reached out to all of you last week regarding the 2019 AHIMA ballot. We received an overwhelming response (85% polled) that you do not agree with this ballot, particularly as it relates to the positions of President-Elect (PE) and Speaker-Elect (SE) of the House of Delegates (HoD). Please read through the information below to make an informed decision. We apologize in advance for the lengthy message.
Background: On occasion, CHIMA and other component state associations (CSAs) disagree with AHIMA’s decisions relative to governing our HIM profession. Today we find ourselves in one of those situations. It is time to vote for AHIMA board members for the upcoming association year, and you may have noticed that the ballot includes only one candidate for each of the positions of PE and SE. The SE is elected by the House of Delegates, so this candidate will not appear on the AHIMA member ballot. The Speaker of the House is a very important position and serves on the AHIMA Board of Directors.
The Nominating Committee (NC) has the responsibility of selecting candidates for
open board positions for the upcoming year. The NC is partially elected by members of the HoD during an annual vote and partially appointed by AHIMA Board of Directors. The NC has a well-defined process and procedure. Prior to this year’s election, the policy did specify that multiple candidates should be selected for PE. The policy did already allow for one SE candidate though.
Potential candidates complete the Volunteer Leadership Competencies self-assessment and the Board of Directors candidates must review the AHIMA Board of Directors Attributes, developed by the Board of Directors and updated yearly to ensure candidates meet the needs of the Board for the upcoming three-year term. According to a message posted on the State Leader/House of Delegates Community on Engage by the current AHIMA President, this year’s instruction to the NC was to find candidates with specific skills to help further the new AHIMA Mission, Vision, and Values in support of the strategic plan. It is certainly not unusual to expect candidates for Board service to support the mission, vision, values, and strategic plan of the organization they wish to serve as they become an active part of the leadership team.
Assessment: The ballot is unusual and surprising as it notes the uncontested candidacy. The outcome of the work of the NC – is the uncontested candidacy of two key association leaders: President-Elect and Speaker-Elect of the HoD. We learned from the Chair of the Nominating Committee during a HoD call last week that there were other nominees for these positions. However, a policy change was approved by the AHIMA Board of Directors to allow only one candidate for PE after the NC felt that this candidate alone met all the qualifications.
By presenting a ‘slate’ ballot for these key positions, the NC has in effect determined who will serve in those roles, removing the individual member’s right and opportunity to review multiple, qualified candidates and make a choice.
The CHIMA Board of Directors does not doubt the skills and professionalism of the candidates selected by the NC. We also appreciate the difficult decisions that the NC needed to make. We do, however, have strong doubts and concern that of more than 83,000 members, there was only one qualified for each of these two key positions in the governance of our profession.
Options and Impact: There are three ways members can respond.
**An important note: AHIMA bylaws require a 3% voter response from members for a valid election.**
- Vote: Voting would count your vote for the President-Elect, as there is only one candidate on the ballot and it would also allow you to vote for 3 other roles that are currently on the ballot have more than one candidate. This choice counts toward the 3% requirement.
During a House of Delegates call last week, the AHIMA BOD did indicate they had voted to add a “write-in” option for the candidate of president-elect. Any “write-in” candidate would still need to meet the qualifications outlined by AHIMA P&P as well as the BOD defined qualifications.
- Abstain: If you abstain from voting for certain candidates this means that you state you are “not voting” for certain positions but the choice does count toward the 3% requirement.
- No Vote: A no vote, meaning you simply do not complete any part of the AHIMA ballot. This option is the only option that removes you from the percentage of members placing a vote. This does not count toward the 3% requirement.
CHIMA Decision: We are a VOICE for you in our state and nationally with AHIMA. We are awaiting the additional information regarding the “write-in” option. Our hope is that there will be additional candidates that we can share with you as options for a “write-in” to ensure you are able to make an informed CHOICE.
Future Work: The CHIMA BOD is leading the movement with other CSAs to work on AHIMA bylaw revisions that remove the AHIMA Board’s involvement in appointing members to the NC and remove the possibility for an uncontested vote. Other CSAs from across the country have joined us in this effort. This situation is currently unfolding and we have much work to do in formulating responses and reaching out to others, but we are working to be YOUR voice at a national level on this issue.
Closing: Again, we ask that you consider all of the information, options, and impact of those
options and make an informed choice when deciding on the action you will take.
As always, please do reach out to your Board members and delegates with questions and concerns. https://www.chima.org/contact-us/
Thank you for the opportunity to serve!
The CHIMA Board of Directors