Dear Northeast region members of AAOHN:
As most of you know, AAOHN announced a bylaws change that, if passed, will make chapter membership optional for our members. We know this is a new concept to many of our loyal and long-time members, so we want to take some time to discuss this change and its impact on our national organization and chapters in-depth with our Northeast region members.
The Northeast region is a unique area of the nation for AAOHN members. You are the only area that currently has a regional chapter, and thus, many members are required to join a state, local, and the Northeast region chapter on top of National membership. Further, about 20% of our membership resides in the Northeast and many of the chapters in the area are active and engaged.
Many of you had questions about the proposed bylaws change at the recent NEAOHN conference in October; we answered some of the common inquiries below.
How did AAOHN come to this decision?
AAOHN assembled the Chapter Challenges Taskforce in May 2018 to review all of the feedback received since this discussion began in Fall 2017. The taskforce was comprised of chapter leaders across the nation, board members, and AAOHN staff members. The Taskforce sent their proposal to the AAOHN Board of Directors, who approved it during their August 2018 Board meeting.
When were members asked for their thoughts and opinions?
The Chapter Challenges discussion was introduced at a Chapter Leaders Town Hall in September 2017. Since then, members have had the opportunity to fill out questionnaires, online surveys, participate in focus groups, and learn more at the State of AAOHN meeting in January and the Chapter Leaders Breakfast in April. Further, members were continuously reminded to send in their thoughts via email to the National Office or to the AAOHN Board of Directors. In total, we heard from over 100 chapters and members, and this feedback contributed directly to the decision made by the Chapter Challenges Taskforce.
How can chapters better market themselves to retain members?
The proposed bylaws change does not mean that all chapters will fold. It does mean that certain chapters may need to demonstrate their value and recruit members to stay viable. We also know that some struggling chapters will fold, and that’s ok. For those chapters who remain viable, AAOHN has marketing materials, like the chapter marketing kits, already posted to our website. Further, AAOHN plans to update the chapter section of our website to provide our members with more information about each chapter, including meeting information, dues information, and more.
How can we learn more and ask questions?
We will be hosting a Northeast region member conference call on Wednesday, November 28 at 6:00 p.m. ET. Dial-in information is below. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a calendar reminder sent to you.
The Town Hall open to all AAOHN members will be Thursday, December 6 at 12:00 p.m. ET. This session will be more presentation style, but there will be time at the end to submit questions. Register here.
If you are unable to join and still have questions, our email addresses are listed below. You can also post questions to the Optional Chapter Structure forum, and a member of the AAOHN staff will answer your questions.
We look forward to hearing from you!