Letter From Your President

Dear Members,

For several years, NVAOHN chapter has struggled with the problem of having members who are willing to run for the board or to undertake any of the tasks regarding our educational offerings and dinner meetings. The template that AAOHN provides for chapter governance requires a President, a VP or President elect, a Treasurer, a Secretary, 3 board members, and 3 people for an every-other-year nominating committee to find new officer candidates and run the election for new officers and board members. This requires 10 people. This is just to "run" the chapter. It does not cover the work of finding good speakers for our meetings, obtaining Continuing Education Credits, or arranging for our dinner meeting hospitality (finding a location, arranging for food, taking registrations, welcoming attendees and collecting fees, set-up, clean up, etc.).  We have managed to write our by-laws and have them approved by AAOHN to govern our chapter with 5 people; and a nominating committee which ends up being someone already filling another position on the board. 

NVAOHN chapter currently has 45 members. Our average dinner meeting attendance is 10 people; and at least one-third of that is compromised of board members.   We had 6 dinner meetings in 2014 and 4 dinner meetings in 2015. The work to coordinate these meetings and the work to serve on the board have been all done by 5 board members of the NOVAOHN. Some members have provided assistance right before and right after the meetings. We are grateful for your assistance. However, it is not enough to keep the NVAOHN chapter going. It is quite evident that members are not willing, are not able to, or are not inspired to run for office or take on the responsibilities related to our educational offerings. 

When asked through a recent NVAOHN survey: “What would increase your attendance at a meeting?” Only 11 people responded. When asked why they choose not to attend, no one indicated the time or location as an issue; yet we continue to have very poor attendance.  

Given the current status and the on-going challenges that have persisted for longer than the last 4 years, we have to forge a new way of doing things. A proposal has come forward for the Northern Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington Chapters to merge. This will give us a larger chapter composed of 82 members (37 DC and 45 NOVA members).  Part of the proposal is that there will be one board with 2 education and 2 hospitality committees. One committee to plan educational offerings for the Northern Virginia area. One committee to plan educational offerings for the DC area.  Our short-term goal is that with a larger number of members, we will have a better chance of electing the required 10-member board. There will be one board with 2 education and 2 hospitality committees. 

Please vote on the following: 

1. Are you in favor of dissolving this chapter, and merging with the neighboring chapter (MWAOHN) according to the instructions given to us by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, including merging of our treasuries and all assets.

Yes ___No ___

2. Because neither chapter name, "Metropolitan Washington" nor "Northern Virginia," would speak to the combined geographical region that the combined chapter will represent, we would have to give the combined chapter a new name. Please vote for a new name, or write in your suggestion.

  1. Capital Region Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  2. National Capital Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  3. National Capital Area Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  4. National Capital Region Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  5. Greater Potomac Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  6. Other __________________________________

To this end, the entire executive board (5 members) is going to Florida in April (using NVAOHN funds) to meet with national members of AAOHN and representatives of MWAOHN to work on this merger.  At this point, no elections and nominations are being held. 

Please send your responses back to the following:

smskelly@Verizon.net

Please put NVAOHN Vote in the Subject line

Or plan to join us at our next General Meeting Wednesday, March 9, 2016.