Special Interest Group Policy
Approved November 10, 2011; Revised November 8, 2012; Revised June 17, 2015, Revised October 27, 2016
ASPHO (or the Society) recognizes that its members often have specialized in clinical, research or career interests which may not be common across all constituents. The Society believes it is important to provide a national networking forum addressing such member interests and activities.
The Society wishes to offer such groups the opportunity to meet, collaborate and network as a special interest group within the Society. This structure provides a meeting venue at the Society’s annual meeting and can support more informal networking throughout the year.
Special Interest Groups (SIG)s are member groups or communities formed around interests or specialties that share the same focus and are aligned with the mission and goals of the Society. SIGs provides members with specialized networking and professional development or the opportunity to work on a specific project, issue or program. Common interests may be topic focused, based on career level or credentialing, or other focus that may suit the needs of the organization and its members. The thread is a commonality among all participants.
Process for the Formation of a Special Interest Group
Any group of fifty or more members who intend to participate in the SIG may apply for the formation of a SIG, to be approved by the ASPHO Board of Trustees. The letter of application will include the name of the proposed SIG group, the description of the proposed mission, activity and scientific/clinical/career focus, expected audience or membership, identified leadership who will preside as chair and chair-elect for the first term, as well as the names and signatures of the petitioning members. (Signatures may be collected electronically.) The application will be submitted to the national office for consideration at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Membership Committee and then forwarded to the Board of Trustees.
Resources Available to Special Interest Groups
SIGs will have time and space at the annual meeting to meet, preferably on the Wednesday before the education program begins, or at other times in the meeting that do not conflict with official educational programming. Meeting facilities include a room and basic audio-visual services. Registration to attend SIG meetings will be included in the annual meeting registration process and attendance must be open to any interested attendee on a space-available basis.
Resources upon request:
- SIGs may establish a discussion group and online resource library within the ASPHO member community.
- The chair may submit information for dissemination to members in the ASPHO eNewsletter or similar electronic communications.
- The national office will assist in coordination of the SIG annual meeting and announcements.
- Up to three conference calls annually will be facilitated by use of the ASPHO meeting calling lines but require advance notice and scheduling.
- A basic web page will be established for each SIG.
SIGs operate within Society’s incorporation, bylaws, policies and insurance, and as such are accountable to the Society to comply with applicable laws and rules. The chair is charged with leading the group’s activities, maintaining accountability and reporting to the Board of Trustees. Chairs will follow a prescribed set of policies or procedures which establish clear limits on sanctioned activities and restrictions on the SIG’s ability to act or speak on behalf of the organization.
Governance of each SIG should be handled by a three-position leadership team, consisting of the following positions: Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past Chair. Beginning the third year following establishment of the SIG, each officer will serve for a term of one year.
SIG Responsibilities and Restrictions
Every SIG has a responsibility to uphold the image and advance the mission of the Society, to promote optimal care of children with blood diseases and cancer.
SIG leadership will coordinate the annual selection of a new chair elect by the SIG members at their meeting held during the ASPHO Annual Conference. Chairs will plan for the annual meeting and submit annual reports to the Board of Trustees upon request. The Society may call upon its SIGs for expertise and commentary in areas of research, clinical practice, or policy.
SIGs must abide by the policies of the Society, and specifically
- May not use the name or logo of the Society without authorization
- Will not act independently in the name of or on behalf of the Society
- Forbidden to engage in independent fundraising
- Should not communicate opinions or positions in the name of ASPHO without express prior consent or approval of the Board of Trustees.
Disbanding/Dissolution of Special Interest Groups
The ASPHO Board of Trustees may decide to disband or dissolve, or seek new leadership in the case of any SIG that is consistently non-compliant with ASPHO SIG policies, conducting business that is unlawful or inconsistent with the Society’s mission or inactive.
In the event a SIG is disbanded or dissolved, all records and reports must be forwarded to the national office. All funds designated for the group revert to the ASPHO Operating Budget.