DEPARTMENTS
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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
Achieving Operational Excellence
BY CYNTHIA A. OSTROWSKI, AIHA PRESIDENT

As I mentioned in my previous column, the AIHA Board created a task force in October to review the relationship between the Board and our local sections. The Board issued a call for volunteers, and five members were selected to participate on the task force, which also included the incoming chair of the Local Sections Council (LSC), current and past Local Section Regional Representatives (LSRRs), current AIHA Board liaisons, and one early-career professional who is a local section officer. The Board approved the task force’s recommendation to discontinue the LSRR program. The task force also reviewed the activities of the LSC and concluded that changes are necessary to make the council more effective.

IMPROVING COMMUNICATION The current Local Sections Council was formed in 1971. Its membership comprises the president-elect and president of each local section, who elect the LSC’s vice-chair. The vice-chair succeeds to the office of chair, followed by past-chair. Each position is a two-year commitment. Including these officers, the LSC has 137 members. However, the task force learned that many council members were not familiar with its activities and those of its officers, and some were even unaware they were LSC members. This information led the task force to question the effectiveness of the council in its current form. Ultimately, the task force recommended that the LSC transition into a Local Sections Advisory Group comprising six members: two local section presidents, two student local section presidents, and two AIHA Board liaisons. The two local section representatives will be elected by the local section presidents, and the two student local section representatives will be elected by the student local section presidents. The two AIHA Board liaisons will be selected by the AIHA president.
The Local Section Advisory Group will provide guidance to AIHA national on local section issues.
CYNTHIA A. OSTROWSKI, CIH, is AIHA president and owner of CAO Consulting near Detroit, Mich. She can be reached via email.

The inclusion of student representatives is an important change. Students did not participate on the LSC; now, as part of the Local Sections Advisory Group, they will have direct communication with the AIHA Board. Like the LSC, the Local Section Advisory Group will provide guidance to AIHA national on local section issues, and, like all national advisory groups, it will be expected to provide updates on its activities. A dedicated AIHA staff member will work with the Local Section Advisory Group to further improve communication between AIHA national and local sections. UPDATING THE BYLAWS Because the LSC appears in the AIHA bylaws, the switch to the Local Section Advisory Group will require AIHA members to ratify a bylaws change. Currently, Article XI, Section 6 of the bylaws describes the LSC as follows:
The two highest ranking officers of each Local Section shall be members of the Local Sections Council of the AIHA. The Local Sections Council shall meet not less often than annually within one (1) week of the Annual Meeting of the membership. It shall communicate its concerns to and coordinate its activities with the Board of Directors of AIHA.
It will be necessary to change the bylaws to read as follows:
The Local Section Advisory Group shall consist of two local section representatives, two student local section representatives and two AIHA board liaisons. The Local Section Advisory Group shall meet not less often than annually within one (1) week of the Annual Meeting of the membership. It shall communicate its concerns to and coordinate its activities with the Board of Directors of AIHA.
The membership will be asked to vote on this change later this year. I hope I can count on your support to improve the communication between the AIHA Board and our local sections and student local sections.