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Health Council By-Laws

Article I       Name

Article II      Purpose and Responsibilities

Article III     Membership

Article IV      Council Meetings

Article V       Coordinating Committee

Article VI      Task Forces, Sub-Committees and Advisory Boards

Article VII     Amendments

Appendix        Composition and Voting Rights

Adopted by vote of the Dukes County Commissioners on September 12, 1996
subsequently amended by vote of the Dukes County Commissioners
in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007 and on November 16, 2011

Dukes County Health & Human Services Advisory Council
Approved September 12, 1996
Amended 1998; 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2011

Article I       Name
The official name of the Council shall be the Dukes County Health and Human Services Advisory Council.  The working name shall be the Dukes County Health Council.

Article II      Purpose and Responsibilities
A.      Purpose
1)      In accordance with Resolution #001-96 adopted by the County Commissioners on the 6th of March, 1996 (attached herewith as Appendix A), to provide advice and recommendations to the Dukes County Commissioners regarding a cooperative, integrated and consumer-centered health care system.
2)      To create a plan for an integrated health care system.
3)      To facilitate the implementation of that plan.
4)      To annually review, evaluate, and revise as appropriate, the integrated health care plan.
B.      Responsibilities
Specific responsibilities would include but not be limited to the following:
1)      Create a structure with a set of shared values that will allow the mission to be accomplished.
2)      Identify community health needs, assess services, and foster the development of programs to meet those needs.
3)      Identify the health education needs of the community and foster the development of programs to meet those needs.
4)      Develop a plan whose purpose is to recommend a coordinated system of services that integrates alternative and traditional methods of care.
5)      Analyze health data.
6)      Identify the financial resources necessary to implement the plan.
7)      Identify community health status indicators and recommend priorities to be addressed by the Health Council.
8)      Develop methods to support the availability and fuller utilization of appropriate Island-based services.
9)      Develop community relations programs that will gather and distribute information, and educate the public.
10)     Annually review and evaluate the integrated health care system of the island.

Article III     Membership
A.      Eligibility
Membership in the Council will be open to any individual who has an interest in the health and wellness of the people of Dukes County, including providers and consumers of such services.  Members are expected to be committed to fulfilling the mission statement of the Health Council.

B.      Composition
The Health Council shall reflect the population of Dukes County.  Diverse attitudes and backgrounds related to the delivery of health care shall be represented.  The Health Council will consist of thirty-seven (37) voting seats (attached herewith as Appendix dated November 16, 2011) appointed by the Dukes County Commissioners to represent as practically as possible:
                        Eight-Ten (8-10) Consumers
        Five-Six (5-6) Public Officials
        Six (6-8) Health Care Practitioners/Professionals
        Eight-Ten (8-10) Representatives of Health Provider Organizations
and The Associate Commissioner for Public Health (Ex Officio), the Associate Commissioner for Homeless Affairs (Ex Officio), the Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning Handicapped Persons (Ex Officio), the Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning the Elderly (Ex Officio), the and the Associate Commissioner(s) for Youth (1 Vote)

C.      Appointment
1)      The Coordinating Committee will create a Nominating Committee to oversee the appointment process and make recommendations for appointment to the County Commissioners in consultation with the Council.
2)      The schedule for application will be set so that appointments will be made in January.  All appointments will be two-year terms, except when completing a vacancy and when the process for staggered terms is implemented.
3)      A press release and/or ad will be placed in island newspapers soliciting interested members of the public to apply.  Those interested in serving on the Council shall complete an application to be submitted to the Dukes County Commissioners.
4)      Appointees to the Council serve at the pleasure of the Dukes County Commissioners; it is the responsibility of sponsoring organizations to petition the County Commissioners for a replacement if the person recommended by them becomes inactive within their organization.
5)      Vacancies will be filled at the discretion of the County Commissioners after receiving recommendations from the Council.

D.      Membership Rights and Responsibilities
Each member of the Council:
1)      Shall receive written notice of all regularly scheduled meetings of the Council, the Coordinating Committee, and Council work groups;
2)      Shall be entitled to vote and otherwise participate in the business of such meetings;
3)      May submit items for placement on the agenda of meetings, provided such request is made at least ten days prior to the date of such meeting;
4)      Will refrain from voting when matters being voted on present a conflict of interest, or if voting on minutes of meeting where absent;
5)      May submit letters of resignation if they are unable to meet minimum standards for attendance (75% of the regularly scheduled meetings of the Council per calendar year), participation, or any other reason;
6)      Shall be a member of either the Coordinating Committee or a Council work group.

E.      Health Council Activities
1)      Identify and prioritize health system issues to be addressed by Council work groups.
2)      Elect members to the Coordinating Committee.
3)      Act upon recommendations submitted by the Coordinating Committee.
4)      Approve recommendations to be submitted to the Dukes County Commissioners.
5)      Designate representatives to present approved recommendations to the Dukes County Commissioners.
6)      Facilitate implementation of the actions taken by the County    Commissioners.

Article IV      Council Meetings
All meetings of the Council shall be subject to the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.

A.      Regular Meetings
Council meetings shall generally be held monthly, but may be held more or less frequently at the discretion of the Coordinating Committee.  One such meeting will be designated as the Annual Meeting.

B.      Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting shall be scheduled by the Coordinating Committee for the purpose of approving the budget and for the transaction of such other business as may come before the meeting.
C.      Special Meetings
Council members will be given five days advance notification by mail, or forty-eight hours by telephone, if a special meeting is called.
D.      Governance
1)      At all Council meetings, a majority of its formally appointed, non-Ex Officio members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business properly coming before the meeting.
2)      The Council will make decisions of policy and purpose based on the principle of achieving group consensus.  Votes may be taken as a means of confirming the will of the group.  A 2/3 majority vote of members present will constitute a consensus on matters of policy.
3)      A simple majority vote of members present shall decide questions coming before them related to issues of budget.  The County Manager will be asked to vote if there is a need to break a tie.
4)      Meeting process will be based on C.T. Butler’s “Consensus” and Robert’s Rules of Order.

Article V       Coordinating Committee
A.      Composition
The Coordinating Committee will consist of seven members, elected by the general membership of the Council.  

B.      Term of Office
Members of the Coordinating Committee shall be elected by the general membership of the Council following the first regular meeting in January after appointment.  Coordinating Committee members shall serve a one-year term.

C.      Election
1)      Health Council members who are interested in serving on the Coordinating Committee will make their interest known on their application form.  At the first regular meeting of the Council each nominee will be invited to speak to Council. Each member may vote for seven candidates.  The seven highest vote getters will be elected to the Coordinating Committee.
2)      In the event of a tie that results in more than seven members being elected, there will be a run-off for those slots affected.
3)      In the event of a vacancy on the Coordinating Committee, a replacement member to serve out the remaining term will be elected by the Health Council.
D.              Officers
The Coordinating Committee will nominate a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, to be ratified by the Health Council.  These officers will serve in that capacity for both the Coordinating Committee and the Health Council.
E.      Coordinating Committee Activities
In support of the Purpose and Responsibilities as outlined in Article II, A & B:
1)      Facilitate the work of the Health Council & establish the necessary Task Forces, Sub-Committees and Advisory Boards.
2)      Coordinate Task Force, Sub-Committee and Advisory Board activities.
3)      Review Task Force, Sub-Committee and Advisory Board objectives and timelines.
4)      Make recommendations to the Health Council.
F.      Meeting Protocol
The Coordinating Committee shall hold meetings at least monthly, alternating with the Health Council.  The quorum for the Committee shall be a majority of the total Committee membership.  Consensus remains the guiding principle, but a majority of the quorum may decide a question.

Article VI      Task Forces, Sub-Committees and Advisory Boards
Unless otherwise provided, membership in Task Forces, Sub-Committees and Advisory Boards will be drawn from the Health Council and from the public at large.  These work groups will coordinate their work and carry out their responsibilities consistent with the overall goals of the Health Council and other Council work groups.  Task Forces, Sub-Committees and Advisory Boards shall submit reports and recommendations to the Coordinating Committee and to the Council at large as deemed necessary. Each Council work group shall choose its own chairperson.  They shall set their own frequency for meeting.  In addition, efforts and activities will be guidedby the principle of community involvement.

Article VII     Amendments
Any member of the Health Council may make a recommendation for an amendment to the bylaws.  Any amendment to the bylaws requires a 2/3 vote of the Council.  Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to all Council members prior to a regularly scheduled meeting.

Dukes County Health & Human Services Advisory Council
Appendix – Composition and Voting Rights
Approved November 16, 2011

The Health Council will be composed of 37 voting seats, 5 of which are ex officio (see below) and 32 are members appointed by the DCC as follows:

8-10 Consumers (shall include, but are not limited to, representatives of):

The Business Community
The Public Sector
The Clergy
Public School Students
People With Disabilities
Senior Citizens
  • With not more than 20% of their gross household (earned) income to be derived from any health care related activity
  • Consumers may not serve as an elected officer on the board of any local health provider organization
5-6 Public Officials (shall include, but are not limited to):
  • One County Commissioner or their representative.
  • One representative of the Island Police, Fire, EMTs or Boards of Health
  • One representative of Wampanoag Health Services
  • One representative of Elder Services/MV Center for Living
  • One representative of the Regional School System
6-8 Health Care Practitioners/Professionals
  • 2-4 Physicians
  • 2-4 Non-physician practitioners
8-10 Representatives of Health Provider Organizations (shall include, but are not limited to):
  • 2-3 Representatives from M. V. Hospital, including:
                One administrator representing Windemere
  • 2-3 Representatives from M. V. Community Services
  • 4-6 Other Provider Appointees will be chosen from, but not limited to:
                Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard
                Island Health Care
                The Vineyard Nursing Association
                The Whole Health Alliance
Plus the following Health & Human Services Associate Commissioners and County Employees:

Associate Commissioners: Ex-Officio (Voting)
County Employees: Ex-Officio (Non-Voting)
Assoc. Commissioner – Public Health
County Manager
Assoc. Commissioner – Homeless
Director – Vineyard Health Care Access Program
Assoc. Commissioner – Handicapped Affairs
Coalition Coordinator – Youth Task Force
Assoc. Commissioner – Elderly Affairs
Veterans’ Agent
Assoc. Commissioner(s) – Youth (1 Vote)

A majority of the formally appointed, non Ex-Officio members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business properly coming before all Health Council meetings.

The County of Dukes County PO Box 190, Edgartown, MA 02539
Phone: 508.696.3840    Fax: 508.696.3841
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