Shifting bylaws to policies

Bylaws change

Since its inception, ASHE has been part of the American Hospital Association as one of its professional membership groups. ASHE’s organizing documents have traditionally been the ASHE bylaws, a structure typically used for independent non-profits. ASHE and seven other AHA professional membership groups are a division of the AHA, not a separate legal entity. For this reason, each professional membership group will be transitioning its current bylaws to a set of policies.

The shift from bylaws to policies is part of the AHA’s work to become a high performing organization. As part of this initiative, the AHA is refining its governance documents to align with the existing organizational structure. The substance of the existing bylaws will not change as the document shifts to policies.

What is changing?

Terminology. The current ASHE bylaws will now be called policies because there should be only one set of official bylaws for a legal entity to avoid confusion. Because ASHE is a part of AHA, and there can only be one Board of Directors, ASHE Board Members will no longer be called “Region 1 Director” or “Region 5 Director.” Instead, they will be called “Region 1 Board Member” or Region 5 Board Member.”

What is not changing?
The substance of ASHE bylaws/policies is not changing. ASHE’s election rules will remain the same, as will the composition of the board, membership rules, rules regarding affiliated chapters, and all other matters dictated by the current bylaws. A side-by-side comparison of the bylaws with the new policies is available here.

The ASHE board has reviewed this closely and supports the change. In addition, a bylaws taskforce made of several current and former presidents and board members reviewed all of the changes – that group also supports the shift to policies.