Bylaws of the Middle East Association for Health Informatics
NAME AND AFFILIATION
The name of this organization shall be the Middle East Association for Health Informatics, also known as the MEAHI. It is a not-for-profit organization.
PURPOSE AND FUNCTION
The MEAHI mission is to strengthen & support Biomedical / Health Informatics activities in the Middle East region. It brings together a professional association solely devoted to Biomedical / Health Informatics, and will benefit by working with the collage of recognized world leaders whom have made major contributions to field.
The Association Shall:
- Serve as an autonomous Middle East regional body of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) so as to promote the work and activities of IMIA among countries in the Middle East
- Represent Middle East in international arenas of Medical / Health Informatics
- Maintain formal channels of communication with WHO-EMRO , relevant professional , industrial , and governmental organizations, particularly among countries in the Middle East
- Heighten Middle East healthcare professionals & public awareness in regards to Medical / Health Informatics usage in community health improvement in collaboration with the governments bodies such as Ministries of Health in the region.
- Hold scientific, technical and educational seminars , workshops , meetings and forums in the field of Medical / Health Informatics
- Provide an arena for the exchange of ideas, dissemination of knowledge, improve problem-solving skill sets, and implement coordinated action with respect to Biomedical / Health Informatics.
- Provide a locus for the development of Middle East Biomedical / Health Informatics standards and technologies with the direct collaboration and involvement of recognized international bodies such as ISO, etc
- Bring about a locus for the development of regional Health Information Strategy involving collaboration with experts around the world, and serve in an advisory role to the governments in the region for the management of related projects
- Stimulate, foster and conduct the research into the application & evaluation of Biomedical / Health Informatics technologies, also involving collaboration with experts around the world
- Provide world class proposals to attract necessary budgets for implementation of pan Middle East Biomedical / Health Informatics projects from international funds
- Promote high standards in the field of Biomedical/Health Informatics at both the undergraduate ( with collaboration of EMRO/WHO2) and postgraduate educational levels
- Promote the field of Biomedical/Health Informatics as a viable and respectable profession in the region
The seat of the Association shall be the place in which the president of MEAHI manages the related affairs.
A) Membership of MEAHI shall be open to National Societies from countries and areas in the Middle East region with objectives compatible with its own. The national boundaries shall be adopted based on the United Nations Organization membership.
- National Membership (Full Membership): In each country, a national scientific or technical society or a group of such societies may become a National Member (Full Member), with the restriction that there shall be only one National Member for any country and that it shall be representative of the national activities in the field of health and biomedical informatics. In those countries in which the national association is an existing National IMIA member, that national association shall also be deemed the Full MEAHI Member for that country. Only Full Members have the right to host the triennial MEAHI Conference.
- Corresponding Membership: Individuals ( Physicians, Dentists, Pharmacists, Nurses, Biomedical Engineers, Medical Librarians , Researchers ,Healthcare Informatics professionals and other healthcare professionals who have a strong interest in Biomedical / Health Informatics ) in the countries where there is no existing national society in the field of Biomedical/Health informatics may apply to become a Corresponding Member of MEAHI.
- Institutional Membership: NGO’s, Nonprofit Associations, Medical universities, Nonprofit Universities, Research Institutes, Libraries, Hospitals, Companies
- Sponsors and Patrons Membership (Financial Membership): Recognition of companies and philanthropists who support MEAHI
- Honorary Membership: Honorary members are persons who have earned exceptional merit in furthering the aims and interests of MEAHI.
B) Memberships Dues: to be determined by the boards of Directors
C) Membership Admission: The MEAHI annual general meeting shall decide on the admission of national members (full members), corresponding members, institutional members, sponsor & patron members and honorary members upon recommendation of the Board of Directors. All admissions must be accepted by a two-thirds majority vote of the MEAHI annual general meeting. If an application is received from a country already represented by a National Member, the Board of Directors shall attempt to resolve the difficulties by mediating with the organizations involved. If the negotiations are not successful, the Board shall prepare a report to the annual general meeting recommending one of the following alternatives : a) to reject the new application b) to propose to the annual general meeting that the applying organization is more representative than the existing National Member c) to suggest to the organization a mechanism for merging their interest and then to re-examine the matter one year later. The annual general meeting shall then decide on the Membership status for the country concerned.
D) Termination of Membership: The membership of a National Member, Corresponding Member , Institutional member or Sponsor member shall be terminated: (a) by declaration of the Member, the resignation to take effect from the beginning of the ensuing year (b) by a two-thirds majority of all National Members, upon Recommendation of termination by the Board of Directors
E) Voting rights: Only National Members of MEAHI have full voting rights at the annual general meeting and they have only one vote, irrespective of the number of representatives at the meeting. Only members who have paid the fees up to the preceding year have the right to vote. All other Members have voting rights on all matters except the following:
(a) changes to the MEAHI Bylaws (b) admission and exclusion of Members (c) adoption of the budget
F) IMIA membership and relationship: the national member of MEAHI will be introduced to IMIA board for secondary approval of IMIA general assembly as new IMIA national members as well. All membership fees, which will be collected by MEAHI on national memberships, will be paid in full to IMIA in accordance with IMIA national membership policy.
G) Meetings and Events:
- There shall be one annual general meeting. At which time determination of fundamental policy, adoption of the program of activity, approving the reports of any subordinate bodies ( e.g. scientific working groups ) it may have established,decision on admission and termination of members , adoption the budget, reviewing the expenditures and accepting the audit reports shall be done. In addition, the officers and directors of the board are elected for a term of four years, with the privilege of re-election for one additional continual four years term. The meeting shall take place prior to the commencement of the subsequent calendar year so as to allow sufficient time to install elected officers and directors and to complete orientation as to performance of duties.
- The annual general meeting , however be convened at any time if the President, after consultation with the board of directors , deems it necessary
- The Annual General Meeting shall be composed of one representative or an alternative from each National and Corresponding Member, the honorary members, the sponsor members and the Institutional Members. Members of the MEAHI Annual General Meeting shall be encouraged to appoint a representative for a period of four years.
- The scientific activities of MEAHI shall be done via Scientific Working Groups. A Scientific Working Group is established by the annual general meeting upon the submission of the proposed scope of the working group and shall deliver whatever results are decided at a specific time. A Working Group shall consist of individuals selected and assigned, without consideration of nationality, to work in a specific area. The Annual General Meeting upon recommendation by the Board of Directors elects the Chairman of a Working Group. The term of office of the Chairman and Members is four years but can be renewed. The Members of a Working Group are appointed by the MEAHI President. There shall be a minimum of three events during the year either physically or virtually in addition to the annual general meeting for carrying out scientific, educational programs and exchange of information between parties.
- A notice stating the purpose of all meetings and events; with a request for items for the agenda; shall be circulated by secretary to all Members required in attendance two month before the event. The agenda will be issued one month before the meeting.
- A quorum shall consist of sixty percent (60%) of the MEAHI Membership at a general meeting.
- To promote research activities, scientific information exchange ,networking and learning lessons from Biomedical/Health informatics activities & experiences in this region (MEAHI) , a triennial conference with title of “ Middle East Conference on Healthcare Informatics “ will be held by MEAHI.
- In the year in which there will be held a triennial MEAHI Conference, the host country for the Annual General Meeting shall be the same as the country hosting the triennial MEAHI Conference.
- To promote the scientific networking, the MEAHI board shall facilitate the productive periodical Webinars, Teleconferences and all methods of virtual meetings whichever is possible.
The Officers and Board of Directors of the MEAHI shall be:
President: IMIA board recommends the President. He/she shall preside at MEAHI Board Meetings; serve as official representative and spokesperson of the MEAHI at international functions, conferences, and conventions. He/she will be responsible for sound financial administration of the MEAHI, sign contracts as authorized by the Board by majority vote and co-sign checks with the Treasurer. The President shall represent MEAHI as IMIA Vice-President (Middle East) during his/her term of office.
Vice President: the President appoints Him/her after approval by MEAHI Board of Directors. He/She fills in for the President in case of emergency resulting in the President being unable to fulfill his/her MEAHI duties.
Secretary: He/She has responsibility for Executive Management of MEAHI Communications and Records including Board Meeting Minutes and Reports documenting all official MEAHI business activities.
Treasurer: He/She has responsibility for Executive MEAHI Financial Management including Accounting and Banking records and management and co-signing checks with the President as authorized by the Board. The Treasurer shall keep an accurate financial record of MEAHI receipts and disbursements; co-sign checks and other documents as directed by the Board; submit books for annual audit; make records available for reporting to the Annual Meeting and to the Board meetings.
Executive Director: He/she shall provide assistance to the President in carrying out the policies and actions authorized by the Board; conduct the affairs of the MEAHI between meetings of the Board; report to the Board on any Board-referred or other actions taken on behalf of the Board; serve for the Board at the Board's direction.
These above five officers are the initial officers and members of the MEAHI Board of Directors. Other Board of Directors members and officers shall be named and nominated by the Board as the need is recognized.
The election of officers of the MEAHI shall be held at the annual meeting of the membership. All officers, as named in the preceding paragraph, shall be elected for a term of four years, with the privilege of reelection for one additional continual four years term. Officers shall take office immediately following the annual meeting of the membership or upon the first day of the following calendar year, whichever occurs last.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors shall conduct the affairs of the MEAHI. The authority of the Board of Directors shall be to administer and to make decisions for MEAHI, with the exception of those decisions specially for the annual general meeting. The Board of Directors will review and revise programs and budget, if needed, in between annual general meetings. The President shall conduct meetings of the annual general meeting and preside over the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall consist of neither less than five (5) nor more than seven (7) in number who shall be elected for a four-year term. The officers, as identified in Article 5 above, shall serve as Members of the Board.
Elections. The Board members (the President will be recommended by IMIA board) shall be nominated by the Members to the Board who will have final approval of Nominees under the direction of the President. Election of directors shall occur at the annual meeting.
Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be conducted at least two times in each year, however virtually (via internet) can be conducted monthly or in emergencies by request of board members or president. Schedule of Board of Directors regular Meetings shall be published at the beginning of each MEAHI year and written notice of meetings of the Board of Directors shall be given one month in advance including the date, time and place of the meeting, soliciting agenda items from the Board Members. Board Members shall submit Agenda Items to the Executive Director and the Meeting Agenda shall be finalized by the President and published by the Executive Director one week in advance of the meeting.
Quorum. The Quorum for the MEAHI Board of Directors is 60% or 3 of the 5 Officers. Approval on any issue requires a majority vote of 60% of Board Members (3 of 5 Board Members or 5 of 7 if the Board expands). Any vacancy occurring on the Board of Directors may be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors at any regular or special meeting of the Board, upon recommendation by the President Attendance is a requisite of service.
A board member can be placed upon probationary status upon recommendation of the President, subject to approval of the Board, after two (2) unexcused absences from Board meetings during one calendar year. Prior to removal, the delinquent board member shall be given written notice and an opportunity to recommit attendance and service to the MEAHI and shall be placed on probationary status. If on probationary status, removal is automatic upon an unexcused failure of attendance at the subsequent Board of Directors meeting.
Excused absences are defined as follows:
- Prior to meeting or event-the board member shall notify the President or any other executive office of the anticipated absence and shall appoint a “proxy” for voting, and to submit reports or make recommendations on his or her behalf if it is part of the scheduled agenda for the forthcoming meeting.
- After meeting or event,the board member shall submit reasonable excuse or explanation for non-attendance, unless the board member has unexcused absences allowed under the prior section describing the attendance requirements. However, courtesy dictates reasonable explanation and substitution of duties to an appointee.
Each board member will accept appointment or election only upon committing to give full support and active assistance as required under Article 4 and 5 describing the duties of a board member and officer, to participate and encourage attendance of others at MEAHI activities, and to provide support of his or her resources in furtherance of the goals and programs of the MEAHI through employment of the director's individual creative talents, administrative abilities, financial support, attendance, and physical assistance in MEAHI projects. No board member is ever expected to contribute time, money, interest or labor to his or her detriment. The support is solicited, not exploited.
Each board member will engage his or her best talents or abilities to solicit, promote, and encourage individuals and companies to provide financial assistance or services. Each board member will cooperate and provide active assistance to all membership-promoting activities.
RATIFICATION AND AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
- MEAHI By-laws shall be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of Board of Directors of IMIA
- Any amendments in By-laws or dissolution of the Association shall be submitted (providing the full text of the proposal with at least one month in advance written notice ) by the MEAHI President ( based on a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present at the annual membership meeting of the MEAHI and the MEAHI Board of Directors recommendation & consent ) to the IMIA board . In addition, in the case of dissolution, the Board of Directors shall decide on the method of liquidation of the Association and the disposal of its assets.
- Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the MEAHI shall be January 1 through December 31 each Gregorian calendar year.
- Budget. The budget shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors and shall be adopted by end of first week of January of each fiscal year. MEAHI shall be financed by the profits accrued from its triennial Conferences, educational workshops & programs, consultancy roles, subscriptions from Sponsors, Institutional Members, donations, contributions, royalties from publications and interests on funds.
- Audit. There shall be a yearly audit of the finances of the MEAHI. Copies of the Audit shall be given to each member of the Board & will be published to the Membership at the annual general meeting.
- Checks. All Checks shall have two official signatures, that of the President and Treasurer.
Any document committing MEAHI shall be signed by the President, in accordance with and subsequent to an explicit minute of a meeting of the Board of Directors. All legal matters, whether MEAHI is the plaintiff or the defendant, shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors , represented by the President or one of its Members designated for this purpose.
Last updated on December 15 2012