In a major effort to empower more members in shaping Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) policies, the Society has launched WisMed PolicyLink – an online resource available 24/7/365 to members for submitting health care policies the Society should include in its health care advocacy. The new tool will further enhance the Society’s status as a health care leader, offering member physicians a much more accessible and convenient way to promote high quality patient care and support physicians’ ability to practice medicine.
The Society’s previous policymaking system required proposals to be acted upon just once per year at an in-person meeting – following a decades-old tradition that also required ideas to be presented in Resolution form, with specific style requirements rooted more in tradition than utility. PolicyLink is a more free-form experience, with the ability to share information about the proposal, why it’s needed and how the new policy’s language should read. Members can also attach background information or other materials that help justify the proposal’s merit.
Once an idea is submitted into PolicyLink, other members can review the proposal and provide reaction. After that comment period, the proposal and feedback will be analyzed by a new Policy Review Committee (PRC), made of members from around the state. The PRC will make a recommendation to the Society’s Board of Directors on whether the proposal should be approved, rejected or amended. Members will be able to vote on whether they think the Board’s decision is correct.
“The strength of the Society lies in its members, and this new tool will allow physicians in every corner of the state to weigh in on Society policies – and at a time convenient for them,” said Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD, who will be the staff point person helping members use the new system. “And while PolicyLink is a much more convenient way for members to participate in setting Society policy, the tool is still new – so we’ll be stress testing it and making improvements along the way.”
Feedback from Society members following recent annual meetings helped spur the change, Grapentine said.
“Over the years we’ve heard troubling feedback following annual meetings that were often bogged down by wordsmithing, first-and second-order amendments and rules of order that left members feeling both confused and even annoyed,” Grapentine said. “PolicyLink is part of the new process that should help physicians feel more empowered instead of turned off. And as a bonus, a future annual meeting can focus more on what energizes physicians: opportunities for education, camaraderie and special programming that unites members of this incredible profession.”
The Society is the latest in a growing list of state medical societies to transition to a more modern and inclusive policymaking process. You must be logged in through your member credentials in order to access PolicyLink. Contact us for assistance with logging in. Contact Mark Grapentine, JD with any questions or suggestions.
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