NH Health & Equity Partnership Guiding Principles
ARTICLE I: Name
The name of this coalition will be the New Hampshire Health & Equity Partnership (H&EP).
ARTICLE II: Vision
Everyone in New Hampshire has a fair opportunity to live a long, healthy life.
ARTICLE III: Mission
To increase the success and effectiveness of public and private initiatives that work to promote health and equity for racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities, and address the determinants of health through the collaboration of partners, leaders, and stakeholders committed to action within New Hampshire.
ARTICLE IV: Organization
The H&EP will consist of a general body including recruited and self-appointed members as well as a Steering Committee. The H&EP will maintain a strategic plan of recommendations to achieve the vision. The recommendations will encompass all possible productive work that could achieve the vision either by subcommittees of the H&EP or by other organizations who share the H&EP’s vision. Subcommittees will be set up to develop and implement strategies and activities in accordance with the strategic plan. Subcommittees will not be responsible for all aspects of the strategic plan.
ARTICLE V: Membership
Persons and organizations who share the vision and support the mission of the H&EP are eligible for membership to the H&EP general body.
ARTICLE VI: Meetings
- Full Partnership
The H&EP’s general body will meet periodically at least once a year to hear committee reports, discussions of activities and goals and proposals for action, etc. A notice of meeting will be provided to members at least four weeks in advance.
The Steering Committee is responsible for appointing the subcommittee chair(s) for the committees it establishes. Committees will meet either bimonthly or monthly, as determined by the committee chairs and members. Committees will develop an annual work plan to achieve their appointed responsibilities. The work plans are to be presented to, and approved by the Steering Committee. Alterations made to the work plan throughout the year also need to come before the Steering Committee.
ARTICLE VII: Steering Committee
- Decision Making
Decision making for the H&EP rests with the Steering Committee. In areas that are potentially controversial, the Steering Committee will make effort to solicit input from the full H&EP.
- Decisions for action can be presented to the Steering Committee via presentation at a Steering Committee Meeting, or electronically in the form of an e-mail to Steering Committee members.
- A quorum of 50% plus one member of the Steering Committee must participate in the decision to approve the action.
- If responses are gathered electronically, response period must be a minimum of 5 business days.
- The Steering Committee attempts to reach decisions by consensus.
- When consensus is not possible, decisions will be made by a 2/3 majority vote through a one-member, one-vote process of the members in attendance or voting electronically.
- Any request of a Steering Committee member for a secret ballot will be honored; the project manager will count the ballots and announce the tally.
- The Steering Committee will consist of a minimum of 9 and no more than 16 members.
- Members are considered Non-Standing and come from the nomination process. As a guideline, they may be individuals or organizations from any of the following domains:
- Advocacy or Policy
- Public Health
- Racial, Ethnic, Linguistic Minority Community
- Academia / Education
- Community or Faith Based
- Health Care
- Other social determinants of health domains (transportation, housing, built environment, etc.)
- Other domain considered a priority based on current H&EP initiatives
- Current Funder
3. Term of Membership
The term of membership for the Steering Committee members is three years. At the end of each three year term, a member in good standing will be offered an opportunity to renew for an additional term. There is no limit in the number of times members can renew their terms.
4. Nominations/Elections to Steering Committee
Nominations for appointment to the Steering Committee will be accepted in the spring of each year from H&EP’s general body of members. Persons may nominate themselves or others. Nominees will need to complete an application (which includes a brief biography and statement of interest) prior to consideration.
New members are selected by Steering Committee consensus, and vote if needed. The Steering Committee is responsible for balancing representation among issues, populations, skills, and geographic areas.
All members will be required to maintain active membership as demonstrated by participating on an on-going basis via in-person meetings, conference calls, e-mails and other duties as determined.
The Steering Committee will meet at least every other month. Record of meeting activity will be kept. Steering committee members missing more than three consecutive meetings, including full Partnership meetings, will be asked to reaffirm their commitment to serve to the satisfaction of the Steering Committee, or to resign from the committee.
6. Conflicts of Interest
Steering committee members are responsible for performing their role and responsibilities in good faith and in the best interests of the H&EP. A conflict of interest occurs when a steering committee member, a relative of a steering committee member, or the organization the steering committee member works for has a self-interest, (personal, business, financial, or other) that conflicts with or has the potential to conflict with the best interest of the Partnership. Steering committee members are required to disclose conflicts of interest when they arise, in particular when the steering committee member is aware of circumstances that might reasonably cause his or her impartiality to be questioned. Steering committee members are required to annually sign a form acknowledging and agreeing to abide by the conflict of interest policy set forth in here. The intent of this policy is to promote transparency.
The roles of the Steering Committee members are to:
- Serve as leaders and catalysts for strengthening health equity actions within New Hampshire in response to the 2011 Plan to Address Health Disparities and Promote Health Equity in New Hampshire;
- Demonstrate ownership and stewardship of the Partnership
- Enhance collaboration between health equity stakeholders in the state or specific community, including public-private partnerships, aligning related initiatives and programs and leveraging assets to more effectively accomplish health disparity reduction goals; and
- Serve as information and resource brokers/consultants, sharing analytic data, technical assistance, evidence-based and emerging best practices, and other informational resources to help support the sustainability, effectiveness and growth of efforts to reduce health disparities.
The Steering Committee will have the following responsibilities:
- Provide leadership, guidance, and recommendations to the full H&EP to ensure that its activities are consistent with the strategic plan, the Plan to Address Health Disparities and Promote Health Equity in New Hampshire.
- Monitor progress annually towards long-term goals and priorities outlined in the Plan and review and revise workplans accordingly.
- No less than every three years initiate a review and assessment of the Plan to determine if a new planning process is needed.
- Convene for training on special topics as determined necessary to augment the capacity of the Steering Committee members and subcommittee chairs to fulfill their responsibilities.
- Designate subcommittees and/or ad-hoc work groups to address aspects of the Plan, facilitating the H&EP in achieving its vision. Appoint chair(s) for subcommittees.
- Where possible, at least one member of the Steering Committee will participate in a liaison role on committees designated by the Steering Committee to facilitate communication and collaborative action.
- Receive, review and approve recommendations for action issues from H&EP subcommittees. Present recommendations with guidance to the full H&EP for feedback.
- Monitor and assess progress of subcommittees and provide feedback and advice on relevant issues.
- Cultivate leadership to maintain accountability and sustain the Steering Committee and subcommittees.
- Represent the H&EP before the public
- Forward news media requests to the Steering Committee Chair and the Program Director.
- Bring forward requests for endorsement/support/co-sponsorship for related initiatives (such as co-sponsoring a conference, writing a letter of support for a grant proposal, etc.) to the Steering Committee for consideration and approval.
9. Steering Committee Leadership
The H&EP Steering Committee will elect from its members two officers, a Chair and Vice-Chair.
- The Chair shall be elected from among the Steering Committee members. The tenure of the Chair is one year, beginning in September. In addition to the member responsibilities, the Chair shall also have the following responsibilities:
- Foster and maintain communication channels to facilitate H&EP Steering Committee activities.
- Develop agendas for the H&EP Steering Committee’s meetings.
- Preside at all full H&EP meetings and Steering Committee meetings.
- Plan and oversee the H&EP Steering Committee’s activities.
2. The Vice Chair shall be elected from among the Steering Committee members. The tenure of the Vice Chair is one year, beginning in September. In addition to the member responsibilities, the Vice Chair shall also have the following responsibilities:
- Serve as Chair in the absence of Chair
- Assume all duties and responsibilities of the Chair in the event the Chair relinquishes the position.
- Assist Chair as needed with their responsibilities
ARTICLE VIII: Advocacy
Endorsement of legislation/lobbying
- As individuals and as representatives of their own organizations, H&EP coalition members are free to lobby for and endorse legislation.
- Although a H&EP recommendation, position or policy may endorse a particular policy that is or becomes embedded in state or national legislation, H&EP does not endorse any specific bill at any time. Instead members are encouraged to use the language that a bill, budget, policy or proposal “is consistent with” a H&EP recommendation, position, or policy.
ARTICLE IX: Amendments to the Guiding Principles
These guiding principles may be amended, repealed, or altered in whole or in part at any point via the decision making process identified in Article 6.
ARTICLE X: Rules of Order
The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order will govern any rules of Parliamentary Procedure not covered by these By-Laws.
ARTICLE XI: Dissolution
The New Hampshire Health & Equity Partnership coalition may dissolve by a two-thirds vote of the H&EP Steering Committee