By-Laws

By-Laws:  Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers

(ratified 1992; amended 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)

Article I: Name and Purpose

The name of this organization is the Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group (HMGSG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG).  The objectives of the HMGSG are to provide an international forum for disseminating research on health and wellbeing, disease, illness, spatial epidemiology, disease ecology, population health, ethnomedicine and non-western understandings of health and medicine, spatial aspects of healthcare delivery, and healthcare policy and political economy. Further, to promote health geography within geography and related disciplines, and advocate its applications and service to public and private agencies and the general public in the developed and developing world. Dues $8 (student $1).

Article II: Membership

HMGSG membership is open to all AAG members in good standing who have notified the AAG of their desire to be HMGSG members subject to the rules of the AAG regarding specialty group membership.  Membership in the HMGSG is on an annual basis concurrent with AAG membership.

Article III: Dues

HMGSG members are assessed annual dues to be set by majority vote at the Annual Business Meeting (ABM) to cover the costs of maintaining the HMGSG website, paying for incidentals associated with awards, sponsoring guests at annual meetings, and other purposes approved by the officers of the group. Student HMGSG members are assessed minimum annual dues of $1.00 as per AAG directive effective 2007.  The AAG Central Office collects specialty group dues as part of the annual AAG membership renewal process.

Article IV: Executive Committee

The HMGSG is administered by an Executive Committee (hereafter referred to as the Committee) consisting of the following officers: a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, and five at-large board members, two of which are graduate students.  All officers must be regular AAG members.  If not an elected member of the board, the webmaster of the HMGSG Website is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Committee.  The Committee may elect other ex-officio, non-voting members of the Committee as it sees fit.  No Committee member may hold more than one elected position at any given time.

The Committee exercises general supervision over the affairs of the HMGSG, legislating policies as seen proper to the interests of the HMGSG.  The Committee performs its duties and abides by the limitations specified in these Bylaws and by the AAG Council as set forth in its Guidelines of 10 December 1991 for the formation and functioning of specialty groups. Substantive actions of the Committee are subject to approval by the majority of the members voting either at the ABM, or by special ballot.  The special ballot regarding a Committee action may be requested by the majority of the members present and voting at the ABM or by a petition signed by at least 20 HMGSG members.

Article V: Duties of Executive Committee Members

The Chairperson is to preside at all meetings of the HMGSG; to be an ex-officio member of all HMGSG committees and task forces except for the Nominating Committee; to convey information about the views of the HMGSG and the Committee to the AAG Council; and to perform all duties inherent in the office and as directed by the Committee.
The Vice-Chair assists the Chairperson, and is prepared to take on the responsibilities of the Chair in their absence. The at-large board members serve on the Committee and carry out other duties as directed by the Chairperson and the Committee.

Article VI: Terms of Executive Committee Members

Chair and Vice-Chair serve one-year terms.  The Vice-Chair will succeed the Chair.  Retiring chairs may serve as ex-officio advisors to the new chair and board.  All at-large board members serve two-year terms.  Student board members serve two-year terms, with the understanding that they may be nominated for additional terms.¬†Should a student board member cease to be a student prior to completing their term, they must notify the board and resign their position. The resigning student will be replaced on the board for a full two-year term at the next regular election. In the meantime, the chair may at their discretion appoint a student to fill the position until the election. If the Chairperson post becomes vacant in the middle of a term because of the resignation or disability of that member, the Vice-Chair assumes that position.  If any other Committee post becomes vacant in the middle of a term because of the resignation or disability of that member, the Chairperson, in concert with the remaining members of the Committee, will identify and solicit a qualified member of the HMGSG in good standing to assume the vacated post for the remainder of that term.  Appointed Committee members are not prohibited from assuming an additional term of office.

Article VII: Other Committees

The HMGSG forms a Nominating Committee in years prior to the election of new Executive Committee members.  The Nominating Committee consists of two or more members of the HMGSG, none of whom are on the Executive Committee.  Other Committees of the HMGSG may be established by the Executive Committee or by a vote of the membership.  Members of all committees are named by the Chairperson subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

Article VIII: Election of Executive Committee Members

The Nominating Committee solicits nominations from HMGSG members for candidates for positions up for the election the following year.  Members of the Nominating Committee themselves may be nominated for office by the membership as long as they otherwise qualify for office.  The slate of candidates for the Executive Committee will be distributed and electronic balloting conducted before the ABM each year, and the results announced by the Chairperson.

All positions are filled by the persons receiving a plurality of the votes cast.  New Executive Committee members assume their positions at the end of the ABM.

Article IX: Business Meeting

All annual business meetings of the HMGSG are held during the AAG national meeting at the site of that meeting.  HMGSG members are notified of the time and place of the ABM on the HMGSG Website and in the AAG annual meeting program.  Among items covered at the ABM are the announcements of new Committee members, a report of Committee actions and general HMGSG activities by the Chairperson.

Article X: HMGSG Website

The HMGSG maintains an active website, featuring announcements and descriptions of HMGSG activities and affairs, as well as notices of activities, programs, publications, employment opportunities, and other matters of interest to HMGSG members.  A volunteer Webmaster and editor is appointed by the Committee as needed.  There is no set term for this position.

Article XI: Ratification and Amendment of Bylaws

These Bylaws take effect immediately upon their approval by at least two-thirds of all qualified HMGSG members present at the ABM in which they are presented.  Amendment of these Bylaws may be formally proposed by two or more members of the Executive Committee, or by a written petition signed by at last 3 HMGSG members.  Final approval of any amendments must be by a two-thirds vote of all HMGSG members present at the ABM at which the amendment is presented.

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