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ARTICLE I - TITLE AND RELATIONSHIP

The name of the organization shall be the Missouri Midwives' Association (MMA). Rules and regulations of all chapters shall be consistent with the rules and regulations of the state organization of the MMA.

ARTICLE II - PURPOSE

The purpose of the organization is to preserve the art and science of midwifery and to act as a governing and regulating professional organization for Missouri midwives.

ARTICLE III - GOALS

The goals of the organization are:

  1. to support the intrinsic right of women to give birth as they choose.
  2. to support the intrinsic right of parents to choose the location and attendants for the births of their children.
  3. to inform public policy makers about the birthing rights and needs of families.
  4. to educate legislators and promote legislation concerning the basic and ongoing needs of Missouri families and the midwives who serve them.
  5. to promote communication and cooperation between midwives and other professional and non-professional groups concerned with maternal and infant health.
  6. to promote competence in midwifery practice.
  7. to promote the discovery, encouragement, and training of midwives within each community where needed, thereby preserving community integrity.
  8. to provide continuing educational opportunities which focus on the constant upgrading of midwifery skills.
  9. to promote professional development and cooperative relationships between midwives.
  10. to promote research in the field of midwifery care.

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP

  1. The MMA is an organization of senior midwives, midwives, student and aspiring midwives, childbirth educators, professional and non-professional supporters who subscribe to the purpose and goals of the organization.
  2. Voting members of MMA are senior midwives, midwives, student and aspiring midwives who are current with their dues. A student midwife is a person who is currently enrolled in a midwifery school or program, or who is currently serving in an apprenticeship or internship.
  3. Non-voting members of MMA are encouraged to voice their opinions at meetings and through the written word.

ARTICLE V - FUNDING

  1. The President and/or the Treasurer are approved to access the MMA funds. Expenditures must be consistent with the purpose and goals of the organization. The President or the Treasurer may sign checks.
  2. The President and/or the Treasurer may expend funds to a maximum of one hundred dollars without board or membership approval. Expenditures greater than one hundred dollars shall be taken to the Governing Board which may reach consensus or choose to place the recommendation before the MMA membership.
  3. Dues shall be set by Formal Consensus of MMA membership and charged annually to each member.
  4. Additional funds may be generated as approved by Formal Consensus of MMA members.

ARTICLE VI - ELECTED OFFICERS

  1. The nominated President must have been a previous board member or Committee Chairperson and shall be elected from the voting membership of MMA. The office of President shall be a two-year term. The President may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The office of Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected for a one-year term from the voting membership of MMA..
  2. The President shall be responsible for:
    1. assuming a two-year term of office, which can be terminated by a majority vote.
    2. determining agendas and facilitating at all MMA general and Governing Board meetings.
    3. calling meetings as deemed necessary.
    4. being an ex-officio member of all committees.
    5. functioning as a contact person for MMA area chapters.
    6. acting as or appointing another person to act as the MMA official representative in associating with other groups, organizations or agencies.
    7. maintaining MMA archives.
    8. functioning as a contact person for peer review and grievance cases.
  3. The Vice President shall be responsible for:
    1. assuming the duties of President if she is absent or unable to complete her term of office or is removed from office;
    2. acting as a liaison to the Midwives' Alliance of North America (MANA), Citizens for Midwifery (CfM), International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), Missouri Perinatal Association (MPA), Friends of Missouri Midwives (FoMM) and any other groups interdependent upon our common purpose and goals; and
    3. working in cooperation with the President in preparing meeting agendas.
  4. The Treasurer shall be responsible for:
    1. collecting and accounting for all the MMA funds and providing an annual report to the membership; and
    2. maintaining a current paid membership list.
  5. The Secretary shall be responsible for:
    1. recording and distributing minutes of the MMA general membership meetings within a two week period following each meeting;
    2. designating a temporary recording secretary in the absence of the Secretary; and
    3. selecting location and notifying members of membership meetings two weeks prior to each meeting.

ARTICLE VII - CHAPTERS

  1. All chapter rules and regulations shall be consistent with the rules and regulations of the state organization of the MMA..
  2. A chapter made up of not less than five MMA voting members may be formed in any area or group. A chapter shall be formed by notifying the Governing Board in writing of chapter name and members..
  3. Each chapter may elect one voting member to the MMA Governing Board..
  4. Each area chapter may elect one member to the Peer Review Board. .
  5. Each chapter shall send a representative to a minimum of two MMA meetings per year.

ARTICLE VIII - BOARDS AND COUNCILS

  1. The Governing Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and one elected voting member from each chapter. Decisions shall be made through Formal Consensus. The Governing Board shall:
    1. advise the President of issues affecting the general membership;
    2. conduct elections;
    3. conduct state-wide planning of activities;
    4. Support existing committees and create new committees necessary to the evolving needs of the MMA;
    5. appoint a chairperson for each committee;
    6. appoint chairpersons to the Peer Review Board and Education Board; and
    7. appoint the initial chairpersons to the Grievance Review Board and Accountability Review Board;
    8. govern the MMA in the interest of the members and consistent with the MMA purpose and goals.
  2. The Ethics Council shall consist of the chairs of the Grievance Review Board, Accountability Review Board, Peer Review Board and Education Board. Decisions shall be made through Formal Consensus. The Ethics Council shall:
    1. coordinate shared actions of the ethics boards;
    2. create and maintain the MMA Code of Ethics to govern Missouri midwives, which shall be consistent with national midwifery standards;
    3. issue an Ethics Council Certificate to a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) or Certified Midwife (CM) who is in compliance with the MMA Code of Ethics as determined by the Accountability Review Board; and
    4. revoke, suspend or deny a certificate as disciplinary action as determined by the Grievance Review Board.
  3. The Grievance Review Board is an ethics board. The chairperson shall be a CPM elected to a two-year term from the MMA voting membership. The Governing Board and Grievance Review Board chairperson shall appoint five additional Grievance Review Board members from the MMA membership for one-year terms. Grievance Review Board members may not simultaneously be Peer Review Board members but they may participate in any peer review by invitation of peers requesting a review. The makeup of the Grievance Review Board shall be three CPMs who practice in homes or out-of-hospital settings, one CNM with out-of-hospital experience, one doula who attends birth in homes or out-of-hospital settings, and one consumer with home or out-of-hospital birth experience and one additional MMA member appointed by the other six Grievance Review Board members. A quorum shall consist of five members, including three CPMs. Prior to December 31, 2012 the CPM members of the board may be CPM applicants. Decisions shall be made through Formal Consensus. If consensus is not reached after two rounds majority vote shall prevail and dissenting opinions shall be stated in writing. The Grievance Review Board shall:
    1. create and revise as necessary a complaint review process;
    2. investigate complaints of unethical conduct;
    3. maintain information regarding each complaint;
    4. make remedial and/or disciplinary recommendations to the Ethics Council including, but not limited to suspension, revocation or denial of certification.
  4. The Accountability Review Board is an ethics board. Decisions shall be made through Formal Consensus. The chairperson shall be a CPM elected to a two-year term from among the MMA voting membership. The makeup of the board shall be the chairperson and two additional members. These two members shall be appointed by the Governing Board and the Accountability Review Board chairperson. The Accountability Review Board members shall be chosen from the MMA voting membership for one year terms. Prior to December 31, 2012 members may be a CPM applicant. The Accountability Review Board shall:
    1. oversee the professional accountability process;
    2. establish and maintain essential documents; and
    3. make recommendations to the Ethics Council for issuance of Ethics Council certificates.
  5. The Peer Review Board is an ethics board. Decisions shall be made through Formal Consensus. A senior midwife who has attended a minimum of 150 out-of-hospital births as primary and practiced as primary for more than five years or is recognized by Formal Consensus as a senior midwife shall be appointed chairperson by the Governing Board for a one-year term. Peer Review Board members may not simultaneously be Grievance Review Board members. The makeup of the board shall be the chairperson and one member elected from each MMA chapter. The Peer Review Board shall:
    1. conduct peer review according to MMA guidelines;
    2. hold open, community-based peer review;
    3. hold private peer review upon request;
    4. choose and notify a sufficient number of midwives to participate in specific private peer review cases;
    5. include one or more midwives of the requesting midwife’s choice to participate in her private peer review;
    6. provide for diversity by appointing participants of individual private peer reviews from differing philosophical and practice backgrounds.
    7. make recommendations to the midwife and/or Ethics Boards as appropriate;
    8. promote midwife participation in peer review;
    9. comply with HIPAA regulations when applicable; and
    10. maintain such policies and practices that will insure the confidentiality and non-discoverability of the clients and professionals discussed in peer review.
  6. The Education Board is an ethics board. The chairperson shall be appointed by the Governing Board and shall be chosen from the voting membership. Decisions shall be made through Formal Consensus. The Education Board shall:
    1. provide educational opportunities for Missouri midwives; and
    2. provide information to aspiring midwives concerning the two national certifying bodies, NARM and the ACNM.

ARTICLE IX- COMMITTEES

  1. The Legislative Committee. The Legislative Committee Chairperson shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The Legislative Committee shall diligently:
    1. review all legislation pertaining to childbirth, healthcare, midwifery, rights of parents and related issues;
    2. plan and implement action to influence legislation potentially affecting the practice of midwifery;
    3. keep the Governing Board and the MMA membership informed of legislative issues; and
    4. work with other organizations to achieve common goals.
  2. The Statistics Committee. The Statistics Committee Chairperson shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The Statistics Committee shall:
    1. compile, revise and maintain a statistical form to be filled out by Missouri midwives;
    2. make an annual report to the MMA membership.
    3. comply with HIPAA regulations when applicable; and
    4. maintain such policies and practices that will insure the confidentiality and non-discoverability of the clients and professionals involved.
  3. The Public Relations Committee. The Public Relations Committee Chairperson shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The Public Relations Committee shall:
    1. prepare articles concerning the MMA and childbirth related issues for publication;
    2. be responsible for getting press releases and other news information to the Newsletter Editor for publication; and
    3. coordinate media coverage for the MMA.
  4. The Literature Committee. The Literature Committee Chairperson shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The Literature Committee shall:
    1. be responsible for books, magazines, journals, and reprints;
    2. review new books and publications;
    3. refer pertinent books to the Education Board;
    4. receive and file newsletters from other organizations; and
    5. report pertinent information to the Governing Board, Ethics Council and other committees.
  5. The Membership Committee. The Membership Committee Chairperson shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The Membership Committee shall:
    1. provide current membership list to Governing Board and Newsletter Editor;
    2. provide a brochure to promote membership;
    3. send out notices of membership deadlines and/or renewal.
  6. The Newsletter. The Newsletter Editor is a chairperson and shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The Newsletter Committee shall:
    1. issue a newsletter in the months of February, April, June, August, October, and December;
    2. send copies of the newsletter to paid MMA members; and
    3. when funds allow, send copies of the newsletter to non-members, MANA regional representative and other consumer-citizen groups.
  7. All Committee chairpersons shall draft their own committee members from among the MMA members.
  8. Funds shall be requested from the Governing Board before expenditure is made.
  9. All committees shall make regular reports to the Governing Board.
  10. All committees shall be inclusive rather than exclusive in nature.

ARTICLE X - ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS

  1. The Governing Board shall be responsible for conducting an annual election.
  2. A majority vote of voting members shall elect. A voting member may send an absentee ballot by mail, email or with another member. Absentee ballots must be received by the published deadline to be counted.
  3. Vacancies in elected or appointed offices other than that of President shall be filled for the unexpired term by an appointment of the Governing Board within 30 days of the vacancy of that office or committee.
  4. Elected officers and elected board chairpersons may be removed from office by a majority vote of the MMA voting members. Notice of such proposal must be made to the membership a minimum of two weeks prior to the proposal. A voting member may send an absentee ballot by mail, email or with another member. Absentee ballots must be received by the published deadline to be counted. Just cause for removal shall be violating the bylaws or neglecting her duties.
  5. The Governing Board shall be responsible for appointing Committee Chairpersons and Chairpersons of the Peer Review and Education Boards in the summer of each year.
  6. Appointed Committee Chairpersons and appointed Board Chairpersons may be removed from office by a majority vote of the Governing Board.

ARTICLE XI – MEETINGS

  1. Bi-monthly meetings of the membership of the MMA will be held and special meetings may be held at the call of the Governing Board or the President. Members may submit agenda items.
  2. Committee reports shall be made at each general meeting. Written reports may be submitted to the President if a committee person is unable to attend the MMA general meeting.
  3. Formal Consensus shall be used for general decision making.
  4. Notice of membership meetings shall be given not less than 14 days prior to such meeting. The Secretary shall notify voting members via the electronic or postal mail address on file with the Treasurer.

ARTICLE XII – FORMAL CONSENSUS

  1. Formal Consensus:
    1. is a discussion process used for business meetings;
    2. allows each person to express her opinion and shape the end decision;
    3. functions smoothly when all participants understand the process.
  2. Participants listen when others speak and speak only in turn.
  3. A facilitator, timekeeper, peacekeeper and advocate may be appointed before the discussion begins.
  4. Formal Consensus is conducted in the following order:
    1. report given on the issue
    2. questions and answers on the issue
    3. proposal offered
    4. roundtable discussion
    5. revision of the proposal if needed
    6. roundtable discussion
    7. attempt at Consensus
      1. If all agree: Consensus is reached.
      2. If all do not agree:
        1. roundtable discussion may be resumed and revised proposal offered; or
        2. issue is tabled until later.

ARTICLE XIII - AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended by Formal Consensus of voting members. Notice of meeting to amend bylaws shall be given not less than 14 days prior to such meeting. The Secretary shall notify voting members via the electronic or postal mail address on file with the Treasurer.

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