How to Start a Chapter
NAAMA grows and becomes a stronger organization at the local, grass-roots level. It is easier logistically for interested physicians and health professionals within a reasonable distance to assemble, organize and become more active. This is the logic behind NAAMA’s policy to establish chapters that cover a 100-mile radius, to make it convenient for members to network and attend NAAMA events as well as make it easier to serve their needs.
There are many advantages in forming NAAMA chapters:
- A local chapter provides its members a forum for getting together, exchanging experiences and networking
- It provides a platform for family involvement and social activities.
- It helps to maintain our heritage and aids the new generation in developing an identity and pride in their roots.
- It projects a positive image in the local community through participation in cultural and civic affairs.
- It sets an example to the rest of the Arab community, and can lead their philanthropic and humanitarian drives.
- It sponsors CME activities, often with the support of pharmaceutical companies.
- It provides representation at the national level and grooms potential national leaders.
- It has the ability to bid for and host the annual national medical convention.
How to Start
If you have fifteen or more active members, a meeting to elect the governing body, according to accepted parliamentary procedures, is the first and most important step. The minutes of the proceedings should be recorded. The leadership then presents a petition to NAAMA’s Board of Directors for acceptance and incorporates the chapter on the state level. After several years’ existence, the chapter may apply to utilize the national association’s 501(C)3 Federal tax exemption by adhering to NAAMA’s guidelines.
With the challenges posed by healthcare reform in our country… With the dramatic social changes taking place in our members’ countries of origin… With the need for continuing medical education…it’s great to have the support of local Arab American colleagues.
Please consider this a plea to recruit more members, to unify our Arab American healthcare community. Take the initiative in your area to organize and establish a new NAAMA chapters or enlarge and energize the current ones. Let your voice be heard in directing your association. A lot is at stake and there is strength in number.
NAAMA’s National Office and Executive Committee would be more than happy to facilitate the process by providing model bylaws, guidelines, brochures and membership applications. The assistance of nearby established chapters can be useful. An experienced facilitator would be helpful if needed. We stand ready to assist in any capacity and would welcome you to contact the National Office at (248) 646-3661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are counting on you, appreciate all you can do, and hope to introduce and welcome you as a new chapter at our National Medical Convention where new chapters are officially chartered and recognized.