ACC Transforms College Governance to Better Support Mission, Serve Members
Substantial and largely unprecedented changes to the College’s governance structure were approved in January by the ACC Board of Trustees (BOT), with the goal of making the College more nimble, strategic, accountable and reflective of the diversity and breadth within the global cardiovascular community.
At a high level, the changes allow for a smaller, centralized Board that is strategically focused on ACC’s mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. Between now and 2018, the BOT will transition from 31 to 11 members. These changes also allow for the involvement of a broader group of leaders from ACC’s Member Sections, Assembly of International Governors, Board of Governors, and other key committees, in decision-making processes associated with the issues closest to them. Additionally, new and emerging leaders will have greater opportunities to take on roles within the College and be involved in shaping programs and policies.
While more information on these changes will be coming in the weeks and months ahead, other key highlights include:
- Board members will serve three-year terms, renewable for one additional term.
- Board meetings will occur at least six times a year.
- Board officers will be limited to: president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer.
- Board members cannot hold positions on any other ACC non-standing Board committee except for the Board of Governors Chair.
- There will be six Board standing committees: Governance, Nominating, Audit and Compliance, Finance, Executive (will only meet in emergencies) and Membership.
- A newly-formed Membership Committee will make sure the BOT is aware of the needs and challenges of all members of the College.
What’s Next For ACC Governance Transformation?
Revitalization and modification of ACC’s governance function and structure has been one of the chief goals of ACC’s BOT, given the significant growth and change faced by the College over the last decade. Much of this growth has come in response to changes in the health care environment, as well as changes to member demographics. Currently the College’s membership stands at 52,000 domestic and international members, with more than 80 state and international chapters, in addition to more than 420 staff and an over $120 million annual operating budget. Further, the trend toward hospital integration for a majority of ACC’s members has meant development of a health system strategy to meet the different needs of members in these institutional environments.
“Reaching consensus around these changes was a two-year process that required everyone involved to be honest, self-aware, open to change, and willing to make the College’s strategic success of utmost priority,” says ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC. “The resulting structure and process is a testament to each and every BOT member’s unwavering commitment to the College and its mission, and are the very reasons these men and women have been chosen over the years to hold leadership positions within the College.”
The implementation of the new governance plan will begin immediately, but true transformative change will take time and patience. As such, the plan will be implemented through incremental steps between now and 2018. In the immediate short-term, a Blue Ribbon Nominating Committee is working to fill the vacant positions that had been put on hold while these changes were being determined. These positions will be announced in April. Additionally, ACC leaders and staff will begin implementing communications and processes to facilitate the changes and empower leaders in their new roles. Meetings, such as ACC’s Leadership Forum and ACC.16, are also important opportunities for face-to-face discussions and training.
According to Williams, members are encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts and ideas with staff and the BOT during this time of change and transformation. “Member voices are a critical element of this process as we continue to ensure these changes are implemented in a manner that meets member needs and positions the College for success in the changing health care environment,” he adds.
Keywords: Cardiology Magazine, ACC Publications, Consensus, Decision Making, Leadership
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