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TSMA Policy Handbook

Table of Contents for Policy Handbook

Resolution Page 2

Purpose of Standing Rules Page 3

General Assembly (see also Article X of Bylaws) Page 3

  • Purpose

  • Number of Representatives

  • Structure

  • Duties

  • Election Process

  • Deadlines

  • Responsibilities of Members

    Board of Directors (see also Article IX of Bylaws) Page 6

  • Purpose

  • Duties

  • Quorum

  • Committees

  • Duties of Standing Committees

    Officers (see also Article VIII of Bylaws) Page 8

  • Eligibility to Run for Office

  • Duties of Offices

    Component Chapters (see also Article IV of Bylaws) Page 11

  • Affiliation

  • Revocation of Charter

  • Criteria for Financially Distress Chapters

    Membership (See also Article V of Bylaws) Page 12

  • Classes

  • Qualifications

  • Privileges

    Dues (see also Article VI of Bylaws) Page 12

  • Annual Dues

  • Rights and Privileges

  • Seating in General Assembly

  • Reciprocity

    Finances (see also Article VII of Bylaws) Page 13

  • Expenses Reimbursable

  • Members with Budget

  • Guidelines for Delegates and Alternates to AAMA

  • General Guidelines

Amendments Page 13

Authority Page 13

Guidelines to Conferences and Meetings Page 18



BY: Harmon L. Monroe, M.D. Erwin

Subject: Educational Program of the Medical Assistants’ Society of Tennessee

Whereas, we have a strong State Chapter of Medical Assistants in Tennessee, and

Whereas, we recognize the importance of the efficiency of our office assistants in our everyday practice of medicine, and

Whereas, our office assistants are exerting great effort to become more proficient in their professional duties by establishing courses in public relations, office accounting, examining room procedures, etc., leading to certification by the National Society of Medical Assistants, and

Whereas, certain colleges and universities have expressed interest in teaching such courses and desire the approval of TMA before proceeding, now


RESOLVED, That the members of the Tennessee Medical Association in its annual session endorses the efforts of Tennessee Chapter of the Medical Assistants Society and encourages them to participate in such to be given by the various universities and colleges throughout the state when so arranged by the Medical Assistants’ Society of Tennessee.

Date of resolution: April 12, 1964




Over the years we, the members of the Tennessee Society of Medical Assistants, have become more aware of a lack of structure and continuity from one year to the next. Offices and chairmanships are sometimes assumed without the slightest amount of past experience being utilized. The President and approval of the Board of Directors also often assume chairmanships without appointment. Forms, documents, and past correspondence are lost as a foundation to build on. Valuable time is lost trying to discover what has transpired in the past and what plans should be.

Purpose of the Policy Handbook

The purpose of this Policy Handbook is to set basic patterns and is to also be used as a guide to conduct the business of TSMA and shall be superseded only by the Bylaws of TSMA.

This handbook also provides a means to outline duties of officers and committee chairmen, eligibility of officers, the Board of Directors, and the Advisory Board in order that the Bylaws of TSMA may be more precise and less bulky.

This policy handbook will require a majority vote of the Board of Directors or the General Assembly for amendments. They should be changed as necessary to not be in conflict with the Bylaws and should be annually updated prior to the annual meeting.

Each member should keep their copy of these guidelines so that any changes may be incorporated when made.


Section 1. Purpose of General Assembly

The General Assembly is the governing body of the Tennessee Society of Medical Assistants. All members are represented and can voice their views on any issue, or present issues for consideration by the General Assembly. Each member of this governing body has a voice and a vote, the duty and the authority conjointly to determine the policies of the Society, amend the Bylaws, conduct the election of State Officers and delegates to the AAMA Annual Meeting, and conduct any other business which may be presented for consideration.

The General Assembly will convene annually.

To reiterate, the General Assembly governs the TSMA. Each member of the TSMA, except honorary, whose dues are postmarked to the AAMA office by December 31st shall have voting privileges.

Section 2. Number of representatives

Each member, except honorary, has a vote and voice in the general assembly

Section 3. Structure

  1. Members

    1. Each credentialed member of the general assembly

  2. Participants:

    1. Credentials Chairman

    2. Nominating Chairman

    3. Standing Committee Chairmen

    4. Special Committee Chairman

    5. Appointed Officers

    6. Parliamentarian

    7. Tellers

    8. Time Keeper

    9. Pages

Section 4. Duties of theAssenbly

As set forth in the Bylaws, the duties of the Assembly are five:

  1. Determine the policies of TSMA-any issue presented to the Assembly should be examined to be certain that our decision serves the best interests of the medical profession and in no way conflicts with the principles of proper and excellent patient care.

  2. Amend the Bylaws-the chairman of the Bylaws Committee and/or the Board of Directors will from time to time suggest changes so that these documents will serve as practical and efficient guideline for the progress of our Society. The Bylaws requires that proposed amendments be provided the delegates at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Meeting so that ample time may be taken to assess their merit.

  3. Amend the Policy Handbook-the chairman of the Policy Handbook committee will propose amendments to the handbook annually as needed to preserve continuity of TSMA history and chronology, be consistent with the Bylaws of TSMA so that these documents will serve as a practical and efficient guideline for the progress of our Society.

  4. Act upon such business as may be presented. Most, but by no means at all, of the business brought before the House will arise from recommendations of the Board of Directors and recommendations of the Officers and the Standing and Special Committee Chairmen in conjunction with their various reports. Any member can bring any business before the Assembly at any time. An effort should be made to stay within the guidelines of the agenda and convention rules. Any motion from the floor should be written and presented to the Secretary at the conclusion of the session so that she has a clear idea of what has been said.

  5. Conduct an election of officers– The Speaker of the Assembly conducts the elections.

Section 5. Election Process

By April 1 the Nominating Committee reports the slate of nominees for officers to the Speaker of the Assembly and prepares ballots for the voting

The Speaker of the Assembly during the pre-conference session gives detailed instructions outlining the proper procedure for nominations from the floor, balloting, collection and counting of the ballots by the tellers, and reporting the results of the election.

Prior to the convening of the Assembly, the Speaker of the Assembly appoints three (3) tellers, two (2) pages, and one (1) timekeeper. These tellers, pages, and timekeeper shall be dues-paid members of TSMA attending the annual meeting who are not officers or committee chairman, or candidates for office. Their duties shall be as follows:

Tellers: distribute ballots furnished by the Nominating Committee, collect and count ballots in the presence of the Parliamentarian.

Chief teller (whose name shall be announced by the Speaker at the convening of the \Assembly) shall report the number of eligible votes; number cast for each candidate for office, Nominating Committee, delegates and alternates to the AAMA Annual Convention to the Speaker of the House.

Pages shall be available at all times to pick up and deliver messages for delegates to the Speaker, to another member. They should be positioned at all times near the front of the Assembly so that they can see raised hands for messages.

Timekeeper shall have stopwatch available for allowance of time limit for members to speak on a motion, candidates for office, or other individuals (AAMA) representative, guest) who have received permission from the House to speak.

When the Chief Teller reports the results of the elections, the Speaker of the Assembly will announce the winners in the following order.

Officers for the coming year

  1. President-Vice President assumes office

  2. Vice President

  3. Secretary

  4. Treasurer

  5. Speaker of the Assembly

The Nominating Committee

  1. Chairman of Nominating Committee-highest number of votes

  2. Members of the Nominating Committee

The Delegates and Alternates to AAMA National Meeting

Delegates and alternates should be members who are planning to attend the AAMA convention who meet the criteria of active member status. No exceptions-must be a CMA.

  1. First Delegate-this is automatically the President of TSMA

  2. Second Delegate-is automatically the Vice President of TSMA

  3. Third Delegate-to be elected each year at the annual meeting and shall be the candidate receiving the highest number of votes

  4. First-Alternate-to be elected each year at the annual meeting and shall be the candidate receiving the second highest number of votes

  5. Second Alternate-to be elected each year at the annual meeting and shall be the candidate receiving the third highest number of votes

  6. Third Alternate-to be elected each year at the annual meeting and shall be the candidate receiving the fourth highest number of votes

Section 6. Deadlines

  1. Names and addresses of members shall be sent to the Treasurer by March 1 of each year.

  2. After verification by the Treasurer these lists should be sent to the Speaker of the Assembly of Delegates by no later than April 1 of each year.

  3. Each officer and committee chairman should send annual report to the Speaker of the Assembly by April 1 of each year.

  4. A packet containing an agenda, officer and committee reports and rules of the Assembly.

  5. Each officer and committee chairman not submitting report for packet should bring report and copies to the Annual Meeting and give to the Speaker for distribution.

Section 7. Responsibilities of the Members

  1. Each recipient of a packet should study material, discuss it with chapter members and bring to the annual meeting. It is essential that the packet be brought to the meeting, as no additional packets will be furnished.

  2. It is mandatory for each delegate to have knowledge of the Bylaws, Policy Handbook, and parliamentary procedure at least sufficient to introduce a motion properly.

  3. Members should come to the annual meeting prepared to express the views of their chapters. They must also consider the opinions of other component chapters. Members are to use their best judgment in voting on issues which will be in the best interest of TSMA and its membership and not be expected to vote a particular way on a question. Opinions may change with additional information. Each member attending shall be responsible for reporting to the local chapter on the annual meeting.


Section 1. Purpose of the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors shall consist of the elected officers, chairmen of standing committees, and chairman of appointed committees and shall each be entitled to one vote. The Parliamentarian, Corresponding Secretary, and Chaplain are ex-officio members without vote. Each committee chairman (except Fall Seminar and Conference) shall serve two years. The Board of Directors shall govern TSMA between sessions of the General Assembly.

Section 2. Duties of the Board of Directors:

  1. Be responsible for the property and financial affairs of TSMA.

  2. Be empowered to conduct the business of TSMA between annual meetings of the General Assembly but shall take no action contrary to any general policy that has been adopted by the General Assembly and is still in effect.

  3. Submit a report of its activities to the General Assembly at its annual meeting.

  4. Remove from office any officer or committee chairman who fails to perform the required duties of the office or for other good cause.

  5. Fill an expired term of any officer excluding Vice President except where provided elsewhere in the Bylaws and/or Policy Handbook.

  6. Approve the standing committee and task force appointments of the President at the pre- conference meeting.

  7. Be permitted to vote by registered mail between meetings with a majority vote ruling, should the President deem the situation an emergency. The President should call a meeting of the Executive Committee (consisting of elected officers) and Parliamentarian to count this vote and report to the Board of Directors at next meeting. (Ample time should be allowed for reply, not less than fifteen (15) days.

Section 3. Quorum

A majority of Board of Director members in attendance shall constitute a quorum.

Section 4. Committees

Standing Committees

  1. The chairmen of the standing committees with the exception of the Nominating Committee and Credentials Committee shall be appointed by the Vice President and approved by the Board of Directors at the Pre-Conference meeting of the Board of Directors at the annual meeting.

  2. The standing committees of TSMA shall be Annual Convention, Budget/Finance and Ways/Means, Bylaws/Policy Handbook, Communications, Continuing Education, Fall Seminar, Historian, Public Policy, Membership/Certification and Nominating Committee.

  3. The Nominating Chairman and no less than 2 members shall be elected by the General Assembly at its annual meeting with the candidate receiving the highest number of votes serving as Chairman.

  4. The Credentials Committee Chairman shall be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.

Task Force/Special Committees

  1. The President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, may create a Task Force or a Special Committee for a specific purpose and appoint the chairman.

  2. The chairman will determine the number of members, length of time and duties in accordance with the authorization of his/her specific appointment.

  3. Task Force/Special Committee Chairmen do not have a vote.

In the event a chairman of a standing, task force, or special committee be elected to office, the newly installed President may present at the newly elected member’s request (this is not mandated, however) a replacement for approval at the post-Convention Board of Directors meeting.

Section 5. Duties of Standing Committees

  1. ANNUAL CONFERENCE: This committee shall organize and supervise an annual conference, arrange housing, reservations, program, orientation session prior to the General Assembly, arrange entertainment, registration and publicity for the annual meeting. The Chairman shall be the President of the hosting chapter unless an alternate is appointed or elected to assume this responsibility. The TSMA President shall be kept informed of all activities of said convention.

  2. BUDGET / FINANCE and WAYS AND MEANS: This committee shall prepare a balanced budget for the ensuing year for review by the Board of Directors. The budget is reviewed by the Board and shall be presented to the General Assembly for approval. The Treasurer shall automatically be a member of this committee. It shall also be the duty of the committee to notify each chapter annually of their obligation to send their Ways and Means contribution (as set by the TSMA General Assembly) to the TSMA Treasurer in the designated month.

  3. BYLAWS/POLICY HANDBOOK: This committee shall study the Bylaws and Policy Handbook and make recommendations for amendment. It shall keep informed regarding rules and regulations of AAMA in order that the TSMA Bylaws shall not be in conflict. This committee shall also be responsible for updating the policy handbook annually, distributing them to officers, committee chairs and component chaptersThis committee should consist of the Immediate Past President, President, Speaker of the House, and Parliamentarian as well as the Chairman.

  4. COMMUNICATIONS: This committee shall facilitate ways to keep the chapters and membership informed about TSMA events, etc. This committee shall also be responsible for the maintenance of the website and keep in contact with the webmaster.

  5. CONTINUING EDUCATION: This committee shall provide information regarding program approval process for CEUs. They shall further work with the Fall Education Seminar chairperson and local chapter Education chairpersons to help provide ongoing professional education to medical assistants. They may plan no less than one (1) state sponsored educational seminar annually with net proceeds disbursed in the following manner-if chapter involved, 50% to chapter and 50% to TSMA Treasury; if no chapter involvement, 100% to TSMA Treasury; with disbursement not later than thirty (30) days after seminar and with no funds remaining in bank of more than $100.00 to help with immediate costs of next seminar. If the

    seminar is hosted in conjunction with a chapter, the chapter may use its own bank account. At time of disbursement to TSMA Treasurer, a complete itemized statement of all income and expenses (with explanation) must also be forwarded to TSMA Treasurer. If the seminar is hosted by the TSMA, the funds will be handled by the TSMA treasurer. A detailed account of all income and expenses associated with the seminar shall be presented to the Board of Directors and the General Assembly as part of the treasurer’s report. . It shall be the duty of this committee to handle all mailings, registration, provide folders of materials and AAMA brochures.

    If a chapter is involved with the seminar, it shall be the duty of the Chairman of this committee to fully state to the chapter what their responsibilities will be-help in selection of site and procurement of same, meals, aid with on-site registration as well as check-in of pre-registered participants, and to aid in procurement of any visual aids and setup for program. Members of this committee should include Ways & Means Chairperson, Immediate Past President, and two

    (2) appointed committee members.

  6. FALL SEMINAR: This committee shall be responsible for an educational seminar to be held in the fall in conjunction with the Fall Board of Directors meeting.

  7. HISTORIAN: This committee shall be responsible for maintaining a scrapbook, including articles, minutes of all meetings and pictures of TSMA

  8. PUBLIC POLICY: This committee shall keep the membership informed of proposed legislation pertaining to the medical and allied health professions. This committee shall function in coordination and cooperation with the Tennessee Medical Association.

  9. MEMBERSHIP/CERTIFICATION: This committee shall encourage and assist chapters in maintaining and increasing membership as well as encourage and assist in developing chapters to become affiliated with TSMA and AAMA. This committee shall also assist the chapters in obtaining and maintaining a list of current members with addresses and contact information for each member. This committee shall provide information about the certification and recertification process and maintain a log of all CMAs in the TSMA with pictures and dates of certification. This committee shall also contact all new CMAs offering congratulations of their achievements. Copies of letters to non-member CMAs shall be sent to the chapter presidents for follow up. The new CMAs shall be recognized at the Annual President’s Luncheon.

  10. NOMINATING COMMITTEE: This committee shall be responsible for soliciting, screening, and presenting a slate o nominee for office. Component chapters may submit nominees for elective office with their qualifications not late ninety (90) days prior to the annual meeting to be considered for the slate. The committee shall secure written consent of each nominee to serve if elected. Slate of nominees and qualifications shall be sent to the Chapter Presidents at least sixty (60) days prior to the annual meeting. Nominations from the floor require the written consent of candidates along with credentials. These nominees must be presented to the Nominating Committee prior to the convening of the General Assembly. The chairperson must verify that credentials have been checked and are in order. This committee shall further be responsible for presentation of ballots to the delegates at the time the slate is presented by the Speaker of the Assembly for election

    Retiring Chairmen shall, within thirty (30) days of the annual meeting deliver to their successors the materials pertaining to their committees.


    The officers of TSMA elected for one (2) year terms are President; Vice President; Secretary; Treasurer, and Speaker of the Assembly.


    1. President, Vice-President, shall

      • be an active member in good standing of component chapter

      • have served as President of component chapter

      • have written endorsement of component chapter

      • have knowledge of parliamentary procedure

      • have served on TSMA Board of Directors for two (2) years

    2. Secretary shall

      • be an active member in good standing of component chapter

      • be adept in recording and transcribing

      • have served as an elected officer in component chapter

      • have written endorsement of component chapter

      • have served on TSMA Board of Directors for two (2) years.

    3. Treasurer shall

      • be an active member in good standing of component chapter

      • be adept in bookkeeping procedures

      • have served as an elected officer in component chapter

      • have written endorsement of component chapter

      • have served on TSMA Board of Directors for two (2) years

    4. Speaker of the Assembly shall

      • be an active member in good standing of component chapter

      • have served as President of component chapter

      • have attended at least on (1) previous meeting as a delegate

      • have written endorsement of component chapter

      • have adequate knowledge of parliamentarian procedure

      • have served on TSMA Board of Directors for two (2) years

No state officer shall hold an office for more than two (2) consecutive terms or until his/her successor is elected.

Section2. Duties of Officers:

In addition to the duties as set forth herewith, officers shall perform such duties as are implied by their respective offices and are consistent with standard parliamentary procedure and/or required by law.

  1. President shall

    • preside at all meetings with the exception of the General Assembly

    • appoint and fill vacancies for committee chairmen, excepting the Nominating Committee chairman or those appointed by 2/3 vote of the General Assembly, with the approval of the Board of Directors.

    • serve as an ex-officio member of all committees excepting the Nominating Committee

    • send copies of all correspondence to the Vice President, and Secretary that they may be keep informed of TSMA business.

    • appoint the Parliamentarian

    • serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors

    • present a written report of her work in office at the annual meeting

    • turn over all materials to successor within thirty (30) days

    • shall appoint a Speaker of the Assembly Pro Tem in the absence of this person at annual meeting

  2. Vice President shall

    • automatically assume the duties of the President in his/her absence and assist the President in duties throughout the year.

    • succeed to the office of President in case of a vacancy therein

    • present a written report of his/her work in office at the annual meeting

    • serve as Chairman of the Awards Committee, both for Medical Assistant of the Year and Professional Achievement Awards, (for detailed outline of duties, refer to Awards Committee under Standing Committee duties)

    • turn over all materials to successor within thirty (30) days

      Medical Assistant of the Year – Obtain from each Chapter President the name of the Medical Assistant nominee no later than February 1 of each year.

      Criteria established as follows: Participation in TSMA, AAMA;

      Attitude, cooperation, dedication; appearance (projection of professional image); Competence and responsibility in profession to employer and co-workers; Dependability;

      Self Improvement; Loyalty; Enthusiasm; Morality;

      Civic responsibility.

      It is the duty of each chapter when submitting candidate’s name to follow these guidelines exactly. Letters and other material should not be forwarded to this Committee, but should be credentialed on a local level before submission. Names should not appear on candidate’s qualification to Awards Chairman but should have an accompanying letter from the Chapter President or local chapter Awards Chairman.

      When properly submitted the Chairman receives candidate’s qualifications, the committee shall then submit, without the candidate’s name all candidates to a selection committee by March 15 to allow ample time for award purchase and engraving. The award is to be presented at the Annual TSMA Installation of Officers banquet.

      Professional Achievement Award – Applications for this award shall be those adopted and designed by the AAMA Continuing Education Board and shall include with submission the following:

      Documentation in Category 1 by copies of CEU confirmation cards or transcripts from AAMA

      Verification by Chapter Presidents in Category II

      State or chapter presidents or AAMA headquarters in Category III Applicant when possible in Category IV

      It shall further be the duty of the Chairman of this Committee to advise the State President when certificates are needed as only the President may purchase these from AAMA. These Awards shall be presented at the Annual TSMA Installation of Officers banquet


    • The Vice President may appoint committee members if necessary.

  3. Secretary shall

    • be responsible for recording minutes of all TSMA meetings

    • distribute minutes to officers no later than (30) days after said meeting

    • be responsible for maintaining minutes of all TSMA meetings

    • be responsible for preservation of all documents consistent with the office

    • within thirty (30) days, turn over all materials to successor

      E Treasurer shall

    • be custodian of all state funds

    • keep a detailed account of all receipts and disbursements making periodic reports to the Board of Directors with annual report to the General Assembly

    • secure an audit of his/her books by a professional audit or immediately following the annual meeting, so the books may be turned over to successor by June 1

    • give bond in an amount not less than twenty-five hundred dollars (2500.00), the premium on such bond to be paid by TSMA

F. Speaker of the Assembly shall

  • preside at all meetings of the General Assembly

  • verify credentials of delegates either Credentials Chairman

  • appoint three (3) tellers, two (2) pages, and one (1) timekeeper who shall function as outlined in the General Assembly policy handbook

  • present written reports of his/her work in office at the annual meeting

  • within thirty (30) days, turn over all materials to successor


FINANCIAL REVIEW COMMITTEE: This committee shall be appointed at the annual convention by the President at the pre-convention board meeting. This committee shall consist of one member from East, Middle and West Tennessee and shall review all bank accounts of the TSMA. A full report of the finances of the TSMA as found by this committee shall be presented at the Fall Seminar Board of Directors meeting. After the presentation of the report, the job of this committee is complete. It is not a standing committee and does not have a vote on the Board of Directors.


Section 1. Affiliation

  1. A chapter may become affiliated with TSMA by submitting a written request to the Board of Directors, five (5) copies of the proposed Bylaws, which shall not be in conflict with those of TSMA, and sufficient dues should accompany the request, along with written approval of the county medical society.

  2. These Bylaws are to be approved by the Parliamentarian and voted on by the Board of Directors the Parliamentarian shall submit his/her recommendation to the Chairman of the Board of Directors (president). Following a majority approval of the Board of Directors, the component chapter should be notified of its affiliation with TSMA

  3. Each component chapter must fill two (2) copies of its Bylaws with the Chairman of the Bylaws/Policy Handbook Committee and the Parliamentarian within forty-five (45) days following State annual meeting with special note of any amendments.

Section 2. Revocation of Charter

A component chapter found guilty of any conduct of action deemed in contradiction to the Code of Ethics, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or Standing Rules of TSMA shall be subject to revocation of its charter. A three/fours (3/4) vote of the Board of Directors shall be necessary for revocation

Section 4. Criteria for Financially Distressed Chapters

  1. Submit in writing financial status and a request to waive Professional Journal and Way/Means dues

  2. Have State President and Membership Chairman meet with Chapter to possibly reorganize.

  3. Furnish information as to what the Chapter has done to try to raise money and to increase membership.

  4. Chapters that are financially staple may possible adopt a Chapter in trouble to give advice and recommendations.

  5. On the advice of the President and Membership Chairman, the Board of Directors will be responsible for the final decision for the year of the request of the need


Section 1. Classes

Classes of membership should be as designed in the Bylaws of TSMA and shall be followed as outlined therein.

Section 2. Qualifications

All qualifications for membership shall be as outlined in the Bylaws of TSMA.

Section 3. Privileges

All privileges of membership shall be as outlined in the Bylaws of TSMA


Section 1 Annual Dues

  1. Annual dues shall become due and payable November 1 of each year and shall be delinquent if not received by December 31 to AAMA Executive Office. Any current or renewing member paying dues after September 1 shall be consisted paid through the following year. TSMA and AAMA annual dues for all classes of members shall be fixed by the General Assembly and House of Delegates respectively.

  2. Full dues will be assessed for active, associate, affiliate and members at large.

  3. TSMA and local dues will be assessed for sustaining members.

  4. Students will be assessed AAMA dues as set by AAMA, one-half TSMA and one–half local dues

  5. If a life membership is bestowed on an active member, who requires tri-level membership, tri- level dues must be paid. Upon a two-third (2/3) vote TSMA State dues would be waived. The local chapter of which the recipient is an active member would waive the local dues and be responsible for paying the AAMA dues of the life membership unless there is no component chapter in the area. In this event, the State would be responsible for the AAMA Dues.

  6. An honorary membership is conferred by a two-third (2/3) vote of the TSMA Board of Directors. This vote would waive State dues. Local dues would be waived and AAMA dues are not required as this is not an active, associate, affiliate, or member-at-large membership and tri- level membership is not required.

  7. New members (or newly formed component chapters with all new members) who join AAMA for the first time on or after May 1 will have membership credited through the following year.

Section 2. Rights and privileges

Shall be as outlined in the Bylaws of TSMA

Section 3. Seating in the General Assembly

Shall be as outlined in the Bylaws of the TSMA

Section 4. Reciprocity

Shall be as outlined in the Bylaws of the TSMA


Section 1. Expenses considered reimbursable by TSMA

Lodging, travel, meals, registration, gratuities, postage, telephone calls, supplies necessary to fulfill duties Not to exceed $25) authorized awards, special transportation, bus, taxi, etc.

Section 2. Members with a designated budget:

TSMA officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Speaker of the Assembly, Parliamentarian, TSMA committee chairmen: Membership/Membership Directory, Bylaws/Policy Handbook, Certification, Communication, Budget/Finance and Ways and Means. Their expenditures should be limited to items necessary for the work of the Committee. Their budget is not to be used for personal expenses

Section 3. Delegates and Alternates to AAMA Conference

The First and Second Delegates are the President and Vice President. Should one of these officers be unable to attend the AAMA conference, the remaining officer will be First Delegate and all other delegates and alternates will be elected by plurality ballot vote by the General Assembly.

Delegates and Alternates are expected to attend all sessions of the AAMA House of Delegates including the reference committees and candidates’ speeches. They are also expected to attend the Leadership Forum and an open session of the AAMA Board of Trustees. At other times, delegates and alternates are expected to attend CEU sessions.

Special guidelines for AAMA Delegates/alternates only

Travel by air, bus, train or car is reimbursable. Air travel should be booked (1) one month in advance when possible to get the best rates. Travel on the designated AAMA airlines should be used unless a lower rate can be found. If a member chooses to use an airline other than the most economical fare then the member will be responsible for paying the difference. Travel by car will be reimbursed at the current IRS allowable mileage not to exceed lowest air travel rate. Meals are not to exceed 25.00 per day; gratuities and travel by city bus or taxi should be at prevailing rate. Expenses should follow the guidelines. Any money allotted for AAMA Conference and not spent by delegate should be returned to the TSMA treasury with itemized list of all expenditures and the original receipts. This must be done within thirty (30) days of the end of the Conference. An amount for each delegate/alternate will be budgeted according to the location of the Conference.

Section 4. Guidelines that apply to all:

  1. All expenses must be itemized on an expense voucher with the original itemized receipt(s) attached.

  2. Vouchers are sent to the TSMA Treasurer within 30 days of the expenditures for reimbursement. The Treasurer will date the voucher the date that it is received and send reimbursement within 20 days.

  3. Any expenditure not budgeted or exceeding the budgeted amount within the guidelines of approved expenditures must be itemized and an explanation in writing of the reason for the expenditures. This must be submitted to the President on an individual basis for approval. Any such expenditures exceeding $25. must be approved by the Board of Directors.

  4. Lodging is a minimum of double occupancy. When 3 or more share a room, the rate should be divided equally

  5. Postage-use the most cost-effective method. Use electronic communication if possible.

  6. Long distance calls should be kept within reason with an explanation of the necessity of the call. Use electronic communication if possible.


    Amendments to the Bylaws shall be as outlined in the Bylaws. Amendments to the Policy Handbook shall be by majority vote of Board of Directors or General Assembly.


    Section 1. Parliamentary Authority

    Shall be as outlined in the Bylaws of TSMA

    Section 2 Conformity

    This Policy Handbook shall automatically be amended when necessary so as not to be in conflict with the Bylaws of TSMA and AAMA.


    Seminars include: Fall Seminar and Annual State Conference.

    Chapters wishing to host the Fall Seminar may place a bid with the Board of Directors. The Board will vote to approve the bid and then the Chapter will set the dates and location. If more than one Chapter submits a bid for a seminar, the Board of Directors will vote on one Chapter. The other Chapters involved may feel free to host one of the remaining seminars that are open to bids.

    The bid for the Annual State Conference is usually two (2) years in advance at the Annual State Conference with the hosting Chapter appointing the Conference Chairman well in advance.


    The first and most important appointment is the Chairman and Vice Chairman. The Vice-Chairman should be ready to assume any duty in the absence of the Chairman


    A small, temporary committee should help to select the meeting site. This should be done immediately upon notification that the Chapter has been selected to host the meeting. This will ensure that availability of accommodations at the time of the meeting.

    Check with the State President as to date, time, and room arrangements for any necessary meetings-, i.e., Board of Directors or Executive Committee.

    In order to ensure that all chapters do not lose money in hosting a meeting, the following policy was adopted by the General Assembly in May 2008:

    Any person making a reservation shall be liable for payment of registration and/or meals even if they do not attend the meeting. This will include the use of a collection agency if necessary.

    No refunds will be made if a member is unable to attend a meeting. There may be exceptions to this policy in the event of extenuating circumstances and if no liability has been encountered by the chapter. This will require a decision of the conference chair and/or the conference committee and may include input from the TSMA Executive Board.

    The following points should be confirmed in writing with the hotel:

    • Available guestrooms and rates, (estimate number attending) Space and proper equipment for Registration.

    • Meeting Room facilities

    • Facilities for all meal functions required.

    • Selection of menus and cost of all meals including tax and tips. The time for each function should be scheduled. Stress that all the above items are confirmed and in

      writing and cannot be changed due to hotel personnel changes. Sometimes the hotel cannot project definite food prices one year in advance, but the variations should be a small amount and should not upset your registration fee. It is wise to take inflation into account when setting your registration fees.

    • Accommodations and registration for the State President will be reimbursed out of the President’s budget.

    • Some hotels will have a “tie-down” meeting with key chairmen the day before the event starts to review all times, rooms, menus, and any necessary equipment needed. If they do not suggest it, the Chairman might suggest that she would appreciate this to ensure a complete understanding of proceedings.


Appoint Chairman and Vice Chairman. The Vice-Chairman can also be the Program Chairman. The Vice- Chairman must be available to serve as Chairman in her absence.

Suggested Committees:

  • Finance.

  • Program and CEU’s.

  • Publicity and Promotion.

  • Hotel Reservations.

  • Registration.

  • Hospitality and Reception.

  • Exhibits.

  • Protocol officer –plan and arrange special searing-picking up visiting National Officer.

  • Entertainment (optional).

  • Decorations (optional) this includes favors.

  • Donations, Door Prizes and Goodie Bags Patron ads and sponsor’s names are printed in the program.

Optional-these committees are left to the discretion of the hosting Chapter and are not essential to a good program.

The Chairman of these committees under the direction of the General Chairman makes up the staff, which coordinates activities. They should meet regularly as these meetings are invaluable. They help to eliminate duplication of efforts and avoid any possibility of failing to provide all essentials.

The committee appointments can be adapted to your needs. Some may be combined for smaller meetings.


Finance Committee

This committee should establish a budget, balancing costs with income. Each sub-chairman should submit estimates of expenses to the Finance Committee. Major items to be considered include

  1. Expenses Mailing. Printing. Name Tags

    Speakers and invited guests, Entertainment.

    Beverages, appetizers, etc. Exhibits.



  2. Income

Registration Fees, Contributions.

Exhibit Space Rental. Program Ads

Program Committee (may be chaired by the Vice- Chairman). This committee should plan a well- coordinated program. Preparation should include:

  1. Complete program schedule allowing time for all business sessions, avoiding conflict in important meetings, and try to schedule so members can absorb and take home the maximum in information material. Time should allow for members to view exhibits. Avoid a tight schedule. Allow for flexibility.

  2. Selection of outstanding speakers who have knowledge and expertise in their given fields. Confirmation of their appearance should be obtained. It is customary to invite a speaker to the nearest meal function, closest to his/her presentation.

  3. Review of previous meeting subjects should be made to prevent repetition. There are five categories of educational content: Anatomy, Physiology, and Terminology. Human Relations/Psychology. Law and Ethics/Economics. Clinical Administrative. It is helpful to review the DACUM analysis for topics.

  4. A tentative program should be presented to the President, Vice President, Speaker of the House and then to the Board of Directors for approval, as soon as the program is decided upon, usually four to six months before (two State Board of Director meetings before) in the event that it is not approved or changes have to be made.

  5. The program should be submitted to the AAMA Continuing Education Committee for their approval and subsequent granting of CEUs. It would be advisable that the assistance of the Education Chairman be requested for this portion of program planning. The Chairman should be prepared to assist in all phases of the CEU program, obtaining units, preparation of exam, etc. Specific instructions are included when applying for CEUs in the package from the Education Committee of AAMA.

  6. A letter should be sent to each speaker ascertaining what is expected and required by him/her. Speech titles should be obtained. Speakers should be informed as the exact time and place they occupy on the program and how their presentation related to the program as a whole. The importance of time control should be stressed. An allotted time should be assigned and every effort to adhere to the schedule should be made. Check with the speaker for permission to tape their presentation. If they object, be sure to make this know prior to the presentation.

  7. The Chairman of this committee or any person she so designates should preside at each meeting. Introduction of the speaker should be kept short. A brief summary of the speaker’s achievements is all that is necessary. The correct pronunciation of all names of persons to be introduced is important.

  8. Copy for a printed program and an appropriate theme should be developed

  9. Properties required for each meeting should be obtained (PA system, blackboard, chalk, overhead projector, movie projector and screen, slide projector and carousel, water glasses, pencils-#2 for CEU applications etc.) These are usually available form the meeting facility, except for small items, or the speaker may prefer to use his/her own, or you may rent one.

  10. Smoking is not permitted at any educational meeting of the Tennessee Society of Medical Assistants.

Promotion Committee

This committee is in charge of all publicity and should arrange for

  1. Biographic and glossy black and white photographs (optional) to be obtained from each speaker.

  2. Local newspaper inserts whenever possible (contact city and Society editors) should be submitted.

  3. Advance publicity in the official state publication should meet the deadline for publication in the two issues preceding the meeting.

  1. Contact with the local radio and television stations is recommended. The State Public Service Chairman should send press releases to each Chapter for more complete media coverage.

    Hotel Reservations

    This committee should arrange for accommodations for special guests and speakers, unless they request that they would prefer to do this themselves.


    Registration Committee

    This committee is in charge of registration and information headquarters.

    1. A registration form to appear in the official state publication tow issues before the meeting stating costs, deadlines, etc. should be prepared. Instructions for making out checks and a proper mailing address should be included. Everyone except invited guests, advisors and speakers must pay registration. Individual meal tickets should be available. Include a breakdown of various meal charges and charges for one day attendance. A list of all registrations received should be compiled.

    2. Packets should be prepared using appropriately sized envelopes. Included in the packets should be a copy of the program, nametag and all pertinent information of instructions.

    3. A statement should be added to the customary registration form-noting deadline until which registrations will be accepted, the deadline beyond which no refund will be issued. It should be clearly stated that the registration fee would be levied to everyone attending any function with the exception of guest and speakers. If a person wishes to attend one meal only they pay only for the meal function attended. Non-members fees will be at the discretion of the host Chapter. This policy does not apply to meal c charges.

    4. The chairman should have the following items available:

      • Tables, chairs and if possible a typewriter.

      • Change and cash box.

      • An organized staff for cashiering, dispensing material and giving information.

      • A prepared list of room numbers for guests, (Optional).

      • Information where copy machine is available for multiple copies and the charge per copy. Hotels will sometimes accommodate this on their equipment at lesser fee than business outside of the hotel. Copy machine is needed for convenience of new officers for rosters, etc.


Rental of exhibit space at a state convention is of vital importance for additional revenue and should be considered. Pharmaceutical companies, office supply companies, and computer suppliers are often interested in exhibits.


  1. Be sure that all Past State Presidents who attend any function of the State Society are recognized along with the national officers and guests. Special seating for Past Presidents is optional. The only time it is required is during the annual meeting at the General Assembly and Past Presidents luncheon.

  2. Recognize all committee members who have assisted with the meeting.

Decorations (optional)

This committee should plan decorations in keeping with the theme of the program. Place cards at the head table for all functions are desirable to avoid confusion.

Donations and Door Prizes (optional)

  1. Write a letter to pharmaceutical companies with a request for door prized or a donation.

  2. Samples received can be incorporated into “Goodie Bags” if desired, and these are distributed at the registration desk.

  3. Contributors should be acknowledged in the printed program. Such information should be convened to the Program chairman for incorporation in the final printing.

  4. Tickets should be obtained for the drawing of door prizes. A large box for the drawing is necessary.

  5. All donations should be acknowledged promptly by letter.

Final Report-Effective May 1992

  1. Copies of the report should be submitted to the Board at the Fall meeting. This report will be considered as an annual report to the General Assembly. A financial report after 1992 should be included and must be submitted to the Treasurer within sixty (60) days of the event. Any outstanding bills are non-reimbursable from the State Society after sixty days, therefore, if the hosting Chapter discovers that they have omitted bills, they are responsible for these if not submitted within the deadline.

  2. Thank your letters should be written on official stationery to the speakers, contributors, and any person who assisted.


Responsibilities to the State Society:

  1. Obtain approval from the Board of Directors for the time, dates and tentative program.

  2. You may also request monetary assistance in advance but this is to be regarded as a loan and should be paid back to the State whenever possible.

  3. Obtain form the State President the time and date for the Board of Directors meeting as well as room size accommodations.

  4. The State President should give the welcoming address at seminars and the annual convention and she should be notified in advance.


  1. Consult with the Speaker of the Assembly regarding adequately sized room for the General Assembly. The Speaker of the Assembly should decide arrangements for type of seating and size of room for the Assembly.

  2. It is customary for the Past State Presidents to have special seating at the General Assembly and to be recognized by the Speaker of the Assembly. A list of Past Presidents registered should be forwarded to the Speaker.

  3. Flowers-if it is decided that flowers will be presented to officers and guests, all persons seated at the head table should be included. (Installation Banquet only).

  4. The General Assembly meeting and appointments of participants, i.e., pages, tellers, is the responsibility of the Speaker of the House.

  5. Consult with Protocol Officer regarding seating at the head table; remember to introduce “the persons at the head table” rather than “the head table”.

  6. Previous workbooks should be consulted for a calendar of events. It is best to start as early, as this will allow you flexibility.


Invitations should be sent to the following guests for the Annual State Convention. Cost of meals for these guests, and all expenses incurred by an invited National Officer, which are not covered by AAMA, are the responsibility of the State Society.

Expenses are assumed for the following meal functions only:

  1. Tennessee State Medical Society Presidents.

  2. Honorary State Members.

  3. Tennessee State Medical Society Auxiliary President.

  4. An employer of the TSMA President Elect.

  5. Employer of the TSMA President

  6. State Advisors (only registration and meals covered, must assume own hotel expenses)

Expenses are not assumed for the following:

  1. Employees of Tennessee Medical Association

  2. Blue Shield Director of Professional Relations,

  3. AAMA President (if not invited)

  4. AAMA Executive Director (if not invited)

  5. AAMA Officers, Trustees and Physician Liaisons (if not invited)

  6. Tennessee State Medical Society Auxiliary President Elect (if not representing TMA Auxiliary)


    Honorees to be seated at the head table:

    1. Key officers

    2. National President or Vice President (if invited)

    3. Presiding Chairman

    4. Function Chairman

    5. Speakers

    6. Guests

    7. If other National Officers and/or chairmen are present, they should be seated at a “special” table directly in front of the head table.

NOTE: If seating becomes difficult and cumbersome at one head table, another may be used on a different level.


Those to be seated at the head table meet in a reception area and march in shortly before the function is to begin. Place cards should be used and the line forms in that arrangement.

The President is not always the presiding chairman but she should extend greetings and present the presiding chairman.


  1. The President is always seated in the center right, whether or not she is the presiding chairman.

  2. If someone else is presiding, that presiding chairman is always seated center left.

  3. The officers and guests of honor are divided on either side in order of rank.

  4. Other guests are seated at the second head table if any overflow occurs.

  5. At the President’s Luncheon, the Presidents of all Chapters, including that of the hosting Chapter, are seated at another head table. Seating is usually alphabetical by Chapter. Due recognition should be made to the President of the hosting Chapter upon introductions.

NOTE: Past Presidents of the Society are available for assistance.

ANOTHER GUIDELINE-a different approach

First, look the room over and decide how much room you have for the head table, then how many do you want seated, keeping it as limited as possible. Try to seat all of the elected officers whenever possible-as they only have this exposure three times during their term.

Priority seating:

  1. Seminar Chairman,

  2. Vice Chairman,

  3. State President,

  4. Vice President,

  5. Chapter President,

  6. National Officers/Trustees,

  7. President of the County Medical Society,

  8. Speakers,

  9. Installing Officer and person giving the invocation although it is usually one of the aforementioned.

    Optional-here you have the flexibility to using some to fill out the table and deleting others, as they still are “special.

    1. Recording Secretary,

    2. Treasurer,

    3. Speaker of the Home,

    4. Immediate Past President,

    5. Advisors and spouses,

    6. President,

    7. President Elect of the State and County Medical Society Auxiliaries,

    8. Speakers not at the head table, and last but certainly not least,

    9. Parliamentarian and Corresponding Secretary.

All rules and regulations regarding finances shall be as outlined in the Bylaws and/or elsewhere in the Policy Handbooks of TSMA and shall not be deviated from.

Updated, Reprinted July  2018 Download Here.