Greater Washington Area Chapter

Excellence in Chapter Leadership Development

Leadership can exist in both formal and informal groups. In a formal setting, such as within a large corporation, the leader of the group is usually someone who has been appointed to a high position of authority. In an informal setting, such as a group of friends, the leader is someone with personal traits that simply tend to inspire respect. The Greater Washington Area Chapter has consistently succeeded in the latter.

Our members work in many different areas of their respected facilities — and our medical institutions are competitive — but we are all together in our vision and goals. We are friends with the common interest of being the best. It is that competitive and friendly spirit that has allowed our chapter to produce such great leaders.

Chapter Succession Planning

Our strategic plan for succession and guidance consisted of very clear steps. 

The Understudy

  • All elected officers and appointed board members are required to have an understudy.
  • This understudy would be copied on all emails and work closely with this board member with the ultimate goal of being prepared to take their position in the future.
  • This has been hugely successful.

Annual Conference

  • Our annual conference, with its more than 30 volunteers, has been a consistent pool of rising leaders for our chapter.
  • Many of our past chairs of the committee have gone on to become the GWAC president.

Call for Officers

  • A "Call for Officers" to the board of directors as well as the duties of each of these chapter positions is posted on our:
    • Website.
    • Annual conference brochure.
    • Quarterly electronic newsletter, The Critical Chronicle.

Succession Book

  • We have developed a succession book or as we like to call it the “If I Die" book.
    • This gives details on how to run the chapter in the event of our absence.
    • Information that the board member knows that no one else knows, such as passwords, is kept in this secure place with the secretary of our organization.
    • None of our passwords related to our finances are in this succession book because we have multiple signers on our financial documents.

'Transition of Power' Meeting

  • Each year the outgoing president of the chapter hosts a "transition of power" meeting.
  • This "potluck and champagne toast" celebration allows the newly elected officials to:
    • Meet with the outgoing officials.
    • Discuss pending programs, ideas and answer the “how do I do that?” questions.
  • At the transition meeting, the chapter’s outgoing president reviews the previous year’s strategic plan and the incoming president and president-elect present their plan for the chapter.

'Christmas in July' Initiative

Our chapter’s leadership programs have resulted in desirable outcomes. Due to our significant land area, regional population and chapter size, we launched "Christmas in July" — a program to assist newly organized chapters to develop and succeed.

The first chapter to receive support from this program was the Southern Maryland Chapter. This chapter evolved from within our system. This “Christmas in July” program gives financial assistance and expertise in chapter issues to up and coming chapters.

Southern Maryland’s chapter membership continues to swell as a measurable outcome. This program has been so successful we have decided to do this nationwide. We will select three young chapters somewhere in the U.S. and send them a monetary donation and an offer to help them in the development of their chapter.

Past President at Spotlight on Critical Care Conference

Each year the current president has the authority to assign or appoint the past president(s) to a specific task to assist the chapter. For example, the most recent past president was assigned to greet all the speakers for our annual 2-day conference, Spotlight on Critical Care.

The duty would simply be to give each arriving speaker their W-9 form and schedule of events. Once completing the W-9 form, they would receive their honorarium.

Another example is one past president was assigned to organize the poster sessions for our conference. Our past presidents have been happy to assist with this “light” yet meaningful undertaking.


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