Mission & Bylaws

Mission Statement

The Western Surgical Association is dedicated to the cultivation, promotion, and diffusion of the art and science of surgery, to the sponsorship and maintenance of the highest standards of practice and to the delivery of the best possible care for the public. The goal of our continuing medical education effort is to provide information to the practicing surgeon that will enhance his/her knowledge regarding new diagnostic modalities and therapeutic maneuvers. The scope of our activities is meant to encompass the breadth of general surgery, including the primary and secondary components and is intended for our members and guests who are surgeons in academic and private practice. Our activities will focus on recent advances in basic science applicable to surgical practice, new developments in technology, issues in pre- and post-operative care; assessment of diagnostic accuracy and surgical outcomes; and critical analysis of the information provided.

No part of the Constitution or Bylaws may be amended, altered or replaced, except at a regular Annual Meeting of the Association in Executive Session. The suggested amendment, alteration or repeal in the Constitution or Bylaws must have been presented in writing at the Executive Session of the previous Annual Meeting, signed by three (3) members. Notice of the proposed amendment, alteration or repeal shall be given in writing with the call to the Annual Meeting. The adoption of the suggested amendment, alteration or repeal shall be by vote of three-fourths of the members voting, a quorum being present at the Executive Session.

Bylaws

ARTICLE I
Membership

SECTION 1. The ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP shall be limited to three hundred and fifty (350). The HONORARY MEMBERSHIP shall be limited to fifteen (15).

SECTION 2. ACTIVE MEMBERS. To be eligible for consideration for active membership, an individual shall be a graduate of an accredited medical school, shall have completed formal residency training and shall have been established in his/her current practice locale for a minimum of two years. To be considered, the individual must be board certified in his or her speciality, have established an excellent reputation as a surgeon, and be a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. The individual must be recommended by the Membership Committee of the Association and approved by at least three-fourths of the Executive Committee to be presented to the members of the Association. Nominees to be Active Membership shall be elected to membership by the favorable vote of three-fourths of the members voting by secret ballot at the Executive Session of the Annual Meeting. Membership shall not be denied because of race, creed, color, or sex.

Under special circumstances, renowned surgeons not meeting the above requirements may be granted membership.

A nomination shall be initiated by a member sponsor who shall be responsible for obtaining the curriculum vitae of the nominee which is to be submitted on a form provided by the Secretary of the Association. The nomination shall be endorsed by two (2) members. The completed nomination form and letters of recommendation from the sponsor and endorsers must be received in the office of the Secretary by May 1 of the year in which the nominee is to be considered.

SECTION 3. The Secretary will solicit additional letters of comment on the nominees from members of the Association. Each completed nomination received by the Secretary shall be presented to the Chairman of the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall consider all nominations and make recommendations to the Executive Committee. A final list of nominees shall be prepared by the Executive Committee for presentation to the members at the Annual Business Meeting for approval and acceptance.

SECTION 4. Upon notification by the Secretary of election to membership in the Association, the nominee must accept the election within three (3) months by payment of the initiation fee and the annual dues to the Treasurer of the Association. To become an Active member, the nominee shall be expected to attend the first Annual Meeting after election to be introduced to the Association and to receive the certification of membership. Should the nominee fail to attend the first subsequent meeting, the second Annual Meeting must be attended. If the nominee is unable to attend the second meeting, membership will not be conferred subject to action by the Executive Committee. Fees contingent on membership will not be refunded.

SECTION 5. Nominees who have not been recommended for active membership after three (3) consecutive years of consideration by the Membership Committee and the Executive Committee shall be withdrawn from consideration. This action shall not preclude subsequent nominations for membership after an interval of two (2) years.

SECTION 6. A Senior Membership shall be any active member who has reached the age of sixty (60) years, or has retired from the active practice of surgery. He/she may be recommended for Senior Membership for other acceptable reasons if so ordered by the Executive Committee. A Senior Member shall retain all rights and privileges of membership, but he/she shall be relieved of the rules of attendance. He/she shall pay dues and any assessments until the age of sixty-five (65) or upon retirement, whichever shall occur first.

SECTION 7. HONORARY MEMBERS may be selected from individuals of scientific eminence or from among those who have made unusual contributions to surgery. They shall be proposed to the Association by the Executive Committee and elected in the same manner as active members. They shall not be required to pay dues or fees nor shall they be privileged to vote or hold office.

SECTION 8. The resignation of a member in good standing submitted in writing may be accepted by the Executive Committee.

SECTION 9. Any Active Member who fails to attend three consecutive annual scientific meetings shall be notified of his/her absences by the Secretary. Written requests for excused absence will be considered by the Executive Committee. If the truant member fails to attend the next successive Annual Meeting, membership shall be forfeited unless for good and sufficient cause which the Executive Committee shall determine otherwise.

SECTION 10. Any member may be expelled for unprofessional or unethical conduct by unanimous vote of the Executive Committee. This action requires confirmation by the Association at the next Executive Session. Charges shall be preferred in writing and signed by three (3) members before consideration by the Executive Committee. If the vote of the Executive Committee is not unanimous, the charges may be adopted by mutual consent of the members of the Executive Committee, or they may be presented by the Executive Committee to the Association in Executive Session.

A three-fourths vote of the members voting by secret ballot (Article VI, Section 2) at the Executive Session of the Annual Meeting shall be required for expulsion.

SECTION 11. An active member, temporarily residing outside the continental limits of the United States or Canada, may be placed on temporary inactive status if such request is presented in writing and approved by the Executive Committee. Temporary inactive status relieves the member of attendance requirements and dues payment. Such status shall be granted for a period no longer than three (3) years.

ARTICLE II
Duties of Executive Committee and Officers

SECTION 1. The EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE shall be the executive body of the Association and shall consider all the business and policies pertaining to the affairs of the Association. It shall make nominations for officers and fill vacancies arising among officers. It shall select the sites and dates for Annual Meetings and appoint the Chairman of the Committee on Local Arrangements. It shall recommend the amount of the dues for the consideration of the membership. It shall make recommendations for Active, Senior, Honorary and Temporary Inactive Membership and shall act upon resignations and forfeitures of membership as necessary. It shall consider and act upon charges of unprofessional conduct and charges against members for alleged offenses against the Constitution and Bylaws. It shall also submit, for the vote of the membership in Executive Session, its recommendation concerning expulsion of a member. It shall direct the conservation and investment of funds held by the Association.

A report of the Executive Committee shall be presented to the members during the Executive Session of the Association during each Annual Meeting. No decisions or recommendations of the Executive Committee shall be binding on the Association unless accepted by a three-fourths vote of the members voting in Executive Session at the Annual Meeting.

Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at the call of the Chairman of the Executive Committee. Seven members present shall constitute a quorum.

The most immediate Past President of the Association in attendance shall be Chairman of the Executive Committee, and the Secretary of the Association shall be Secretary of the Executive Committee.

SECTION 2. The PRESIDENT shall preside at the meetings of the Association, preserve order, regulate debates, appoint committees not otherwise provided for, announce results of elections, perform all other duties appertaining to his office, ex-officio member of all committees. The President shall hold office for one (1) year. In the absence of the President, the order of succession to the Chair shall be the First Vice President, the Second Vice President and then the Senior Member of the Executive Committee present.

SECTION 3. The SECRETARY shall attend to the correspondence of the Association, shall notify officers and new Members of their election, and shall notify and instruct new members of the Program Committee, the Membership Committee, and of other specially designed committees. The Secretary shall keep minutes of the Executive Committees executive sessions. Such minutes shall be the property of the Association and shall be the Custodian of the Seal of the Association and shall, upon direction by the Executive Committee, affix it to papers and documents. Together with the President, the Secretary shall sign all official papers. The Secretary shall pass upon all bills for expenses to be paid by the Treasurer. The Secretary shall publish a list of all nominees presenting their age, address, surgical board certification status, College of Surgeons fellowship status, and the names of the sponsor and endorsing members. This information on the nominees will be mailed to the members of the Association with a request for comment on individual nominees at an appropriate interval before the meeting of the Membership Committee. The Secretary shall send invitations to guests invited to attend the Annual Meeting at the request of a member. The Secretary shall be custodian of the records of attendance of all meetings of the Association. The Secretary shall make an annual report to the Executive Committee and to the Membership at the Annual Executive Session of the Association. The Secretary shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.

SECTION 4. The TREASURER shall be the custodian of all the moneys of the Association and shall be responsible to the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall keep full and accurate books of account, containing a record of all moneys received and expended, which books shall be the property of the Association and open to the inspection of the authorized officers at all reasonable times. The Treasurer shall collect initiation fees, dues and assessments, and shall report to the Executive Committee the names of those members in arrears. The Treasurer shall present an annual report of account for audit which shall be made a part of the report of the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall cooperate with the Chairman of the Local Committee on arrangements regarding finance.

SECTION 5. The Association shall have an official journal chosen by vote of the membership. The RECORDER will be the liaison between the Association and the editor of the official journal. The Recorder shall contact the corresponding authors of all scientific papers presented before the Association. Authors shall be instructed to forward manuscripts to the Editor of the official journal prior to presentation at the annual meeting. The Recorder shall be responsible for the Transactions of the Western Surgical Association, published in the Program Book. The Transactions includes a list of past presidents and meeting places; a list of J. Bradley Aust awardees; the previous year’s scientific program; the previous year’s Presidential Address; and a list of deaths and memorials. The Recorder will send one copy of the Transactions to the National Library of Congress to be kept in perpetuity. The Recorder shall maintain an up-to-date file of the membership.

SECTION 6. The RECORDER shall act as Historian for the organization and maintain and transfer appropriate archival material from the organization to the Library of Medicine.

SECTION 7. DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES. There shall be four (4) District Representatives, one of whom shall be elected each year for a term of four (4) years. The tenure of office shall be staggered in order to facilitate continuity in committee activities. These representatives shall be elected to represent widely diverse geographical sections of membership. They shall represent the best interests of the entire Association to the membership of their general areas, and in turn shall represent the will and pleasure of the membership of their general geographical areas to the Executive Committee.

SECTION 8. The Association is represented on the American Board of Surgery. When requested by the Board, the Executive Committee shall submit the names of three (3) member nominees for each position to the membership for approval of an Annual Meeting. Upon approval the panel of nominees will be forwarded to the American Board of Surgery who will notify the Association of the nominees selected for this office.

SECTION 9. The Association is regularly represented on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons by one (1) member. When required, the Executive Committee shall submit the names of three (3) nominees approved by the membership for this office.

SECTION 10. The Association is regularly represented on the Advisory Council on Surgery of the American College of Surgeons by one member. When requested, the Executive Committee shall submit the names of three (3) nominees approved by the membership of this office.

ARTICLE III
Initiation Fee and Annual Dues

SECTION 1. Every active member on his/her election shall pay an initiation fee, thereby acknowledging and accepting the Constitution and Bylaws. The amount of the fee may be changed at any Annual Meeting on recommendation of the Executive Committee and approved by a majority of the membership of the Association at the Executive Session of the Annual Meeting.

SECTION 2. Annual dues of every active member shall be paid by May 1 of each calendar year. The amount of the dues may be changed at the Executive Session of the Association on recommendation of the Executive Committee and approval by the majority of the members present.

SECTION 3. Any member who fails to pay dues or assessments for one year shall be notified by the Treasurer in writing. If the member fails to pay the required dues within two (2) months thereafter, the membership will be forfeited. The Treasurer shall notify the Executive Committee of this forfeiture. Waiver of membership fees or assessments shall be the prerogative of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE IV
Programs and Publications

SECTION 1. A balanced program for the Annual Scientific Meeting will be arranged by the Program Committee, a copy of which shall be distributed to the membership. Abstracts submitted for consideration to be included in the program shall represent original material which shall not have been submitted for publication previously.

SECTION 2. All papers read before the Association shall be presented by a member or sponsored guest. The sponsoring member or co-author member shall be responsible for the content and quality of presentation. An excuse not to do this will require permission of the President.

SECTION 3. The time allowed for presentation of papers shall be determined by the Program Committee. The manuscript must be completed for publication in accordance with the guidelines of the official journal of the Association, and must be submitted in a timely fashion in accordance with published guidelines of the Association.

SECTION 4. The Executive Committee shall have full power to omit from the published records any paper, in part or in whole, which may have been read before the Association.

SECTION 5. The Executive Committee shall cooperate with the editorial board of the official journal of the association to obtain prompt publication of the scientific papers.

SECTION 6. The expense of publication of papers and costs in excess of that allowed by the publisher shall be subject to assessment against the author. All papers published in the official journal identified with the Western Surgical Association shall have been read before the Association.

ARTICLE V
Meetings

SECTION 1. The place and time of the Annual Meeting and the Chairman of the Committee on Local Arrangements shall be selected by the Executive Committee.

The date and location of the two (2) succeeding meetings shall be published in the program at the time of the Annual Meeting each year.
After such publication, the selected place of the meeting may be changed only by unanimous vote of the Executive Committee.
Members shall sign the permanent register of the Association as a record of their attendance.
A special register shall be provided for guests.

SECTION 2. A special meeting of the Association may be called at any time by the President, with the concurrence of the Executive Committee, and it shall be his duty to do so upon receipt of a written petition signed by ten (10) percent of the members.

SECTION 3. A member may invite a Doctor of Medicine or other distinguished scientist to participate in the scientific and social functions of the Association. A member inviting a guest to the Annual Scientific Meeting should send the name to the Secretary at least one (1) month before the date of the Annual Meeting. The Secretary shall forward an official invitation to the guest. The invited guests attending the meeting will receive a program of the meeting at the time of their registration. The President may extend to guests the privilege of participating in the discussions. Each guest will be assessed a Registration Fee. A senior medical student or a resident in surgery from an accredited residency program may attend the scientific meetings without charge upon presentation of appropriate identification and certification at the time of registration.

ARTICLE VI
Quorum

SECTION 1. A minimum of twenty-five (25) percent of the membership shall be required at any Executive Session to form a quorum for transaction of the ordinary business of the Association, for elections, for changes in the Constitution and Bylaws, or for ordering assessments.

SECTION 2. A minimum of fifty-one (51) percent of the membership shall be required to form a quorum to consider the expulsion of a member.

ARTICLE VII
Committees

SECTION 1. All standing and ad hoc committees shall act in an advisory capacity to the duly elected Executive Committee of the Association.

SECTION 2. The Membership Committee shall be composed of six (6) members: four (4) presidential appointees, each to serve for a period of four (4) years; the other two (2) members shall be District Representatives assigned by the Executive Committee for the latter two-year (2-year) portion of their term of office. The President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer shall be ex-officio members of the Committee.

  1. The Chairman shall be the senior appointed member of the Committee, i.e. that appointed member who is in his/her fourth year on the Committee.
  2. The deadline for submission of applications to the Secretary of the Association shall be May 1 preceding the Annual Meeting.
  3. The Secretary of the Association shall send all applications and related data to this Committee at an appropriate interval preceding the Annual Meeting.
  4. The Membership Committee shall convene and present annually to the Executive Committee the complete list of candidates and their recommendation on each of them.

SECTION 3. The Program Committee shall consist of six (6) members: four (4) presidential appointees, each to serve for a period of four (4) years; the other two (2) members shall be District Representatives assigned by the Executive Committee for the first two-year (2-year) portion of their term of office. The President, the Secretary, and the Recorder shall be ex-officio members.

  1. The Chairman shall be the senior appointed member, i.e. that appointed member who is in his/her fourth year on the Committee.
  2. The deadline for submission of abstracts to the Secretary of the Association shall be in accordance with published guidelines of the Association.
  3. After individual preliminary evaluation of all abstracts, this Committee shall convene for purposes of final selection of the program for the Annual Meeting.

SECTION 4. The Executive Committee shall act as a Budget Committee with reference to necessary secretarial expenditures for officers and committee members, subject to the approval of the membership.

SECTION 5. ADVISORY NOMINATING COMMITTEE. The Executive Committee shall act as the Nominating Committee at the Annual Meeting. In turn, the Executive Committee shall appoint an Advisory Committee, consisting of the three (3) immediate Past-Presidents and the senior District Representative. The Chairman of this Advisory Committee shall be the immediate Past-President. This Advisory Committee shall discuss suitable nominees to fill the officer and representative vacancies which shall occur at the time of the Annual Meeting, and shall submit its recommendations to the Executive Committee for consideration. The President and Secretary shall serve as ex-officio members.

SECTION 6. The Executive Committee shall appoint the Chairman of the Committee on Local Arrangements at least one (1) year in advance. In coordination with the Secretary and Treasurer he/she shall be responsible for all details pertaining to the Annual Meeting unless otherwise ordered by the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VIII
Seal and Certificate of Membership

SECTION 1. The Seal shall be circular in form and bear the name of the Association about the border. In the center shall be portrayed the Western Country, similar to the State Seal of Kansas. The Association was founded in Topeka, Kansas, 1891.

SECTION 2. The Association shall issue a Certificate of Membership signed by the President and Secretary.

SECTION 3. The Certificate of Membership shall be as follows:

WESTERN SURGICAL ASSOCIATION
FOR THE CULTIVATION PROMOTION AND DIFFUSION OF
KNOWLEDGE OF THE ART AND SCIENCE OF SURGERY
HAS ELECTED

_____________________________________

TO ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP
OR
HONORARY MEMBERSHIP

_______________________ _______________________
PresidentSecretary

_________________
Date

ARTICLE IX
Nominations and Elections

SECTION 1. Nominations for all Officers shall be made at the Executive Session of the Annual Meeting by the Executive Committee of the Association. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.

SECTION 2. The election of Officers shall take place at the Executive Session of the Annual Meeting. An affirmative vote of a majority of the members voting at the Executive Session shall constitute an election.

SECTION 3. Any vacancy occurring during the year among the Officers of the Association shall be filled by the action of the Executive Committee. Any vacancy occurring among Committee Members shall be filled by action of the President.

ARTICLE X
Order of Business

SECTION 1. Order of Business of the Executive Committee

  1. Reading of minutes of last meeting
  2. Reports: Reports of Program and Membership Committees
    1. Secretary
    2. Treasurer
    3. Recorder
  3. Reports of Representatives of American Board of Surgery and the Board of Governors and Advisory Council on Surgery of the American College of Surgeons
  4. Unfinished Business
  5. New Business
  6. Nominations: The report of the Advisory Committee on Nominations shall be considered, and a slate of nominations for officers shall be prepared.
    1. Locations of Future Meetings
    2. Chairman of Committee on Local Arrangements
  7. The report of the Executive Committee of the Association shall be discussed in preparation for its presentation by the Secretary to the membership of the Association in Executive Session at the Annual Meeting.

SECTION 2. Executive Session of the Annual Meeting

  1. Reading of previous year’s minutes of the Executive Session of the Annual Meeting
  2. Report of Executive Committee meetings to the Association by the Secretary
  3. Report of the Treasurer
  4. Report of the Recorder
  5. Report of the Representative Board of Governors, American College of Surgeons
  6. Report of the Representative American Board of Surgery
  7. Report of the Representative Advisory Council on Surgery, American College of Surgeons
  8. Report of Program & Membership Committees
  9. Unfinished Business
  10. New Business
  11. Election of New Members
  12. Election of New Officers
  13. Adjournment

ARTICLE XI
Alterations in the Constitution and Bylaws

No part of the Constitution or Bylaws may be amended, altered or replaced, except at a regular Annual Meeting of the Association in Executive Session. The suggested amendment, alteration or repeal in the Constitution or Bylaws must have been presented in writing at the Executive Session of the previous Annual Meeting, signed by three (3) members. Notice of the proposed amendment, alteration or repeal shall be given in writing with the call to the Annual Meeting. The adoption of the suggested amendment, alteration or repeal shall be by vote of three-fourths of the members voting, a quorum being present at the Executive Session.

ARTICLE XII
Parliamentary Authority

Sturgis’ Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, the current edition, shall be the parliamentary authority in all matters not specified in the Constitution, Bylaws or standing rules of this organization.