Letter from the Board Chair, Sara Bennett
Dear Fellow Members of Health Systems Global,
I wanted to update you on some key governance and corporate changes that we have effected in Health Systems Global (HSG) during the past month.
You may recall that HSG was first established in 2012, with an interim Secretariat in Copenhagen, Denmark. At the end of last year, we went through an open and competitive process to identify a more permanent home for the Secretariat, with Dr George Gotsadze and colleagues within the Curatio International Foundation, working with Inis, winning this bid.
As we sought to establish the new Secretariat in Tbilisi, Georgia, a number of challenges related to the establishment of the society in Denmark became evident. After some research, including a review of the advantages and disadvantages of different possible geographic jurisdictions, the HSG Board concluded that in order to facilitate future operations of the Society, and ensure both sustainability and potential portability (to other Secretariat sites), HSG should be established as a Society in Switzerland with the possibility of creating branch offices in other countries (such as Georgia).
During a Board meeting in early November in London, the Board unanimously approved the establishment of HSG in Switzerland and the Society has now been formally registered there. The Board also voted for closure of the dormant Society registered in Copenhagen, and this proposal will be voted on by the general assembly in Vancouver, Canada during the Fourth Global Symposium.
While registering the Society in Switzerland, we took the opportunity to make some changes to the Society’s bylaws. You can review the full bylaws here, but I wanted to highlight one particular aspect concerning Board size. Given the volume of work taken on by the Board members, as well as the need to ensure continuity in Board functionality, we are increasing the Board size from 11 to 13 seats in 2016 and to a further 15 seats in 2018. This will mean that ultimately there will be six regional seats plus nine “untied” seats. Please stay tuned and we will keep you posted and engaged as we commence this process in 2016.
All these changes have all been put in place based on the objectives of the HSG strategic plan 2013-2015 with a view to strengthening the organizational structure of HSG, ensuring its sustainability and responsiveness to members, whilst proceeding in a transparent but expeditious fashion.
As Chair of the HSG Board, I feel that going into 2016, HSG is in an even stronger position to provide real benefits to its members and the field as a whole. During the past 12 months it has been wonderful to see the launch of the new HSG website, to welcome Emerging Voices formally into the HSG fold as a new thematic working group, to witness the rapid development of many thematic working groups, and see the Symposium agenda for Vancouver begin to come together. The work that has gone on “behind the scenes” to better secure HSG’s sustainability and organizational strength in the future is clearly less visible, but equally important and exciting.
In closing, I would like to thank the new Secretariat, and our Executive Director, Dr George Gotsadze, for all the work they have done during the past year to make this happen.
Health Systems Global