New Committee Structures Offers More Opportunities for Member Participation; Changes to Board and Committees Provide Efficiencies

Published Thursday, June 21, 2012
by Carrie Stankiewicz, AAGP Director of Programs

Mission Statement

The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry is a national association representing and serving its members and the field of geriatric psychiatry. AAGP promotes the mental health and well-being of older people through professional education, public advocacy, and support of career development for clinicians, educators, and researchers in geriatric psychiatry and mental health.

Changes recently made to AAGP’s governance structure will help the association better meet its stated mission and provide more opportunities for member participation. The AAGP Board of Directors recently put into place changes that have been in development since the fall of 2011, including the move to a smaller board of directors, a more defined committee structure, and the expansion of AAGP’s caucuses. These changes are also designed to consolidate resources and help the association work more efficiently.

Here’s how the AAGP governance structure has evolved.

Board Size and Composition: The Board of Directors voted to reduce the size of the Board from sixteen to thirteen Standing Members. The Board will now consist of five officers, two psychiatrist member directors, two non-psychiatrist member directors, the chairs of the three core committees (described below), and one Member-in-Training Board member. AAGP will realize some cost savings from having a smaller Board, while still retaining a high degree of member representation and gaining increased communication and representation from AAGP’s three core committees. This new plan is being phased in over the next three years. The existing ten Board Directors will remain in their elected positions until the time their terms were scheduled to expire (three per year), and then Board elections will resume once vacancies are again available. The chairs of the three core committees joined the Board in March.

AAGP Core Committees with Board Representation: The Board of Directors has evolved three of AAGP’s committees into open committees that have AAGP Board representation. These three committees represent AAGP’s core constituencies: Research, Clinical Practice, and Teaching and Training. The chair of each of these core committees also serves as a voting member of the AAGP Board.

All AAGP members are welcome to participate in one or more of these committees. There is no limit to participation, and there is no formal process required to join. To participate, simply go to and subscribe to the committee e-mail list. Become involved by joining email discussions and taking on tasks as the chair makes requests. These committees are completely staffed and led by volunteers.

Administrative Committees: The Board has reduced the number of standing, administrative committees to five: Nominations Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee, Continuing Medical Education Committee, and AAGP-PAC Board of Directors. These administrative committees are integral to the administration and operations of the association, and as such, they have formal membership requirements as well as legal reporting requirements.

Members are encouraged to be involved in the administrative committees, but there are some limits on the number of members who may participate, as well as term limits or, in some instances, required qualifications. If you’d like to participate on one of these committees, or have a question about participation, please go to and complete the “Join a Committee” form. An AAGP staff member will then contact you.  

Caucuses: The AAGP has continued to expand the number of caucuses, which meet during the Annual Meeting and may also continue discussions via electronic list serves. All members are welcome to participate in any of these caucuses. There are no formal membership requirements, and the caucuses are self-governing and determine their own structure. To see the list of current caucuses and to subscribe to any of the email lists, go to

Control Your Own Participation

Through AAGP’s list serves for committees and caucuses, YOU are in the driver’s seat! The list serves allow you to control your participation and be more--or less--involved as your interests and time allow. On the subscriber page you may subscribe yourself to as many of the lists as you wish. Once subscribed, you will receive a username and password, which allows you to control your subscription, update your email address, access archived messages, and unsubscribe. Go to to get started.

We hope that you will become involved and actively participate. AAGP is a vibrant and growing organization because AAGP members actively participate and move things forward. Your participation is not only welcomed, it is needed! All it takes to get started is one minute to sign up online.


Back to June 2012 Geriatric Psychiatry News