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New ALS Association Structure Will Enhance Patient Care and Help Find a Cure

February 17, 2010

As The ALS Association commemorates its 25 year anniversary, the world leader in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease is also implementing a new governance structure to better support our vision to create a world without ALS.

A process that began with a strategic planning review, followed by an organizational assessment conducted by ALS Association corporate partner Booz Allen Hamilton, a well-known strategy and technology consulting firm, led to the formation of a Governance Task Force and a Strategic Planning Committee consisting of key stakeholders to evaluate and recommend the most effective governance structure to support the quest for new treatments and a cure for ALS.

“The ALS Association is entering an exciting new era with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, and the new directions we have charted will enhance the way we go about fighting for people living with ALS and their families,” said Jane H. Gilbert, the president and CEO of The Association.”

The members of the task force and committee were selected from The ALS Association National Board of Trustees, Chapter Presidents and CEOs, ALS Certified Center professionals and representatives from the National Office staff.

A critical part of the process included interviews with ten national peer health-related organizations to identify best practices and examine each organization’s bylaws and structural profile.  Armed with this information and grassroots discussions with other key stakeholders, the group set about the important work of developing a unified structure that would take advantage of most effective assets of The Association and develop the world’s most powerful organization in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“Each member of the Governance Task Force and Strategic Planning Committee worked diligently to provide The ALS Association with a governance framework that will help enable The ALS Association to achieve its mission and vision in the most effective way possible,” said Jay Daugherty, the new chair of The Association’s National Board of Trustees.

One of the most important changes in the new governance structure is that chartered chapters of The Association are now the members of record of The Association with an active voice in the decision-making process and an opportunity to serve on the newly-formed Board of Representatives.  This body of chapter representatives will have the responsibility of electing the membership of the National Board of Trustees, who serve on the committees with oversight of the functional areas of The Association.

“The ALS Association is dedicated to the concept that a unified and inclusive governance structure is the first important step in moving the organization to the next level of effectiveness,” Gilbert said. “The new governance structure is intended to give us the ability to offer those who need our help improved services and programs and to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to discover new treatments and a cure.”

The structure also provides a new charter agreement for chapters that will increase the effectiveness of services provided to people with ALS and their families.  An appropriately structured system will ensure check and balances and strategic oversight of the comprehensive nationwide operations.

“Speaking from the same page is one of the keys to communicating the message of The ALS Association to as many people as possible,” said Ken Nicholls, executive director of The Association’s DC/MD/VA Chapter in Rockville, Md. “The chapters are now true partners in a great organization.”

The new governance framework will enable The Association to achieve its mission and vision in the most effective way possible.  The large “A” in The ALS Association’s logo is a symbol for the entire organization to rally under.

“We’re going to listen to all of your ideas,” said Gilbert to representatives of the chapters. “The ALS Association is one organization. We walk the walk and talk the talk under the same Big Red A.”



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