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Partnership Council By-Laws

Section 1: Basis for Operation

The Department of Mental Health’s Partnership Council (MHPC) shall be appointed by the Director of the Department of Mental Health.  The authority and scope of responsibility shall meet the Department’s enabling legislation and any court-ordered requirements. The MHPC shall have any additional advisory duties as may be deemed appropriate by the Director.

Section 2: Purpose

The purpose of the Partnership Council shall be to provide advice on policy development and program administration regarding the Department’s Mental Health and treatment services to the Director of the Department of mental health. This may include policy, program, and financial items involving availability, utilization, abuse, accessibility, and quality of health care programs administered by the Department.

The Council may use the following means to achieve its purpose:

  1. Identify unmet health care needs to prospective and existing consumers and other low income persons and recommend possible solutions.
  2. Identify, review, and assist with planning and evaluating service problems, policy issues, and concerns of providers and consumers involved in publicly funded health care program administered by the Department and recommend possible actions which may include such items as reimbursement availability, utilization, abuse, accessibility, quality and grievances.
  3. Advise and assist the Department’s efforts to improve communications and education programs regarding the Department’s mental health and treatment service program goals and objectives.
  4. Provide written annual report of the Council’s activities, findings, and recommendations to the Director of the Department of Mental Health.        

Section 3: Membership

The membership shall be no less than 15 and not more than 25 persons. Individuals shall be selected on the basis of their individual knowledge and interest in the health and medical care service programs rather than serving as a representative of a specific group or organization. Members who have financial interest in the policies or service program under discussion shall disclose such interest; provided, however, that once disclosed, such interest shall not disqualify such members from participation in Council deliberations.

The Council’s composition shall include:

  1. At least 51% primary consumers or secondary consumers (family members) of mental health services and supports.
  2. At least 8 consumer members shall be District of Columbia residents and each Ward of the District of Columbia shall be represented.
  3. Members of consumer groups, including recipients of other medical care programs (such as Medicaid, substance abuse services, HIV/AIDS care), and other organizations such as labor unions, cooperatives, legal aid societies, non-profit organizations, and others involved in delivery of mental health services in such numbers specified by the Department’s enabling legislation.
  4. Representatives of health care professions and delivery systems who are knowledgeable about the health care needs of residents of the District of Columbia and with the resources available and required for their mental health services and supports.
  5. The Director of the Department of Mental Health or his/her designee.

Section 4: Term of Membership

The term of appointment shall be for a one three-year term with an option for reappointment for an additional three year term.  Membership may be repeated for another three-year term following one year of non-Council membership. The initial term of appointment shall be staggered via lottery so that the term of one third (1/3) of the Council is subject to reappointment each year. 

Section 5: Officers

Officers shall be elected by the full Council. The officers shall consist of a chair and vice chair. Each officer shall hold a one three year term with the option for reelection for one additional three year term.

Section 6: Removal

Two thirds of the membership can vote to remove a member. A member can be removed for failure to attend three consecutive meetings.

Section 7: Procedures, Meetings, and Quorum

The advisory Council shall schedule at least ten (10) meetings during the year or as often as determined by the Chair or at the written request of one fourth of the members. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order and shall be open to the public. The chair shall appoint a parliamentarian. A quorum shall consist of 8 members present at a duly scheduled or called meeting.

All actions of the MHPC shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. Votes on substantive matters shall be by roll call and minutes shall note the names of members in attendance and whether or how they voted. The chair shall determine if a particular matter is considered substantive and therefore requires a roll call vote. Procedural and non-substantive matters may be acted upon by voice vote.

The Council’s support services including technical assistance and staff assistance shall be provided by the Department.  The Department, in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair shall establish a budget for MHPC related support and staff services.  The Department, will, if necessary, provide financial arrangement to make possible the participation of recipient members or their caretakers. Consumers and family members may be reimbursed upon request.

Section 8: Amendments

These By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote of duly called or scheduled meeting at which notice is specifically given of the intent to amend and copy of the amendment is enclosed with the notice.

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