Strategic Plan SOP

United States Public Health Service

Commissioned Officers Association

Greater New York Branch

(Greater NYCOA)

Strategic Planning Workgroup

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Document Approvals:

Printed Name




CDR Elena Vaouli

Strategic Planning Workgroup Chair

E. Vaouli (e-signed)


CDR Elena Vaouli

Strategic Planning Workgroup Chair

E. Vaouli (e-signed)


Document History Record

Document History Record for:

Strategic Planning Workgroup

Standard Operating Procedures

Revision Number

Date of Revision

Effective Date

Description of Changes




Creation of initial version.


The Greater NYCOA Strategic Planning Workgroup Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) provides operational and procedural guidance for the Greater NYCOA Strategic Planning Workgroup. This SOP provides guidance on matters not addressed by the Greater NYCOA Bylaws.


This SOP applies to all documents created that are related to all functions within the Greater NYCOA Strategic Planning Workgroup to establish policies, processes, records and acceptance criteria under the auspices of Greater NYCOA. This SOP does not apply to documents created by other organizations outside of the Greater NYCOA Strategic Planning Workgroup.


Document No.: The unique identifier assigned to each document.

Revision No.: The numeric designation identifying the version of a controlled document. New documents are assigned “Rev. 00.” Subsequent, approved revisions of the same document are assigned sequential numbers, “Rev. 01,” “Rev.02,” etc.

Approval Date: The date that the Chair accepts the document into the Document Control System by applying the final approval signature.

Effective Date: The first date that the new or revised document may and must be used; and the previous revision, if there is one, may not and must not be used.


Greater NYCOA Bylaws

Greater NYCOA Website

Table of Contents

I. Work Group Responsibilities and Organization

Section 1: Responsibility

Section 2: Leadership

Section 3: Involvement

Section 4: Ad-hoc Workgroups

Section 5: Letters of Appreciation

II. Procedures

Section 1: Meeting Time & Frequency

Section 2: Workgroup Procedures

III. Minimum Standards for Participants

Section 1: Participants

IV. Transitioning

Section 1: Transition Procedure

V. Absenteeism Policy

Section 1: Absenteeism Policy

Section 2: Member Participation

Section 3: Inactive Members

VI. Member Recognition

Section 1: Participants

VII. Changes to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)



Section 1. The Strategic Planning Workgroup shall work with the Greater NYCOA Branch Executive Officers to develop, implement, guide, and advance the organization’s responsibilities and strategic direction, in accordance with the mission of Greater NYCOA.

Section 2. The Strategic Planning Workgroup consists of a Chair, Chair-Elect, and members.

The Workgroup Chair is responsible for the following tasks:

1. Recruit workgroup members for the operational year.

2. Schedule and facilitate workgroup meetings as necessary.

3. Prepare a yearly SOP.

4. Provide end-of-the-year Letters of Appreciation, as appropriate.

5. Provide written and oral reports of workgroup activities during each branch leadership and general member meeting, and more frequently as needed.

6. Report to the Branch President, as directed.

The term duration for the Workgroup Chair shall be one year, or until a successor has been appointed.

The Workgroup Chair-Elect is responsible for the following tasks:

1. Recruit a Chair-Elect candidate to fill Chair-Elect position once the current Chair-Elect term has ended.

2. Fullfill duties of Chair in the Chair’s absence, or as needed.

The term duration for the Workgroup Chair-Elect shall be one year, or until a successor has been appointed.

The Workgroup Members are responsible for the following tasks:

1. Support the duties and responsibilities of the Chair and Chair-Elect.

2. Attend majority of meetings.

3. Participate actively.

4. Provide written and oral feedback as requested.

The term duration for workgroup members shall be unlimited.

Section 3. Involvement

Workgroup Participant: Workgroup Participants will fulfill the following expected roles and responsibilities:

1. Be willing and able to give the necessary time to attend meetings and perform any assigned duties.

2. Actively participate in discussion and be willing to listen to and respect others viewpoints.

3. Think in terms of the welfare of the group rather than personal interests.

4. Accept and follow through on assignments.

5. Maintain minimum standards for Workgroup Participants. (Article IV)

Workgroup Observer: A Workgroup Observer is an Officer who merely wishes to maintain awareness of Workgroup issues but is under no obligation or requirement to participate, maintain a minimum level of attendance, or other responsibility.

Section 4. Ad-hoc/Special Projects SubWorkgroups are formed in response to the Greater NYCOA Strategic Planning Workgroup needs and as directed by the Workgroup Chair.

Section 5. The Strategic Planning Workgroup shall disseminate Letters of Appreciation to Workgroup members for participation and volunteer support. The Letters of Appreciation should be issued using the template provided by the Greater NYCOA Branch Executive Officers.



Section 1. The Strategic Planning Workgroup shall hold monthly meetings where all members shall report their various activities. The meetings are held the 1st Monday of every month.

Section 2. The Strategic Planning Workgroup addresses organizational strategic needs as issues arise, and as such, develops project-specific procedures on a case-by-case basis. In general, projects are discussed among workgroup members. The Chair and Chair-Elect prioritize projects and assign project-specific tasks to workgroup members as appropriate. Routine projects include, but may not be limited to, (1) reviewing and revising Bylaws; and (2) assisting BXOs with adherence to the procedures and timelines set forth in the Bylaws (auditing of accounts, election process, quorum monitoring, etc.).



Section 1. Workgroup Participant: Workgroup Participant minimum standards include:

A. Attending at least half of the eligible meetings since joining the Workgroup

B. Active participation in at least one project annually

C. Active participation in meeting discussions and providing input to the Workgroup Chair solicitations



Section 1. Chair-Elect Preparation: Incoming Workgroup Chair and outgoing Workgroup Chair should schedule a meeting to discuss the transitioning of the position. In collaboration with the outgoing Workgroup Chair, the incoming Workgroup Chair will utilize the orientation guidelines and practices regarding absenteeism and member recognition to assist them in their preparation as the Workgroup Chair. Transitioning will also include orientation to Workgroup documents.



Section 1. Absenteeism Policy: Workgroup Participants should inform the Workgroup Chair if they will be unavailable to make a Workgroup meeting. To maintain their status, Workgroup Participants need to attend at least half of the eligible meetings since joining the Workgroup.

Section 2. Member Participation: Workgroup Participants who miss more than half the meetings in a six month period (July through January) or half the meetings in a twelve month period (July through June) shall be considered “inactive” and not be eligible for inclusion on the roster and for the Workgroup’s end-of-year Letter of Appreciation. The Workgroup Chair shall keep attendance of all meetings and notify any member that has fallen below the 50% attendance mark. These guidelines are intended to encourage at least 50% attendance at meetings. However, it is recognized that there may be individual cases which warrant special consideration (e.g., weekly scheduling conflict), where an Officer is not able to make that percentage but substantially contributes to the Workgroup. Therefore, the Workgroup Chair reserves the right to utilize appropriate discretion in determining whether or not an individual Officer should be recognized as a Workgroup Participant.

Section 3. Notifying Inactive Members: Those Workgroup Participants who fall below the 50% attendance mark will be sent an e-mail by the Workgroup Chair informing them of such and that they will be removed from the roster and may not be eligible for the end-of-year Letter of Appreciation. Those Officers who choose to disassociate from a Workgroup, not respond, or continue to fail to attend meetings will not achieve the minimum recognition as outlined above.



Section 1. Workgroup Participants: Workgroup members who maintain the minimum standards for Workgroup Participants (Article V) will be acknowledged through the following methods:

A. A written letter signed by the Branch President, Workgroup Chair and/or Chair-Elect suitable for inclusion in the Officer's OPF. (See Appendix for Letter Template.)

Specific detail on the individual officer’s contributions should be maintained along with the impact of their contributions on the overall outcome when applicable. Each member is responsible for tracking these activities, and providing these records to the Workgroup Chair/Chair-Elect for inclusion in the recognition letter. A letter shall be granted to every officer who demonstrates at least a 50% attendance record (in addition to the other criteria) since joining the Workgroup.

B. Approval to list membership role with Greater NYCOA Workgroup on official Curriculum Vitae as “Workgroup Participant.”

C. Workgroup Participants shall be differentiated from Workgroup Observers in attendance rosters and in correspondence for the purposes of acknowledging their contributions. The Workgroup Participant roster will be communicated to the Greater NYCOA Branch Executive Officers at least twice a year.



Section 1. This SOP may be altered, amended or changed, by a majority vote of those Workgroup members present when such matters are submitted to the membership for vote. In taking a vote, the Workgroup Chair will establish the general procedures for voting. Proposals may be submitted by any individual Workgroup member, who shall then submit it in writing to the Workgroup Chair. The Workgroup Chair and Chair-Elect shall review this SOP every year at the beginning of their elective terms, submitting corrections and amendments to the Workgroup members for a vote at the first meeting of the fiscal year (if applicable).

Appendix. Recognition Letter Template


[Officer Name



Dear [Officer Rank and Last Name],

On behalf of the Greater New York Commissioned Officers Association (NYCOA) of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), I wish to recognize and commend you for your [exemplary leadership and] outstanding service for the [Committee Name].

Specifically, [insert specific examples and impacts].

We are proud and honored to have you as a dedicated and active member of NYCOA, and we look forward to many more years of working alongside you.

Very respectfully,


(Committee Chair/Co-Chair)