Our By Laws

 

Chapter 1. Definitions

 1.1    As used in these ByLaws, the acronym “SARA” shall mean the International Society for Applied Research in Aging. 

1.2    “Anti-aging medicine” shall pertain to those clinical interventions intended to oppose the maladaptive changes associated with senescence and thereby to sustain health, vitality and good quality of life during aging.  The intended meaning of such clinical interventions in aging will generally be those that are employed to oppose senescence before the onset of clinical or sub-clinical symptoms of intrinsic disease.  However, non-medical interventions affecting a better quality of life for persons during aging without any direct or intended impact on disease are also implied.

 Chapter 2.  Organizational Purpose

 2.1    The purpose of SARA is to promote and expand the legitimate and evidence-based practice of anti-aging medicine.  Its specific aims are to support scientific and medical research, and to collect and disseminate objective data on safety and efficacy of treatments intended to ameliorate the maladaptive effects of aging.  Practitioners are welcomed from all areas of interest and experience so long as they are devoted to providing evidence-based interventions intended to increase longevity and good quality of life for their specific patients and the public at large.  It is assumed that the nucleus of such practitioners will be health care providers who encourage and support clinical development and applications for basic research data holding the promise of life extension and independent living for human beings to the biological limits of their existence.

2.2    SARA will provide support for new research consistent with its financial responsibilities and capabilities, provide training and teaching for its members and encourage vocations in gerontology and aging research.

 Chapter 3.  Membership

 3.1    Application for Membership:  Any person qualified to practice anti-aging medicine either by training, practical experience or desire who also has demonstrated such qualification either by academic degree, licensure or other credentials is eligible to apply for membership.

3.2    Election of Members:  Applications for membership in SARA will be available on its website and may be transmitted electronically or in hard copy along with an application fee to its central processing office.  Upon preliminary review of the application for completeness, qualifications and address verification, it will be reviewed by the Membership Chair who in turn, will present names of qualified applicants to the Board of Directors.  Applicants will be notified of their election to membership by mail within thirty days after action by the Board of Directors.  Elected individuals will receive a membership certificate upon notification.  Should changes in membership status be desired, requests should be forwarded to the Membership Chair who in turn will submit them to the Board of Directors.  As with original applications, request of change of membership status forms are available on the SARA website. 

3.3    Discrimination: Membership in SARA or any of its Chapters will not be denied or abridged because of sex, color, creed, race, religion, disability, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation or age, or for any other reason unrelated to character or competence.  Membership will be granted to all those who meet the requirements for membership as set forth in these by-laws and those of the respective SARA Chapters. In addition to these, qualities of character, ethics, professional status and activities may be considered.    

3.4    Denial or Termination of Membership:  If membership in SARA is denied, or if membership in the Society is terminated for any reason other than non-payment of dues, the Society will provide notice and basis of its decision via certified U.S. Mail within thirty days of such action.  Persons so notified will have the right to file a petition for appeal to the Board of Directors during which evidence may be provided.  Failure of the affected person to formally appeal denial or termination of membership within thirty (30) days after receipt of notification shall constitute waiver of such right.

3.5    Reinstatement of Members: Those whose membership in the Society has been terminated may be reinstated only upon submission of a new application and election to membership.

3.6    Full Membership: A candidate for full membership in SARA will be a health care provider who holds a valid license to practice and/or is directly involved in research, education or service related to anti-aging medicine. Every active member shall have the right to vote, hold office, be a director and serve on committees so long as they remain members in good standing.

3.7    Associate Membership:  Those students and other individuals having interest in anti-aging medicine but not having achieved licensure or experiential qualifications required for full membership may be granted associate status.  Associate members may serve on committees, but may not vote, hold office or be directors in SARA.

3.8    Honorary Membership:  Persons who have demonstrated distinguished service to SARA or to the community of anti-aging practitioners may be conferred honorary membership in the Society by its Board of Directors.  Honorary members will not be assessed dues or other fees, nor have the right to vote, be a director or hold office.  However, they may serve on SARA committees.

3.9    Inactive Membership:  Those formerly active members who terminate their active practice or are confronted with unusual, personal extenuating circumstances that interfere with their ability to sustain active membership in the Society, may be assigned inactive membership status by the Board of Directors. Inactive membership status may not exceed two years after which active membership status must be reinstated or resignation tendered.  Inactive members are not required to pay dues or other fees, may not vote, hold office, be a director or serve on committees.

3.10Sponsor Membership: Private individuals or representatives of businesses, companies or organizations not directly involved in the practice of anti-aging medicine, but having an interest in supporting development of the field may be granted sponsor membership upon approval of the Board of Directors.  Implicit in accepting such membership is the understanding that any support for SARA provided by the sponsor above and beyond regular dues will be accepted only if designated as “unrestricted educational grants”.  Such grants will be acknowledged by SARA in appropriate venues but will in no other way obligate the Society to favor the sponsor including endorsement of its advertisements and/or products, or to alter operational or policy decisions so as to benefit the sponsor.  Sponsor members will not have the right to be directors or officers of SARA, but will have the right to vote and serve on committees.         

 Chapter 4.  Financial Policies

 4.1    Fiscal year for SARA will be from January 1 through December 31, inclusive.

4.2    No member of the Society shall have any right, title or interest, legal or equitable in or to the properties or assets of the Society.  All assets of SARA shall be devoted exclusively for supporting Society purposes as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation.

4.3    No member has the authority to make the Society or any of its members and officers liable through his or her actions.  Similarly, no member can be made personally liable for official actions of the Society. 

4.4    Annual dues will be initially set by a majority vote of the founding members.  Review of dues for all membership categories will be subsequently done by the Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting to determine if changes should be made.  Recommendations for dues changes shall be approved by majority vote of the membership in attendance at the Annual Business Meeting.

4.5    Dues are payable on January 1 of each calendar year or as otherwise prescribed by the Board of Directors.  Members will be sent a reminder of unpaid dues sixty days after the renewal date.  Those dues not paid by ninety days after the renewal date will be considered delinquent such that members will be notified of the delinquent status and informed that their benefits including the right to vote, are suspended until such time as the delinquent dues are paid.  If dues remain unpaid for 120 days or six months after the renewal date, membership of those in delinquent status will be withdrawn.

4.6    Benefits of dues shall include but not be restricted to recognized membership in SARA, free e-subscription to the official journal, Clinical Interventions in Aging (hard copies may be purchased separately for an annual cost as designated by the publisher), access to restricted areas of SARA website, reduced registration fees for annual meetings, symposia, seminars and on-line training sessions including continuing education courses, up-dates on regulatory issues affecting clinical practice of anti-aging medicine, priority access as clinical investigators to IRB-approved protocols for evaluating interventions in aging, etc.

 Chapter 5.  Meetings

5.1  Annual Meetings of all SARA members will be held on date and place designated by the Board of Directors and announced in the notice of the meeting.  Election results for Officers and Board of Directors will be announced and all other business that is appropriately transacted will be addressed.

5.2  Special Meetings of SARA members may be called at any time by the President with approval of a majority of the Board of Directors, by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or by ten percent of the voting SARA members in good standing upon written request.

5.3  Meeting Announcements will be made at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.

5.4  Quorum for Meetings will consist of a majority of the voting members who are registered at the Annual Meeting, or at least ten percent (10%) of the total Society members at a Special Meeting.

  Chapter 6. Board of Directors

 6.1    The Board of Directors will be composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and a Practitioner-in-Training all of whom shall serve as ex-officio members with full Board privileges, along with not more than ten (10) elected Directors and non-voting advisory members (not to exceed three (3) in number) who are appointed by the President and approved by the Board.  Those candidates for election to the Board of Directors must be practitioners with demonstrated expertise in providing interventions in aging as a significant part of their practice for at least three (3) consecutive years prior to the annual meeting that marks the start of their service on the Board of Directors.  Directors will be elected by mail-in ballot of eligible SARA members pursuant to election procedures described herein.

6.2    Term limits for elected directors will be three years and no more than two terms (six years), unless the first was to an unexpired term.  In this case, if the remaining portion of the unexpired term is one year, then the maximum service will be seven years.   If the remaining portion of the unexpired term is two years, then the maximum service will be five years.  The Practitioners-in-Training must be an associate member and shall be elected at an annual Practitioners-in-Training members meeting that will be held at each Annual Meeting of SARA.  Candidates will be elected for a one year term by the Practitioners-in-Training who are present at the Annual Meeting of their peers.   Advisory members will be pointed annually for a one year term by the President of SARA with approval of the Board.  One of the three advisory positions must be held by the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Interventions in Aging which is the official journal of the Society. Advisory members may represent other affiliated associations and/or may bring specialized training or experience to the Board.

6.3    Vacancies that occur among the directors will be filled by a member of the Society as appointed by the President with approval of the Board to serve until the next annual election.  At that time, a member of the Society will be elected to complete the unexpired term in accordance with official election procedures.

6.4    Duties of the Board of Directors will be to administer affairs of the Society during intervals between each Annual Meeting pursuant to established policy guidelines.  The most recent policy actions shall supercede those that may seem contradictory from the past.  In the absence of specifically applicable current policies, the Board shall determine the position of SARA based upon the tenor of past relevant actions.  These determinations shall be considered SARA policy until they are modified, approved or rescinded at the next Annual or Special meeting of the Society.

6.5    Meetings of the Board of Directors will be held at such time as determined by the Board members after at least thirty (30) days notice.  Special meetings of the Board may be called at any time by the President or at the request of six members of the Board after at least fifteen (15) days notice.   A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum. 

Chapter 7.  Officers

7.1    Officers of SARA will include the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer who will have been duly elected according to established policies of the Society and will have completed a minimum of three (3) years service on the Board of Directors.  Furthermore, the last year of service as an elected Director must have transpired within the prior five (5) consecutive years.

7.2    The President, Vice President and Secretary may not serve more than one (1), one (1) year term and the Treasurer not more than three (3), one year terms of office.  No individual member may serve more than a total of six (6) years as an officer.  All officers will be elected by a majority vote of the eligible members submitting ballots at the Annual Business Meeting.  If any election result for an officer is challenged, prior office holders will continue in their positions until a final decision is reached.

7.3    The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee and at all meetings of the membership to ensure that all actions and resolutions are executed.  The President shall also be the principal spokesperson for SARA unless he/she designates an alternative.

7.4    The Vice President shall perform duties as assigned by the President or by the Board of Directors.

7.5    The Secretary shall notify all members in advance of all Society meetings, keep records of proceedings of all Annual Meetings and meetings of the Board of Directors, and perform all other duties required of the Secretary.

7.6    The Treasurer shall oversee collection and retention of all funds due or accepted by the Society, expend funds under the direction of the Board of Directors, submit an annual financial report to the Board of Directors, arrange for an audit of the financial records and perform all other duties required of the Treasurer.

7.7    The Chief Executive Officer will be a paid employee of SARA who will work with the Board of Directors to ensure effective operations of the Society in accordance with its official goals and objectives.

 Chapter 8.  Committees

 8.1    The Executive Committee shall consist of all officers who will act on behalf of the Board of Directors to administer the affairs of the Society between meetings of the Board pursuant to its general policies.

8.2    Ad Hoc Committees and task forces shall be established by the President upon direction of or with approval by the Board of Directors.  These committees will only have authority as vested upon them by the Board and may make recommendations to it for establishment of Society policy.

8.3    Standing Committees shall be established by the President upon direction of or with approval by the Board of Directors.  These committees will only have authority as vested upon them by the Board and may make recommendations to it for establishment of Society policy.

8.4    Nominating Committee shall be comprised of four members appointed by the President (at least two [2] of which served for three [3] years of more on the Board of Directors) and up to two (2) members selected by the IAC Chairs at the Annual Meeting.  Appointees to the Nominating Committee must have been members of SARA in good standing for the past three (3) consecutive years.  The President shall serve as an Ex-officio member of the Committee by may not vote.  Duties of the Nominating Committee shall include solicitation of nominations, submission of candidates for Board of Director members to the general membership, and when necessary in case of a tie, conduct run-off election by mail/fax.  The Nominating Committee will also submit candidates for election for each office of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer to membership for mail-in ballot.  Nominations for elected Board positions and Officer positions may also be made from the membership provided that the candidate otherwise qualifies under these by-laws and a separate petition signed by at least one percent (1%) of the eligible voting SARA members has been duly presented to the Nominating Committee in a timely fashion.  Election results will be announced at the SARA Annual Business Meeting and notification will be provided to SARA membership.  Ballots for election of members shall be kept until after the SARA Annual Business Meeting is concluded.  They will then be destroyed unless results are legitimately challenged, in which case they will be recounted and destroyed when the results are deemed final.

 Chapter 9.  International Affiliate Chapters

9.1    Anti-Aging Societies or organizations from countries other than the United States that are committed to the goals and objectives of SARA may create International Affiliate Chapters (IAC) of SARA under an IAC Chairperson as approved by the SARA Board of Directors.

9.2    The IAC Chairperson may be initially appointed by the President at the request of the IAC membership.  Subsequently, the IAC Chairperson and officers shall be elected in accordance with the established policies and procedures of the parent organization.

9.3    IAC members may hold official positions in the parent organization of the Country of origin and simultaneously may also be eligible for election as officers and/or directors of SARA.

9.4    The terms of service of IAC officers and directors within their country’s organization shall be determined by the rules governing each group.  However, terms of service for foreign members in SARA will be the same as those stated in these official by-laws.

 Chapter 10.  Amendments

 10.1    These By-Laws may be amended, repealed or new By-Laws adopted by mail-in ballot upon approval of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast, but no less than fifty percent (50%) of the SARA voting membership in good standing.  As an alternative to mail-in ballot, such changes may be adopted at the SARA Annual Business Meeting when a quorum is present by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members.  Amendments to the By-Laws will not be made unless written notice of proposed actions is mailed by the Secretary to each eligible SARA member at least sixty (60) days in advance of the specified due date for mail-in ballots or thirty (30) days before the Annual Meeting.  The SARA Secretary shall announce the results of the vote of the mail-in ballot at the Annual Business meeting and in the Official Society Journal, Clinical Interventions in Aging.  Proposals for changes to the By-Laws from the membership must be submitted to the SARA Secretary by a signed petition of at least ten percent (10%) of the members in good standing.

 Chapter 11.  Dissolution/Merger

 11.1    SARA may be dissolved only upon approval of at least two-thirds majority of the voting SARA Board of Directors and voting membership, the latter of which must occur during a meeting of the membership.  Upon such dissolution, the Society shall distribute all assets after discharge of all its liabilities, to such organizations as the Board may determine are qualified as tax-exempt pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code (as then in effect) and are devoted to medical research, scientific or other purposes related to the practice of anti-aging medicine.  Any assets remaining after any such distribution shall be distributed as ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

11.2    SARA may merge with another group or organization only upon approval of at least two-thirds majority of the voting SARA Board of Directors and voting membership present at a SARA Annual Meeting wherein a quorum is present.

 Chapter 12.  Parliamentary Procedure

12.1 Parliamentary procedure not provided for in these By-Laws shall be pursuant to Davis’ Rules of Order, current edition.

 Chapter 13.  Code of Ethics

 13.1  Principles of Medical Ethics for the Society for Applied Research in Aging (SARA) shall be those set forth in the Code of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association so as to govern the conduct of Society members in their relations to each other and to the public.  Opinions of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association shall be used as a guide in the interpretation of the principles.

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