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Formation of ASQ Section’s Healthcare Special Interest Groups (HC-SIGs)

By Hamilton Plaza

What are Special Interest Groups (SIG)?

They are sub-groups within an ASQ Section or other larger entity focused on a specific area of interest such as healthcare, engineering, etc.

What is the purpose of a Healthcare SIG (HC-SIG)?

Historically, ASQ Sections cannot provide concentrated, in-depth information on healthcare topics but rather their mission is to bring broad topics and training that may interest and benefit everyone. Healthcare SIGs fill this gap by providing its members value added activities to gain in-depth knowledge in specific healthcare topics and to serve our communities. There are many activities that can be planned such as a topic discussion(s), sponsor of healthcare speakers, tours of health-related facilities, case studies and other knowledge exchange activities. We can serve our local communities by sharing our knowledge in quality with non-profit health organizations such as community health clinics.

What are the keys to a successful HC-SIG?

The primary key lies in the passion, dedication and persistence of the SIG leaders, members and the ASQ Section supporters. It is also key to comply with all ASQ by-laws and Section SIG formal approval to provide a solid foundation for the SIG organizational structure.

What are the steps to form a Section HC-SIG?

  • Speak to the Chair of your Section about the interest in forming a Healthcare SIG. Once you have received the support, make announcements during several Section monthly dinner meetings and pass around a sign-up sheet for those interested in becoming members of the Healthcare SIG (ask for names and e-mails).
  • Requirements at the Section level:
  1. Submit a written or electronic petition to the Section’s Chair and the Executive Committee (EC) requesting formal approval of the HC-SIG. The petition must include the names of at least eight active ASQ Section members interested in forming the SIG.
  2. The petition package should also contain a draft Mission and Vision Statements.
  3. Upon approval of the HC-SIG by the EC, the HC-SIG members elect a Chair and other officers deemed necessary (i.e. Vice-Chair, Program Chair and Communications Chair).
  • Requirements at ASQ Healthcare Division level:
  1. Once the Chair of the SIG is formally elected, the SIG Chair will read Document Number G 61.00 “Policies and Procedures: Conflict of Interest-ASQ Member Leaders”. Then fill-out and submit to the Chair of the Healthcare Division or designee a “Conflict of Interest-Member Leaders’ Conflict of Interest Declaration Form” ASQ Document Number G 61.00.
  2. To obtain Document Number G 61.00:
    1. Login into the ASQ website and search for “Document Number G 61.00”
    2. Or, after login follow this link:
  • Official HC-SIG presentation to the Section members
  1. Request to the Section Chair a time during the monthly Section dinner meeting to make a presentation about the HC-SIG.
  2. As a minimum, the presentation should contain the Mission and Vision Statements, elected officers and activities planned.
  • HC-SIG Organizational Guidelines and Structure
  1. The SIG should charter rules or Bylaws that support the goals of the Section, the Healthcare Division and ASQ.
  2. Submit the Bylaws to the Section for approval.
  3. Create new positions in SIG as deemed necessary.

 How to sustain the HC-SIG?

  • The SIG Membership Roster: Maintaining an updated roster is extremely important to know who the active members are and how to reach them. Make sure the roster is kept confidential and request consent of the member(s) to release information. Always consult with the Section’s Membership Chair or designee for any additional Section requirement(s) on the handling of member’s information.
  • Communications: Regular communication is the key to maintaining membership. Maintain the SIG members informed but be cognizant not to send too many unnecessary emails.
  • Meetings: Be smart about having face-to-face meetings. Use electronic technology available to communicate as much as possible and only when absolutely necessary have face-to-face meetings. A good time to have them is the same date of the monthly dinner meeting. Invite the SIG members to come early to the Section meeting.
  • Continuity: Planning activities in advance and relating this to the membership is a good way to impart a sense of continuity. Other things that contribute to the sense of continuity are:  consistent communication and the elected officers being present at most activities/meetings.
  • Value:  Value is a subjective assessment of each individual. To build a stable membership, each one must perceive he/she is getting value in the activity from the time and effort being put in. Always welcome new members by contacting them in their prefer manner and answer emails in a timely fashion. To make them loyal, get input from the members regarding the activities they want to do.
  •  Section Support: The Section may provide the following support to the HC-SIG depending on resources available:
  1. A website area dedicated to inform the Section and the HC-SIG members about activities, information, topics, upcoming meetings, etc.
  2. Participation of the Chair, HC-SIG in the Section Executive Committee
  3. The Section may financially support the HC-SIG based on availability of resources.
  4. The Section’s Treasurer will maintain the any funds generated by the HC-SIG.

What is the HC-SIG relationship with the ASQ Healthcare Division (HCD)?

  •  The ASQ Healthcare Division is fully committed to support the formation of HC-SIGs in all ASQ Sections. To show this commitment the HCD created a HCD level SIG that is dedicated to provide advice, support and publications to Sections looking to establish HC-SIGs.
  • The HCD sees the HC-SIGs as the avenue to bring value to the ASQ HCD members by promoting activities to enhance member’s knowledge in quality in healthcare, and enabling and equipping champions of performance excellence and continuous improvement in healthcare.
  • For more information on how the HCD will support the Section’s HC-SIGs and its members follow this link to the HCD website: _____________________________. 


 This document was created by Hamilton Plaza, Chair, HCD-SIG and Chair, HC-SIG of the Greater Atlanta ASQ Section 1502 with materials from the following sources:

  1. Document titled “Section Special Interest Groups, Dallas Section 1402” dated 2002.
  2. Document from The ASQ Raleigh Section 1113 titled Special Interest Groups-Guidelines dated 02-07-2007. Author unknown.
  3. Document titled “Start a Lean Special Interest Group” by Kiami Rogers published by the Lean Manufacturing Division in December 2006, volume 5, issue 2. Link:
  4. Brief announcement titled “New Discussion Group Formed” by Ed Griffith in the BioFeedback Newsletter of the ASQ Biomedical Division dated 2006.


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 Document approval: This document has been reviewed and approved for publication and distribution by  ______________

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