Meeting Minutes August 2019

Valleywide Hospitals and Institutions Meeting Minutes

Central Church, A United Methodist Community East Dining Room

1875 North Central Avenue Phoenix Arizona 85004

Wednesday August 14, 2019

Open: 7:02pm

Serenity Prayer

Reading of the Concept

Introduction of the new VWHI Home Group Reps

*Home group reps: Welcome! Listen for service opportunities that are relevant to your home group and bring the opportunities back to your meeting to find people who might be interested in being of service. Be sure to sign-in on the sheet that’s being passed around so we have your name, home group and contact info. Please familiarize yourself with the VWHI bylaws – find them at the Reports & Docs tab on

Announcement from the Chair: Aaron D. |

This Valleywide H&I Monthly Business Meeting is different than meetings that we find in the AA Meetings Lists and Directories. Typical AA meetings are scheduled to last one hour. Business meetings are conducted by committees and we typically meet until the business is done. This meeting typically lasts one hour and 15 minutes. We ask that you stay until the end to show respect to the Intergroups who give their reports at the end of this meeting. Please realize that the purpose of our Steering Committee is to focus on what ways we might conduct pertinent business in an effecient manner.

Nothing to report.



We had a split committee last month regarding a 7th tradition violation – we talked about it after the meeting and were split. I went to the delegate after and asked him to help. He will be doing a group inventory on September 29th with Dee Payton.


Motion to accept last month’s meeting minutes, none opposed. Motion carries.


Please take a look at the treasurer’s report in the back – if you see any discrepancies please let me know, I’m human.

JJ – my homegroup wants to know why it shows $0 for the group.

I worked on the spreadsheet a little bit more – there is now total for what has been spent: literature, printing, rent.

Q – I see numerous groups that are at 0, where does this list come from?

A – the names are from the last 4 years, the list of groups gets updated every year few years.

REMINDER – this position will be open in December

BYLAWS – please get a copy of the updated bylaws in the back. The bylaws are updated every two years. When the bylaws are originally created, there was a line that asked for the bylaws to be reviewed every two years. Please take back to your homegroups and bring feedback next month.

Q: Are there changes in these bylaws vs the old bylaws?

A: You can review the old bylaws online

Amanda – I make a motion to have the red line copy of the bylaws on the internet.

Aaron – clarified we still want to vote on this next vote

None opposed, motion carries.

Shawna – is the body ok with continuing to vote in September?

Aaron – that’s what I asked so if we could still vote next month

From the body – clarifying that there will be discussion next month before the vote

Dennis – there was a glitch with a key when we had two accounts opens. People who were making donations through stripe were going to our old account – but we got that taken care of. Didn’t split it out by group??


1.This month we spent $6,983.00 on 1,070 books and 30 pamphlets
2. We have a new form to help coordinators with book distribution.
3. Please have your book order in by August 29th.

AAWS implemented an upgraded or new computer system in N.Y. Our book order was in cyber space and did not leave the Kansas City warehouse until yesterday, 8/13/19. I’ll keep you posted for pick-up and delivery. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.


Been working on this for several month:

Total in 120 people attended awareness day

$846, seed money was $1000

When the event was over, a generator that was borrowed from a member of AA was stolen so it was replaced for $362.

We lost about $600 on Awareness Day in spring 2019.

Q: Are the numbers on a piece of paper anywhere?

A: JJ – No, but I can email the numbers to you if needed.

Q: What can the AA community do to help Awareness Day more successful?

A: JJ – spreading the word and getting the word out.

Looking to do the fall Awareness Day at Indian School Park.


Contributions were set up to go to the old account, when we set up our new accounts – when we started using new keys we had to update the website and work with stripe to get it all figured out.

Still working on new site – I keep finding awesome new things to add!

523 unique visitors came to the website this past month

People are still trying to hack us!

Q: Why are people from Mesa calling me to set up meetings?

A: Because you are the Hospitals East coordinator.

Q: Why aren’t the meeting minutes from last month online?

A: They are – but I have to wait until we vote and they are approved by the body. The treasurers report takes a little bit longer.


Valley Wide Hospitals and Institutions (VWHI) is an entity composed of men and women in the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship who choose to be active in service work by helping to carry the message to confined alcoholic. Our primary function is to unify and coordinate these efforts. Our activities will always be directed by the GSO Guidelines and conform to the AA Traditions.

DEFINITION OF CONFINED ALCOHOLIC : This means that the alcoholic is unable to leave the facility in which they are housed to attend ANY OUTSIDE MEETINGS. It has come to the attention of this Steering Committee that some of the Book Orders being placed over an extended period of time have been for facilities that are for profit or places that Alcoholics have been able to attend some meeting outside of the facility. This does not meet the criteria for Hospitals and Institutions Committee to sponsor these meetings or provide FREE Literature.


If you are someone who is ordering literature and through H & I have been sponsoring meetings, from this day forward, to ensure that free literature of an H & I meeting, that meets the above definition of bringing this meeting to CONFINED Alcoholics, we will need the following from you: A completed form with the following information to be submitted to our Literature Chairperson Keith.

  1. Your Name, Home Group and your contact number
  2. The Name of the Facility you are bringing a meeting and literature into? Location, Date and Time of Meeting or Meetings?

Without this information no literature will be provided. To be clear, if you are a member of AA or your Home Group wants to sponsor a meeting somewhere, that is but it does not meet H & I criteria, we, H & I will no longer be providing literature to that meeting. The Facility or your group will need to provide the literature.

A new position was suggested by the H & I Steering Committee, as we need an Alternate Literature person who can assist Keith by taking the Paperwork and distributing books before the meeting each month.


Among other things, anonymity in the fellowship means that we forgo personal prestige for any A.A. work we do to help alcoholics. And, in the spirit of Tradition Twelve, it ever reminds us “to place principles before personalities. ”Jan 27, 2019

Concept XII is the one that guides me from trying to take over the world. If I take on a service responsibility, I need to do the service to the best of my ability and finally when I think I have it down, I need to hand it over to someone else.

THE PRINCIPLE OF ROTATION Traditionally, rotation ensures that service positions, like nearly everything else in A.A., are passed around for all to share. Many positions have alternates who can step into the service positions if needed. To step out of an A.A. office we love can be hard. If we have been doing a good job, if we honestly don’t see anyone else around willing, qualified, or with the time to do it, and if our friends agree, it’s especially tough. But it can be a real step forward in growth — a step into the humility that is, for some people, the spiritual essence of anonymity. Among other things, anonymity in the Fellowship means that we forgo personal prestige for any A.A. work we do to help alcoholics. And, in the spirit of Tradition Twelve, it ever reminds us “to place principles before personalities.”

If the older, more experienced member can be an “Elder Statesman” and pass on the knowledge when asked and not become life, will continue to flourish and draw others into service to experience what I have and still do.

One of the most valuable resources of any organization is the experience of those who have gone before. The sharing of what they’ve done right, and the sharing of the mistakes they’ve made, become a solid foundation for continued healthy growth. Because of the wise and spiritual principle of rotation, we in Alcoholics Anonymous are blessed with a constantly vital and always growing pool of people whose primary aim is to serve the AA Fellowship.

AA Declaration of Unity This we owe to A.A.’s future; to place our common welfare first; to keep our Fellowship united. For on A.A. unity depend our lives, and the lives of those to come.

In Conclusion, we need to clean up our act I am afraid and I have felt badly that so many of you have asked to be of service at Treatment Facilities and Hospitals and I have not been able to provide this to you as I believe we as a Steering Committee have been remiss in not being more diligent in making sure that we all been practicing the Spirit of Rotation and In not doing so thave not been practicing the AA Principles in all of our Affairs.

Therefore, I have proposed that the Steering Committee Conduct a Group Inventory to be completed before the December Elections and we voted to do so.

I invite the Body and all of the H & I Representatives and the Coordinators to bring forward your commitment to stay onboard and work with us to make our H & I a tradition following, transparent and effective body to move forward and carry the message of hope to the confined alcoholic. We are Responsible.


Not here.


Nothing to report.

MCSO: Shawna |

Teresa is coming next month to share! She is the MCSO officer.

Training dates will be announced and trainees will be notified by their contact info.

Q: is the first step to taking meetings into jails filling out that paperwork?

A: yes, you can go online and download paperwork there! I am here to help!

John S; I move that we publish the steering committee meeting minutes on the website.

Harold – agrees and seconds

Body: thinks it would be good for transparency and

Weston – so because the group inventory isnt until sept 27th

Katy: respectfully ask to table to motion and have discussion about ; shawna tables

dennis – isn’t there a conflict of interest if dee is sponsoring someone?

shawna – minority opinion: the body has been invited to every steering committee meeting. Its always been clear whether info has been updated or not. Any alcoholic can attend that meeting. That is essentially our group conscious online.

In our current bylaws it says that we are trusted servants and we answer to you as best we can. We give our opinions and do what we can. we’ve always been transparent and we do get together to discuss what to propose and how to make this most effective. The books – the reason that this is in question is because some of the homegroups that wont tell us where the books are going because they have been doing the meetings for so long. You have asked us Every month for the last year and a half to be more and more transparent. How can we be more transparent when homegroups wont even tell us where the lit is going. If there is a treatment center out there that is semi confined – and your homegroup wants volunteers please ask here! Peole question me about private pay facilities and the answer is yes, if they are confined. When we carry the message, we give freely what was given to us. The book is vital and necessary but if we don’t have them available then we still go and carry the message.

22-16, motion carries to aaron calls for a vote

eric – motion: would like to delay the posting of the steering committees until after the group inventory

talk from the body about we just voted and not understanding why we are still talking about

Eric – so we are supposed to come up with things that might happen in the future?

Eric and Aaron have some heated discussion

motion carries to post last month’s steering committee meetings

Shawna – gave color around her reason for minority report


1) Open positions:

Awareness Day Chair (member of steering committee; 2 year commitment – until December 2019; 2 year sobriety requirement; 1 year H&I experience preferred)

Lewis Coordinator (coordinator position; 2 year commitment – until December 2020; 2 year sobriety requirement; 1 year H&I experience preferred)

2) New bylaws were presented last month when corrections reported. New bylaws will be presented again this month (August) to ensure treatment center volunteers get time to review. Open discussion for new bylaws. Voting on new bylaws will happen next month (Sept).


Theresa McKenzie (MCSO volunteer coordinator) to speak next month (Sept) at VWHI Business Meeting

*any new business from the floor?

Rich – investigate the literature and find someone who can be the alt lit? Would like us to sit on it and think about it.

From the body – wouldnt it be on the person picking up the books?

JJ – are you asking about the investigate of literature?

Keith – books marked for crossroads and others that signed up last month

Eric – specific facilities are mentioned, does that need to be redacted?

Q: does unhooked women facility count as confined?

Keith: corrections facilities are good – two lock downs at the VA – its really just a few places

Weston – would it be construction for this body to write a statement to the group – put a statement out to the group

Rich – no booze news and the newsletter rather than going to each group. Some of these places have insurance and the insurance can pay for the books.

Bob- institutions are for profit, in listening to the discussion, if we are giving books to an organization that is for profit.



BTG connects people just leaving institutions with active members of AA who can take them to meetings within the first 48 hours.

Wasnt here last month because I was in the ER! There is a flyer in the back that explains more about BTG. Away out on Tatum, 4545 E Mayo – Barrio Queen for dinner after. We bring our volunteer list up to date every time. I did the phones in July – I got 4 phone calls. 3 were asking about meetings. One person called for BTG and we got them connected. I’ve been going into Calvary too and thats been going good. We’re looking for more committee members so please join us!

Alex: Phoenix West – chairing English meetings – I have old bookmarks, is the phone number correct? People who want to get connected with BTG should call within 24-48 hours of their release.

Pat: Co-chair is looking good tonight! MRC and Eagle point – AA nor BTG offers rides to alcoholics. We have a situation that came up earlier this year: guys have a release date and they have no one to pick them up. Pick them up, buy them breakfast, go to DES, go to a meeting, and get to parole. Twice I haven’t been able to fulfill – one is this Monday: Lewis prison, main gate – 8am. Eric jumped in! Yay! We always need back-ups. If you just talk with them in the car about your experience, it will last a lifetime, and make a huge impact. Also looking for coffee and creamer donations.


Not here – Lloyd filling in.

SPANISH: Gabino |

Alex – been chairing meetings at Phoenix West on Monday evenings, in need of volunteers and literature. Its a little intimidating to be with all those guys!! The fingerprint process takes 3-6 months, then shots, then urine testing, etc. Sarah isn’t here – I sent her all the info but I haven’t heard back from her. She still has to go through the same process. The chair people can have coffee at phoenix west!

John S. – Geo runs Phoenix West so they should honor your DOC badge

Gabino – asked if there is a list of

Lloyd – i know badged members of other fellows, could they take in meetings and carry the message of aa?

DISTRICT 08: New rep – please see Katy after the meeting so she can get your contact info 🙂

– no rep has been present for any business meeting in 2019

Tracey – attended the MCSO meeting last month – I told them I am willing to be the liaison at the moment

Fri – Sun – assembly in Flagstaff this weekend

Aug assembly is about area business. If anyone is interested in taking on this position, please let me know.


In even months reports from Hospitals and Treatment will be presented.

In odd Months Corrections and Prisons will present their reports.


HOSPITALS EAST | East of Central Ave: Harold |

Already left

HOSPITALS WEST | West of Central Ave: Michael |

Gave out 4 cases of big books, 3 cases of meeting pamphlets, and


COMMUNITY BRIDGES WEST | 99th Ave & I-10, Avondale: Lloyd |

Jus tpicked up this commitment, dont’ know the details yet. If anyone knows whose taking meetings into CBO, please let me know. Or a contact at the facility, that would be appreciated.

COMMUNITY BRIDGES EAST | Broadway & Mesa Dr., Mesa: Becky |

Not here


DURANGO & TOWERS – ESTELLA | 35th Ave & Buckeye, South Phoenix: David | (not reporting)

LOWER BUCKEYE – 4TH AVENUE | 4th Ave. & Jefferson, Downtown Phoenix: Brian | (not reporting)

PHOENIX WEST | Buckeye & 35th Ave, Phoenix: Sarah S. | (not reporting)

FEDERAL CORRECTIONS | I-17 & Anthem Way, Phoenix: Nicholas S. | (not reporting)

ALHAMBRA | Van Buren & 24th St: Fred | (not reporting)

JUVENILE CORRECTIONS: Heather | (not reporting)

LEWIS | Highway 85 & Patterson, Buckeye: OPEN | (not reporting)

FLORENCE | Highway 79 & Butte Ave, Florence: John | (not reporting)

PERRYVILLE | I-10 & Loop 303: Nora | (not reporting)


SPANISH: Gabino |

AGUA FRIA: Sarah S. |

Tracey filling in – Saturday Sept 28 – intergroup anniversary – 5-9pm at peoria community center, 12x12x12, we have two past delegates from the area speaking, tickets are $20, food will be italian, we’ll be playing jeopardy


Not here

SALT RIVER: Kimberly |

Outline passed out for the election process and requirement, the chair requested info about how the intergroup members would like to handle complaints

Round up was a great success!

Save the dates: winter alcothon committee meeting planning on sept 18th at 6:30pm at central office

young peoples event – zonypaa – for info

ICOAA – sept 26-29 – central offices get together in us and canada – arizona hosting this year – people looking to serve on the hospitality committee. Learning seminar, not a round up. 100-125 attendees. for info.


Birthdays & Responsibility Declaration