Power of Education

Original content published in the February 2011 issue of Trustee magazine, Vol. 64, No. 2. © 2011 by Health Forum Inc. All rights reserved. Permission granted for digital use only.

By Barbara Cliff

Committing to continuous learning leads to high-performing boards and stronger hospitals

The rules of engagement for board members have changed dramatically. Historically, the trustee position was honorary; today, trustees are expected to interact more with management and the community and know more about operations.They also have added accountability for legal and regulatory matters. As this role grows in complexity, hospitals are challenged to prepare and educate board members efficiently to be effective fiduciaries without overwhelming them.

Trustees should form a dynamic team in which each member is comfortable speaking in meetings on all issues the organization faces. They should strive to form a high-performing board that embraces continuous learning for the benefit of the hospital and the communities served. Boards have an opportunity like never before to drive the future of their organizations. It begins with understanding the board’s role and each member’s responsibilities.e trustees at Windber (Pa.) Medical Center, a 52- bed hospital with 500 employees, accomplish this through commitment, engagement and continuous learning.

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