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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 14, 2019 3 days ago

Hospital system board approves governance structure change

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Lee Health Board of Directors approves plan to establish five committees to play advisory role and increase involvement of physicians, staff and public..

Operating a large health care system with more than 13,000 employees is a lot like running a city, and recently the Lee Health Board approved a new governance structure that establishes advisory committees to assist the board in oversight of its performance.

The board, publicly elected, sets policy, develops strategy and oversees the health system’s clinical quality, patient experience and financial performance.

Creating the committee structure, according to a statement, is the result of the work of a governance task force commissioned by the board in fall 2018. It’s recommendation was not a surprise, to a large extent, since about 90% of public health system boards nationwide have a committee structure, making it a widely considered best practice.

The task force determined the committee structure would provide a greater development of significant agenda items and further engage physicians and community members in the board’s work. The new structure establishes five advisory committees including Community Health Improvement; Finance; Quality, Safety and Patient Experience; Audit; and Governance. The membership of each committee varies, and includes a combination of elected board members, physicians and community members.

"Our new governance structure will leverage the skills of a diverse set of physicians and community members to advise the board of directors in its deliberations," says Lee Health chairman Dr. Steve Brown in the statement. "Moving to this new model is a substantial change that will allow the board to be more responsive to the changing health care needs of our community.”

The public will be notified of committee meetings, held in accordance with Florida's open meeting law, as are the meetings of the full board. Members of the public may attend committee meetings, and public comment is invited.

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