A multidisciplinary team, headed by UK College of Public Health faculty member Dr. Lawrence Prybil, recently completed a two-year study of governing boards in the country’s largest health systems. Results have just been published by the Commonwealth Center for Governance Studies in a report entitled “Governance in Large Nonprofit Health Systems.”
This study examined board structures, processes, and cultures in 14 of the country’s 15 largest nonprofit, nongovernment health systems and compares them to nine well-established benchmarks and related metrics of effective governance. Douglas Hawthorne, President of Texas Health Resources, a large health system based in Dallas, states “This report is a must read for hospital and health system CEO’s and board members.” UK College of Public dean, Stephen W. Wyatt noted; “the fact that such a significant national study was guided by one of our senior Master of Health Administration/Health Services Management faculty, speaks volumes about the faculty our College has assembled in the health services leadership/administration area.”
The findings provided the basis for eight evidence-based recommendations to assist CEOs in evaluating and improving organizational performance. The findings show that the boards and CEOs of the systems in this study are “…highly committed to the organizations they lead and dedicated to improving governance and organizational performance.” However, the findings clearly show some gaps between current practices and contemporary benchmarks of effective governance.
The multidisciplinary research team consisted of Dr. Lawrence Prybil as lead investigator, with co-investigators from Harvard University, University of Iowa, and University of Kentucky and leading health law experts. Major grants for this project were provided by Hospira Inc., and Grant Thornton LLP. Support was also provided by Hall, Render, Killian, Health, and Lyman, PC, Korn/Ferry International, and Sullivan, Cotter, and Associates.