Strong leadership through strong governance

April 26, 2017

When WSHA’s membership works in concert, were are able to accomplish amazing things, like getting health care worker immunization rates above 90 percent, or creating a common charity care application form for all our communities. These achievements are not possible without a robust governance structure.

Recently, at the generous invitation of colleagues, I traveled with WSHA CEO Cassie Sauer to two other hospital association board meetings. We gathered new ideas about structuring board agendas and facilitating conversations on controversial topics. We also learned that we have a lot to feel great about in our approach to governance. Here are three things that we strive toward in our association’s approach to governance, knowing there is always room to improve:

  1. Having the right leaders at the board table. WSHA has updated its bylaws to ensure we have leaders on the board representing the full diversity of our membership. Board members sign a compact committing to act in the interests of all hospitals and health systems in the state, not just their own institutions.
  2. Having a structure that allows informed discussion to set association direction. WSHA’s Board committees fully vet ideas and association direction, and all WSHA members are invited to participate on a committee. At board meetings, WSHA staff work to educate board members, and then step back to allow for robust discussion and consensus on a path forward.
  3. Having a mechanism for monitoring association follow through and measuring the impact of association action. WSHA monitors the effectiveness of our governance structure by surveying board members after every meeting. Soon we will begin a board self-assessment process to provide further insight.

Whether it is through a seat on the board or participation on a WSHA committee or task force, we try to ensure each of our member hospitals and health systems is represented in our governance structure. We will continue working to strengthen our governance process, but we also count on you to make it come to life and realize its full potential. Please contact us with your interest in participating in WSHA work or with any questions.

Taya Briley
WSHA Executive Vice President and General Counsel


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Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

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206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

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