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Our trip to the annual Governance Summit

Governance3.jpgWe don’t talk a lot about our hospital and system boards of directors day-to-day, yet they play an important role at Northern Light Health. Our board members are community leaders who volunteer their time and share their knowledge and passion to help guide our organization to improve the health of the people we serve. It’s important that our board members not only have knowledge of the hospital or organization they oversee but understand how their organization fits into the larger puzzle.

That is why we formally bring all our governing boards (our hospitals, homecare and hospice, and the system board) together for two days of intensive education sessions and discussion panels about trends in our industry, laws and regulations that effect healthcare or our population, and what is happening within our own system. The Northern Light Health Governance Summit—held May 14 and 15—hosted nearly one hundred board members and leaders from all member organizations in addition to guests from Massachusetts General Hospital, Maine Hospital Association, Penobscot Valley Hospital, Mayo Regional Hospital, and Northern Maine Medical Center. Together, they filled the Wells Commons conference center at the University of Maine in Orono.

Northern Light Health president and CEO, Michelle Hood, FACHE, presented her annual State of the System address to the audience in the room. It was also streamed live to Northern Light Health team members around the system to promote communication and transparency.

Keynote speaker Paul Keckley, PhD, healthcare industry analyst, investor, and managing editor of The Keckley Report presented a thought-provoking and engaging message about Northern Light Health’s challenges and opportunities. Paul covered everything from the Medicare for All movement to healthcare industry “disruptors” and left our board members thinking about the “bold moves” we should make to deliver better care to our patients.

Michelle; Tim Dentry, MBA, Northern Light Health senior vice president and chief operations officer; and Tony Filer, Northern Light Health senior vice president and chief financial officer, gave the audience a preview of their presentation for the prestigious Citi Group Not‐for‐Profit Health Care Investor Conference in New York City.

In addition to the summit program, board members were offered two optional education sessions; one addressed today’s drivers of quality healthcare, and the second was a federal and state advocacy update from Lisa Harvey-McPherson, Northern Light Health vice president of Government Relations, and Michelle.

Attendees agreed that the annual summit was informative, an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues from across the system, and a great platform for sharing ideas and best practices.