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Driving Change: EMHS 2017 Governance Summit

Billings-Lindsey and MillerDriving change was the theme of the ninth-annual EMHS Governance Summit, which took place May 16 and 17. Nearly one hundred board members and system leaders from all EMHS member organizations, and guests from Mayo Regional Hospital, Northern Maine Medical Center, and the Maine Hospital Association, filled the Wells Commons conference center at the University of Maine in Orono.

Topics covered at the summit ranged from an energetic and interactive presentation on the EMHS governance matrix model from Susan Z. Finerty, author of Master the Matrix and founder of Finerty Consulting in Chicago, to sessions on high reliability organizations, and the critical role of Medical Groups in healthcare systems. EMHS president and CEO, M. Michelle Hood, FACHE, presented her annual, “State of the System” address, likening EMHS to a complex biosystem with its own anatomy and physiology.

Evelyn Silver, PhD, EMHS board chair, moderated the two-day event and is in the final year of her board service. In her opening remarks, Dr. Silver reflected on the changes EMHS has seen during her eleven years as a member of the EMHS board by highlighting accomplishments from across the system, such as the world-class Lafayette Family cancer center, partnering with Dana Farber; the creation of Beacon Health (an accountable care organization in support of population health); and the integration of two new hospitals—Mercy Hospital and Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. Dr. Silver reminded the audience that while these accomplishments are noteworthy and impactful, the evolving landscape of healthcare is transforming quickly and EMHS must continue to be ahead of the curve in driving change to ensure that our patients and communities statewide continue to benefit from the best health and care EMHS can offer today, tomorrow, and in the foreseeable future.

Ducker and DoranOn day two, Matt Weed, MBA, EMHS senior vice president and chief strategy officer, moderated an engaging panel of system leaders about what it means to be a High Reliability Organization in the healthcare industry. Jeff Doran, EMHS vice president of system clinical services, then made a convincing case for supporting empowered medical groups in high performing health systems like EMHS.  He went on to elaborate that EMHS’ newly established medical group model will allow for better care coordination, reduced clinical care variability, stronger payor negotiating power, and better healthcare access for patients and their families.

Michelle Hood, Tim Dentry, MBA, EMHS senior vice president and chief operations officer, and Tony Filer, EMHS senior vice president and chief financial officer, were the final presenters for the summit, and gave the audience a preview of their presentation for the prestigious—by invitation only—Citi Group Not‐for‐Profit Health Care Investor Conference, in New York City last week. The slides showcased EMHS as a rural healthcare system, with a large geographic reach, focused on quality, patient safety, and experience, with an emphasis on innovative cost reduction to keep care closer to home.

In addition to the summit program, board members were offered two optional education sessions; one addressed the roles and responsibilities of board members in the EMHS integrated governance model, and the second was an interactive session focused on meaningful governance metrics for the board room.

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