When medical malpractice attorney Debbie Dudley Branson joined the Board of Managers at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas three years ago, she became the guiding force leading Dallas County's all-important safety net system through life-or-death challenges.
Trustee of the Year - 2014
When Billy Ocasio learned that Norwegian American, the hospital where he was born, was in danger of shutting its doors, he knew right away he needed to get involved.
For years, 49-bed McDowell Hospital in Marion, N.C., was a facility that people would go out their way to avoid. Residents of the town and surrounding rural area in the far western part of the state would more likely drive 35 miles to 744-bed Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C.
Although the C-suite typically commands the spotlight for its actions, behind the scenes, hospital and health system board members do plenty of heavy lifting. Read how Modern Healthcare chose the three honorees for the 2014 Trustee of the Year Awards.
Healthcare boards today are asked to do much more than in the past. For example, in addition to their governance duties, trustees are sought for their strategic guidance regarding reform and regulation, technology, finance, business and service-line development, marketing and communications as providers shift to more value-based, quality-driven care.
Debbie Dudley Branson, who chairs the board of managers at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, is Modern Healthcare's 2014 Trustee of Year for not-for-profit health systems. She led the board through a particularly challenging time for the organization, after the CMS cited Parkland for quality-of-care deficiencies, requiring it to complete a corrective action plan or face the loss of federal funding. At the same time, the board had to conduct an executive search after the system decided not to renew the contract for the longtime CEO. Listen to what she learned from those experiences.
Billy Ocasio on building community connections to a revive a Chicago hospital | A Modern Healthcare Podcast
Billy Ocasio, board chairman at Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago, is Modern Healthcare's 2014 Trustee of the Year honoree for large hospitals. He joined the board at a time when the hospital, located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, a largely Puerto Rican community, was in danger of closing its doors and needed new leadership. He played a critical role in the search process for a new CEO, and also was instrumental in connecting the community with resources available through the hospital. Ocasio talks about how the hospital is helping to improve the neighborhood's quality of life.
Harold Walker, board member and former board chairman at McDowell Hospital in Marion, N.C., is Modern Healthcare's 2014 Trustee of the Year honoree for small hospitals. During his tenure on the board, including stints as vice chair and chair, he played a critical role in the search for a new CEO, but most importantly he led a financial and reputational turnaround at the hospital. For years, locals spurned the facility over concerns with quality of care and customer service, choosing to travel nearly 40 miles to a competitor. Walker discusses what it took to get the hospital back on track.