Never has there been so little to do so much. The weak economy's toll on hospitals and health systems means continuously declining resources in the face of growing demand for services. All the more reason to appreciate generosity and self-sacrifice: the trustees who give freely of themselves to the nation's healthcare organizations.
When executives at St. Vincent Health System in Little Rock, Ark., wanted to settle a lawsuit with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, they turned to Gus Blass III, chairman of the system’s board of directors, for help.
When executives at Gritman Medical Center were wooing a surgeon—who happened to be a former college-level football player—B.J. Swanson arranged a tour of the University of Idaho’s first-rate sports complex.“It is an enclosed stadium, and they have a wing with medical offices,” says Swanson, chairman of the board at 25-bed Gritman in Moscow, Idaho.The surgeon must have liked the community because he relocated there and began practicing medicine in January.
W.W. “Bill” Aston’s interest in healthcare was sparked on Oct. 12, 1967—the day he quit smoking cigarettes. He had a heart attack that day—six days after his 40th birthday—and has never smoked again.
Dean Schleicher, chairman of the board at Calvert Memorial Hospital, Prince Frederick, Md., is a stickler about quality—both in board and hospital operations. It's no wonder he has concentrated on quality because it's also a focus of his full-time job as an employee of the federal government.
Just hours before he died last April after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis, Robert Carty, 79, was jotting down ideas about how to reuse a vacant hospital building, which had been replaced with a state-of-the-art facility.