Board members are still leaders in the community, as they have always been. But now, given the instability of healthcare brought upon by its unaffordability, the job is much more difficult and much more time consuming.
For evidence of how high-stress it is, consider this: One of the board members I interviewed for the magazine story ended up only weeks later in the unenviable position of having to terminate his CEO after the full board voted to remove him.
Much of the uproar that decided Randy Kelley's fate was not something you usually see take down a CEO. The former Caromont Health CEO didn't lose his job because of a physician revolt. He didn't botch a merger. He didn't lose money hand-over-fist. He didn't have an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. All of these mistakes have cost hospital CEOs their jobs in recent times.
(If you're like me, you had a list of names running through your head as you read that list of CEO missteps.)
No, the ousting resulted from a marketing blunder.
Incidentally, the vote to remove him went down as the article I wrote about board governance went to press. It suffices to say, neither Kelley nor Spurgeon Mackie, the board chairman I quoted, knew that something as simple as a marketing campaign would lead to the change.