Surveys explore critical governance relationship.Health Prog. 1987 Jan-Feb; 68(1):50-9.HP
The transition in religious-sponsored health care from a ministry of direct service to one of governance has generated serious and penetrating questions, analyses, and retrenchment. Emphasis on and demand for value-laden leadership development programs are growing at the same time that sponsoring groups are becoming more actively involved in the governance and oversight of their corporate ministries. Two recent Catholic Health Association (CHA) studies focused on the critical governance relationship between the sponsoring group and its incorporated ministries. The first study asked religious institutes and dioceses that were sponsors of CHA member health care freestanding facilities and systems to describe their current governance structure. The second study represented an initial attempt to identify qualitative components of effective governance or sponsorship and asked 19 major superiors and system chief executive officers (CEOs) to characterize an ideal relationship between sponsor and ministry. The studies' findings included the following: In freestanding facilities, lay-religious governing boards have all but replaced the all-sponsor and all-lay advisory boards of the past. Trustee orientation, development, and evaluation were not equally stressed in the three groups surveyed, with trustee evaluation programs lagging behind in all three. Major superiors and CEOs had remarkably similar expectations relating to accountability for mission, relationships between sponsor and corporation, communication, and leadership development. Both major superiors and CEOs looked for greater collaboration in defining roles, translating mission into "business plan", and developing formation programs for leadership. Major superiors' emphasized simplicity of life-style, whereas the CEOs stressed stable commitment to corporate ministry.