Hospital board members in joint venture ASCs: 3 key thoughts from Regent Surgical Health CEO Thomas Mallon

Joint venture ambulatory surgery center board-of-directors are an important aspect of managing and developing a successful facility.

"One hospital system leader expressed to me the best statement on this I've ever heard," says Regent Surgical Health CEO Thomas Mallon. "We tell our vice presidents that are serving on joint venture boards that when sitting on that board, their entire goal is help and further the interests of that joint venture. They should be clear that their goal is to help that venture."

Mr. Mallon describes the role of board members and how to bring the most to the joint venture.

Q: How do you describe a great board member?

Tom Mallon: A hospital board representative for an ASC understands "fiduciary" responsibility. When we sit on a board, we are fiduciaries for that entity. If we have conflicts, we need to disclose and excuse ourselves. Our primary responsibility as a board member is to better the joint venture.

Q: In contrast, can you describe a challenging board member?

TM: A challenging board member is not there to provide "care" to the JV. Rather, they bring divided loyalty, undisclosed conflicts and breed discontent among the members.

Q: For context, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

TM: I have sat on over 10 for-profit boards and five non-profit boards in the last 10 years. The industries have spanned healthcare, church, distribution and mission organizations. The objectives and rules of engagement are the same for all positions. We are to care for the entity, provide prudent decisions, and disclose any conflicts-of-interest and abstain from those decisions. Board service is truly one of the great joys and responsibilities of my personal and business life.

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