174897 Class ceilings: Patient representation on community health center boards

Monday, October 27, 2008: 10:50 AM

D. Brad Wright, PhD (Cand) , School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Durham, NC
Context: To ensure community responsiveness, federally-qualified community health centers are

legally required to have a patient-majority governing board.

Purpose: To measure the association between trustees' external status characteristics and their

within-board status to assess the likelihood that patient board members are truly representative of

the health center patient population and hold board leadership positions.

Methods: This study uses 2001 health center board data from the federal Uniform Data System

to test linear probability models using ordinary least squares regression analysis.

Results: There are significant differences in the composition of board leadership positions by

trustee gender, patient status, tenure, and occupation.

Conclusion: Leadership positions within health center governing boards tend to be filled by

individuals with high external status characteristics, suggesting that the typical health center

patient is excluded from board leadership and that patient trustees are unlikely to be

representative of the general patient population.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the difference between external status characteristics and professional competencies needed for governance. 2. Discuss ways to ensure adequate representational diversity on the board without compromising technical expertise. 3. Identify underrepresented populations on health center governing boards.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I alone conducted this research and am the sole author of this paper.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.