GHS Board of Trustees Vote to Explore New Governance Structure

The Greenville Health System Board of Trustees voted today to approve a resolution to consider changing the organization’s current governance structure.

The hospital said it would keep GHS as a public, not-for-profit organization but as part of a larger multi-regional health system.

Hospital leaders announced at a public meeting Tuesday that the board did extensive research for a year on local and national healthcare trends. They told the board they consulted with healthcare experts from many larger successful systems to learn how to better grow the hospital.

Leaders announced Tuesday that in order to be competitive and better serve patients, the governing structure needs to change. They said a main goal is to be able to partner with other entities like for profit and educational institutions.

Hospital leaders said as a private, not for profit structure they would be able to make partnerships they cannot now as a public entity. The board also wants to be abel to look into partnerships with other hospitals, businesses and care for more patients outside of the Upstate.

It would also include growing the value of the company from $2 billion to $3-$5 billion.

“We know that 3-5 billion dollar organizations have the wear-with-all to hold their footing in the marketplace and compete with national players,” said GHS President and CEO Mike Riordan.

The majority of the board of trustees was in favor of passing the resolution to explore these changes in the next few months. Some like Dell Barker, expressed his concern with having a self electing board.

Barker said he doesn’t support a self appointing government because there would be little oversight. He said he doesn’t understand why the board needs to make changes to complete future mergers because he doesn’t recall the board voting down a merger proposal in the past.

Barker posed this question to the board Tuesday:

“At what point in time do we plan to tell the public the details of what we’re talking about? “

Members responded by saying they would tell them after they determine what the details would be.

7 On Your Side also asked lawmakers what they thought about the governance structure changes. Representative Mike Burns said as a public entity, state law states that the hospital is a county asset and board members must be loved on by legislators.

Burns also said he doesn’t want elected board members from other counties or as far as across the country, to have control of county assets.

“We feel like somebody some public entity has to oversee the operations of the hospital system,” said Burns.

He also is worried about a new system failing in the future.

“The lawyers would be the only people that win. The citizens of Greenville County would be on the short end of the stick,” he said.

 Representative Dwight Loftis shared his concerns.

“Who knows where it goes that is the concern and I think the public they have a steak in it. It’s their hospital, a county hospital,” Loftis said.

Hospital leaders said they’d like to make decisions about changes to the structure by the end of the year. The board will receive an update in mid December.

 You can read more from GHS here. 

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