Strong Local Governance Critical to our Success

Timothy J. Babineau, MD, President and CEO, Lifespan

The Lifespan Board and I frequently express our gratitude for the hard work of the more than 15,000 employees and medical staff members who dedicate their lives to ensuring Lifespan delivers high quality, safe and effective care. Today, I would like to turn my attention to our Board of Directors. This group is equally deserving of our respect and appreciation. The Board consists of leaders who live and work in the very communities we serve. They are a diverse group, working in many different industries, including health care, education, law enforcement, insurance, real estate, banking and law. They are passionately committed to ensuring Lifespan achieves its mission of Delivering health with care and they too are committed to ensuring Lifespan honors its CARE values—Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.

The Board exhibits compassion through its never-ending concern that we ensure the communities we serve have convenient access to local care and through its attention to our mission. Every strategic move we take is measured against furthering our mission. The Board challenges management to explain how our actions advance our mission. Patients and our communities necessarily are at the forefront of any such discussion. In addition, the Board fully recognizes its role as the body ultimately accountable for the care we deliver, including the quality of that care. Respect is demonstrated by its ongoing concern for the welfare of our employees, seeking assurance that employees are paid fairly and competitively for their work, and feel secure in their jobs. The Board recognizes how critical our employees are to the care we deliver, so their welfare is a paramount concern. Lastly, the Board understands that, like our employees, it must maintain a level of excellence in its decision making and selection of its members.

I would argue that we operate in the most heavily regulated industry in this country—one that is regulated even more than nuclear power. And in this highly regulated environment in which every decision is heavily scrutinized internally and externally, the Board goes to great lengths to ensure every decision it makes is well informed, seeking the advice of experts and consultants when appropriate, and ensuring it has a diversity of perspective among its members.

But most important of all its duties is the Board’s engagement and on-site presence both in our hospitals and in our communities to ensure we stay true to our mission. The criticality of this aspect of their role cannot be overstated. I am grateful to the Lifespan Board, and to Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr., Chairman, for their commitment and dedication in ensuring the communities we serve have convenient access to all levels of care and in its ever-vigilant monitoring of the quality of our services, both of which necessarily require the board members to be actively engaged, visible and present at a local level. Such attention to our mission, to the quality of our services and to our CARE values cannot be done at arms-length or from a distance. It must be exercised right here, right at our hospitals, here in our community and together with us.

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