Finally, Sunny Days come to Broward Health

Beginning at the Board meeting scheduled for October 31stat 12:30 pm, sunny days will come to Broward Health with live streaming and online archiving of all Board committee and regular Board meetings – or so I have been told.  Mind you, I do not have an online link for live streaming, nor do I see any website notice or page for access to the meeting videos – but, I believe it. According to Board action taken at their September 26 regular board meeting (see the video), in addition to televising their meetings – the Board is establishing a far more transparent agenda process which strengthens the partnership between the Board and Broward Health’s physicians as well as its management team.  Here are the recent memo’s .

The memo establishes that specific management positions, as well as all the elected physician leadership at Broward Health, will now have unrestricted access to place unfiltered items on the Board’s agenda.

  • Agenda items may be submitted, by any Board Member, any direct Board Report, any Hospital Chief of Staff, the medical Chair of the Joint Conference Committee.

But that’s not all; the new Agenda process also confirms the public’s right to address every Agenda item as it is considered in addition to the public’s right to give general comments to the Board.  While this procedure is common in virtually every other governmental meeting – it has not been specifically honored at Broward Health although, in fairness, I am sure that had the public wanted to comment on a specific item it probably would have been accommodated by Chairman Klein.

  • Prior to Board Discussion, but after an agenda is moved into consideration, the Chair will call for public input on the agenda item. Public comments outside the agenda item subject matter are out of order.

The live streaming of meetings and the new Agenda policies are consistent with this Broward Health Board maximum effort to change the culture at Broward Health and truly begin to operate in a fully transparent manner and in the Sunshine.  I am sure that there will be bumps along this path – but the Board should be commended for so decisively making these changes.

These actions are the result of significant independent efforts behind the scenes by virtually all of this new five-member Broward Health Board. What you see is the result of a maximum effort by the Board to not only change the past culture but to grow Broward Health.

My last article was over a month ago, and since that time there have been two all-day Broward Health Board and committee meeting (September 12th & 26th).  I recorded and posted to YouTube both days of meetings.  There were some remarkable moments in these recordings but even more remarkable were some events leading up to these meetings and continuing through today.  Some of these events were sub-rosa, while others happened in plain sight – but taken together, they have materially affected the new path on which Broward Health finds itself today.

First was the catalytic appointment of Ray Berry to the Board of Commissioners, who on his first meeting carefully had the independent audacity to publicly question and more importantly push back on some carefully protected “practices” of Broward Health.  Importantly, many of the Board members had been privately questioning these very matters.  (See my article – May 2018 Broward Health Marathon Board Meetings) .

Then there was the marathon July Board meeting that began to coalesce an emerging core Board majority of Commissioners (perhaps – even a super majority) interested more in independent oversight and the future of the entire Broward Health organization than in the care and feeding of outside special interests.  (see my article – Broward Health Marathon 12 Hour Meeting – Many New Revelations.)

While the August Board meeting canceled due to the inability of the Board to meet with a quorum present, August provided the Board members with a pile of new documents and information as a result of their unusually aggressive information requests as well as some relevant public records request by others.  (recall that Governor Scott still refuses to appoint a full complement of 7 Board members – currently, there are only five, and until recently there were only four).

After reading and hearing responses to their information requests, many Board members did not like what they saw or heard, and the pace behind the scenes began to quicken.  The Board members were beginning to question what they were being told and wanted things verified.  The Board majority was beginning to decide both whom they believed and whom they trusted. Some remarkable personal exchanges reportedly happened with unexpected outcomes.

So much was happening, that I decided to meet, visit and have some detailed discussions with every Board member.  In September and August, I have had multiple in-depth conversations with all the current Board members as well as many senior staff & system physicians.  I have become convinced that this board is potentially the best core Board I have seen since I began going to Board meetings in 2011.  That is, they are not political hacks or if they were – they no longer are.  I am convinced that with very few exceptions, the current Board members are committed to the success of Broward Health and are both competent and steadfast in providing open and transparent oversight to the organization.

Naturally, I am not ready to agree with everything they are doing, or that the individual Board members don’t have different views between themselves.  But I am excited at the real possibility of actually having the Broward Health system put the crap years behind them and begin to realize the organization’s amazing potential for our community.

Stay tuned.  There’s a lot more insight coming.  I think sunny days are coming to Broward Health.

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