The Greenville Health System Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved nominees to fill the open seats on the GHS Board of Trustees and the two broader boards that, along with GHS, will form a proposed not-for-profit multi-regional system.
“Every member of the three boards being either recommended, nominated or appointed today is a proven leader and committed to helping their community,” GHS Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Morton told the board at today’s meeting. “You will recognize many of these nominees from their service to both GHS and the community at large. They have been leaders of international corporations and area community groups, and they all expressed an interest in helping us move forward to provide high-quality care to our community. Both GHS – and the communities we serve – are fortunate to have their leadership and deep commitment at such a vital time in our history.”
All but one of the new board members lives in the Upstate and that one, who has a strong Greenville background, now lives in Kershaw County. The other new members live in Greenville County, Anderson County, Spartanburg County, Laurens County, Pickens County and Oconee County.
Said Morton, “Putting these boards in place is an important step in the process of operationalizing the organization and governance structures we have been considering for some time.” He said the first order of business for the Upstate Affiliate Organization and the Strategic Coordinating Organization will be to review and enter into the master affiliation agreement and for the Upstate Affiliate to agree to lease GHS properties. This will be followed by several months of work and transition which are needed to finalize the transaction and to begin operating under the new structure. The lease and the master affiliation agreement detail many of the steps which will be undertaken, including the filing of a new petition with the South Carolina Supreme Court once those additional steps – for example, adopting bylaws and seeking appropriate regulatory approval – are taken.
The original petition, filed by three former GHS board members, was not heard by the Supreme Court because the court said it didn’t have enough details about the proposed change. Morton said the proposed petition would give the court the additional information as referenced in its Order of January 15.
Many of the current and retiring members of the GHS Board of Trustees will serve on the new boards to help ensure continuity and adherence to the GHS mission.
The GHS Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved Lisa Stevens to serve as its new chair. Stevens has been a member of the GHS Board of Trustees since 2012 and has served on the GHS Governance Committee and chaired the GHS Planning and Finance Committee for the last two years.
Said Morton, “It was important that we have someone who is intimately involved in the operations of GHS to serve in this role and continue our vision of transforming health care for the people and communities we serve. Lisa has served the community through her work in education and mental health. She’ll bring experience that will help the GHS board remain committed to the needs of this community.”
Recommendations for new board members for vacancies on the GHS Board of Trustees which must be filled by residents of specific state house districts include Rev. Sean D. Dogan, Leah D. Garrett and Peter B. Waldschmidt. These recommendations must now be nominated and approved by the Greenville County Legislative Delegation. In addition, candidates being nominated by GHS for appointment by the Greenville County Legislative Delegation to fill the vacant at-large seats are Scot L. Baddley, W. Michael Ellison and C. Michael Smith.
The Upstate Affiliate Organization’s board of directors will be led by Marguerite R. Wyche. Wyche has served GHS in various capacities since 2004, beginning with service on the Greenville Health Corporation Board of Directors, which she chaired in 2008. She has served on the GHS Board of Trustees since 2012 and has chaired the GHS Quality and Academics Committee for the past three years.
“Marguerite’s experience will ensure the Upstate Affiliate Organization remains focused on high-quality health care for our communities,” said Morton. “She is well known in the Greenville community and has a wide range of business and healthcare experience.”
The initial board of directors for the Upstate Affiliate Organization, which will directly operate current GHS hospitals and facilities, also include Charles E. Dalton, W. Michael Ellison, David M. Lominack, Robert T. Nitto, Richard A. Phillips, Timothy J. Reed, Ruth M. Richburg, Michelle B. Seaver, Rev. Thomas E. Simmons, C. Michael Smith and Benjamin B. Waters III.
The Strategic Coordinating Organization’s board of directors will be led by lifelong Greenville County resident, Frances DeLoache Ellison. Ellison has served GHS in a number of capacities, beginning in 1998 on the Greenville Health Corporation Board, which she chaired in 2003-2004. She served on the GHS Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2010 and was chair from 2008 to 2010. While GHS board chair, she oversaw the successful implementation of an expansion of the GHS Board of Trustees from 7 to 12 members and, under her leadership, the board became more ethnically and gender diverse and more inclusive of the entire GHS service area.
Said Morton, “Frances has a wealth of institutional knowledge that will serve the SCO and our communities well as we move forward with our strategic plans.”
The initial board of directors for the Strategic Coordinating Organization, which will provide strategic direction and corporate services for the new multi-regional system, also include Craig Brown, Michael Cumby, Annmarie Higgins, Anna Kate Hipp, Margaret L. Jenkins, Jennie M. Johnson, James C. Morton Jr., Prashant Prabhu, Lisa H. Stevens, Andrew J. White Jr., Benjamin H. Waters III, William M. Webster IV, Richard “Dick” Wilkerson, and Dwayne Wilson.
GHS has said the proposed new governance structure is needed to ensure that health care in the Upstate remains locally accessible and of high quality in the years to come. A multi-regional system will benefit residents by giving them increased access to integrated primary and specialty medical and surgical services, including some highly specialized services not readily available in most areas. Moreover, the new system will be able to better partner with others through joint-ventures, enabling access to additional sources of capital and expanded patient services. It will also be an attractive alternative for regional hospitals, physician groups, providers and employers to the large, non-South Carolina-based systems that are rapidly expanding in South Carolina.