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In December 2007, the Health Research & Educational Trust and the Center for Healthcare Governance surveyed 249 hospital and health system CEOs about the demographic characteristics of their boards, looking at age, level of tenure, and work status of their board members.
Overall, the age distribution of the board members in the health care institutions surveyed is somewhat skewed in the direction of the older age brackets with 70% of board members being in their 50s or 60s.
There were very few differences among different types of health care organizations in the average age of their board members except for the following two areas:
Thirty percent (30%) of board members had more than 9 years of tenure, indicating that many boards are not following the recommended practice of limiting tenure to three, 3-year terms. Within the 9-year term limit framework, it also is interesting that there is a proportionately higher percentage of first term board members (28%) compared to second and third-term board members (42% combined). This finding suggests that a significant number of board members are leaving their boards after their first term.
Results showed differences among health care organizations in the following two areas:
|Percentage of Board Members with >9 Years Tenure||Percentage of Board Members with >3 Years Tenure|
Overall, nearly three-quarters (73%) of trustees of surveyed institutions were actively working.
Results indicated differences among health care organizations in the following two areas:
|Percentage of Board Members That Are Actively Working|
Current and Future Challenges
Slightly more than half (52%) of surveyed CEOs indicated that they either currently faced challenges regarding the age distribution or tenure of their board or foresaw such challenges within the next 10 years. Some of the challenges cited by CEOs were:
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