In this episode of Fireside Chat, we sit down with Steve Huebner, Board Chair, SCL Health and Board Member, Intermountain Healthcare to talk about supporting management during a crisis, how he defines priorities as board chair, and tips for how to have a successful virtual board meeting.

As a board member at multiple health systems, Steve has had an opportunity to be on the inside of health system governance. He is the board chair at SCL Health, a board member at Intermountain Healthcare, and interim CFO at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He has served at SLC and Intermountain since 2012.

Additionally, Steve has had a distinguished with KPMG and Arthur Andersen, where he worked closely with the boards of directors of client health systems.

Steve reviewed the importance of the board of directors and supporting management during health crises, such as the current coronavirus pandemic. As a board chair, he defines priorities based on working closely with both management and committee chairs. He also follows the previously-established strategic framework that governs the board’s activities.

Strategy is the key focus and top priority in the board meetings Steve participates in, and it’s what each board spends the most time discussing. During this season of COVID-19, boards all over the country are tasked with making sure their staff are taken care of, their hospitals are well-equipped to handle the crisis, and their patients continue to receive the best possible care.

Boards of directors are also faced with the unique challenge of meeting remotely, since we are all practicing social distancing. Steve detailed how boards can have successful, productive virtual meetings. He suggests that attendees turn off their cameras and microphones to minimize distractions such as background noise and talking over one another. Following this protocol will help meetings to be more effective.

All in all, Steve has a special place in his heart for working with nonprofit boards.

“I think the thing that’s most rewarding is working with a really good group of individual, not-for-profit boards. If there’s any compensation at all, it’s very modest,” he says.

“You really have to be committed to the purpose. You have to be committed to governance and you have to be committed to that board. I found I thoroughly enjoy the boards I’m on.

“I think it’s a committed group of people really focused on governance and wanting to be the best that we can be in fulfilling our responsibilities.”

To listen to the full conversation, click here.