Education and Partnership for Hospital Trustees

Hospitals and health systems must invest in their board members to ensure the highest levels of competencies to meet the challenges of a constantly evolving environment. To assist them in ensuring their trustees are well informed and aware of what is involved in governing a healthcare organization today, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association designed a comprehensive educational and training program in governance leadership.

The MHA Excellence in Governance Fellowship is highly collaborative in nature, bringing fellows together in a variety of learning formats, including retreat-like interface, virtual communications and dialogue, and peer learning circles.

Because the MHA is committed to fostering the partnership between CEOs and board members, CEOs of the selected fellows receive regular communication and information to support the fellow in their study.

Hear from graduates of the fellowship about their experiences and learn more about the program below.

John Hunt, Excellence in Governance Fellowship graduate“It took a year to gain more knowledge in hospital governance and it was worth it. Thank you to all the presenters from around the country and a special thank you to Erin Steward and Terry Moore for a job well done. The group of eleven from across the state could not have better, we kept each other on our toes.”

- John Hunt, Huron Medical Center
Excellence in Governance Fellowship Class of 2016-2017

Who Becomes a Fellow

Fellows come from the governing boards of hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations. A minimum of one year of board experience is required for consideration to become a fellow. Many organizations use the fellowship as a platform to educate board members who are advancing to the chairman role.

Nine-month Program Includes Four Vigorous Sessions


Principles of Effective Governance

Examine the principles and themes a management team and board use to move from functioning to phenomenal. Fellows explore in-depth:

  • The role of the governing board member in establishing and affirming mission
  • A primer on healthcare in Michigan, including the basics in financing, regulation and government, legal issues, and advocacy
  • Financial, strategic and ethical oversight, including accountability for both personal and organizational performance
  • Board and management roles
  • Keeping a healthy balance of mission and margin
  • Providing oversight — not interference
  • Personal leadership styles and the influence on board interactions


The Board’s Role in Quality and Patient Safety

Learn to develop the skills to adequately assess and analyze the quality of care and patient safety in the organization by reducing board distractions and establishing clear and dependable monitoring systems. Fellows will:

  • Develop leadership thinking and appropriate systems to allow board members to measure and monitor quality and patient safety
  • Determine the board’s role in assuring quality of care
  • Learn how to keep the patient at the center of decisions
  • Understand who measures what and why
  • Explore the most up-to-date information on value-based purchasing, transparency and pay-for-performance
  • Explore how to measure progress using dashboards
  • Choose and use the appropriate indicators
  • Examine how to use best practices in assessment and monitoring


Hospital and Medical Staff Strategic Partnerships

Explore and discover the defining principles of positive relationships with hospital medical staff. Fellows will gain a better understanding of:

  • The changing competitive landscape for physicians and hospitals
  • The interdependence of physician, executive and board leadership to improving health and patient experience and reducing cost
  • The crucial role of physician leadership and how to support it
  • How to facilitate physician alignment
  • Legal responsibilities under federal and state law
  • Employment, joint venture and other compensation models for physician services
  • Working with physician leadership to manage credentialing and privileging


Personal Mastery and Capacity Building

Investigate, analyze and learn how to develop personal capacity to expand the boundaries of leadership. Fellows will learn to:

  • Continuously build leadership muscle
  • Establish behaviors and actions to reach leadership goals
  • Recognize contributions and build relationships to develop highly engaged board members and staff
  • Focus on purpose and making a difference and how to connect it back to values
  • Continuously focus on improving health and the quality of life for their community

Bonus experiences:

  • Two days of forward-looking education and top-level networking at the MHA Annual Membership Meeting
  • Graduation of the MHA Excellence in Governance fellows!


The success and value of the MHA Excellence in Governance Fellowship is embodied in the committed and highly qualified faculty and facilitators involved in the program. The fellowship uses expert faculty in the areas of healthcare delivery, governance, legal issues, quality and patient safety and leadership.

Time Investment

This learning experience is designed so that significant peer-to-peer learning will occur. Therefore, fellows should plan to attend in person or virtually all required meetings and to invest an additional day per month throughout the nine-month fellowship.

Financial Investment

Available Discounts

Discounted tuition is available for fellows meeting the following criteria.

  1. Virtual participation: Fellows and instructors are able to communicate via webcam, microphone and real-time chatting in a group setting. The only equipment needed is a computer with microphone and webcam and high-speed Internet access. Discounts will apply for virtual participation.
  2. Teams: A per-person discount will apply when multiple board members from the same organization participate in the same class of the fellowship.
  3. Returning organization: A fellow from an organization that has sent a board member to previous classes will receive a discount in tuition costs.


Tuition for MHA Members

Governing board member from an MHA-member organization $7,200 per person
Board member teams of two or more from the same MHA-member organization $7,000 per person
Governing board members from MHA-member organizations with 2016-2017 graduate fellows $7,000 per
Governing board member participating virtually from an MHA-member organization $4,000 per person


Tuition covers all course materials and on-site meeting fees, including the registration fee for the 2018 MHA Annual Membership Meeting (a $1,000 value). Individual travel, lodging and other related expenses are not included in the tuition costs. Tuition is due upon acceptance as a fellow.

All cancellations and withdrawals must be submitted in writing. For cancellations and withdrawals on or before July 1, 2017, tuition will be returned, less a processing fee of 25 percent. Alternates may be accepted following review.

Organizations that are not members of the MHA may click the contact button below to request fee information.

2017-2018 Session Dates

July 11-12, 2017
Welcome Dinner & MHA Briefing
MHA Capitol Advocacy Center, Lansing

Oct. 16-17, 2017
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, Thompsonville

Jan. 19-20, 2018
Royal Park Hotel, Rochester

April 20-21, 2018
JW Marriott, Grand Rapids

June 26-27, 2018
Fellowship concludes and graduation occurs during the 2018 MHA Annual Membership Meeting
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
(Fellows meet June 27-28; MHA Annual Membership Meeting is June 28-30.)

Current Roster

2017 - 2018 MHA Excellence in Governance Fellowship
Class 15 Fellows

Ulli Bowen
Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital

Gregory Busdicker
McLaren Port Huron

Jason Caya
Hurley Medical Center

Donna Doleman
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Peter Flintoft
Saint Joseph Mercy Chelsea

Jan Garfinkle
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Barbara Geno
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial

W. Brian Keim
Scheurer Healthcare Network

Ken Rocco
Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital

Jim Scatena
Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital

David Steinberger, MD
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Brent Wehner
Scheurer Healthcare Network

For more information, click the contact button below or download the complete brochure. Enrollment for the 2018-2019 class will begin in fall 2017. 

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