St. Charles Health System was among only three nonprofit hospitals and health systems serving Oregon that paid its boards of directors in 2012. The other two, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Providence Health & Services, are multibillion-dollar operations with dozens of hospitals across the country. The question of whether hospitals should pay their board members evokes an array of ethical stances. Some view serving on a board as a way for accomplished individuals to give back to their communities, and believe it should be done only on a volunteer basis. Others counter that being a director requires a great deal of time and specific expertise, and offering compensation can help hospitals build the strongest boards possible.