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Parkland Board Releases Consultant's Report

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 12, 2013

A report commissioned by the Parkland Health & Hospital System board of managers in Dallas makes a score of recommendations for improving governance practices at the troubled safety net health system.

The Parkland Health & Hospital System board of managers this week made public an outside consultant's report whose 20 recommendations include expanding the seven-member board to 11 members.

The report also recommends that board members at the Dallas-based public safety net system serve three-year terms instead of the current two-year terms, receive more training to better understand and perform their board duties, and that a "visitors committee" of outside observers serve as advisors to the board.

"These recommendations, taken together, provide a comprehensive road map for the board as we develop a sustainable governance model that is appropriate for a complex billion-dollar plus public safety net health system in the 21st century," Parkland Board of Managers Chair Debbie Branson said in prepared remarks.

The report was commissioned in May 2012 by the board, which hired The Saranac Group LLC consultants. Saranac issued the report in March, but the Parkland board put the report on its agenda this month, at which point the board voted to accept the report. The next step will be to start discussions on the individual recommendations, none of which have yet been implemented or rejected, Parkland officials said.

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