Founder and President
Kevin/Ross Public Relations
Board President, Los Robles Hospital
Bankers, attorneys, company presidents, and physicians, are all well-represented on hospital boards because hospital senior leaders can lean on them for their expertise. A public relations professional isn't usually on that list of must-have board members, but perhaps it should be, says Ross Goldberg, chairman of the 14-member board at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, a 359-licensed-bed community hospital in Ventura County, CA. Goldberg has years of experience in healthcare PR and is founder and president of Kevin/Ross Public Relations.
Goldberg: "One of the things that a PR background brings is the realization that we're dealing with perception as much as reality. The best example is all of the data that's now available online regarding clinical outcomes and performance. A lot of people at the board level want to spend time arguing whether or not the methodologies are right or whether (rankings) accurately reflect performance. But let's not waste our time having that argument, because this data is now public, and consumers, employers, and prospective employees will be looking at that data and at least in part basing their decisions on it. So how do we succeed playing by those rules? One of the decisions the board had to make was whether or not we should seek trauma designation. We are going to do so, but in deciding, we had multiple conversations at the board level, and a special board meeting to focus on nothing but this, with the understanding that this was probably one of the most important decision we would ever make. If successful, it will position the hospital as a leader in the community, and if we did not go after it, we would be conceding this to competitors."