MHA Board of Trustees Holds November Meeting
Posted on November 06, 2020
The MHA Board of Trustees held its quarterly meeting Nov. 4 via a virtual platform. The agenda included an election and political update, a discussion of likely action during the state Legislature’s lame-duck session, a state budget recap, and a review of statewide data trends and ongoing association priorities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the board highlighted the ongoing work of the MHA Keystone Center to advance health equity, including the development of a member pledge and organizational assessment tool to address systemic racism and health inequities. As part of its ongoing commitment to address health disparities and social determinants of care, the board adopted a pledge and directed the association to share it with MHA members and encourage their signature, designation of a point person, and ongoing commitment to work within their organizations and communities to eliminate inequity.
The board noted that healthcare largely avoided reductions in funding, despite large projected shortfalls in the state budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021; this was due, in large measure, to federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds provided to states to address the COVID-19 crisis. The board also received a report on the growing COVID-19 infection rate in Michigan and expressed concern about managing the surge of hospitalizations and the need for continued messaging on the importance of public health measures to require face coverings in public, contact tracing and social distancing. The board noted recent public surveys showing a lack of trust in a vaccine and directed the association to educate and communicate accurate information to the public to reduce hesitancy once a safe vaccine is ready for distribution.
Finally, the board appointed a task force comprised of small to medium-sized hospitals, known as “tweeners,” that have unique needs and often do not qualify for programs designed for very small facilities or larger health systems. The Tweener Task Force, chaired by Shelleye Yaklin, president and CEO of North Ottawa Community Health System, is charged with identifying issues and interventions, including policy and funding opportunities, to pursue for both the long and short term. Questions regarding the activities of the Board of Trustees should be directed to Amy Barkholz at the MHA.
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