Health care is a complex and fast-moving enterprise. How can trustees stay abreast of the trends and factors impacting the field? Through dedicated programs offered by the American Hospital Association and its affiliates. The AHA’s Center for Healthcare Governance offers symposia, webinars and on-site courses on the latest health policy topics. It also publishes Great Boards, a free, quarterly newsletter. For more information, visit www.american In addition, the AHA publishes resources for trustees on field leadership issues three times a year as part of its Trustee Education Series at

Another way to stay informed and to meet leaders in the health care, policy and political fields, is to attend the AHA’s Annual Membership Meeting May 3–6 in Washington, D.C. This year, the Center will be sponsoring two trustee sessions that are included in the cost of registration.

First, on Sunday afternoon, Jamie Orlikoff, president, Orlikoff & Associates Inc., and Center senior consultant, will present “Safety and Quality: The Governance Opportunity.” This session will outline best practices in board oversight and improvement of safety and quality.

Then, on Monday morning, Center President and Chief Operating Officer John Combes, M.D., and AHA Vice President Debra Stock will lead “How Does Your Board Stack Up? The State of Governance and 2014 National Governance Survey Insights.” Attendees will have the opportunity to see how governance practices compare and discuss the implications for board performance in the evolving health care environment.

On Tuesday morning, the AHA will host a special briefing for executives and trustees to examine the forces shaping the hospital field. AHA Chairman Jonathan Perlin, M.D., president, clinical services, and chief medical officer, HCA, and AHA board member Thomas Burke, M.D., executive vice president and physician in chief, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will moderate a discussion on how to engage trustees and communities as hospitals move to redefine the “H.” The session’s panelists will include Georgia Fojtasek, president and CEO, and Lawrence Schultz, board chair, of Allegiance Health; and Steven Summer, president and CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association.

Also on Tuesday, the Committee on Governance will host the Trustee Leadership Breakfast. We will be joined by Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition,” who will share insights on the current political climate.

Registration information can be found at I hope you can join us.

Fred Gattas Jr. ( is COG chair and a trustee of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.