STFM Examines Its Governance Structure

Victoria Gorski, MDMontefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Victoria Gorski, MD
Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine

STFM has begun a careful study of its governance structure. The goal is to ensure that we are making the most effective decisions in the most efficient way possible and that the decisions are in the best interests of the organization and its members. Governance refers to the way in which decisions are made within STFM and involves actions of the Board and committees, especially as they involve allocation of STFM’s resources. A governance task force has been charged with the responsibility for making recommendations to the STFM Board.  The members of the task force offer a balance among past and current leaders, as well as members of the current Board and committees.

Task Force Members:
Victoria Gorski, MD, Montefiore Medical Center, Governance Task Force chair
Stacy Brungardt, CAE, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
Dan Castro, MD, Harbor UCLA Medical Center
Sam Cullison, MD, Swedish FMR Cherry Hill Campus, Seattle
Scott Fields, MD, MHA, Oregon Health & Science University
Melly Goodell, MD, Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center, Baltimore
Larry Halverson, MD, Cox Health FMR, Springfield, MO
Jeri Hepworth, PhD, University of Connecticut St. Francis Hospital FMR
Ben Miller, PsyD, University of Colorado
Beat Steiner, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina
Rick Streiffer, MD, University of Alabama
Mary Theobald, MBA, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

STFM has not begun this project because of any major problems or concerns. Just as it is good practice for patients to receive periodic check-ups regarding their health, it is also a good practice for STFM to assess its organizational health. The present moment was chosen for this analysis because, in fact, STFM is quite healthy and thinking about how to best take advantage of this in light of some organizational transitions (eg, losing one CAS representative on the board). The purpose of this communication is to inform you of how we plan to carry out this project so that you may provide any input you believe helpful.

Just as we compare a patient’s health to a set of standards and goals, we will be comparing STFM’s governance structure to a set of standards we refer to as “performance requirements”. The performance requirements were recently developed by the governance task force and approved by the STFM Board of Directors. They are informed by STFM’s mission and values and highlight the need to be responsive to STFM’s strategic plan.

The next step for the governance task force will be to compare STFM’s current governance structure (what is) with the approved performance requirements (what should be). This will identify problems or gaps: critical differences between what is and what should be. The gaps will be presented to the Board when it meets in May.

After the gaps are identified and agreed upon by the Board, the task force will develop potential solutions to the identified gaps. Those solutions will be shared with the STFM community: elected and appointed leaders and the general membership. By allowing for broad-based input, we increase our chances for developing the best solutions to the identified problems.

We are committed to make those changes that will make STFM the most responsive and effective organization possible. While we will not make change for change’s sake, we will not shy away from making change where it is called for. The process will be improved with your thoughtful input.

We will keep you posted on our progress. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me or Stacy Brungardt, STFM executive director.

Victoria Gorski, MD
chair, STFM Governance Task Force

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