Board Member Recruitment

We are having a difficult time recruiting board members. Do you have any suggestions?

Recruiting board members can be a challenge, but also rewarding. First and foremost, you’ll want to evaluate your board by developing a board matrix to determine the skill set that you need on the board. The HRSA Form 6 (Board Characteristics) is one example of a board matrix. Once that is completed, you’ll want to review your UDS data. Chapter 20 of the Health Center Compliance Manual, (found at Chapter 20: Board Composition | Bureau of Primary Health Care), provides specific requirements that the Board of Directors must follow. Once those 2 steps are completed and your health center has determined some board characteristics, here are some suggestions to assist with recruiting board members:

  • Ask health center staff – Health center staff, whether clinical (medical, dental, and behavioral health providers) or non-clinical support staff, know the patients they serve. More than likely, they may see them on a regular basis. Asking health center staff to identify patients, including patients whose preferred language is not English, is a great way to go.
  •  Ask existing board members – Existing board members may know of other community individuals that may be interested in becoming a board member. Board members are advocates for their health center and word of mouth is oftentimes one of the best advertising methods.
  • Social Media – Some health centers create flyers, ads and even bulletins which are hung inside the health center. With social media becoming one of the main methods of communication, even prior to the pandemic, health centers can post Board member recruitment information on their website, Facebook or Twitter. Having an electronic application will allow interested community members to be able to apply in real time.

 

Individuals sitting on Committees – While not required, Board of Directors are strongly encouraged to have Board Committees. Committees of the board are where the majority of health center work is completed, such as the Finance Committee or Quality Improvement Committee. At times health centers will ask individuals within the community with specific skill sets to sit on these committees to help provide insight. These individuals sit on the committee but are NOT considered on the Board of Directors. They do not have voting power. This avenue of service allows potential board members to learn about the health center, gain education, and be helpful by providing their insight and knowledge. When new board members are needed, the health center can ask individuals sitting on a committee if they would like to be part of the Board of Directors.

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