Board Members Who Don’t Live or Work in the Service Area

Can an individual that doesn’t live or work in a health center’s service area be on the Board of Directors?

A health center aims to ensure that its board of directors accurately reflects the community it serves. In accordance with the HRSA Site Visit Protocol, specifically Chapter 20-Board Composition Element C, question #10, the center assesses whether non-patient board members reside or work within the community where the health center operates. If a board member does not meet this criterion, the health center is required to detail the individual’s ties to the community. These connections vary based on the unique circumstances of each community and cannot be standardized across all health centers. For instance, a board member may own a family home in the community where their relatives still reside, while they themselves have relocated for work. This arrangement may be one method to establish the board member’s connection to the community. Although board members may serve even if they do not live or work locally, it’s very important to remember the meaning behind the program requirements and recognize the invaluable contributions a governing board offers. For further inquiries, health centers are encouraged to reach out through the BPHC “contact us” form or contact their BPHC liaison directly.

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