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As community health centers are governed by a board of directors, the board of directors also must meet certain requirements; not only providing oversight but in the composition of the board. Chapter 20 (Board Composition) of the Health Center Program Compliance Manual outlines specific composition requirements and this article will focus specifically on the patient board requirements. In order to meet compliance, at least 51% of the governing board must be patients of the health center. For the purposes of this requirement, a patient is an individual who has received at least one service in the past 24 months that generated a health center visit, where both the service and the site where the service was received are within the HRSA approved scope of project. A legal guardian of a patient who is a dependent child or adult, a person who has legal authority to make health care decisions on behalf of a patient, or a legal sponsor of an immigrant patient may also be considered a patient of the health center for purposes of board representation. Ensuring that board members understand and fulfill their obligations is essential to continuous compliance. Health Center leadership can assist board members in being compliant with this specific requirement by:
Keeping board members knowledgeable of the program requirements and the meaning behind the requirements will assist board members with their appropriate oversight and responsibility.