President and CEO's Blog

By Daniel Gentry, PhD, MHA posted 20 days ago

In Pursuit of Exceptional Governance
Greetings AUPHA members, partners, and friends:
First and foremost, I encourage you to read the columns in this issue of the Exchange by AUPHA’s outgoing and incoming Board Chairs, Dr. Reid Oetjen of the University of Central Florida, and Dr. Cathleen Erwin of Auburn University, respectively. This is an important annual transition in governance leadership for AUPHA’s Board, staff, and membership. Reid and Cathleen’s insights and reflections demonstrate the depth of their service and commitment to - and love for - AUPHA and our field of healthcare management education. I am grateful to and for them both. 
We all have a vested interest in good governance. In its wisdom, the Board leadership and members who created and led the launch of the 2020-2024 AUPHA Strategic Plan built the three pillars of initiatives and investments for the AUPHA community on the foundations of strong governance and management; based on best practices, ongoing board training and education, and generous resources for staff continuing education and professional development. 
One of the most important investments is regular attendance at ASAE’s (the “association of associations”) Exceptional Board trainings for officers of the AUPHA Board and corporation. For me, professionally and personally, it is one of the three best trainings I have participated in during my 35-year career. ASAE requires that associations commit to sending at least one Board officer and at least one member of the executive staff for participation. It’s two full days, with the team learning together, and reflecting on the health of the association’s governance, the governance and management relationship, opportunities for improvement, and the future success of, in our case, AUPHA. I can attest that this regular investment pays off, over and over again. 
I am grateful for AUPHA’s excellent governance; an exceptional, high-performing Board which is the bedrock foundation of AUPHA’s community, and is responsible for AUPHA’s strong and consistent vision, mission, and values, and AUPHA’s smart and ambitious strategic plan. 
I’m someone who likes a “boss,” but a good one of course. Like most of you, I have had exceptionally good bosses and frighteningly bad ones. Starting in 2020, it took me a little while to wrap my head around the idea of having a new boss every year! In my role as AUPHA’s CEO these past four-plus years, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with five colleagues and friends of high integrity, steadfast dedication, passion for our field, and kindness, as they astutely performed their duties as Chair of the AUPHA Board: Drs. Leigh Cellucci, Tracy Farnsworth, Jason Turner, Brian Malec, and Reid Oetjen. I know Dr. Cathleen Erwin well. She is someone I trust - both to ensure the success of AUPHA from a position of strong and steady governance, and to be a “good boss” for me. She also has great humor, which I appreciate. As some of you may have experienced as Reid handed her the ceremonial Board gavel during the AUPHA Business Luncheon in Tampa. I congratulated her, we embraced, and then she said most audibly before she took her seat “We’ll talk …”. Yes, we will! At least regularly every two weeks. 
I know I speak for AUPHA’s Vice President and COO, Jaime Stephens as well, when I share how much we look forward to working with Dr. Erwin and the entire AUPHA Board, on behalf of all of you - the AUPHA membership and healthcare management academy- for the coming academic year.