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Board Leadership Series: Financial Stewardship

This video discusses the board of directors’ role in financial stewardship for an organization. You’ll learn about key financial issues board of directors’ face and hear some best practices and tips on how you can improve financial stewardship in your organization.

This video will give you a better understanding of:

  • How to balance operational vs. strategic decisions
  • Key issues to understand, including audit process, annual budget, liquidity, and debt/capital planning
  • How health care organizations are emerging from COVID-19

Video Presenters

David Taylor, CPA | Partner/Healthcare | FORVIS

As a member of the National Healthcare Group at FORVIS, David provides audit and consulting services to health care providers, primarily hospitals and health systems. David’s 20 years of experience includes managing audits, preparing Medicare and Medicaid cost reports, analyzing reimbursement strategies, and preparing special payment requests.   David leads a team that prepares prospective financial information, including feasibility studies and financial forecasts for expected bond offerings, loans from banks, USDA financing, or internal use purposes. He is a frequent speaker for industry events and other organizations and presents industry updates and educational programs to client boards and industry groups. David is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Missouri Society of CPAs, and Healthcare Financial Management Association. He is a 2002 graduate of Drury University, Springfield, Missouri, with a B.A. degree in accounting, economics, computer information systems, and business administration.

Mary Ellen Pratt | CEO | St. James Parish Hospital

Mary Ellen Pratt, FACHE, is the CEO of St. James Parish Hospital, a critical access hospital located in Lutcher. As a graduate of Tulane University with a Master of Health Administration, she started her career in the c-suite of academic medical centers and large community hospitals but has been dedicated to rural health for the past 15 years. Her leadership in rural healthcare is evidenced by the fact she currently serves as a member of the Board of the National Rural Resource Center, participated on the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Future of Rural Taskforce, and was the past chair of the AHA Small Rural Hospital Governing Council. At the state level, Pratt serves on the boards of the Louisiana Rural Hospital Coalition and LIHNC. She is the Treasurer of the LHA Board of Trustees and Chair of the LHA Research and Education Foundation. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the National Rural Health Association. She was named a top rural “CEO to Know” by Becker’s Review for six consecutive years from 2015-2020 and was named a 2020 AHA Most Valuable PAC Player.

Discussion and Reflection Questions

  • What is the balance on time spent for operational vs. strategic at the board level? Is it the right balance?
  • Is the monthly or routine information received helpful in understanding the current performance of your organization? Should the organization consider updating, reducing, or adding to it?
  • Does your organization spend ample time on strategic thinking? How much time at each meeting is devoted to updates on strategic initiatives? Is there a formal strategic plan reviewed and updated periodically? Is there an annual retreat for focused time on strategic planning? How does the annual budget and capital plan support strategic plans? 

Suggested Activities

Review the monthly financial packet with management. Discuss the time required to compile information. Challenge information and verify it remains relevant and necessary each month.


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