Board Leadership Module 1: Leading the Way to Health Care Transformation

July 2020
National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)


The Visionary Board Leadership and the Transition to Value 6-part video series, designed for critical access hospital board members, focuses on developing systems thinking and visionary leadership skills as keys to thriving in the changing health care landscape.

A suggested approach to use the content: Board of Directors should watch one of the six 15-20-minute videos every other month over the course of 12 months. Each module includes three parts: 1) educational content from subject matter experts, including interviews with rural hospital board members and CEOs sharing best practices and words of wisdom; 2) discussion questions for boards to consider how module topics apply to their organization and community; and 3) suggested activities for boards to put best practices into action. 

Before You Begin: Use the Pre/post-Training Evaluation template to have your Board take a short survey before you begin the training and again after you complete Module 6. Use this evaluation template to survey your board to measure the knowledge gained from this series. Have your Board take the evaluation before you begin Module 1 so you have a baseline, and again after you have completed Module 6. We hope the post-evaluation reveals a positive change in developing systems thinking and visionary leadership skills.

Module 1


In this first module we explore the transition to value and population health. We take a brief look at the current and future state of health care and what it means to transition from volume to value and population health. Then we look at the role of a rural hospital board in this transition and what it means to redefine the way we think about the health care system in a community and how to navigate this transition in the midst of uncertainty, when the future is unclear and the environment is continually changing. This module also provides an overview of the 6-part series.


  • Overview of the current and future state of health care
  • Basics of the transition to value and population health
  • The role of a board in the journey
  • Dealing with uncertainty in the transformation
  • Thinking about the local health care environment as a system
  • Board member/administrator testimonial: Leading the way to health care transformation

Discussion Questions

  • Do you have all the knowledge you’d like to have about the transition to value and population health? If not, how can you learn more? 
  • Where does your organization currently stand in the process of transitioning to value? What changes have already been made? What would you still like to see happen? 
  • What are the biggest challenges for your facility in the transition to value? How are you addressing these challenges? 


Watch the following educational videos: 


Creating a Culture of Health

This resource page from the American Hospital Association's Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence offers a guide on "Hospital-based Strategies for Creating a Culture of Health".  The page also includes links to additional information on population health and community health improvement.

National Rural Health Resource Center’s Community Health Needs Assessment Services
Completing a meaningful CHNA every three years is an IRS requirement for non-profit hospitals. It's also an opportunity to identify key priorities and build valuable relationships to collaborate on solutions. 

National Rural Health Resource Center’s Population Health Toolkit
This toolkit adopts a systems-based approach in managing the complexities of transitioning to value-based care and payment.  It features a readiness assessment for hospitals and networks and connects tools and resources to the organization’s unique strengths and needs for transitioning towards population health.

Proactively Pursuing Value-Based Payment
Profiles a program developed at a Critical Access Hospital in rural Washington that is transitioning from volume- to value-based care.

What is Value-Based Healthcare?
Explore the definition, benefits, and examples of value-based healthcare. How does value-based healthcare translate to new delivery models?

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,560,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.