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History

A brief timeline of The Governance Institute’s history and future:

1986 – The Governance Institute founded
1994 – The Governance Institute conducted the first national survey of hospital governance practices
2006 – The Governance Institute joins the National Research Corporation suite of services and solutions
2020+ – The Governance Institute aspires to lead the way for excellence in governance by educating and equipping healthcare leaders of today and the future


The Governance Institute serves as the leading, independent source of governance information and education for healthcare organizations across the United States.

 

Founded in 1986, The Governance Institute provides conferences, publications, and educational materials for non-profit boards and directors. Located in San Diego, California, The Governance Institute serves over 11,000 directors and CEOs through its membership service.


The Governance Institute evolved from an idea to bring together conscientious hospital leaders who recognized boards could perform more effectively if they had effective resources. While founder Charlie Ewell was conducting board retreats and talking with hospital CEOs, he recognized their need to bring education to board members and help their organizations become more effective. Ideas, efficiency, and the market were united to create a unique resource that would launch the healthcare governance education industry.


In 1990, Charlie and his staff hit on an important idea: members needed an opportunity to bring together the board chairperson and the CEO. The tone of that relationship can color the rest of the board’s relationship with the executive team. Charlie invited his subscribers to a quiet weekend to build that bond in November 1990 and started the chair/CEO conference tradition, which now includes physician leaders as part the three-legged leadership stool.


In 1994, The Governance Institute conducted the first national survey of hospitals to definitively capture current practices, average expenditures, and other basic information about board structure and operations. A year later, the survey concept was expanded to capture what system boards were doing for the first time. Today, The Governance Institute surveys hospital and health system boards together, every other year, and reports on trends and comparisons related to board structure, culture, and recommended practices.


The late 90s represented exponential growth for The Governance Institute; membership doubled and a new division emerged to serve medical leaders as a distinct but vital factor in excellent healthcare governance. Such success prompted a realization that to continue growing, the organization had to change. Charlie recognized that as the company was on its way to its 15th anniversary, there was more it was capable of providing to the healthcare community than even he had envisioned.


Bookending this exciting period of growth and refinement at The Governance Institute, in 1996 the company sold for the second time to National Research Corporation, a company based in Lincoln, NE, focused on improving the patient experience. Learning from the past and building on a solid foundation, The Governance Institute will continue its mission to lead the way for excellence in governance.

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