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posted: 10/21/2013 10:15 PM

Centegra Health ditches corporate member designation

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Daily Herald report

Centegra Health System has changed its policy on corporate members, eliminating some and taking away any voting authority of those stakeholders, it said in a recent statement.

The system's board of governors voted at a Sept. 9 meeting to change its policy that gave corporate members a vote in decisions made about mergers, acquisitions and other business-related matters.

"These changes will bring Centegra Health System into alignment with industry best practices and also place us on equal footing with each and every one of our competitors," a statement by the Centegra board of governors read.

The concept was first created in 1982 when the corporation now known as Centegra Health was first formed. It was an effort to engage the community, share information and create support for the health system. To become a corporate member, people originally paid $25.

Under the new rules, previous corporate members who have contributed more than $25,000 will continue on with the title of corporate member. All others won't exist as corporate members any longer.

However, no corporate members will be allowed to vote any longer.

"The Centegra board of governors will maintain exclusive authority and accountability for taking action in the best interest of Centegra and the community, consistent with its fiduciary duties under Illinois law," the statement said.

A number of other health systems do not have corporate members, according to the release, including Advocate Health System, Sherman Health System, Mercy Health System, Cadence Health, KishHealth Health System and Northwest Community.

A more accurate picture of the community's needs can be taken through surveying the 330,000 residents of McHenry County through household surveys, focus groups and interviews with community leaders as well as third-party administered community analysis, the statement says.

Additionally, previous potential business partners have backed out after feeling a lack of privacy when business matters would need to be shared with hundreds of people before a formal vote could be taken, according to the statement.

"Preserving and protecting our health care system and fulfilling its mission in serving our community is a charge none of us takes lightly," the release said. "We very much appreciate your continued support of, and commitment to, Centegra Health System."

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