Today the HIGPA board, working in close partnership with the association's president and CEO and the executive team, does the kind of high-impact governing work that is required for an association to thrive in these rapidly changing, always challenging times.
HIGPA provides five main services to its members: advocacy, education, information, the promotion of dialogue among health care organizations, and maintenance of industry ethical standards.
In this regard, as part of its annual strategic planning retreat, the HIGPA board now plays a hands-on role in identifying and analyzing strategic issues facing the association.
The seed for the 2050 Initiative was planted in late 1998, when the HIGPA board chair and the CEO recognized that the times demanded stronger board leadership and asked the board's officers to work with a consultant in designing a strategic work session that would involve the board and CEO.
As a critical part of every HIGPA annual strategic planning retreat, for example, participants routinely assess progress toward each of the vision elements (see sidebar, "Values and Vision"), asking themselves if progress has been acceptable, and, if not, what issues need to be addressed to ensure adequate progress.
At the 1999 strategic work session, the HIGPA board and CEO brainstormed a board governing mission intended to serve as a high-level job description for the board, spelling out specific responsibilities.
Of course, the HIGPA CEO played a leading role in this process as well.
One of the most important steps taken to strengthen the HIGPA board's governing capacity as part of the 2050 Initiative was establishing four standing committees of the board.
Jonathan Glenn, executive vice president and chief legal officer, led the company's effort in constructing the Standards of Business Conduct, and stated, "We really didn't have to change current practices to incorporate the HIGPA code of conduct principles.
MedAssets HSCA was recognized as "Purchaser of the Year - 2002" by HIGPA members.