What is a Trustee?

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What is a Trustee?

April 30, 2003

According to Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, a trustee is "any of a group or board of persons appointed to manage the affairs of a college, hospital, etc." Simple enough to understand, right? Well, perhaps the question should have been, "What is a Trustee of The Brooklyn Hospital Center?" There is no concise way to describe what our Trustees do for us and our Hospital. Our Trustees do meet the definition outlined above in the sense that they are appointed to manage the affairs of our Hospital, but what exactly does that mean?

To begin with, our Trustees are volunteers, meaning they are not compensated for the work they perform on our behalf. And work they do: Each of our Trustees spends many hours each month either here at the Hospital, on telephone conferences, or at other venues representing the interests of the Hospital. This is time away from their personal life or professional responsibilities. The Board of Trustees of TBHC is comprised of a minimum of 18, to a maximum of 30 Trustees at any given time, as defined in the Corporate Bylaws. Presently, we have 23 Trustees.

The Board of Trustees of our Hospital is as culturally and professionally diverse as the communities we serve. They bring expertise in the areas of healthcare, business and finance, law, and community outreach. By and large, they live in the communities served by the Hospital. They come to the Board by way of a recommendation made to the Chairman of the Board, who meets with them to explain the responsibilities of being a Trustee. The Governance Committee of the Board then makes its recommendation to the Board.

Trustees are expected to attend meetings of the Board, as well as subcommittee meetings, be political advocates, represent the Hospital in the community, and even offer their personal financial support to the Hospital. They also participate in the planning and attendance of special events run by the Hospital. Knowing up-front what is expected of them, the 23 men and women currently serving on our Board of Trustees, those who came before them, and those who will serve in the future, dedicate themselves to accepting responsibility for the operation, safety, security, and preservation of The Brooklyn Hospital Center, its patients and its staff. They truly are our unsung heroes, and we owe them a deep sense of gratitude for all that they do for each of us.

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