Boston Globe to academic hospitals: Forbid your leadership from serving on industry boards

The editorial board of a major metropolitan U.S. newspaper is calling out local hospital executives who sit on the boards of deep-pocketed healthcare vendors.

“Five of the seven CEOs and presidents of Boston’s major teaching hospitals serve on the boards of publicly traded companies,” the board of the Boston Globe comments in an editorial published April 11.

Presumably, the executives are getting attractively compensated for their time in each case.

Either way, the optics make Boston’s medical leadership stand out like a sore thumb from uncompromising peers in other big cities, the authors state in so many words.

In Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Miami, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., and New York, “not a single hospital” the Globe examined for a report published early this month “had a president or CEO who served on a publicly traded company board,” the Globe leaders underscore.

“Hospitals are special places, where patients put their lives in the hands of those treating them,” they write. “Trust in those places and the people leading them is essential. And the benefits [to hospitals] of [industry] directorships are too meager to justify a compromise of that trust.”

Read the whole thing.

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