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Corporator Nomination and Orientation Committee Update

The Busy Nominating Season Is Here

All corporators received letters in September with a familiar request: to give some thought to nominating someone who will do a good job as an Emerson ambassador. Karen Donoghue, chair of the Nominating Committee, estimates there will be between 12 and 18 spots open.

“Once we contacted corporators whose terms are up for renewal, and then heard back from them, we began to see how many new corporators we want to add,” Ms. Donoghue explains. “The vast majority of corporators ask to be renewed, and we want them to stay on because they are engaged and involved. In other words, they attend hospital events, volunteer or donate to Emerson.” (See Corporator Responsibilities below.)

Corporators are needed to represent the towns of Carlisle, Chelmsford, Littleton and Sudbury. “We look for people who are involved in their community and will feel comfortable taking responsibility for spreading the word about Emerson programs,” she says. “We empower corporators, who serve as ambassadors, with up-to-date information on changes in health care and services and programs at Emerson.”

New corporators enjoy coffee with Christine Schuster

New corporators received an insider’s view of health care and the challenges of running a hospital when they attended a coffee session with Christine Schuster, president and CEO of Emerson, in July.

“Many of us get invited to similar small group sessions, but this was unique,” comments Ken Ansin, a new corporator representing Lexington. “Chris described how Emerson fits into the health care universe and where the hospital excels. Now I understand the importance of Emerson’s partnerships with the Boston hospitals.

“She has an ability to connect with people and was interested in getting to know us,” adds Mr. Ansin, senior vice president and community banking director at Enterprise Bank and Trust. 

Brenda Gould, a new corporator from Westford, agrees that the session was very worthwhile. “Chris talked about the financial challenges that face Emerson,” says Ms. Gould, who serves as executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell. “I was impressed to hear about some of the developments underway, as well as the cutting-edge technology available at Emerson.”

Ms. Gould says she didn’t know Emerson well until Ron Johnson, past chair of the Emerson board and fellow Westford resident, got her interested. “I heard a lot of good things about the hospital,” she notes. “I decided I wanted to do more with Emerson.” She joined the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary and has volunteered for two events. 

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell serves 15 towns; the organization has built homes in Bedford, Billerica, Concord and Westford. “I’m into giving back to the community,” says Ms. Gould. “Getting involved with Emerson is another way to give back.”

Fran Mastroianni of Acton came away from the gathering with a deeper appreciation for what it takes to run a hospital. “Chris provided us with an operational perspective and described the challenges they faced during the recession and with Obamacare,” he says. “It’s clear she’s met those challenges. Emerson is a well-run hospital and has a vibrant, modern facility. I saw that on the tour for new corporators.”

Mr. Mastroianni, a partner at Trilogy Law LLC in Boston, was impressed that Ms. Schuster takes the time out of her busy schedule to meet with new corporators, who are regarded as ambassadors in their respective towns. “She was willing to make a personal connection with us, which is remarkable,” he says. “It’s clear that Emerson pays attention to its community.”

Wendy Sohn of Wayland has the distinction of having been nominated by her son, A.J. Sohn—also a corporator. “We’ve all been patients at Emerson, so we know they do a good job,” says Ms. Sohn, formerly a psychiatric social worker who provided inpatient therapy at other area hospitals. “I’m comfortable in hospitals; I spent my entire career in them.”

These days, Ms. Sohn is involved with the regional Medical Reserve Corps. “We provide medically oriented services such as flu vaccine clinics, disaster training and setting up shelters,” she explains. 

Coffee with Ms. Schuster was a good follow-up to the earlier orientation and tour. “I thought the session was welcoming, educational and inspirational,” says Ms. Sohn. “Chris described a lot of positive change at Emerson.”

For these corporators, the opportunity to spend time with Ms. Schuster was the final, very positive step in their orientation.

Corporator Responsibilities

1. Corporators are representatives of the communities served by Emerson Hospital and act as goodwill ambassadors for the hospital in their community. Their role is to advance the mission of the hospital.

2. Corporators are interested in healthcare and take the time to understand the challenges facing the industry as a whole, and Emerson Hospital in particular. They become knowledgeable about the mission of Emerson Hospital and the services it provides by regularly attending the quarterly Corporator Breakfasts, the Hospital & Health System’s Annual Meeting and the Corporator Annual Meeting. Corporators communicate this information to their community.

3. Corporators are willing to contribute their time, expertise and judgment to the hospital administration and Board of Directors by becoming actively involved in Corporator committees and events and by volunteering.

4. Corporators make Emerson Health Care Foundation a priority in their charitable giving and evidence this priority with a yearly contribution to the Annual Appeal. 

5. Corporators vote to elect the proposed slate of the hospital’s Board of Directors and new Corporators at the Hospital & Health System’s Annual Meeting.

6. Corporators are elected for a term of three years.