SustiNet Board of Directors
Meeting of September 2, 2009
Board Attendees (Appointing Authorities in parentheses): Nancy Wyman, Comptroller, co-chair; Kevin Lembo, Healthcare Advocate, co-chair; Paul Grady, Mercer (Rep. Lawrence Cafero); Bruce Gould, AHEC (Sen. Donald Williams); Jeffrey Kramer, UConn School of Business (Rep. Denise Merrill); Sal Luciano, Council 4 AFSCME (Rep. Christopher Donovan); Joseph McDonagh, Self-Employed (Sen. Martin Looney); Jaime Mooney, Norwalk Hospital (Sen. John McKinney); Robert Galvin, DPH Commissioner, ex-officio; Michael Starkowski, DSS Commissioner, ex-officio; Thomas Sullivan, Insurance Commissioner, ex-officio; Christine Vogel, Office of Health Care Access Commissioner, ex-officio.
Absent: Norma Gyle, DPH (Governor M. Jodi Rell)—out of the country
Legislative Attendees: Rep. Betsy Ritter and Sen. Jonathan Harris, co-chairs of the legislature’s public health committee; Rep. Steve Fontana and Sen. Joe Crisco, co-chairs of the legislature’s insurance and real estate committee;
SustiNet Board of Directors co-chairs, members and legislators introduced themselves, including their views on the necessity of healthcare reform, concerns going forward and expression of interests how they’d like to be involved and how they can contribute to those efforts.
Karen Buffkin, General Counsel for the Office of the State Comptroller, provided an overview of the SustiNet legislation, including board, task forces and advisory committee duties and required timelines for completing duties. (The SustiNet legislation was provided in advance of the meeting to the board.)
A discussion of advisory committee membership, tasks, work plans began. Kevin Lembo suggested that Board members provide the co-chairs with the names of individuals who board members believe could serve on any of the committees. A list of interested persons was sent to the board prior to the meeting.
Kevin Lembo expressed to members that their first duty would be to choose a committee or task force on which they would also participate to keep the board in close touch with the committees and task forces. Kevin Lembo distributed a list of the committees and task forces to the board members requesting that the members rank their preference of which committee and/or task forces on which they would like to participate.
There then began a discussion about the size of advisory committees. Commissioner Galvin recommended that committees stay relatively small. Paul Grady pointed out that committee members need to work hard, commit to change and understand the subject matter. He expressed concern that committees be large enough to include diverse voices, including community organizations, using AHRQ guidelines as an option for assembling committees.
Nancy Wyman recommended that committee members need to know where meetings are but also that the diversity is needed to guide the board—need opinions at the table. She suggested committees of 11 or 12 people.
Nancy Wyman and Kevin Lembo suggested that co-chairs make recommendations on the suggested membership of each committee. Kevin Lembo recommended that the board members supply him and Nancy Wyman with a list of any additional advisory committee members that they recommend and then he and Nancy Wyman will forward their recommendations back to the board members for review in time for the next board meeting. The board agreed with this method of developing advisory committee lists.
Several board members suggested that the committee size should be fluid and look to folks who have had experience in healthcare reform efforts.
Kevin Lembo deferred discussion –with board approval—on work plans and timelines for the advisory committees until the committees are intact.
Kevin Lembo reported that task forces are mostly filled at this point, and thanked appointing authorities for making those appointments. He reminded members that the task forces work in tandem with the board but on a parallel track.
Commission on Health Equity – Kevin Lembo discussed the Commission and its function and the proposal that the Commission have a role in SustiNet. Initial thought was to make the Commission advisory to the board and take on that role with each advisory committee and task force to ensure the issues are addressed. Nancy Wyman stated that she agreed with the proposal that Kevin Lembo laid out – they will bring a different perspective and point out issues the board is missing. Sal Luciano expressed support for the idea, too.
Kevin stated that the co-chairs will send a letter to the Commission on Health Equity that includes the proposal above and will copy all board members on that letter.
Discussion moved on to work plans for the board and advisory committees. Kevin suggested that he would do initial draft if he could have some assistance in editing and bringing them back to the board for approval. Jaime Mooney, Paul Grady, Sal Luciano and Jeff Kramer volunteered to assist.
Kevin circulated contact information for all board members to check accuracy of contact information.
Kevin mentioned that Universal Health Care Foundation has offered to bring Stan Dorn up to fill in history of SustiNet on September 16th. He suggested that we send out a scheduling request in order to come up with the best meeting dates/times.
Paul Grady made an inquiry about any availability of federal funds from stimulus bill. DSS has taken advantage of federal funding. Other money is available to DPH for HIV funding.
Next meeting was set for September 16th at noon at the LOB, room TBD.