Annual Membership Meeting
More than 500 people attended Group Health Cooperative's 65th annual membership meeting on Saturday, Oct. 13, in Lynnwood to hear about the current state of the organization from President and CEO Scott Armstrong, and to view a presentation on the future of health care by author T.R. Reid.
A former Washington Post correspondent, Reid hosted a PBS documentary titled "U.S. Health Care: The Good News." Group Health was featured in the documentary as one of the U.S. health care system's success stories.
In his prepared remarks, Armstrong reminded his audience of an aggressive five-year plan the Cooperative adopted in 2008. "Today, we're transforming the health of our members through innovations like our medical home model of primary care," Armstrong said. "And, we're improving the health of entire communities by working with partners around the state to create integrated systems of care."
Since 2008, Group Health has grown by more than 100,000 members, created new health plans to better serve businesses and individuals, earned a five-star rating from Medicare, and is now ranked in the top 10 by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA).
"I'm proud of what we've achieved," Armstrong said, "and I have great respect for the women and men at Group Health whose hard work has made our great results possible."
Armstrong also referred to recent announcements of layoffs and work underway to reduce operating expenses, pointing out that the Cooperative had accomplished many of the goals in its aggressive 2008 plan but had failed to hit margin targets. "Our results demonstrate over and over how much we have accomplished on the care delivery side. It's time for us to take this last big step, and convert our innovations for better health into lower costs."
Election of Board Members
Two new trustees, Katie Bell and Phillip Haas, were elected to new three-year terms. Trustees Porsche Everson and Harry Harrison, Jr. were re-elected. The terms begin Jan. 1, 2013. The Board of Trustees hires the chief executive officer and sets the strategy, policy, and direction for Group Health. Eleven trustees are elected by Group Health members to staggered three-year terms. Nearly 3,600 votes were submitted in person and by mail.
Governance Recognition Awards Winners
The annual membership meeting offers an opportunity to honor both member volunteers and Group Health staff who make outstanding contributions to the organization each year.
The Cooperative Achievement Award is given each year to a member or group of members whose efforts impact the health of Group Health patients, the community, or the organization. This year's recipients are Ken Fowler of Seattle Capitol Hill Campus, Warren Kuwahara of Group Health Lynnwood and Northshore medical facilities, and Mary Ellen Sullivan of Tacoma Medical Center. All three have been actively engaged in shaping the Cooperative both locally and as members of Cooperative-wide panels.
This year's Cooperative Spirit Award honors two staff members who demonstrate Cooperative principles by creating or facilitating meaningful partnerships with members. Marc West, executive vice president, medical group administration, was honored for his valuable contributions in promoting Group Health's values to a broad range of allies across the region. East Cascades District Medical Director Brad Pope was recognized for his work with the Spokane Opioid Task Force and for the way he engages and values members of the region's appeals committee.
Save the Date!
The 66th Group Health Cooperative Annual Membership Meeting will be Oct. 5, 2013 at the Lynnwood Convention Center.