The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the lived experience of board members of community health centers. By federal regulation, if a health center receives federal funding, the board of directors must have a 51% majority of consumers as members. Although the literature is extensive related to the high quality care that health centers provide, as well as increasing access, decreasing disparities, and being economic engines for their neighborhoods, research has not been forthcoming regarding the community governance aspect of this successful model. Using a combination of phenomenology, hermeneutics, and critical theory, a case study methodology was utilized to examine the board members of one community health center in northern New England. Five board members were interviewed regarding their lived experiences; three consumer and two non-consumer members. The questions included the feelings of inclusion and community representation of the consumer members, perceptions of non-consumer members related to the role and effectiveness of consumer members, and the nature of inclusion of consumer members. Major themes emerging from the analysis of participants' descriptions included capabilities and characteristics of the consumer and non-consumer members in facilitating an effective governance structure, masking behaviors related to social gradients, and the language and metaphors of social class.
|Commitee:||George, Vicki, Nepton, Carol|
|School:||Franklin Pierce University|
|School Location:||United States -- New Hampshire|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social research, Public health, Individual & family studies, Health care management|
|Keywords:||Board of directors, Community health center, Lived experience|
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