Erlanger board begins the era of Chairwoman Linda Mines; incoming trustees bringing health care industry experience

Staff file photo by Robin Rudd/ Linda Moss Mines speaks at an Erlanger meeting on Sept. 26, 2019.

Erlanger Health System's governing body, its 11-member board of trustees, experienced a changing of the guard Thursday that includes a diverse group of new officers and two new trustees with longtime health care industry experience.

Trustees elected Linda Moss Mines as the new board chairwoman. Mines was appointed to the Erlanger board in 2015 by the Hamilton County legislative delegation and will replace outgoing Chairman Mike Griffin, who joined the board in December 2011. Mines is a retired educator and historian, serving for 25 years as chairwoman of the Girls Preparatory School history department.

Sheila Boyington, president of the educational technology company Thinking Media, was elected vice chairwoman, and Gerald Webb, a Hamilton County General Sessions Court judge, was elected as board secretary. Boyington joined the board in September 2017, and Webb joined in July 2014.

Two new trustees were also announced this week.

Vicky Gregg, chief executive officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee from January 2003 to December 2012 and a former Erlanger nurse, was chosen by Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and approved at Wednesday's Hamilton County Commission meeting. Gregg will replace current trustee Dr. Blaise Baxter at the board's December meeting, Griffin said.

Jim Coleman, a hospital industry leader with more than 25 years of experience, joined the board for the first time Thursday after being appointed to replace outgoing trustee Phil Smartt.

Trustees serve without pay for an initial four-year term. They can be reappointed for another term but cannot serve longer than eight consecutive years. Officers typically serve a one-year term.

Outgoing trustee Smartt and former trustee Henry Hoss, who left the board in August and was replaced by John Germ, were recognized Thursday for their service. Smartt joined the board in October 2015 and Hoss joined in October 2014. Webb said it was an honor to serve alongside them.

"They've been here for a while, and I know how difficult it is sometimes when you're on a board to make some difficult decisions, and we've had difficult decisions," Webb said. "They've both been brave enough to make the decisions that they felt needed to be made based upon the information that they had, and I think that was courageous."

The board also voted to adopt a new management incentive plan for fiscal year 2020. The plan was discussed in detail at a Monday meeting, where Erlanger's Chief Administrative Officer Gregg Gentry said incentive plans are "standard best practice" and "critical to recruitment and retention."

The plan is self-funded, meaning no awards will be paid unless Erlanger makes $5 million in excess revenue over expenses and meets certain quality, safety and service metrics. If triggered, additional excess revenue over expenses funds the plan until it's fully funded.

For example, Erlanger CEO Will Jackson would start by receiving 15% up to a maximum of 50% of his $625,000 base salary, or $93,750 up to $312,500, if the plan were to be fully funded. Jackson is the only employee with a 50% maximum, and lower-tiered managers and directors have either 35%, 30% or 15% maximums.

For the first time, the plan weighs patient safety and quality over financial performance, with 40% of the plan weighted on finances and 60% tied to quality, safety and service. Mines said Monday that emphasis on patient safety and quality is important and reflects the hospital's goals.

"We are not happy with just where we have been. We want to be better," Mines said.

Management has not received an incentive payout since fiscal year 2016.

Contact Elizabeth Fite at or 423-757-6673.