East End Community Health Centre is a not-for-profit organization, governed by a community board. Community governance ensures that the health of a community is enhanced, by providing leadership that is reflective of its community. Community boards and committees provide a mechanism for Centres to be responsive to the needs of their respective communities, and for communities to develop a sense of ownership over “their” centres. At East End CHC, board members are elected to a 3-year term by the members of the corporation at the Annual General Meeting. Members can serve on the board for a maximum of two consecutive terms, and must live within the East End CHC catchment area. The board has several roles, including the following:
1. Set the vision, mission, and values for the Centre
The board sets the overall vision and mission for the Centre, why it exists and what it seeks to accomplish. The mission and vision are established in close consultation with the community served by the Centre. From this mission and vision, the board also defines the guiding principles, and values that guide Centre staff in carrying out its vision and mission and in conducting its work.
2. Provide strategic leadership and establish strategic goals and priorities
The board plans for the future of the Centre and establishes strategic goals and priorities for the longer term. This strategic planning process is led by the board, who ensures that the strategic plan is aligned with the vision, mission, and values of the organization, effectively utilizes its available resources, and meets the needs of its community. The executive director and staff are responsible for implementing the strategic plan and achieving the strategic goals and priorities.
3. Develop community relations to enhance responsiveness to the needs of its community
The board, in concert with the executive director, represents the Centre to its stakeholders. It also establishes and develops linkages and relationships with partner organizations, client and community groups, funders, and others in the community.