A steady hand
Voisin helped guide Louisiana public hospital through turbulent times
When Michael Voisin joined the board of commissioners at Terrebonne General Medical Center in 1997, board meetings averaged seven hours. That’s because his tenure at the 305-bed public hospital in Houma, La., began amid turmoil, when the HMO the hospital co-owned with four other hospitals was losing money. When the hospitals sold the health plan, Terrebonne’s CEO of 19 years, a vocal supporter of the HMO, resigned as a result.
Voisin stepped up, signing on for a four-year stint as vice chairman of the board in 1998. He also served as chairman from 2003 to 2004 and began another term as chairman in 2008.
For his accomplishments, Voisin, 57, has been chosen as the 2011 Trustee of the Year for a large hospital—those with 100 beds or more.
Voisin’s first order of business in 1998: Restore order to the work of the commissioners.
How? “He has a very respectful way of com- munication. I have never seen him yell, scream or holler or be aggressive in any way,” says Phyllis Peoples, Terrebonne’s president and CEO.
In addition, Voisin already had a reputation as a successful businessman. He is a seventhgeneration oyster farmer who is the CEO of his family’s business, Motivatit Seafoods.
At Terrebonne General, Voisin emphasizes the importance of following rules. He insists that fellow board members read their agenda packets and seek answers to detailed questions before the meetings. He also expects them to attend committee meetings.
During meetings of the full board, “People will get real excited sometimes in a debate or a conversation,” Peoples says. “Mike will say, ‘I appreciate your thought process. I respect it. Let’s take that into consideration, but let’s hear the other side.’ ”
As a result of his efforts, the board now meets monthly instead of twice a month, and