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Proposed Jackson CEO Salary Draws Gasps

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MIAMI – (CBS4) – A company hired by Jackson Memorial Hospital to help with the selection of a president for the public hospital is recommending a salary ranging from $705,000 to slightly more than $1 million for the hospital’s new chief executive. 

The suggested median salary came in at $888,000, which could rise to $1.4 million with benefits and other incentives, according to the report prepared by Integrated Health Strategies. The figures were based on an extensive survey the company conducted of both public and private hospitals across the country. 

The current President and CEO of Jackson, Dr. Eneida Roldan, is paid $665,000 per year to oversee the third largest public hospital system in the country. Roldan announced last Fall that she would not seek an extension of her contract and plans to step down in April.

The salary figures for a new CEO were met with a degree of shock and disbelief, with several members of the hospital’s executive compensation committee saying they could not possibly support a salary that high.

“These are taxpayer dollars and we’re hurting,” said committee member and County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez. “The President makes $400,000 a year. Our county manager makes $300,000 and that’s to manage a $7 billion budget.”

Jackson’s annual budget is $1.5 billion. 

Martinez suggested the salary should be more in the $550,000 to $600,000 range.

“People are taking less money for top jobs,” he said.

But Jorge Arrizurieta, a member of the compensation committee as well as a member of Jackson’s governing board, the Public Health Trust, said Jackson needed to offer the best salary possible in order to attract the type of talented individual it will take to turn the hospital around financially.

“To me, this process here, is about sending a message that we are serious about finding the very best,” Arrizurieta said.

 Arrizurieta made a motion to set the salary at the recommended range, but no one on the committee would second it. 

County Commissioner Linda Bell, also a member of the compensation committee, suggested creating a lower base salary, but then adding in various performance-based incentives that the new CEO could earn. The committee decided to ask Integrated Health Strategies to come up with additional recommendations.

 A final decision on the salary range for the new CEO will be made on February 14.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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