Healthy Choices

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Ballot measures would cap salaries for non-profit hospital executives

11/15/2013 12:39 PM

11/15/2013 12:42 PM

Amid the debate over whether hospital executives’ salaries are too high comes the notion that, perhaps, they should be tied in some way to the quality and safety of their institutions.

While policy makers ponder the pros and cons of that idea, two statewide ballot initiatives would drastically scale back compensation to CEOs of nonprofit, charity hospitals and cap the costs of some services provided.

The initiatives have yet to qualify for the ballot but, if they do, they would come before voters in the general election in November 2014, says SEIU spokesman Sean Wherley, whose organization filed the initiatives recently.

One of the initiatives would limit hospital executives in California to no more than $450,000 in annual compensation, the same amount the U.S. president is paid.

Compensation packages for the top executives of non-profit hospital systems in the Sacramento region are far richer than $450,000. The following numbers come from 990 tax forms that non-profits are required to file:

George Halvorson, CEO Kaiser Permanente: $7,861,915.

Lloyd Dean, CEO Dignity Health: $3,907,346.

Patrick Fry, CEO Sutter Health: $3,045,216

James Brewster, VP Adventist Health of Roseville: $2,010,040

Robert Carmen, CEO Adventist Health Roseville: $1,741,988

Stanley Adams, VP Adventist Health: $1,563,496

Thomas Gagen, CEO Sutter Medical Center Sacramento: $1,391,316

Patrick Brady. CEO Sutter Roseville Medical Center: $1,059,659

The figures are for the year ending Dec. 31, 2010. They were filed in 2011, the latest year available. Since then, Brewster, Gagen and Halvorson have retired.

About This Blog

Sacramento Bee reporters Cynthia Craft and Sammy Caiola write about community health issues in the Sacramento region. Their work is in conjunction with the California Endowment, a non-profit health foundation created in 1996.

Cynthia H. Craft is The Sacramento Bee's senior writer on health. She graduated from Ohio State University and previously worked at the Los Angeles Times and California Journal. She was a fellow in 2012 at the National Library for Medicine in Washington, D.C. at the National Institute for Health. Reach her at or 916-321-1270. Twitter: @cynthiahcraft.

Sammy Caiola joined The Sacramento Bee as a health reporter in 2014. She is a recent graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where she was a Top 10 finisher in the William Randolph Hearst College Journalism Awards. Reach her at or 916-321-1636. Twitter: @SammyCaiola.


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