LANCASTER SUNDAY NEWS
Discussing viewer reactions to the recent series on Lancaster General Hospital executive compensation, Editor Marv Adams comments towards the end of the his “Lancaster Connections” column:
“One former employee sent us a November 2007 article from a Nashville newspaper reporting that LGH President and CEO Tom Beeman got $2.33 million in pay, deferred pay and benefits when he left his previous CEO post at St. Thomas Health Services in Nashville in 2005.
“An unhappy employee informed us that the gift cards LGH gives to its many employees and volunteers this time of year had dropped from $20 to $15.”
WATCHDOG: Adams must have wrestled with whether to and, if so, how to report the compensation that Tom Beeman had received after three years of heading St. Thomas Health Services. Adams could have sensationalized it on the front page; or let it go unreported as irrelevant and a hot potato.
For those who would like more information on the matter, visit the Nashville Post’s contemporary article “St. Thomas paid millions to ex-CEO.”
The most poignant paragraphs read:
“The mission statement of St. Thomas Health Services commits the Roman Catholic-based organization to “serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.” It has enjoyed broad community support over the years in aspiring to fulfill that mission. In the same year Beeman received his payout, 4,761 different donors gave the hospital system $6.35 million in contributions, of which $1.77 million was spent on “programs that target the poor, both within Saint Thomas Health Services and in the wider community,” according to the 2006 annual report of the Saint Thomas Health Services Fund.
“The payment to Beeman, thus, ate up more than a third of all donations received for the year and exceeded the amount spent on programs meant to help the poor. STHS did provide a total of almost $40 million in overall charity care during the year, counting uncompensated services for the uninsured and other concessions — an amount comparable to what many for-profit and academic hospitals, without a specific mission of aiding the poor, provide in unpaid care annually.”
We don’t blame Beeman, although we hope he and the Lancaster General Health are investigated, fined and forced to personally make restitution if they indeed unduly enriching Beeman with $1,150,000 for the year he did not work at LGH. As much as Beeman, it is the directors who need to be held accountable. For the board at LGH controlled by a clique of white millionaires, these type of payments seem reasonable.
So does reducing year end gifts to volunteers from $20 to $15!