Heads up, pushy parents. Forget encouraging your kids to become doctors. If they want to make real money in the medical field, there's another career path that can be much more lucrative. Tell Junior to check out the paychecks earned by some of the people who run nonprofit hospitals.
According to their hospitals' most recent financial filings, four administrators in the Tampa Bay area received total compensation packages exceeding $1-million in 2006. That might be expected of guys like Steve Mason, who heads BayCare Health Systems, the nine-hospital network with $1.8-billion in annual revenue. Or Isaac Mallah, chief executive of Tampa's 900-bed St. Joseph's Health System, which had a surplus of more than $64-million.
But smaller, speciality hospitals also reward their executives handsomely. Gary Carnes, now in his fifth year as chief executive of All Children's in St. Petersburg, got a 12 percent boost to his base pay in 2006 for a total compensation package of nearly $1.2-million. Meanwhile, across the street at Bayfront Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital with more than twice as many beds as All Children's, chief executive Sue Brody took home salary and benefits worth about $800,000 in 2006.
The volunteer boards of directors at nonprofit hospitals usually match administrators' compensation to that of administrators at similar-sized systems, perpetuating escalating pay packages. But the board might also consider the size of the hospital's surplus at year's end. Bayfront, which had $43-million in bad debt from uninsured patients in 2006, ended the year with a loss of $4.6-million. All Children's, in the midst of a $400-million new-hospital construction project, had a $42-million surplus.
Donald Evans, chief executive of the financially struggling Helen Ellis Hospital in Tarpon Springs, came in with the lowest pay package among the area's nonprofit administrators. His compensation was about $270,000. Or about the same as an experienced pediatrician.
Kris Hundley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or