Whidbey General Hospital board approves CEO contract

The Whidbey General Hospital board of commissioners approved a contract Tuesday night for the newly selected CEO Tom Tomasino, hospital spokesman Trish Rose said.

Tomasino stepped in as the hospital’s interim chief following former CEO Scott Rhine’s retirement last October. In July, the board unanimously named Tomasino, the former chief operating officer, as Rhine’s official replacement during a special meeting at the Au Sable Institute.

The commissioners praised Tomasino for his work so far.

“Through difficult times, Tom has held this place together and brought us forward,” said hospital Commissioner Ron Wallin, adding that the hospital would have to pay the same salary to a stranger, who might not be as personally invested in Whidbey General.

“Tom is the best person for this job and I stand by the decision we made,” he said.

“It’s a large number, but it is also a large job,” said hospital Commissioner Paul Zaveruah. “Consultants and surveys have validated that this is the right salary for a position of such enormous demand and responsibility.”

Tomasino’s contract includes a base salary of $230,000 in addition to benefits and educational expenses.

The board determined the new CEO’s pay based on the Northwest Region Hospital Executive Compensation Survey, which compares the base pay of hospital officials to others within the region that are of similar size.

According to the survey, hospitals with $100 million in gross revenue pay their CEOs $180,000 on average; institutions with $250 million in gross revenue pay their CEOs $290,000 on average.

Commissioner Roger Case said the salary is in line with the lowest compensation tier, based on the Northwest Region Hospital Executive

Compensation Survey.

“It is an appropriate starting point,” he said.

Commissioners Ann Tarrant and Grethe Cammermeyer also approved of Tomasino’s contract.

Whidbey General has annual operating expenses of approximately $80 million.

The final contract also includes benefits and other pay, but the details were not available before press time Friday. The hospital would not release a copy of the contract until it had undergone further review by the board’s attorney.

The draft contract included 36 days of paid vacation, as well as a $6,000-a-year transportation allowance. The draft contract also included a provision that will give Tomasino $230,000 if he is fired without cause, plus $15,000 in outplacement services that could include career counseling and coaching.

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