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Archive for Thursday, June 18, 1998

LMH PRESIDENT PULLS DOWN RAISE

June 18, 1998

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Performance, salary equity and upcoming increases for Lawrence Memorial Hospital staff members contributed to a $9,900 pay increase for the hospital's top administrator.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital's new president and chief executive officer marked his first anniversary at the hospital on Tuesday and was given a $10,000 raise on Wednesday.

Gene Meyer, who took the reins of the community hospital in June 1997, will now earn $159,900. The 6.6 percent raise was approved during the board's monthly meeting Wednesday morning, and it may signal salary boosts for other employees at the hospital.

LMH Board Chairman Ray Davis said Meyer's raise was based on three factors: a survey of similar-sized hospitals and their CEO salaries, performance, and the review of all salaries at LMH.

``We've done a salary survey and found his salary was below the average for hospitals this size,'' Davis said. ``We're moving to bring that more in line with the average, and to keep him here as well.''

The vote was 8-0 in favor of the raise, and there was no public discussion by board members before the decision. Board member Paul Carttar was absent from the meeting.

LMH administrators are researching across-the-board raises for all hospital staff, Davis said. The 6.6 percent raise is higher than what is being discussed for the general hospital staff, Davis said.

Ann Roggero, vice president of human resources at the hospital, said LMH uses regional and national surveys that compile salary information.

``We use a market-driven compensation plan. We look at jobs and how they are compared to other organizations of like size in the region,'' Roggero said.

Hospital administrators said they were unable to supply copies of the reports to the Journal-World on Wednesday.

Meyer replaced Robert Ohlen, who was at LMH for 18 years. He announced his resignation in January 1997 and was paid his former salary of $130,000 a year after leaving the hospital. Ohlen's last paycheck will come at the end of this month.

The board also discussed cost overruns with the ongoing construction for the hospital's Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) department. Originally estimated to cost $650,000, the bids have come in at $801,843, even after plans were changed to exclude a parapet. Robert Trepinski, LMH vice president and chief operating officer, said removing the parapet dropped the overall price almost $38,000.

The main reason for the higher bids, Trepinski said, is that radioactive shielding for the walls of the unit weren't added to the estimates, along with electrical, sanitation and water line upgrades.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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