A record financial year has led to a raise for Lawrence Memorial Hospital's president and chief executive officer.
LMH's board of trustees on Wednesday unanimously approved a 6.25 percent salary increase for Gene Meyer, the hospital's president and CEO. The raise increases Meyer's salary from $240,000 per year to $255,000 per year.
Vickie Randel, chairwoman of the hospital's board, said the raise was warranted because the hospital's finances had improved and the number of services the hospital offered had increased.
"On many fronts, the hospital is extremely sound and maybe is in the best position it has been in for many, many years," Randel said.
In 2003, the nonprofit hospital posted record operating revenues of $94.2 million. LMH also had a record profit of $6.46 million, which was reinvested back into the hospital.
The hospital recently added radiation therapy services to its Oncology Center and opened a new Wound Healing Center and a sleep lab.
Meyer, who has been the hospital's top executive for the past seven years, said he appreciated the board's vote of confidence.
"Like every other community hospital, we have been faced with challenges, but we've been fortunate to have the staff to step up and meet them," Meyer said.
The board consulted several hospital compensation studies in determining the appropriate raise for Meyer, said Deborah Thompson, the hospital's vice president of human resources. The studies showed that CEO's in similar-sized Midwest hospitals were making between $230,000 and $317,000 annually. The median salary was $252,000 per year.
Meyer said the raise was consistent with hospital policy to pay all positions a competitive wage based on salaries at similar-sized hospitals.
In other business, the LMH board:
- received an update on negotiations with St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, Mo., to create a new cardiac care center at LMH. The center would allow LMH to begin performing angioplasty procedures at the hospital. Currently, Lawrence residents must travel to an out-of-town hospital for the procedure.
Board members had hoped to give final approval to the contract on Wednesday but board attorney Andy Ramirez said several issues had not been resolved between the two parties.
The board asked Ramirez to send a letter to St. Luke's officials expressing concern about the delay in the negotiations. LMH officials said they hoped to have an agreement by the end of next week.
- received an annual report about the activities of LMH volunteers. Emerson Hazlett, president of the LMH Auxiliary Board, said 502 people volunteered at the hospital in 2003, contributing 40,527 hours of work. The group estimated that the volunteer efforts saved the hospital about $700,000 in labor costs. The auxiliary board also donated nearly $140,000 to the hospital from the proceeds of sales at the hospital's gift shop, which is operated by the volunteer group.