CEOs not always highest paid in Maine hospitals

Posted March 06, 2009, at 8:36 p.m.

While Maine’s hospital CEOs are well-compensated for their services, their salaries and benefits are often matched or eclipsed by others in their organizations, including the physicians they employ.

For example, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, CEO Deborah Carey Johnson’s total compensation was $702,617 in 2006, while cardiac surgeon Dr. Robert Clough brought home a total of $825,927 the same year, according to federal tax filings.

Michelle Hood, president and CEO of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, the parent corporation of EMMC, earned a total compensation of $681,166 in 2006, and Executive Vice President Kenneth Hughes, who has since retired, pulled down $1,275,306.

Hood’s counterpart at MaineHealth, the corporate parent of Maine Medical Center in Portland, is William Caron. Caron’s total compensation in 2006 was $1,276,923 compared with hospital CEO Vincent Conti’s $1,427,031. Dr. Hector Tarraza, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at MMC, earned $631,656, and MaineHealth Executive Vice President and Treasurer Francis McGinty earned $618,167.

Physician specialists and department chiefs generally make out all right at Maine hospitals, even in the most rural and far-flung areas. Some examples from 2006:

• At The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, medical staff president Dr. Mahendra Sheth was paid $410,261.

• Radiologist Dr. Noorunddin Puywani earned $259,743 for his work at Down East Community Hospital in Machias.

• Emergency physician Dr. John Gage at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast was paid $350,841.

• At Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, surgeon Dr. Wassim Mazraany earned $383,306.

Compensation information regarding nonprofit executives and top-paid employees is a matter of public record and must be provided on request. Some hospitals post federal tax filings on their Web sites. The information can also be found, at no charge, at www.guidestar.com.

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