The salary increases approved by the board ranged from 2.2 percent to 11 percent, with an average of around 6 percent. Those executives receiving the larger increases did so because their compensation was below the market as determined by the compensation consultant. The board approved these increases only after sufficient review of the data and with assurance by the consulting firm that the salaries were reasonable and within the market range.
The board takes its fiduciary responsibility, commitment to transparency and public accountability very seriously. We have held a series of meetings over the last couple of years to give the public an opportunity to learn more about our process for determining compensation, to meet our compensation consultants and to provide input into the process. This has provided the public with access and input that is unprecedented for a hospital.
In addition, the public was invited to participate in the discussion about executive compensation during a study session. The public also was invited to offer comment during the October board meeting prior to approval of the executive compensation.
All El Camino employees have their compensation reviewed annually to ensure that they are paid wages and benefits comparable to employees at peer hospitals doing similar work. This practice helps to ensure a high quality and stable workforce.
We have also released the salaries of approximately 2,300 of our staff to the press.
As has been documented many times, El Camino is recognized by independent, third party evaluators as a hospital that provides truly outstanding patient care. This recognition includes our Nursing Magnet status, Healthgrades designation as the best hospital in the state for overall heart care, the Commonwealth Fund's designation of El Camino as one of the four best hospitals in the United States and the American Hospital Association's Quest for Quality Prize naming El Camino one of the top five hospitals in the country.
In addition, the hospital's financial performance has been solid for many years. We are now about 18 months away from the opening of our new hospital. El Camino will be one of the few hospitals in the entire state to meet the deadline for the new seismic requirements, and our financial outlook remains strong.
The board takes its fiduciary responsibility quite seriously. As one member of the board, I find Mr. Krepick's editorial in last week's Voice ("Hospital overpaying its top executives") to be offensive. It is offensive to the board, offensive to the consultants, and offensive to the community in that it paints an inaccurate picture of the matter.
I believe that El Camino Hospital pays its executives at an appropriate level. In addition, the consulting firm is preparing a letter that attests to this fact. This letter makes a strong statement to the IRS and our community that our compensation program is both reasonable and within market range.
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