The committee then reviews CEO salaries for the top 25 most closely matched hospitals.
“We look at the compensation packages and see where we fit in, but it is CVPH’s practice and goal that we are in the middle level of that list, not at the top or at the bottom,” Sands said.
“We don’t want to be paying too much or offering so little that your executive will leave.”
From there, the committee compares compensation offered at similar hospitals in New York state, New England and the East Coast.
Its proposed salary offer to a candidate is based on job-performance goals, and bonuses are tied to the hospital’s overall success “because without the health of the hospital, the community dies and suffers and goes away,” Sands said. “That’s terrible for the community.
“We are extremely fortunate to have an executive and management team — especially Stephens — who love the community and do good for it,” he said.
He said that in order to succeed, “you want to keep your top-level people instead of fending off encroachment from another hospital.”
That is also why the research and hiring processes are conducted with care, Sands said.
“This is not done cavalierly. It’s a really arduous task to go through.”
Rodney Boula, president and chief executive officer at ECH, was paid $229,902 in 2010.
Jane Hooper, director of community relations, said the hospital’s human-resources director works with an independent consultant to obtain a range of CEO salary information from similar facilities when a search is begun.
“The survey shows CEO salaries at other critical-access hospitals in other rural regions so that it is an appropriate comparison,” she said in an email.
“ECH does not compare against CVPH, Adirondack Health or Fletcher Allen. It simply wouldn’t make any sense, given the nature of the organization.