$125k Raise for Maricopa Health System CEO Draws Criticism

In February, the board of directors of Phoenix-based Maricopa Integrated Health System approved a $125,000 raise for CEO Betsey Bayless, and the decision has drawn ire from some community stakeholders, according to an Arizona Republic report.

Ms. Bayless had planned on retiring from the 522-bed, public-owned system at the end of 2012, but the Maricopa board extended her contract until the end of 2013 to search for a replacement, according to the report. The board then decided in a 3-2 vote to raise her annual salary by $125,000, or 33 percent, bringing Ms. Bayless' compensation to $500,000. Ms. Bayless said she neither requested nor expected a raise, according to the report.

The Arizona Republic editorial board wrote an op-ed, saying Ms. Bayless has done a "splendid job" to turn around the system, but it said that "no explanation alters the fact that a 33 percent raise awarded just before an executive retires is not a fair use of taxpayer dollars."

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