CHOP defends CEO pay

The compensation package for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia CEO Madeline Bell was under a spotlight last week after the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article revealing her 2021 pay in early September.

While some raised an eyebrow at her compensation, which was among the highest for health system CEOs in the region, Board Chair Chris Gheysens posted a letter online defending Ms. Bell's pay. Ms. Bell leads two hospitals, a network of clinics and urgent care centers, a research institute, a charitable foundation and the organization's partnerships worldwide.

"She consistently exceeds our expectations for high performance and has earned our confidence by achieving a number of important milestones during her tenure as CHOP's CEO," Mr. Gheysens wrote in the letter. "Madeline is an advocate for CHOP and is a nationally recognized visionary leader for children's healthcare. She takes on tough challenges, leads the organization through challenging times and never forgets that CHOP is about making a difference in the lives of individual children and families."

Mr. Gheysens noted the Inquirer's article based their data on CHOP's 2021 990 tax return, and said Ms. Bell's compensation that year included a three-year incentive that was paid out just in 2021. He also said CHOP's board engages with outside consultants to decide on compensation based on industry benchmarks and taking into account the size and scope of Ms. Bell's responsibilities.

"I am comfortable that CHOP's executive compensation is reasonable, appropriate and competitive to attract and retain the best talent," Mr. Gheysens stated. "Consistently providing best in class care at one of the world's leading children's hospitals is very hard work, and I am grateful that CHOP has a strong CEO capable of leading an extraordinary team of more than 20,000 employees committed to improving the lives of children."

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