Cook County considers changes to health system's $6M severance policy

The severance pay for 55 key leaders of Chicago-based Cook County Health is on the chopping block, WBEZ's Kristin Schorsch reports.

The policy guarantees severance pay to 55 employees, including the CFO and CMO, if they are terminated without cause. The packages range from $30,000 to $275,000 and total $6 million, according to the report.

The policy is under scrutiny after the health system board voted to remove John Jay Shannon, MD, from his post as CEO, and he received a $545,000 severance package. WBEZ notes that Dr. Shannon's severance was part of his contract, not the health system policy.

However, the attention to Dr. Shannon's severance spurred two Cook County board commissioners to reexamine the health system's severance policy in light of a new state law that limits all government employee severance to 20 weeks' pay.

Health system board leaders have defended the policy, saying it is necessary for the health system to attract top talent.

Read the full story here.

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