Nashville General CEO offered up to 10% bonus amid board exodus

Nashville (Tenn.) General Hospital CEO Joseph Webb, DSc, might receive an up to 10 percent raise as part of his three-year contract, according to The Tennessean.

Nashville General's oversight board voted on the terms of Dr. Webb's three-year contract June 11. Under the proposed contract, Dr. Webb will earn his current salary of $350,000 during the first year of the new contract, which begins this month, and will automatically receive a raise during the second or third year of the contract if annual raises are awarded to the rest of the hospital staff. Staff raises typically amount to 2 or 3 percent; however, Dr. Webb has the opportunity to receive up to 10 percent, as approved by the hospital board each year, according to the report.

The up to 10 percent incentive pay raise is part of the board's plan to encourage Dr. Webb to continue improvements at Nashville General, which faced financial difficulties and threats of closure last year, the report states.

Several board members touted Dr. Webb's talent and improvements at the hospital during the June 11 meeting, stating what Dr. Webb's "gifts and talents are worth are probably bigger than what we are putting on the table. But we are living in an environment where we probably need to be strategic in our commitment to you and our plan going forward," The Tennessean reports.

Dr. Webb has until June 15 to accept the terms of the new contract.

The board abruptly voted to extend Dr. Webb's contract, which was set to expire this month, during a May 31 meeting. Since the decision, at least five Hospital Authority Board members have resigned, citing concerns over granting Dr. Webb the three-year contract extension before completing and publishing his performance evaluation — the first Dr. Webb has received since being named CEO in 2015, according to the report.

Hospital officials released the performance evaluation June 11. The document, which was prepared by board members who have all since resigned, said Dr. Webb had done a good job of boosting morale at the safety-net hospital and improving its accreditation, but struggled to stabilize the hospital's finances.

During the meeting June 11, board members asked Dr. Webb about the hospital's finances. Dr. Webb reportedly said the institution's financial troubles began before he arrived in 2015, and blamed some of the lingering instability on the previous finance officer, who has been replaced, the report states. With more financial support coming from the city, he claimed the institution will not need a cash subsidy in the coming fiscal year.

To access the full report, click here.

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