Nurses blast Denver Health over timing of executive bonuses

Nurses are criticizing Denver Health Medical Center's decision to pay incentive bonuses to executives one week after front-line staff were asked to take unpaid leave or cut their hours due to the financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CBS4.

Denver Health CEO Robin Wittenstein said she met with some of the hospital's 7,000 employees this week to explain her perspective on the incentive payments.

During one of the meetings, a nurse told Ms. Wittensiten, "I don't have trust or faith in executive leadership because of this," according to CBS4. 

Another nurse said the bonuses given to executives were "based on goals met by us."

Ms. Wittenstein acknowledged that the timing of the executive bonuses was "terrible" and apologized to employees. 

On April 3, Denver Health implemented a hiring freeze and asked employees to voluntarily take leave without pay, use personal time off or reduce their work hours due to the financial hit from the pandemic.

One week later, millions of dollars in bonuses were paid out to executives. Ms. Wittenstein received a bonus of $230,000. 

Ms. Wittenstein said the bonuses raised her executive team's pay to the level of its peers around the country.

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