New York hospital reportedly pays CEO $660k to 'disappear'

The former CEO of Syracuse-based SUNY Upstate Medical University reportedly entered into an agreement with the hospital to resign and continue earning his chief executive $660,500 annual salary for one year, according to

According to the confidential agreement, obtained by, former hospital CEO John McCabe, MD, agreed to serve as a consultant for the hospital under the title "senior assistant to the president." In the role, Dr. McCabe was required to provide "a broad range of administrative services to the SUNY Upstate president as assigned from time to time," and was required to stay off campus apart from the institution's library, according to the report.

"It was SUNY's idea there would be an agreement and there would be terms that would have [Dr. McCabe] resigning from the institution," one of Dr. McCabe's attorneys told

Dr. McCabe's role as a consultant with SUNY ended March 14, the report states. During an interview with, Dr. McCabe reportedly refused to discuss the terms of the deal, citing the agreement's proviso he remain silent about the contract.

He told the publication he had wanted to step down as CEO of the hospital in late 2016 and return to teaching medical school. He said he decided to resign after Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, took over as president of the institution in 2016 so she could create her own management team, the report states.

"There was never a time anyone asked me to step down," Dr. McCabe said. "It was clear to me [Dr. Laraque-Arena] wanted to, and it would be helpful for her, to have a team in place that was of her own choosing to allow her to be successful."

Dr. McCabe sent his resignation letter to Dr. Laraque-Arena in November 2016. However, after acknowledging his resignation, "all communication with the president shut down," he said, adding he was instead referred to a SUNY lawyer. He signed a nondisclosure agreement in December 2016.

Dr. McCabe told the publication he interpreted his first phone conversation with SUNY lawyers as an indication administrators wanted him "to disappear."

In a statement to, SUNY Upstate Medical University said Dr. McCabe played a valuable role during the leadership transition.

"As senior assistant to the president, Dr. McCabe provided services to assist with this transition. The terms of the agreement with Dr. McCabe are standard provisions under the law," the statement said.

To access the full report, click here.

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to SUNY Upstate Medical University for comment and will update the report as more information becomes available.

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