Wuesthoff pays former execs $10M

Not-for-profit Wuesthoff Health System revealed that nine former execs will get $10.6 million in separation pay after its rescue-sale to Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA), reports Florida Today. The Brevard County, Fla.-based healthcare system recently was sold for $145 million to the for-profit hospital chain.

Wuesthoff released the financial figures Thursday, following negotiations between the Florida Attorney General and former Wuesthoff board members and their lawyers, notes Florida Today. The AG made several requests to make the records public.

The health system initially refused to disclose its executive separation pay packages, saying they were covered by a trade-secret exemption under Florida law. Yet, other lawyers argued that since the rescue-sale, Wuesthoff is no longer in business and is no longer protected by the trade-secret exemption, notes Becker's Hospital Review.

Of the $10.6 million in exit pay, 60 percent--$6.25 million--is going to former CEO Emil Miller. Former CFO George Fayer will receive the second highest payout of $973,000. The third highest severance pay of $553,000 will go to Chantal LeConte, who managed the Rockledge hospital.

Johnette Gindling, Wuesthoff's former vice president of marketing, will get $370,000 in pay and benefits following the hospital's rescue-sale. Gindling now works as executive director of the Space Coast Health Foundation, which was formed to handle the proceeds of the sale and continue providing healthcare to the community.

According to Space Coast Health Foundation chair Fran Pickett, the nine executives were compensated because they were willing to stay on "through the sales process, keep the organization running at optimum level, and assist in the transition" to new ownership.

For more:
- read Florida Today article 1 and article 2
- read Becker's Hospital Review article