Cook County Hospital System interim CEO gets huge salary

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Due to a space crunch, a shorter version of this story was printed in the paper.

Here's a version with more details.

The Cook County Health and Hospitals System board on Thursday agreed to hire interim chief financial officer Pitt Calkin on a six-month contract that will pay him up to $252,000.
That's $1,800 a day for 20 days a month, plus up to $300 a day in travel expenses.
Former county hospital system CFO John Cookinham was paid $178,603 a year.
Calkin, who currently is a financial consultant for Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz, said he has been working at Cook County Hospital for the past three weeks. In addition to his duties here, Calkin said he will continue to work one week a month at the Tucson Medical Center.
Since 2003, Calkin has worked as CFO or financial adviser at six different hospital systems for stints of two years or less.
"With my company I go around ... and turn hospitals around," Calkin said.
Calkin's salary was added to the hospital board's contract with MedAssets Net Revenue Systems. MedAssetts has a contract to increase revenue at the hospital system by about $80 over three years.
County Commissioner Forrest Claypool said Calkin's salary is "a remarkable amount of money for a public position that has historically paid less."
"If these are kind of fiscal decisions the hospital board will make routinely, we may want to consider restoring county board oversight," Claypool said. "That's remarkable amount of money for single individual. All other level governments attract CFOs for far less. I'm not quite sure who is advising them on salaries."
Hospital system chief operating officer David Small said Calkin's contract was the "best deal on an interim CFO" that he could get.
The salary "may seem remarkable, but that's what the market demands for a competent professional."

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If we had some good HONEST People running Chicago, things would be different. I constantly read about the machine in Chicago and how corrupt it is, yet we are stupid and contine to vote the Democratic way. Change is good and change is needed here. King Daley does what he wants to do. It is his way or the Highway. His lackies rubber stamp everything he does. Stroger well what can I say. Doesn't his family own the hospital? I thought his dad willed this to him on his death bed. Well if he ownes it I guess he can pay anything he wants.

"The salary "may seem remarkable, but that's what the market demands for a competent professional."

Let's mark these words and see what happens at the end of 6 months.

"With my company I go around ... and turn hospitals around," Calkin said.

That's a good start and......

Holy Cow! I sit here jobless and he gets that...Oh my god.....Who said he was competent? Does anyone have proof of it ? You could count the competent politians in Chicago on ine hand and that's if that hand isn't in someone'spocket...I'll bet he is related to someone....Keep digging to find out who......This is Chicago yeah know...where honesty sucks and patronage rules...The Cook County Board and most Alderman are only in it for themselevs. Its not what you know, it's who yeah know...Especially in the 11th ward.....

Thank you

part time help needs $300 a day travel expense.

He's a flippin' contractor, for pity's sake. The Gook County hospital board must all be on drugs to have approved this.

GOD help you folks as the price of hospital care jumps to pay for this joker.

The County Board knows that the voters of Cook County has short term memory. The Board will do what they want, when they want and know that they will be re-elected when their seat is up for re-election. Put a limit on the number of years the board members can run. Only then will we see all the money stay in the pockets of the citizens of Cook.

The daily economic pressures upon "average" citizens is so enormous; utility bill costs are through the roof, high costs of automobile gas and groceries and the gloomy face of foreclosure staring at many of us . . . the thought that officials elected to advocate on behalf of "average" citizens could believe this salary warrants constituents' approval is unconscionable. I am inclined to believe a portion of these funds could have been better appropriated. State, county and city government is such a "let-down." "Each official should be held accountable during the next election period.

so... if this new guy DOESNT turn the hospital around, does the county get its record salary back?

that's B*** S***

This will change when voters start reviewing your
choice's for these positions much closer.You can make
a difference.

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on August 8, 2008 1:25 PM.

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