BRHS: No new contract for Gerard

Published 11:25 pm Sunday, October 17, 2010

By Staff
Staff Reports
Susan Gerard, who has overseen the operations of Beaufort Regional Health System since June, has not signed a new contract with the health system’s Board of Commissioners, BRHS reported Friday.
Gerard was named as BRHS president and chief executive officer by the health system’s board Sept. 16 after serving as its acting president and CEO since June following the resignation of former president and CEO Bill Bedsole.
A new contract for Gerard was discussed, but the board took no vote on the matter in a closed-door meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12, according to Pam Shadle, BRHS public information officer and marketing director.
“The board has not voted on a contract, no offer has been made to Mrs. Gerard and, of course, no contract has been signed,” Shadle said in a statement released late Friday.
She also said the BRHS board has full knowledge of Gerard’s current contract.
The terms of Gerard’s contract have been the subject of much speculation in recent days in postings on local media Internet sites.
Gerard’s salary for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 was $128,121.59, according to Shadle, who released information on the health system’s top administrator salaries in response to a request from the Washington Daily News. Gerard on July 20 rescinded the retention bonus of 20 percent of her salary that was offered earlier in the year to top hospital administrators, Shadle said.
According to the N.C. Healthcare Human Resources Association Compensation and Benefit Survey for 2010, base salaries range from $200,000 to $250,000 for chief executive officers of hospitals of similar size to those of the Beaufort County Medical Center.
Richard Reif, who joined the BRHS staff Sept. 7 as interim chief financial officer, has received earnings to date of $14,307.84, Shadle said. 
Base salaries for chief financial officers for hospitals of similar size to Beaufort County’s range from $129,000 to $162,000, according to the 2010 compensation and benefit survey.
Lynne Fisher, chief nursing officer at BRHS, earned a salary of $122,513.75 for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. A retention bonus agreement with Fisher is still in place, Shadle said.
Base salaries for chief nursing officers for hospitals of similar size to Beaufort County’s range from $115,000 to $134,500, according to the 2010 compensation and benefit survey.
Gerard’s appointment as president and chief executive officer was approved by the BRHS Board of Commissioners and the Beaufort County Medical Center Board of Trustees at a called meeting of the two boards held Sept. 16.
The move elevating Gerard to a permanent position was made to bring stability to the organization and to give its employees a distinct chain of command, Alice Mills Sadler, chairwoman of the two boards, said at the time.
Since June, Gerard has served in the dual roles of acting CEO and administrator of the health system’s affiliated medical practices.
A committee comprised of Sadler, board Vice Chairwoman Brenda Peacock and board members Grace Bonner and Hood Richardson was appointed to negotiate a new contract with Gerard and present it to the two boards.