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March 30, 2022

Executive Compensation at the American Hospital Association (2019)

by Anne Paddock

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a trade organization that is a tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (6) that represents and works on behalf of its members (hospitals/owners of hospitals) to advocate their positions to government entities (i.e. Congress, Senate, etc) and provide education and assistance to its members.

In 2019, the AHA raised $143 million (compared to $134 million in 2018) primarily through membership dues, education and licensing) and spent $133 million  (not including $3 million in depreciation), with unspent revenue allocated to the fund balance.  With more than $231 million in net fund assets, the organization reported about $20 million in unrealized gains on investments.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, the AHA has 441 employees who were compensated $66 million in 20179 which equates to an average compensation of $150,000.  However, only 177 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation which means a smaller amount of employees received significant higher compensation.  The 15 most highly compensated employees were compensated $15 million and were reported to be:

  • $4,695,594:  Richard J Pollack, President and CEO
  • $2,049,501:  Maryjane Wurth, EVP COO, Pres HF
  • $1,535,472:  Thomas P Nickels, EVP Fed Relations
  • $1,028,258:  Melinda R Hatton, SVP and General Counsel
  • $  766,509:   Ashley Thompson, SVP Public Policy
  • $  707,309:  Christina Y Fisher, SVP CFO
  • $  623,919:  Alicia N Mitchell, SVP, Communications
  • $  606,113:  Douglas C Shaw, SPV, Field Engagement
  • $  547,133:  Gail M Lovinger, VP Secretary
  • $  511,410:  Susan Gergely, AHA SVP, Chief HR Officer
  • $  450,533:  Susan M Solomon, Group VP, Deputy General Counsel
  • $  424,502:  Robert I Sarkis, VP, Chief Information Officer
  • $  422,300:  Ryan L Frazier, AHA SVP Member Relations
  • $  392,051:  Gloria J Kupferman, Chief Data Strategy Officer
  • $  379,897:  Lisa Kidder Hrobsky, GVP Fed Relations-Adv Political Affairs

10 of the 15 (or 67%) most highly compensated employees are female while 5 of the 15 (or 33%) are male.

The Form 990 (2017) also reports:

AHA paid for first class travel. Specifically, first class travel was made available to 3 board members, the CEO and 2 Executive Vice Presidents.

AHA paid for companion travel. Specifically, spousal travel was provided to 3 officers, the CEO and 2 Executive Vice Presidents.

AHA provided discretionary spending accounts. Specifically, stipends were made available to the Chairman, Immediate Past Chairman, and Chairman Elect of the Board. Taxable benefit allowances were made available to Senior Vice Presidents and above.

AHA paid for a housing allowance or a residence for private use.  Specifically, a housing allowance was given to one employee I 2019 and Maryjane Wurth received a gross up amount for commuting and living expenses.

AHA paid severance payments:  422,300 to Ryan Frazier; $190,084 to Eileen O’Keefe

AHA maintained a supplemental non-qualified deferred compensation plan. The following contributions were made by the AHA to the plan for the following employees:

  • $600,789:  Richard J Pollack
  • $193,282  Thomas P Nickels
  • $184,925:  Mary Jane Wurth
  • $104,774 :  Melinda R Hatton
  • $ 81,462:  Ashley Thompson
  • $ 67,538 :  Alicia N Mitchell
  • $ 75,226 :  Christina Fisher
  • $ 68,022:  Douglas Shaw
  • $  55,848:  Susan Gergely
  • $ 44,215 :  Gail M Lovinger

AHA made the following distributions from the supplemental non-qualified deferred compensation plan:

  • $1,722,252:  Richard J Pollack
  • $  674,745:  Maryjane Wurth
  • $  193,282:  Thomas P Nickels
  • $ 120,546:  Gail Lovinger
  • $  104,774:  Melinda R Hatton
  • $   69,025:  Ashley Thompson
  • $   54,611 :  Alicia N Mitchell
  • $   19,111:  Christina Fisher

Bottom Line

The AHA has more than $231 million in net fund assets and generates about $150 million annually primarily through membership fees, education fees, and licensing.  This tax exempt non-profit employs about 440 employees who are compensated on average $150,000, although only 177 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation. The 15 most highly compensated employees were compensated $15 million, ranging from just under $400,000 to more than $6.7 million. The perks to employees – first class travel, travel for companions, discretionary spending accounts, and the supplemental non-qualified deferred compensation plan are extremely generous for a trade organization.  Just one more reason why healthcare costs are so high.

To read the IRS Form (2019) for AHA, click here.

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