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April 24, 2023

Executive Compensation at Scripps Health (2021)

by Anne Paddock

Scripps Health is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) healthcare provider that includes hospitals (4), clinics, medical centers, urgent care facilities, walk-in clinics, hospice care, surgery centers, specialty care centers and health plans. Although “Scripps Health” often refers to an entire healthcare system, it is important to point out that Scripps Health consists of many organizations – both non-profit and for-profit.

The executive compensation reported on the Form 990 (2020 for the year ending September 30, 2021) for “Scripps Health,” the non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) – a single entity – is the subject of this post. Governed by 14 voting members (trustees) of a  board, 13 of whom are independent, board composition is 10 males and 4 females (note: the Form 990 does not report gender; determinations were made based on name and google searches).

Based in San Diego, California, Scripps Health reported $3.8 billion in revenue (compared to $3.5 billion in 2020, $3.2 billion in 2019 and $3.2 billion in 2018) most of which came from the delivery of healthcare.

Expenses totaled $3.5 billion (including nearly $200 million in depreciation) with the largest expenses being compensation ($1.6 billion), fees for services ($773 million), and medical supplies ($616 million).  At year-end, net assets were $5.3 billion (compared to $4 billion at year end 2018) – a $1.3 billion increase in 3 years.

18,645 employees received $1.6 billion in compensation in 2021, which equates to an average compensation of $86,000. 3,013 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 24 most highly compensated employees reported to be:

  • $2,783,221:  Christopher Van Gorder, President and CEO/Trustee
  • $1,676,866:  Richard Rothberger, Treasurer/Corp Exec VP/CFO
  • $1,710,226:  Shiraz Fagan, Chief Executive, SVP
  • $1,523,291:  James LaBelle, Corp SVP, Chief Medical Officer
  • $1,221,567:  Thomas Gameiere, Chief Executive, SVP
  • $1,478,526:  Richard R Sheridan, Sec/CorpSVP-HR/General Counsel
  • $1,244,972:  Carl Etter, Chief Executive, SVP
  • $1,192,580:  Barbara Price, Coporate SVP, Business and Serv Line Dev
  • $1,439,657:  Thomas Buchholz, Corp SVP
  • $1,004,633:  June Komar, Corp EVP, Strategy and Admin
  • $1,228,738:  Richard Neale, Corporate Executive, VP, Chief Growth Officer
  • $  941,498:  John Engle, Corp SVP, Chief Development Officer
  • $  891,498:  Eric Cole, Corp VP, HR
  • $  786,576:  Ghazala Sharieff, Corp SVP Acute Care/Clin E
  • $  771,435:  John Poole, Corporate VP, System Improvement
  • $  760,274:  Lisa Risser-Thakur, Corporate SVP, Ancillary Ops
  • $  751,389:  Bradley Ellis, Corp VP, Asst General Counsel
  • $  737,194:  Shawn Forrester, Corp VP, Payer Relations
  • $  719,987:  Christee Thomas, Corp VP, Revenue Cycle/CNT Business Office
  • $  710,271:  Shane Thielman, Corp SVP, CIO
  • $  687,705:  Gerald Soderstrom, Corp VP, Audit Compliance
  • $  648,929:  Tracy Chu, Corp VP, Pop Health Chief Exec/ACO
  • $  642,228:  Mary Ellen Doyle, Corporate VP, Nursing Ops
  • $  578,963:  Laurance Cracroft, VP, Physicians Network DEVT

17 of the 24 (71%) most highly compensated employees are male while 7 of the 24 (29%) are female. 8 of the 10 most highly compensated employees are male while 2 are female. The most highly compensated employee was Christopher Van Gorder who received $2.8 million in 2021, and $21 million in compensation over the past 5 years:

Christopher Van Gorder

  • 2021:  $2.8 million
  • 2020:  $2.5 million (estimated)
  • 2019:  $2.4 million
  • 2018:  $9.8 million
  • 2017:  $3.4 million 

Scripps Health pays for the cost of a membership for a business networking club in San Diego for the CEO, which is used for business purposes. The membership fee was $2,039 in 2021.

Certain executives receive an automobile allowance which is included as taxable wages.

Scripps Health provided discretionary spending accounts.

For information on the retirement plan payments and payouts, see the Form 990, Schedule J, Part III, Supplemental Information.

Christopher Van Gorder received a loan of $10,023,866 as deferred compensation. The balance due is $12,805,710.

June Komar received a loan of $2,769,010 as deferred compensation. The balance due is $3,537,472

Richard Sheridan received a loan of $4,063,606 as deferred compensation. The balance due is $5,191,347.

Scripps did business with substantial contributors.  For detail on these transactions, see the Form 990, Schedule L, Part IV, Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons.

Severance payments were made to Gary Fybel ($540,500) and Robin Brown ($529,984).

147 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation. The five most highly compensated independent contractors were reported to be:

  • $320 million:  Scripps Clinic Medical Group, of La Jolla, CA for physician services
  • $ 59 million:  Scripps Coastal Medical Group, of San Diego, CA for physician services
  • $ 33 million:  Medimpact Healthcare Systems, of San Diego, CA for pharmaceutical services
  • $ 34 million:  Scripps Health Inpatient Provider, of San Diego, CA for physician services
  • $ 14 million:  Emergency Acute Care Med Corp, of San Diego, CA for physician services

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020 for the year ending September 30, 2021), click here.

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