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Hospital executives earn almost $700,000

by Chris Daponte

WELLINGTON CTY. - The top five executives in the three hospitals serving this county have a combined salary of over $693,000 not including benefits.

But hospital board officials say those individuals are fairly compensated for their jobs, particularly because they work for three hospitals - Groves Memorial in Fergus, Louise Marshall in Mount Forest and the Palmerston and District Hospital.

“I think it’s important for us to ensure we’re paying people appropriately,” said Gord Feniak, chairman of the Groves board.

“It’s important to retain good staff ... and have some assurance they won’t be leaving for greener pastures elsewhere, and I’m glad to say that we’ve done that.”

Al Hodgson, chairman of North Wellington Health Care (NWHC), which operates the two northern hospitals, agreed.

“We don’t think we’re out of line with our salaries,” said Hodgson. “We’re quite pleased with the way things have developed.”

Jerome Quenneville, chief executive officer of NWHC and Groves hospital, will make $202,546 in base salary this year.

The other four executives will collectively be paid $490,492 in 2012.

Diane Wilkinson, vice president of patient services and chief nursing executive, will be paid $132,385; Steve Street, vice president of corporate services and planning, will make $126,438; Marsha Martin, chief financial officer, will be paid $118,306; and Sherri Ferguson, chief human resources officer, will make $113,353.

 The salaries of public sector employees making more than $100,000 per year are released annually as part of the province’s Public Sector Salary Disclosure, better known as the “Sunshine List.”

But Ontario’s Freedom of Information laws now require hospitals to release more information to the public, such as financial plans, board minutes and executive contracts, including benefits and possible bonuses.

Locally, the salaries of the executives could be penalized 2% (for Quenneville it’s 5%) if the hospitals do not meet targets set out in their Quality Improvement Plans.

 Quenneville and Ferguson are entitled to six weeks of paid vacation, while the other three executives receive five weeks vacation. All executives but Quenneville also have their choice of receiving an additional week’s pay or time off in lieu, for their inclusion on the “administration on-call” roster.

All executives receive life insurance and extended health benefits, with Quenneville receiving $3,000 annually for health and dental coverage beyond the standard plan.

All five executives can also be provided a laptop and can receive professional expenses, including those for conferences and tuition.

In addition to being paid mileage, Quenneville receive a monthly car allowance of $960, while Wilkinson receives $750 and Street receives $500.

Both Hodgson and Feniak said the benefits and salaries paid to the five executives are fair compensation and in line with what other hospitals offer. Both were also pleased with the current executives at the three hospitals.

“We’re very, very cautious about who we hire,” Hodgson told the Advertiser. “I can’t say enough about the people.”

Both he and Feniak noted the partnership between Groves and NWHC helps the hospitals attract and retain staff and also to ensure employees are fairly compensated.

For the complete contracts of the five executives, visit or and look under “accountability.”


January 13, 2012


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