GLENS FALLS — As Glens Falls Hospital approached its worst two years in recent history, it spent $609,000 on marketing and gave out $1.15 million in bonuses.
The spending was outlined in the hospital’s 2016 IRS filing, called a 990 report.
Some members of the public have criticized the hospital’s spending on advertising, signage and even insulated travel mugs, given the hospital’s financial condition. The hospital has posted a multi-million-dollar shortfall for the past two years.
GLENS FALLS — Hospital star ratings have been updated, and Glens Falls Hospital now has three stars.
But in 2016, the hospital was in the black. It finished the year with $2.9 million after paying all its expenses.
That included the bonuses and marketing.
Some members of the public looked up the hospital’s 990 reports, which are public, after CEO Dianne Shugrue last Thursday described the hospital as in “dire” financial condition.
They quickly noticed that in 2016, she got a bonus of $94,531, above her salary of $539,266. Several residents questioned why she would be paid that much to begin with, and objected to the bonus.
Shugrue was the second-highest paid employee at the hospital in 2016, making more than all but one physician. In 2017, when the hospital had a shortfall, she was paid $560,000, plus a bonus of $13,500. She was the sixth-highest paid in 2017.
But in 2016, when she got a much more sizable bonus, she was by no means the only one. Several physicians got much larger bonuses.
The highest-paid employee in 2016 was Dr. John P. Stoutenburg, a cancer center physician, who made $590,000 and received a bonus of $38,000.
Three cardiac physicians received six-figure bonuses:
- Dr. Greg Kelly was paid $385,000, plus a bonus of $176,000.
- Dr. Robert Hogan was paid $380,000, plus a bonus of $173,000.
- Dr. Attilla Kayalar was paid $380,000, plus a bonus of $177,873.
Bonuses for the top cardiac and cancer doctors continued in 2017, despite the worsening financial condition.
The Board of Governors supports the bonuses.
“The philosophy is to pay at the median market compensation for any particular position,” said spokeswoman Katelyn Cinzio. “That compensation may come in a combination of base salary plus bonus, based upon individual and group performance-based factors that are determined in advance by the Board of Governors.”
On marketing, the hospital paid $609,000 to Behan Communications in 2016.
It was “one of the highest” years in terms of payment from the hospital, said John Brodt of Behan Communications.
The hospital paid Behan Communications $563,000 in 2015, when the hospital had a shortfall of $651,000. It paid the marketing company $200,000 in 2017, when the hospital posted another shortfall measured in the millions.
In 2018, the shortfall was $18 million, but the hospital continued to contract with Behan Communications.
John Brodt of Behan Communications handles the hospital’s marketing. He defended the general business decision to market during challenging financial conditions.
“When a business is struggling, or is in need of growth, it’s more important than ever to communicate about your products, services, whatever you’re providing,” he said. “Continuing to market in challenging times is extremely important.”
Of the $609,000 spent in 2016, $340,000 was spent on advertising. The biggest recipient was The Post-Star. The hospital paid for nearly $50,000 in newspaper ads.
The company also created the advertising campaigns for five hospital services: the cancer center, breast center, cardiology, orthology surgery and the wound center.
In addition, Behan Communications ran a nurse recruitment campaign for the hospital, developed a community-wide CPR education campaign, worked with the hospital foundation on fundraisers and produced a weekly employee newsletter.