Broward Health looks to pay headhunting firm $300,000 to find a $950,000 CEO

By Dan Christensen and Buddy Nevins, 

Broward Health Interim CEO Pauline Grant, whose salary will be voted on Wednesday. Photo: Nova Southeastern University

Broward Health Interim CEO Pauline Grant, whose salary will be voted on Wednesday. Photo: Nova Southeastern University

Taxpayer supported Broward Health’s board of commissioners will be asked today to approve spending $300,000 for a search firm to find a new CEO whose total pay would be $950,000 a year.

The new CEO’s “total targeted cash compensation” would far exceed the $675,000 annual salary of the last CEO, the late Dr. Nabil El Sanadi, who committed suicide Jan. 23.

At the same meeting, commissioners will be asked to approve a $619,000 salary for Interim CEO Pauline Grant, who currently runs the district’s system of public hospitals and clinics.

The board will also be asked to hire Philadelphia-based Diversified Search, the firm recommended to locate and screen candidates for the permanent job of running Broward Health, which has over 8,200 employees, roughly 300,000 emergency room visits every year and an annual budget of about $1.2 billion.

If hired, Diversified would be paid a “minimum retainer fee” of $300,000, or 31.5 percent of the successful candidate’s total compensation package in the first year. The company’s fee would grow “should the actual compensation exceed the basis of our retainer.”

The new CEO’s “total compensation includes salary, estimated bonus, signing bonus and any other incentive cash compensation,” says a March 30 letter written by John T. Mestepey, the managing partner of Diversified’s Miami office.

Broward Health is also to pay Diversified for “direct and indirect expenses,” including “candidate and consultant travel” and database research costs. “Indirect expenses are 9% of the fee,” Mestepey wrote.

With the hiring of Diversified Services, Broward’s two public hospital districts – North and South – would be actively engaged in expensive searches for pricey top executives. Memorial Healthcare System, as the south district is known, is paying $330,000 plus expenses to Korn Ferry to find a replacement for longtime CEO Frank Sacco, who retired at the end of February. Korn Ferry was hired last year.

Taxpayers foot bill, kept in dark

While taxpayers will be helping to foot the bill for the search, they would be kept in the dark about certain unspecified aspects of the search under guidelines laid down by Mestepey in his March 30 letter to Interim CEO Grant.

“During the course of this assignment, Diversified will provide you with various information on potential candidates,” Mestepey wrote.

“Accordingly, it is understood and agreed that dissemination of this information shall be limited to employees of Broward Health who are directly connected with this specific search, or whom a reasonable person would agree have a need to know.”

The board decided a nationwide CEO search was needed in the wake of El Sanadi’s Jan. 23 suicide. Kevin Fusco, Broward Health’s chief operating officer, was named acting CEO but was later removed. Grant took over as interim CEO last month.

Grant was given the tough task of restoring Broward Health’s battered public reputation amid daunting news of both federal and state investigations of the district’s purchasing practices. Her first job has been to calm the political firestorm from the probes and El Sanadi’s suicide, and to reassure doctors complaining that patient care was “hanging by a thread” due to contracting delays.

Those contracting delays, said to be improved lately, were laid at the doorstep of Broward Health General Counsel Lynn Barrett.

Barrett, whose nine-month tenure has been steeped in controversy, faces a performance evaluation this month. That evaluation, however, may not be entirely public.

According to the meeting’s agenda, an unidentified board member(s) recommended that commissioners meet individually with Barrett to ask questions and complete her evaluation.

“This will afford each commissioner the ability to ask the questions necessary to complete their evaluation form as well as to respect the potential for certain sensitive matters that should not be mad[e] public potentially in defense of the system,” the agenda says.

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Latest comments

  • Follow the money and read the committee minutes and you will see that Christopher Ure intervened and personally got involved in operations. He has a personal connection to Diversified and is set to receive a kickback once a new CEO is placed. The process was not followed and he is corrupt and sexist and prejudice and unethical.

    Reliable sources indicate that Ure is a phony. He is no longer employed by UBS and is spending his time harassing Broward employees and creating a hostile and uncomfortable environment for staff. He is using Broward resources for personal gain. The truth is he has nothing and is nothing. He’s not even a home owner in Broward…search the property appraiser site.

    Let’s see if Robison is corrupt too or will she actually demonstrate true independence and leadership and help get the system back on track.

    As for the corrupt pathological, psychopath General Counsel…lets see what happens.probably nothing. She is buying her votes by working for the board as opposed to the health system. Duty of loyalty has been breached, fiduciary duty has been breached. Ethics…she has none. Integrity…she never had it.

    Florida Bar…help! Mr. Satz …help!. FBI…help!

  • Let’s hope Rick Scott is kept from hand selecting the CEO as he did with El Sanadi, and that Zachariah Zachariah is not the next choice given how much money ZZ has raised for Rick Scott and the Reoublican party. If $300,000 of tax payer money is to be spent, and yet taxpayers have no right to know how, let’s hope a real and honest nationwide search is done and that the best candidate is selected. I highly doubt it though, given Scott is hell bent on bankrupting and privatizing BH, and BH has such a sleazy past and recent history. Can’t imagine what honest professional CEO would want the job.

  • qui Tam…….agree agree agree

  • This is ridiculous. These people have balls the size of church bells.

    $950K per year for a CEO of a publicly funded health district is crazy. Many talented people would take the job for literally half of that. Then another 300K to find this person?

    Memo to BH commissioners. Have you ever done a comparative analysis of what other CEO’s of publicly funded hospital districts around the country are making? You know we have no state income tax. F you all.. and the horse you rode in on. I wish the FBI would show up at one of your board meetings and take all of your asses out in handcuffs. You sumbitches are robbing us blind.

  • I believe Nask was paid $650k, and El Sanadi $675k. I agree this is outrageous not only for a publicly supported county health system, but one that is in the financial toilet! And let’s not forget perks, eg bonus incentive and parachute exit package if contract broken early. Tax payers have every darn right to the entire hiring and compensation process and agreement.

  • And why is P Grant earning less than her 2 predecessors? Interesting. I also see BH having annual fund raiser at Hard Rock soon. Great opportunity for people to show up and speak their minds, face to face, with the c-suite and the companies on their foundation board who have peculiarly lucrative contracts with BH on the tax payers dime!

  • PG should not be interim at all. If it was not for Dionne Wong and Donna Lewis scheming to get Kevin Fusco demoted, she would not even be there. The place is an absolute mess and given the record for outside groups pressuring the board, little will change. This crew needs to go but it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Memorial Healthcare Systems completed their search already. Aurelio Fernandez III was promoted from within after a process which was by and large unnecessary. Among Sacco’s many skills was to actively cultivate top-flight managers and frankly, an outside search was conducted to appease one disgruntled commissioner. MHS will keep chugging along serving the community while the politicians look for new ways to mess things up.

  • What’s up, this weekend is pleasant designed for me, because this moment i am
    reading this fantastic informative paragraph here at my house.

  • Aurelio was groomed for years by Sacco so was a shoe in at MHS. Sadly the dog and pony show was needed to present the picture of fair hiring practice. Hopefully, having worked for Tenet, Aurelio won’t sell out MHS. As for BH, there must be a reason that salary climbed again. P Grants excuse for comparable salary does not compute for a financially distressed public system so assuredly the Rick Scott replacement is already in mind. Zachariah Zachariah is a scary possibility. This guy was found innocent of insider trading recently tho his son was connected with the incident. So was it innocence, or was it what money and influence can buy? I can’t answer that, though I can speculate, and ZZ is buddies with Slick Scott.

  • Very true, qui tam. BH is cow tailing to ZZ and family so it would not be a surprise if ZZ were to become CEO. The firm hired to perform the search has ties to Ure who is up Slick Scotts arse. So it’s all most likely one more tax payer supported sham while secretly slipping in a stronger ally of the governor. This on top of Robisons placement on the BOC, and the BOCs failure to remove Scotts gopher Barrett, tell the story. If Scott himself were in the right timeline that arrogant arse would probably nominate himself!

  • So if the search firm is aligned with Rick Scott and the board is appointed by Rick Scott why should the secret terms and outrageous sums of money surprise us?

    What nobody has done so far is call it what it is.


    These firms will be donating huge sums to the super paks associated with the GOP.
    Why not the money came easy and it serves to destablize the system further.

    Comming soon to a court house step near you BH .10 on the dollar.

    HCA, Baptist, Tenent will be players.

    The Feds take way too long to bring justice, five years from now we will see RS, ZZ, Zimmerman, Ure, and several other attoorneys and board memebbers in handcuffs. Not soon enough for BH.

    By the way boys and girls the trac-phones are not as “untrackable” as you believe. Buahhhhaaaa.

  • Robison is the merger and acquisition gal for when Scott moves on the private takeover.

    Zachariah is a sleaze from way back. Spends more time on politics than he does on medicine. Holy Cross gave him the boot not long ago.

  • DT. That rancid governor of ours and his smarmy board liaisons are unquestionably the sleaze bags behind all of this and they do belong in handcuffs. The c-suite assuredly made bonus for cost savings tho when the shameless involved employed physicians chose not to treat and refer uninsured and underinsured pts due to the c-suite withholding 25% of their fees for doing so. That 25% of our tax dollars had to go somewhere and I’m sure some of it landed in their pockets too.

  • I will do the search for 200,000. Dang where can I sign up to join that club oh wait i am not a crook so I don’t have a chance

  • That is for those employed docs who did treat and refer under and uninsured pts.

  • Awkward Moment
    Not too sure about the 25% bonous or if the C-suite is in on it the contracts that were illegal were negotiated by B Ullery, and signed by F Nask and approved by the board.. Futher along the way many meetings with Board members took place with B Ullery that were not as per sunshine rules.
    Lets not forget when L Hunter was front and center asking (begging) the board to approve the new lower contracts she was told what a “mediocre job” she has done. As I recall that would be Wright (good riddance).
    The c-suite does not control the district the Board appointed by Rick Scott does.

  • We welcome Tenent, Baptist or HCA. Anyone that will get us rolling again.
    New executive team please please please.

  • Why is p. Grant getting any extra pay? She is filling in while they dick around finding another stooge to take the job full time. This bitch has repeatedly asked the BHN employees to bite the bullet and give up personal leave or work for free with her Flexing for Dollars program. What balls! You should do as you say and also bite the bullet, work for your already bloated existing salary, ” for the good of the district”. Why in the name of f are we throwing money around like water. BH is in dire straits, Everyone needs to pull it in and tighten it up not just the poor bastards that work for BH. Ms. Grant is nothing more than a f diversion to the real corruption encompassing BH. In all the Mandatory meetings with employees they try to blow off this high shit storm as just angry uninformed bloggers creating rumors and negative they are victims! Yes you are! Of your own greed, corruption, and stupidity

  • This go round the SS did a terrific article on Ure’s interference and domination of the CEO search for BH during which he acted as an administrative entity v providing oversight as required by law. He, Van Loose as a Caboose, Rocky the Squirrel Rodriguez, and Barrett are so far up the governors arse one needs to perform a colonoscopy to excise them. That said, given Miguel’s witch hunt for same reason of Wright and DiPietro, should she not find similar cause to remove these board members then the FBI should investigate her for undermining the law. This entire situation is disgusting at best. Where are the bloggers? Where are the residents of this community? Stay home, stay quiet, watch your tax dollars be squandered now, in the hundreds of millions, and later via Meficare fraud in the billions!

  • While Ricky Bobbies comments are inappropriate,they are also laced with truth. The employees are fed constant propaganda about the situation. The execs can pretend there is no problem and angry bloggers are to blame but there is truth in what is being said. NO ONE wants to work here, we are losing RNS left and right.
    I work at BHCS and staff is literally fleeing to other hospitals.

    WE NEED CHANGE and need it soon. The bloggers are not creating negative publicity…the negativity is REAL. Someone save us please. I wamt to stay but I don’t think I can hang on much longer. Ms. Grant instead of coming out here for fake celebrations shaking hands like a woeful politician, use your position to make real changes. The ship is sinking out here.

  • Dear Bring it, the only thing inappropriate is the whole shit show upper management wants us to swallow. Anger and rage at their seemly indifference and contempt they show for the same people they say they care about is appropriate any way it’s expressed. You are right, many employees can’t take this abuse any longer. God bless them, get out while you can. But for others in allied health positions leaving may simply not be an option. It’s sad, more over its criminal the way loyal hard working people have been shit on by these animals time and time again. They laugh at BH employees that do the real work that makes a difference in so many patients lives. And that is Health Care, not Wealth Care which this upper execs practice. Then take the credit for it. A Pox on these bastards. And if it’s inappropriate so be it, but the rage and anger is real and palpable . So again, too you lying bastards, go to hell and go f yourselves.

  • Why not take Jim Nathan of the Lee Memorial Hospital System? He gets paid at least that and has brought Lee County a hospital monopoly that recently scored a 1 on a 5 point scale in a Medicare evaluation. Take him. Please.

  • So I heard Denise Morris in HR has quit BH and is going to UM as a VP! Really? This completely inept fashionista wannabe a VP?

  • It is time for change at Broward, Ricky Bob s right, there is so much anger and frustration at all levels, I work at BHN, truly we are fed up with the politician approach there is a real need for change.People are leaving and does HR care? no they do not . One day there will be a revolution someone will snap, Last week so many FAKE celebrations Next week more of the same and still no one looking at the real problem , bad managers, bad C suite and a punitive work environment
    that is truly hostile

  • It is as bad as it can get at BHMC
    Morale is the worst
    SOMETHING has to happen It can not go on like this

  • It is awful working in a place where needs of the employees are ignored by HR, executives live in a fantasy world blaming all the ills on angry bloggers, a FEW negative employees, everyone but themselves.
    The entire management team has been raping and pillaging BH for years. Stealing enormous bonus money when targets were not met, finagling the books to make it look like financials were higher than they were, inflating customer service scores to get their annual 20-30% bonuses.
    The staff s now suffering because of their actions.
    PLEASE?..look at what is happening. People are leaving in DROVES. No one is taking their place because NO ONE wants to work here.
    I have been year for 25 years, live and die for my patients. Just decided to retire and move on. It’s hell here, someone help those I leave behind.

  • Clearly DT (delirium tremors), YOU have no “effing” clue what you are talking about. As many recall, Ms. Hunter received flowers, endless praises, and thank you’s from Board Members, CEO’s, SVP’s, VP’s, Directors, Managers, her team of dedicated employees, and many others who respected and worked graciously with her. They not only praised her for accomplishing an extremely high level, challenging and demanding task, but clearly accomplishing the goal of fixing what had been broken for years by a previous (or two) Administration. And, yes, encouraging (not begging) Board Members to understand the ideology of COMPLIANCE and their NEW POLICY that needed to be followed. She took on what no other Senior Leader wanted to touch.The team who supported her were familiar, and concerned about the importance of renegotiating contracts. YOU, apparently were not. And, so YOU know before you go throwing more FALSE information out there, many Physician contracts were negotiated and executed long before Ms. Hunter came to Broward Health. It was a 2 year process, and those involved worked diligently for the ‘betterment’ of Broward Health. Had you been involved IN ANY SORT OF WAY, you would know Ms. Hunter & Company went above and beyond throughout an extremely time consuming, tedious, frustrating, and due diligent process. So before you go ‘throwing stones at glass houses’, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!

  • And by the way Death Throws, we’re not quire sure if Dionne Wong would approve blogging, particularly during work hours. The again, while she is doing her daily shopping at Neiman Marcus for the C Suite runway, then it should be a ‘free for all’ to blog whenever you choose. What do we call that? “Theft of time”.

  • Dear Hey Death Thows. It is actually you who know not of what they speak. Ms Hunter brought back a friend to BH who had previously been shown the door, and who thought putting together a strategic plan with her marketing degree was the equivalent of “well, just say we could expand in Weston, perhaps it would look like this” while completely eliminating quality from her growth plan because she knew NOTHING about CMS transition from fee for service to value based performance. She was a highly paid idiot and LH friend/influenced hire. So good riddance to both, fired for their incompetence, sadly also given undeserved golden parachute lump sum of tax payer money on their way out the door!

  • Hmm seems “Hey Death throws” needs a zanax, I must have struck a nerve of truth. The begging was witnessed by a number of people (60+) at the board meeting, there are meeting minutes and unlike you I do speak the truth.

    Im so thrilled that you beleive I am online while working at “BH.” If anyone were to look at theft I propose they look at all the contracts that are outside of the process and maybe release the funds recouped to the staff at BH.

    Guess I should apply for a job at BH just which area Interneal Audit, Legal C-suite??? Decision decsions. Naw, I’ll just keep feeding the Feds.

  • Yup. A nerve definitely struck HDT. An obvious Amiga of LH. Probably got her hair dyed and cut, nails done, went clothes shopping, and went out to eat almost daily on company time as LH and her buddy Michele did, the idiot who excluded Medicare’s reimbursement model change from her financial growth plan as she could not understand the concept of the change from fee for service to payment based on quality of care being remotely relevant to the main source of revenue for the health system. Ding dongs. All of them. Good bye good riddance!

  • BTW re: recent CH 10 bit on Brian Bravo. My take on it; while I am suspicious and curious about what Brian’s involvement was with purported procurement fraud, I would venture to guess it pales in comparison to the $800 Million the BOC is permitting to be pilfered from BH. I’d hate to see the dirty politicians pull off the fraud of a lifetime by thwarting blame and focus on Brian’s story. I’m sure Rick and friends dirt is far filthier.

  • If Zachariah Zachariah is not named the $1M CEO then I promise you all I’m gonna eat my hat! Why $1M for ZZ and $675 for El Sanadi? As much as Rick Scott is the devil governor, ZZ is the devil MD/CEO. There’s something dirty brewing here

  • ZZ such a slime. He would seem the shoe in for highly over paid CEO position given the filth in his nostrils received from outrageous GOP contributions. How’s it feel to be a hooker ZZ?

  • QT, AW, and DT are correct. ZZ is being given quite the lucrative contract, despite the CIA, and is definitely slated by Rick Scott and the BOC to become the million dollar CEO of BH. After all, ZZ was once the largest republican fund raiser in the US. He has strong ties to Rick Scott et al, and is equally amoral and narcissistic; hopefully not as sociopathic but I wouldn’t let him or his family touch me or my family for sure. Not exactly your best quality physicians. The headhunting firm is just one more ploy towards bankrupting BH so it can be sold at 10 cents on the dollar to Rick Scoots friends, his way of thanking them for contributing large amounts of money to his super pac to help him and his equally amoral friend, Donald Trump, to become president and VP. How do I know? I’m in the c-suite. Can you find me?

  • BTW. Lynn and her attorney friends have been questioning BH employees about rumored sexual relationships of certain parties. If Lynn is so interested in this, then perhaps she’d like to air her dirty laundry first?

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