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St. John's Health Board of Trustees Approve Compensation Package Increase for Employees

  • Category: Press Releases
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  • Written By: St. John's Health

On July 15th, 2021 the St. John’s Health Board of Trustees approved a six million dollar annual increase to the compensation package for St. John’s Health employees.

"As a Board, we are so grateful for the hard work, and dedication that our employees have shown the past 18 months. We witnessed our staff handle the extraordinary challenges the pandemic presented with such grace and professionalism," said Board chairman Sue Critzer.

On Monday afternoon, the interim CEO Dave Robertson sent a letter to the employees of St. John’s Health letting them know that they would be receiving a 3% increase in salary beginning August 22nd, 2021, and then an additional 3% increase beginning February 6th, 2022. The total compensation package that was unanimously agreed upon by the Board, contains not only the staff salary increases, but also provides the ability to make market-based adjustments to ensure the wages offered at our organization remain competitive.

Below is the letter Dave sent this afternoon.

Good Afternoon!

I am incredibly honored to have been asked to serve as the Interim CEO of St. John’s Health. Over the course of my career, I have been privileged to lead three different health systems over the span of 31 years, and I served the final 10 years of my career working with executive teams of approximately 200 hospitals in 11 states (including Wyoming) in their performance improvement journeys. For the past 3-1/2 years I have served as a Board Advisor of St. John’s Health, and through this role have come to recognize the amazing organization that is St. John’s Health. We have so much to be proud of, and so many great things are in our future, including the opening of Sage Living - a truly world-class facility - later this month.

Without question, the last 18 months have been the most difficult time in health care that I have experienced during my career. I am certain that you feel the same. I truly cannot imagine how difficult this has been for each of you. I have watched with awe and amazement at the stellar way that the employees of St. John’s Health have responded to the challenges that COVID has brought – how well you have cared for and protected our community, our patients, and each other.

At St. John’s Health, you have navigated the turbulent waters of the pandemic, while simultaneously experiencing the challenge of a change in leadership – a challenge that even in the best of times is unsettling for an organization. With my arrival last week, we add just another unknown. I want each of you to know that I recognize how difficult this path has been, and I recognize that there is a need for calmness and healing. I sincerely hope you find that I am an open and transparent leader that helps us on our journey down a different path to calmer waters. I can assure you that is my intent.

So, where do we begin to bring about positive change?

At the July meeting of the St. John’s Health Board, the budget was approved for the coming year. Included in this budget are wage increases that are typically implemented in December each year. However, given the financial uncertainties of the pandemic last year, like many hospitals across the country St. John’s Health did not make any adjustments to our compensation programs. Thus, if we wait until December it will have been two full years since you have seen any permanent change to your compensation. I fully recognize the strain this has placed on you and your family. This strain is even greater in the communities we all live and serve in given the high cost of living and extraordinarily high cost of housing.

I am pleased to announce that on July 15th, 2021 the Board approved a unique, multi-faceted compensation program. Effective August 22, 2021 all eligible employees will receive a 3% increase in their current wage level. This will be followed with a SECOND increase of 3% effective February 6, 2022, for a total of 6% this fiscal year. We also have conducted a market analysis of all positions at St. John’s Health, and we are making a number of market-based adjustments in order to assure our competitiveness in the market. We are also working to develop mechanisms to reduce our reliance on contract staff through the provision of incentives for our St. John’s Health staff to work additional shifts in defined areas experiencing critical staffing shortages. Overall, these changes represent an increase in the annual compensation program at St. John’s Health of over $6 million. This approved amount is in addition to the COVID bonuses that were paid out in the previous fiscal year, which totaled $1.2 million for St. John’s Health employees.

Over the next several days, we will be preparing an analysis for every individual member of the St. John’s Health family of the impact of these changes on you personally. Your manager will begin to distribute these analyses late this week and continuing into the following week.

You will undoubtedly hear down the road that these compensation changes have positioned St. John’s Health to have a very significant operating loss in 2021-22. This decision has been made with this fact fully known. We made this decision because we feel that it is simply the right thing to do.

I also want to assure you that it is recognized that these compensation changes do not address the immense challenges of high housing costs in our community. The Board, Foundation, and Administration are aggressively looking for solutions that will have a positive impact on this critical issue. There will be communication on this in the future as progress is made.

On behalf of the Board of St. John’s Health, I want to say a very sincere “Thank You” for all that you have done, and continue to do, to care for our families, friends, and neighbors during the ongoing pandemic. We stand in awe of your dedication, your professionalism, and your compassion.

On a personal note, I look forward to the opportunity to get to know each of you in the days ahead and to the privilege of working with you in the coming year. I encourage you to stop me in the hall for a chat. Also, please feel free to come by my office at any time if you would like to ask a question or share a thought, a concern, or a suggestion.
I thank you for the very kind welcome that you have afforded me over the last week. Again, I am so very proud to be a small part of this wonderful organization and this awesome team of professionals.

- Dave Robertson

The message to the employees from Dave is much more than simply informing them of the increased compensation package- it is a message of calm, reassurance, and a brief introduction to the kind of leader we have in Dave.

As the organization goes forward into the future we are focused on supporting the employees of St. John’s Health, and providing the best possible care for the community we feel honored to serve.

Thank you and Be well,
- St John’s Health Board of Trustees

Media contact:
Alexa Kinney,, 773.519.0700