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UMC, Mason VanHouweling agree on CEO contract

Mason VanHouweling, the third chief executive at University Medical Center in less than a year, and the UMC governing board have agreed to a contract, locking a leader into place at the county-owned hospital for the next three years.

His base salary is $380,000 per year.

The governing board’s vote Wednesday was unanimous in favor of permanently appointing VanHouweling to lead UMC, calling on him to balance patient needs with fiscal responsibility in a facility that historically has registered big deficits.

Chairman John O’Reilly said the board felt a sense of urgency to lock VanHouweling into place after Larry Barnard announced he was resigning as UMC CEO to take a job with Dignity Health Nevada as president of that company’s St. Rose Dominican — San Martin campus in Henderson.

“We had a leader who was well-seasoned, well-versed in hospital administration and very familiar with Southern Nevada,” O’Reilly said of VanHouweling.

In addition to the base salary, VanHouweling could receive a bonus each year based on his performance evaluation. VanHouweling also will be eligible for up to a 10 percent raise each year. In addition, the contract allows VanHouweling $2,000 per month of reimbursement for job-related expenses.

With the incentive bonus, VanHouweling could receive a total of $432,000 per year. Barnard’s base salary was $240,000.

Even if the board gave VanHouweling the full bonus, O’Reilly said, his compensation still would be in the 25th percentile of administrators of similar institutions in the United States. VanHouweling’s base salary is in the 17th percentile of CEOs at similar institutions.

On Thursday, VanHouweling said he considers the CEO post at UMC to be a “pinnacle” career position and said he looked forward to running the 541-bed teaching hospital. The evolution of the Las Vegas Medical District and the partnership between UMC and the yet-to-be created UNLV School of Medicine are among the challenges VanHouweling cited as pivotal to leading the hospital over the next several years.

UMC Chief of Staff Dale Carrison said he was happy the board moved with haste to secure VanHouweling as the leader of UMC for the long term. The board had the research available to show the compensation package for the head of a hospital the size and complexity of UMC had to be increased, Carrison said.

“There was a clear need here. We need the continuity,” Carrison said. “Everybody is confident that Mason can continue the work we’ve begun.”

VanHouweling, who had been serving as temporary CEO, was part of the leadership team Barnard brought to UMC after Barnard’s predecessor, Brian Brannman, resigned in January to become Dignity Health Nevada’s vice president of operations and CEO of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals — Siena campus.

Contact Steven Moore at smoore@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563.

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