News & Events

Boston Globe: Pay for Caritas chief rose $1m in ’09

Pay for Caritas chief rose $1m in ’09

Compensation was highest at city’s hospitals

By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff

Ralph de la Torre, former chief executive of Boston-based Caritas Christi Health Care, drew a total pay package of $2.2 million from the Catholic hospital system in 2009, making him the best-compensated hospital executive in Boston that year, according to documents filed with the state attorney general’s office.

The package, which included base salary, a performance bonus, and incentive compensation linked to improving finances at the hospital chain, marked an increase from the $1.2 million de la Torre earned from Caritas in 2008. He arrived in May that year after being recruited from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

De la Torre is currently chief executive of fast-growing Steward Health Care System, a network of eight community hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts. Steward was formed by New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which acquired Caritas last year. Its hospitals include St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Carney Hospital in Boston.

Because of a reporting lag, 2009 is the most recent year for which hospital executive compensation is reported to the attorney general’s office. It plans to unveil new guidelines next year that would require more timely reporting in the future for all nonprofit public charities. Most hospitals in the state fall in to that category.

In other filings, Children’s Hospital Boston, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, paid its chief executive, James Mandell, total compensation of $1.8 million in 2009. Mandell received a pay package of $1.9 million from Children’s the previous year.

Lahey Clinic Inc. of Burlington, a teaching hospital affiliated with Tufts Medical School, reported that it paid its former chief executive, David M. Barrett, total compensation of $1.3 million in 2009, the same as he earned in 2008.

Barrett stepped down from the chief executive’s post at Lahey at the end of last year, turning over the reins to Howard G. Grant. Lahey recently agreed to merge with Beverly-based Northeast Health Systems. It has also had preliminary talks about a possible affiliation with Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, another Harvard academic medical center in Boston, paid its chief executive, Edward J. Benz Jr., total compensation of $1.1 million in 2009. Benz also earned $1.1 million from Dana-Farber for the prior year.

Robert Weisman can be reached at