CEO’s next bonus should be based on staff retention


The CEO of WhidbeyHealth just got a $70,000 bonus for her “impressive” performance over the past year.

I respectfully suggest that the goals for her next bonus be based on the hospital’s employee retention and attrition rates.

When I ran for the hospital board in 2015, I urged that the high number of job vacancies, then around 50 to 60, be reduced. When I checked a short time ago, the WhidbeyHealth website listed 129 openings!

See for yourself at, by pressing “Careers.”

Six medical doctor vacancies exist — all have been posted since 2016. Our hospital simply has been unable to lure a permanent OB/GYN doctor, general surgeon or two orthopedic surgeons to our community.

About 50 of these job openings have been posted since sometime in 2016 or 2015. Up the road at the similarly-sized Island Hospital in Anacortes, there are currently about 42 job postings.

Why do medical professionals shy away from WhidbeyHealth? Why do those here leave in droves? Here’s a clue: nine current or former Diagnostic Imaging department employees risked their jobs by testifying and describing their hostile work environment or terrible working conditions at last month’s hospital board meeting.

Shouldn’t such personnel upheavals — tragedies really — be taken into account when assessing the CEO’s job performance? Do any of our hospital leaders even care?