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Valley Children's CEO Suntrapak Ends Silence on Hospital Pay Controversy
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By Edward Smith
Published 1 day ago on
June 11, 2024

Valley Children's Hospital CEO Todd Suntrapak addresses controversies such as hospital investments and executive pay in a video to employees. (GV Wire Composite/David Rodriguez)

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In a video to employees, Valley Children’s Hospital CEO Todd Suntrapak addressed controversies about his pay and hospital investments.

In March, news broke that Suntrapak earned pay in the 90th percentile of hospital CEOs, outpacing those of Community Medical Centers and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Beyond yearly salary, Suntrapak also earned lucrative insurance deals and a $5 million loan he used to purchase a home in Carmel.

The Madera hospital also received criticism for its plan to develop a retail center.

In the video acquired by GV Wire, Suntrapak said criticism doesn’t affect the level of care provided to children.

“Every parent that brings their child to Valley Children’s, what they care about is, are we going to deliver the world-class care that we provide every single day and without interruption and without distraction?” Suntrapak said.

Suntrapak: ‘No Discussions’ About His Pay

Suntrapak said he has no control over his pay and that it falls on the board to decide his compensation.

In a previous interview, a former public relations contractor for the hospital, Vintage Foster, CEO of AMF Media Group, said it was the board’s intention to put Suntrapak’s pay in the 90th percentile of hospital CEOs.

“There are no discussions with me about my compensation other than board comp committee notifying me what it’s going to be after they’ve gone through a very regimented process utilizing at least one outside consultant that’s nationally renowned for doing that work — and sometimes two,” Suntrapak said in the video.

In 2012, when he received his first contract as CEO, he was in the 11th percentile of CEO pay, Suntrapak said. He didn’t reach the 50th percentile until 2018.

Suntrapak sits on both the Valley Children’s Healthcare Board of Trustees and Valley Children’s Hospital/Medical Group Board of Trustees.

Zara Arboleda, chief communications officer for Valley Children’s said the Healthcare Board of Trustees decides executive compensation.

“Todd is never present during board or comp committee meetings while his salary is being discussed,” Arboleda said.

Suntrapak to Have Interview With ABC30, Whose GM Sits on Hospital Board

Suntrapak will have an interview on ABC30 Tuesday, according to the SJV Sun.

ABC 30’s General Manager Michael Carr, also serves as the hospital’s Foundation Board of Directors‘ secretary.

A request for an interview with Suntrapak was declined. Arboleda said Carr’s role on the board had nothing to do with his decision to appear on ABC 30.

A Conversation with Valley Children’s President and CEO Todd Suntrapak from Valley Children’s on Vimeo.

Suntrapak: VCH Is Financially Strong

Valley Children’s CEO said the hospital is sitting on ‘”financial granite” that provided enough resources to prevent layoffs or paycuts — even during COVID-19.

Suntrapak said he runs into employees all the time in hospital halls and the in all-employee forums he conducts.

“I’m lucky in that way, usually I come away learning something from them, this is no different,” Suntrapak said.

The Fresno Bee also reported that Valley Children’s had plans to develop a commercial retail center, which could include restaurants, a grocery store, and a hotel.

In the video, Suntrapak said that development is a way to diversify hospital income.

“The reason we’re doing it is very simple — we need to continue to find ways to generate non-patient-related revenue so that we can continue to develop quaternary and tertiary pediatric services and pay for patient care at Valley Children’s,” Suntrapak said.

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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