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Massena Memorial Hospital extends Fahd’s contract

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MASSENA - Charles F. Fahd II will likely be Massena Memorial Hospital’s CEO for another two years.

The hospital’s board of managers voted unanimously following an executive session to extend Mr. Fahd’s contract to Dec. 31, 2014, according to board chairman Darrel P. Paquin.

Mr. Fahd’s salary, which is just under $245,000 now, will rise to $280,000 in 2013 and $295,000 in 2014, according to Jonnie J. Dorothy, senior director of human resources at MMH.

Upcoming changes and challenges in the healthcare industry prompted the board to retain Mr. Fahd for another two years, Mr. Paquin said. Mr. Fahd’s current contract was to expire at the end of this year; Mr. Paquin said he had been giving “serious consideration to retiring,” but the board was able to negotiate an extension.

“Now would not be a good time to be changing our leadership,” Mr. Paquin said. “We certainly feel it would be advantageous for the hospital to have Charlie’s leadership for the next two years.”

Mr. Fahd, 63, was first hired as MMH’s CEO in April of 1997. He brought continuity to a position with a high rate of turnover prior to his hiring: he replaced James B. Watson, who resigned in January of 1997. Before Mr. Watson, David A. Landa resigned in July 1994, Paul F. Tasillo resigned in December 1990 and Phillip J. Stoner did not renew his contract, leaving in December 1989.

Mr. Fahd thanked the board at its Monday night meeting for extending his contract.

“I take it as a challenge,” Mr. Fahd said. “The next couple of years are going to be very difficult in healthcare.”

MMH completed a salary comparison when negotiating the extension; Mr. Fahd is still one of the “lower paid” CEOS of north country hospitals, Ms. Dorothy said. In addition, the hospital would have had to pay $75,000 to $100,000 just to hire a professional services firm to recruit a new CEO.

“We took a lot of things into consideration,” Ms. Dorothy said.

Hospital spokeswoman Tina R. Corcoran lauded Mr. Fahd for his tenure. MMH has added new services, like inpatient and outpatient dialysis, and undergone $35 million in investments over Mr. Fahd’s 15-year tenure through building construction, renovation and the purchase of new equipment. Those projects included a 28,000 square foot expansion of the hospital in 2003, the opening of clinics in Louisville, Norfolk and Brasher and the ongoing construction of a 20,000 square foot medical office building across the street from MMH. The hospital also successfully recruited 15 physicians over the last five years.

“This is a time to continue his strong leadership,” Mrs. Corcoran said.

She pointed out that MMH had been profitable all but one year in Mr. Fahd’s tenure. That year was 2010, when MMH finished $1.5 million in the red. In 2011, the hospital posted a $1.4 million year-end profit. Through October, MMH is currently running over $1.5 million in the red from losses earlier in the year, but has posted profits for the last three consecutive months.

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