scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Compensation rises for local hospital leaders

Among chief executives of large hospitals and health systems, Dr. David Torchiana of Partners HealthCare topped the list.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff/file 2015

The leaders of Massachusetts’ largest nonprofit hospitals continue to collect seven-figure pay packages, and many earned big raises in 2016, according to federal tax filings released Wednesday.

Among chief executives of large hospitals and health systems, Dr. David Torchiana topped the list. Torchiana, CEO of the state’s largest hospital system, Partners HealthCare, earned total compensation of $4.7 million in 2016, including a base salary of $2.1 million. That was his first full year in the job.

Another Partners employee earned more: Dr. Ron M. Walls, chief operating officer at one of Partners’ largest hospitals, Brigham and Women’s, received more than $5 million in total compensation. The bulk of that came through Walls’s company retirement plan, and some of it was previously reported, according to Partners.


Hospitals are among the largest businesses in Massachusetts, many of them employing thousands of employees and collecting hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in revenue.

Most hospitals in the state are structured as nonprofits and must report what they pay top employees. The numbers lag by more than a year.

Partners uses a performance-based compensation system “that is competitive with other academic medical centers here in Boston and across the nation,” board chairman Scott Sperling said in a statement. “The competition for excellent managers and leaders is especially strong at this time,” he said.

Normand Deschene, CEO of Wellforce, the parent company of Tufts Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital, earned nearly $3.9 million in total compensation, including a salary of about $904,000. The rest came from retirement benefits and other pay.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute paid two CEOs in 2016. Its longtime chief executive, Dr. Edward J. Benz Jr., stepped down that September, and Dr. Laurie Glimcher was CEO for the remaining three months of the year.

Glimcher earned about $900,000 in total compensation for that time, including a base salary of about $378,000.


Priyanka Dayal McCluskey
can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.