Katie Thomas & Charles Ornstein
Originally published 22 Dec 20
Here is an excerpt:
After months of review, Memorial Sloan Kettering overhauled its conflict-of-interest policy, barring its top executives from serving on corporate boards of drug and health care companies and placing limits on how executives and top researchers could profit from work developed at the institution.
Like other major hospitals, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s finances have taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic. For the first three quarters of 2020, the hospital reported an operating loss of $453 million compared with an operating profit of nearly $77 million in the first nine months of 2019. The hospital saw a decline in surgical procedures and clinic visits, as well as clinical trials and other research. The hospital did receive $100 million in relief funds as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Baselga wasn’t the only former official to receive severance from Memorial Sloan Kettering in 2019. It also paid more than $250,000 in severance to Avice Meehan, the hospital’s former chief communications officer, according to its IRS filing. Meehan declined to comment.
Laurie Styron, the executive director of CharityWatch, an independent watchdog group, said that hospitals often compensate their staff generously because they must attract highly trained and educated doctors who would be well-paid elsewhere. Still, she said, the multimillion-dollar sums can surprise donors, who typically give money to support research or patient care.