Vogelzang severance set at $893,000

Former DTHR president and CEO John Vogelzang is putting an end to speculation about his severance package — it was $893,000.

John Vogelzang: former DTHR president

John Vogelzang: former DTHR president

Former DTHR president and CEO John Vogelzang is putting an end to speculation about his severance package — it was $893,000.

That includes $700,000 which is equal to his salary for two years, plus $240,000 for benefits and allowances for two years, plus a $73,000 retirement bonus.

“The reason I released it is because I want to be accountable and I feel the public has the right to know. And I have the right to release the information if I so desire,” Vogelzang said on Tuesday.

The package was finalized late last week and wasn’t expected to be made public until the end of the fiscal year.

Vogelzang and eight other health region CEOs saw their jobs eliminated in July following Alberta Health’s creation of a provincial superboard and the dismantling of regional health boards in May.

David Thompson Health Board gave him a salary in the middle of the pack or below compared to similar executives in Alberta and Canada according to an independent salary study, he said.

He called the severance payout fair with no surprises because his contract was clear.

“It’s the contract I had for a number of years. There was no secret about that,” said Vogelzang, who put in 30 years of service with the same Central Alberta health organization as it evolved through the years.

“It is a lot of money, I understand that. On the other hand, it’s the standard for executives. It is not unlike what is offered in the private sector and certainly not over what would be offered in health care.”

Now he’s concentrating on the future.

“Right now I am writing a chapter for a book on research in health care that’s being done by a number of people across Canada.”

He was just reappointed to the board of HealthPRO, a national purchasing group for health products and services. He also plans to be a member of a health care consulting firm.

“Probably early next year we’ll begin. There will be several key partners but I’m not at liberty to discuss who and what.”

But he doesn’t expect to be consulting for Alberta Health.

“My feeling is perhaps some space is a good idea at this point. They clearly wanted to go in a different direction. In order to do a really good job, whether it’s consulting or being employed, I need to be sure I’m philosophically aligned with the approach that is being taken.

“I have good contacts across Canada as well and into the U.S. because I’ve also been involved with the American College of Healthcare Executives.”

Vogelzang said time will tell if Alberta is moving in the right direction with its new provincial health care board.

“I think the jury is out because it’s not clear what the plan is. But I do hope it is successful because every single Albertan will be impacted by these changes depending on what they are.”

And as an Albertan, Vogelzang will be watching, possibly commenting on the province’s evolving health care system.

“I have a great interest in how the health system will impact myself, my family, and the citizens and to that extent I definitely will stay involved and may speak if I feel it can be positive and constructive.”

Contact Susan Zielinski at szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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