Going deeper: Comparing exec salaries at Valley Children’s, Community Medical Centers

Following The Sun’s in-depth coverage of executive compensation at Valley Children’s, readers asked for a comparison against another Valley health care major: Community Medical Centers.

Valley Children’s Hospital has claimed over the past few weeks that it pays CEO Todd Suntrapak a salary in-line with his peers in the healthcare industry. 

But an analysis by The Sun comparing tax records from Valley Children’s to the other large children’s hospitals in California revealed that Suntrapak’s base salary of $1.7 million was around what other CEOs made in their total compensation packages, which includes benefits and bonuses. 


Suntrapak pulled in total compensation packages of $5.5 million and $5.1 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Valley Children’s said his 2021 compensation includes his bonus for 2022, inflating the total number. 

A reader asked The Sun to compare the executive pay at Valley Children’s to the Fresno-based Community Medical Centers. 

The big picture: Community Medical Centers operates four hospitals, including Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno and Clovis Community Hospital. 

  • Community has 1,273 beds throughout its four hospitals and long-term care facilities, with nearly 9,400 total employees in 2021. 
  • Valley Children’s has its lone hospital in Madera County with neonatal intensive care units (NICU) also located in Fresno, Hanford and Merced along with specialty care facilities and pediatrician offices throughout the Central Valley. 
  • Valley Children’s has 358 beds and had nearly 4,000 employees in 2021. 
  • Community also partners with UCSF to serve as a teaching hospital, and Community Regional Medical Center has the only Level 1 trauma center from Sacramento to Los Angeles. 

A direct comparison: Tax returns for 2021 show that Community CEO Craig Castro received a total compensation package of $2.4 million, including a base salary of $1.49 million. Castro also made $2.4 million in 2020, which included a base salary of $1.13 million. 

  • Community had three executives on the 2021 payroll earning over $1 million. Valley Children’s had six such executives. 
  • The total executive pay in 2021 was $13.78 million for Community, covering 16 executives, including former CEO Tim Joslin who received $900,000 as reportable compensation. Joslin retired after 15 years as CEO in 2020. Valley Children’s had an executive payroll of $26.95 million in 2021 for 28 executives. 
  • Community reports a higher number on its 2020 tax returns, with total executive payroll at $25.2 million. That included $4.66 million for Joslin. But Valley Children’s still topped Community’s 2020 executive pay with the total number coming in at $25.75 million. 
  • Community reported $1.56 billion in net assets in 2021, while Valley Children’s had $1.68 billion. 
  • In 2021, Community spent $1.1 billion in total compensation for all of its employees. Valley Children’s reported total employee pay of $353.7 million in 2021. 

No place like home: In 2021, Suntrapak also received a $5 million forgivable home loan as part of a retention bonus, which he used to purchase a $6.5 million house in Carmel-by-the-Sea in 2022. 

  • Tax returns show that Castro has not been given a home loan of any sort in his time as CEO, and Joslin never received one during his 15 years. 

About those insurance policies: Valley Children’s also has far more expensive life insurance policies for its executives. 

  • Tax returns show that Valley Children’s has $33.5 million in life insurance policies for five executives. Those policies are listed as loans in Schedule L Part II on Form 990. Suntrapak’s policy is listed at $11.34 million in 2021. 
  • Community has $16.3 million in insurance policies for nine employees. Castro’s policy is listed at nearly $6 million in 2021. 
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