Valley Children’s CEO breaks his silence – with an interview from PR team

Before Todd Suntrapak’s first TV interview since the fallout surrounding excessive compensation, Valley Children’s released a different kind of interview to staff.

Months after Valley Children’s chief executive officer Todd Suntrapak found himself and the hospital in a media firestorm over excessive compensation packages for executives, Suntrapak is finally speaking out.

The hospital chief is scheduled to make an appearance on a Tuesday broadcast with ABC30. Before its release, however, Valley Children’s distributed to employees a supercut of answers from Suntrapak on the various controversies that have emerged since the compensation story broke.


Suntrapak on his salary: Suntrapak, in the interview, claimed that his compensation is not negotiated but merely developed by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors (he does not specify which entity’s board, but Valley Children’s has stated that the Valley Children’s Healthcare board sets his salary) and presented to him for signature.

  • “There are no discussions with me about my compensation other than the board Comp Committee, notifying me what it’s going to be after they’ve gone through a very regimented process, utilizing at least one outside consultant that’s nationally renowned for doing that work, and sometimes two, and then it’s presented to me,” Suntrapak said in the video. “In 2012, when I was presented with my first contract as the CEO of Valley Children’s, I signed the contract. And at that time, I was paid at the 11th percentile. And in fact, my compensation didn’t reach the 50th percentile until 2018.”

Suntrapak on the proposed Valley Children’s retail: The children’s hospital chief also addressed a controversial proposed commercial and retail development near its Madera County campus.

  • “In the next seven years, how we develop our main campus in Madera, which will focus on what we call our mixed use core. Some people might call it commercial retail,” Suntrapak said in a video. “You might ask, why do we need to do that? Well, the reason we’re doing it is very simple. We need to continue to find ways to generate non patient related revenue. So that we can continue to develop quaternary and tertiary pediatric services, and pay for patient care Valley Children’s.”

Suntrapak on why the hospital needs additional investments: Suntrapak said that Valley Children’s is not just financially strong, but is on “financial granite.” Valley Children’s had nearly $1.7 billion in net assets listed on its 2021 tax return. That allows the hospital to make key investments. 

  • “As we evaluate anything that we do at Valley Children’s, we do so with an eye towards sustainability,” Suntrapak said. “It’s one of the reasons that we have created a fund – if you will – of sustainability that is the financial strength in our balance sheet, which allows us to weather storms like COVID without laying off any staff, without doing any furloughs, without even asking anybody to take a pay cut during COVID because of that financial strength. That same financial strength allows us to make key investments so that we can continue to evolve Valley Children’s over the coming 70 to 100 years.” 

Suntrapak on what he’s heard from employees: The CEO said he held a number of employee forums to answer any questions after the news about his salary made the rounds. 

  • “And what we found was as good as we are – and I’ve always said we’re not perfect – we still have a few notches of excellence that we can achieve. I think Valley Children’s is real. We spend a lot of time celebrating the extraordinary team we have here. And I have often said I would not trade this team for any team at any pediatric healthcare enterprise in the country, and I mean that every bit as much today as ever.” 

Watch the interview generated by Valley Children’s:

A Conversation with Valley Children's President and CEO Todd Suntrapak from Valley Children's on Vimeo.

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