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Jackson hospital CEO departs St. John’s with $1M severance package

JACKSON (WNE) — Will Wagnon will leave St. John’s Health with a $1 million severance package following his resignation as CEO, which the hospital board accepted Monday.

The hospital board provided no reason for his resignation.

At Monday’s hospital board special meeting, Chair Sue Critzer said he left under a section of his contract that allowed him to resign with “good cause.”

In the contract’s language, the reasons Wagnon could resign with good cause were limited to a substantial reduction in the scope of his job, a substantial reduction in his pay or bonuses, and a change in location for his position.

Hospital attorney Tom Lubnau wrote in an email that Wagnon’s resignation was “in full compliance” with the contract.

Wagnon did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

His severance package includes 15 months of his base salary and retirement contribution, a $250,000 relocation allowance and 15 monthly payments of $2,912 for COBRA health insurance, a continuation policy offered to some employees after they leave a job. These numbers may not reflect the final tally Wagnon is owed and are rounded to the nearest whole.

Including salary, benefits and bonuses for the time he spent leading the hospital, Wagnon’s overall income for his tenure totals roughly $1.4 million. His base annual salary was $547,715, with the potential for bonuses of up to 40% of his salary.

Hired in December to replace retiring CEO Dr. Paul Beaupre, Wagnon started at St. John’s on Feb. 1. He came to the role with two decades of experience in hospital administration, much of it with the Tennessee-based for-profit hospital chain HCA Healthcare.

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