Friday, June 21, 2024

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Civic Skinny

Highest nonprofit executive salaries. City council race heats up. Iowans nice to delivery drivers.


Last month CITYVIEW gathered information on the highest bonuses and salaries of nonprofit executives in Iowa, omitting those at the head of healthcare-oriented nonprofits. This month we will highlight the executives with the largest salaries of the top five nonprofits with the highest gross receipts in central Iowa according to

The Central Iowa Hospital Corporation sits atop the healthcare nonprofit mountain, with a listed $1,488,485,014 in gross receipts. According to their 2021 990 tax form, the highest earning employee is not an executive, but is radiation oncology physician Robert Isaak. Isaak’s total compensation is listed at $1,016,910. Their highest paid officer was listed as CMO (Chief Medical Officer) Tracy Elkhardt, with her earnings totaling out to $838,262.

Catholic Health Services is second, with $899,251,353 in gross receipts. Their most recent 990 tax form is from 2022. Five of the organization’s executives received more than $1 million in compensation, with the highest being Director and CEO of Mercy Health Network Robert Ritz. Ritz’s total compensation comes out to $2,042,754. Their highest compensated employee is Network Hospital President Sean Williams, with a listed total compensation of $1,179,758.

In West Des Moines, the Iowa Physicians Clinic Medical Foundation comes in third in terms of gross receipts, with $568,638,692. Their 2021 990 tax form was available. President and CEO Sanjeeb Khatua topped their executives’ earnings. Khatua’s listed compensation is $1,086,913. Their top five highest paid employees are all physicians, with the highest paid being Rajeev Fernando, at $1,520,287.

Staying in West Des Moines, Iowa Health System is next in fourth for gross receipts, at $440,701,690. Their 2021 990 form shows that Executive Vice President and COO Art Nizza’s compensation came in at $2,144,889. President and CEO Clay Holderman is next with a total compensation of $1,549,142.

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Last, but not least, and remaining in West Des Moines, is UnityPoint at Home. The most recent available 990 tax form was from 2020, and their gross receipt numbers came to $356,916,210. Listed as a board member, Pamela Delagardelle, now CEO, topped their highest reported earners at $1,470,151. Their next highest paid executive is President and Chief Clinical Officer, listed as Margaret Vanoosten, earning $681,172. …

In August, the state’s executive council approved the use of up to $21.3 million in pandemic relief money to move state employees out of the Wallace State Office Building. The building, located at 502 E. Ninth St. in downtown Des Moines, is home to the iconic windows that reflect the Capitol building. According to a state report, the recommended list of renovations for the Wallace Building would cost up to $73 million.

A total of 540 state employees will make the move to the new building as the purchase was made official after the State of Iowa purchased the two-story office building at 6200 Park Ave. from William C Knapp L.C. for $18 million as of Sept. 28, 2023. …

The race for Des Moines City Council seats is heating up. Four spots will be decided by voters on Nov. 7. The at-large contest, held by incumbent Carl Voss, also includes AJ Drew. The Ward I seat is open after Indira Sheumaker resigned. Those looking to fill the seat are Rob Barron, Chris Coleman, Kathy Hellstern, Dennis McCullough, RJ Miller, Rose Marie Smith and Kimberly Strope-Boggus. Ward II incumbent Linda Westergaard will be challenged by Chelsea Lepley. The Ward IV incumbent, Joe Gatto, will face Jason Benell and Justin Torres. …

The boom of delivery services during and since the pandemic mean more people than ever were, and are, having goods delivered to their doorsteps. According to USA Today, the average delivery service customer spends $407 a month in 2023 on deliveries, up from $157 in 2021, and almost no one is nicer to those delivery drivers than Iowans.

According to a study by, Iowa is the seventh nicest state to delivery drivers in the country. A total of 67% of Iowa households say they always smile at delivery people, 60% always make eye contact with them, 52% become more generous tippers during the holiday season, and 23% know their mail delivery driver by name. …

Iowans like to keep out of their neighbor’s business. A study by All Star Home shows residents in the Hawkeye state have the sixth least nosy neighbors. A total of 26% of Iowans say they have neighbors who invite themselves over, 22% who say they have neighbors who ask them inappropriate questions, and 49% reported having neighbors who watch them from afar, which begs the question, who’s watching who? …  

If you feel like you’re being watched, it might be your partner. According to yet another study by, Iowans are the sixth most likely state to have spied on their partner to see if they were cheating on them, with 39.6% of Iowans who were surveyed admitting to snooping. People from Iowa ranked first for those who used social media as their preferred method of surveillance, tied for second for using “Find my iPhone” to track their partner’s location online and for checking their partner’s phone records or bills, and third for showing up unexpectedly at their partner’s workplace or social events. …

The State of Iowa agreed to an interim settlement brought on by Medicaid-eligible children with serious mental and behavioral health needs. The lawsuit asserted that “Iowa administers an inadequate mental health system that does not provide children and youth with legally required services,” according to written comments from Iowa Human Health Services.

From the press release, “Over the course of the next several months, the state will develop an implementation plan that will bolster and reinforce the significant actions already taken in recent years to improve the mental health system in Iowa.”

CITYVIEW reached out to Iowa Human Health Services for more details on what can be expected from the implementation plan but did not receive the information by press time. ♦

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