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Editor’s note: One of Civil Beat’s most popular features, the database of public employee salaries, is taking shape for the 2020 fiscal year, which began July 1. We update the salary database when new union contracts are signed and new budgets are put in place reflecting salary increases.
Two years ago, Jay Boughanem was by far the highest-paid public employee in Hawaii.
That hasn’t changed.
The staff surgeon for the Hawaii Health Services Corp. is earning $634,000 in the 2020 fiscal year, which began July 1.
The HHSC maintains 12 medical facilities across five islands. Its mission is to ensure access to comprehensive health care statewide, and it is the only provider of acute care on Maui and Lanai.
The latest installment of the salary database includes 2,122 HHSC employees, as well as 139 employees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Since 2010, Civil Beat has been publishing databases with information about tens of thousands of public employees. Salaries are a major component of state and county budgets and we think it’s important for taxpayers to know how their money is being spent.
Thirty-eighty HHSC physicians are in the database, 31 of which earn at least $200,000.
After Boughanem, the top-paid doctors are Mark Hansen, $550,000, and Carl Juneau and Jamison Wyatt, $475,000. Lovina Sabnani is next at $425,000.
Salaries for high-end HHSC doctors have fluctuated dramatically. Four years ago, David Engle made $786,000 as staff surgeon and two other physicians got $780,000. That had changed by two years ago, when Boughanem made $600,000 and the next-highest-paid doctors made $396,240.
As of July 1, the highest-paid non-physicians at HHSC were two regional chief executive officers, Daniel Brinkman, $330,000, and Jay Kreuzer, $322,149. The overall CEO, Lina Rosen-Debold, makes $309,309.
Twenty-three employees, including some nurse’s aides and transporters, are lowest paid with a range of $38,772 to $41,472.
At the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamanaopono Crabbe departed after seven years as chief executive officer and has been replaced by interim CEO Sylvia Husey, who is receiving the same $150,000 salary that Crabbe got two years ago.
OHA has been rocked by a critical state audit and ethics investigations that ensnared two former trustees. The state agency manages hundreds of millions of trust dollars for the benefit of Native Hawaiians.
It annually awards college scholarship money to Native Hawaiian students and loans to help Native Hawaiians start businesses, improve homes, consolidate debts and continue their education. Other money goes to various organizations aiding Hawaiians, including Hawaiian-focused charter schools, Papa Ola Lōkahi and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
The new database includes 139 OHA employees, 10 of whom earn six-figure annual salaries.
In addition to the CEO turnover, some of the other top positions at OHA have shifted in the last two years. Top earners besides Husey include:
• Lisa Watkins-Victorino, interim chief operating officer, $143,640. Two years ago as OHA research director, she got $128,016.
• Miles Nishijima, Lands Assets Division director, $126,732. Two years ago he got $124,236.
• Lisa Victor, chief technology director, $126,732. She was chief operating officer two years ago, making $140,706.
• Nicole Hind, community engagement director, $124,848. Two years ago she got $122,400.
• Raina Gushiken, senior legal counsel, $122,400, up slightly from $120,552 two years ago.
The nine elected members of the OHA Board of Trustees earn far less. Chair Colette Machado receives $66,768, while the eight other trustees get $58,560. Two years ago, the chair got $65,448 and other members $57,408.
The lowest-paid OHA employee is a community outreach coordinator making $35,880.
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