View Full Version : Departing hospitals chief Ramanathan “Ram” Raju took 52 out-of-state trips in brief tenure

The Bobster
11-09-2016, 02:21 PM

Departing hospitals chief took 52 out-of-state trips in brief tenure
By Yoav Gonen
November 9, 2016 | 1:13am

Ramanathan Raju
Photo: William Farrington

Departing municipal-hospitals President Dr. Ramanathan “Ram” Raju took 52 out-of-state trips in the two years and eight months he ran the system — including for all or part of 78 workdays, according to records obtained by The Post.

Ten of the trips were to Chicago, where Raju previously worked as head of the Cook County hospital network. And 20 trips were to meetings and conferences of two medical groups for which Raju sits on the board: the American Hospital Association and America’s Essential Hospitals, which paid for his transportation and lodging, according to officials.

There were also 15 trips to Washington, DC, where Raju sometimes met with federal officials and at other times attended or spoke at conferences.

“It’s almost as if he thinks the key to success at running a hospital is making speeches elsewhere,” one health-industry source said. “You obviously can’t run the thing day-to-day if you’re not going to be there.”

Raju, who earns $504,000 annually :eek:, announced on Monday that he’s stepping down from the money-strapped NYC Health + Hospitals at the end of the month.

The system faces deficits totaling more than $6 billion through 2020, according to the Independent Budget Office.

Raju’s daily schedule since assuming his post on April 1, 2014, was obtained by The Post through a Freedom of Information Law request.

The schedule shows that on one five-day trip to San Diego in July 2014, an American Hospital Association summit included speeches by former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning on “Lessons from the Line of Scrimmage” and from journalist Cokie Roberts :rolleyes: on “An Insider’s View of Washington, DC.”

The hospital system paid $1,430.19 for that trip so that Raju could attend as keynote speaker.

The municipal system also shelled out $1,330.70 in April 2015 for a round-trip flight and one night’s hotel stay in Knoxville, Tenn., so Raju could deliver a lunchtime speech at the Physician Leadership Symposium.

The municipal system — which in fiscal 2016 got $2.4 billion of its $7 billion budget from city taxpayers — also paid $1,366.76 in February for a flight and one night’s stay in Scottsdale, Ariz., where Raju served as a panelist during the Healthcare Executives Study Society annual meeting.

All told, taxpayers were on the hook for 20 of Raju’s 52 trips — with a total tab of $15,196.68.

Hospitals spokesman Robert de Luna noted that many of Raju’s trips were one-day or overnight affairs covered by outside groups, and emphasized that Raju always remained “connected and in charge” while away.

“Dr. Raju has consistently been recognized as one of the most important and influential health-care leaders in the country, serving on prominent policy and industry boards to represent America’s public health systems :rolleyes:,” de Luna said.