Chief Medical Officer for Sioux Falls gets biggest raise in 2019, $12,000

One of the biggest irony of Dr. Jennifer Tinguely’s raise is that there are probably people she serves at Falls Community Health (FCH) that don’t even make that in a year. She went from $215K to $227K in one year. She is the highest paid city employee . . . she runs a clinic.

Is she a bad doctor or bad person? I highly doubt it. Anyone who would dedicate themselves to helping people with their medical needs should be commended. But as a city employee, I just don’t think she is needed.

As I have pointed out in the past when I was researching regional director pay, I couldn’t find any city in our region that had a CMO. Now some of the municipalities like Des Moines overlap with the county services, so it may be hidden somewhere else. But Lincoln, Omaha, Fargo and Des Moines didn’t have one. Why is this? Because I think a lot of these communities depend on Non-Profits to provide that care with Federal Assistance.

So what about the justification of her raise? The health department had 121 employees in 2017, 122 in 2018 and in 2019 they have 116, not sure how many work at FCH. Also, with so many medical staff members including 3 full-time dentists, why does the center need an MD as director? Jill Franken, the Health director who makes $163K a year could easily manage the facility. Let’s face it, FCH is a ‘clinic’. If anything serious arrises you would refer a patient to a specialist or the emergency room at one of our many healthcare facilities in Sioux Falls. The good doctor isn’t curing cancer. In fact, they basically help with minor afflictions, pulling bad teeth, and testing for the ‘itchy scratchy’.

Do I think it is a good idea to have a ‘doctor’ on staff. Yes. But you could easily contract a family doctor to come in a couple times a week to see certain patients. A nurse practitioner could easily handle most patients. FCH needs an administrator, not a MD running the joint.

It’s time to take another look at how FCH is ran.



8 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 01.24.19 at 8:28 pm

I must agree. This looks like a token position without justification. All city employees health care should be via health insurance and their choice of provider.

#2 Blasphemo on 01.25.19 at 12:04 am

The Avera Downtown Clinic provides health care free of charge to persons lacking health insurance. Skilled nurses take care of the fundamentals in the exam rooms. Interns often accompany staff doctors during the doctor’s examination room appointment. While there are 2-3 attending physicians, it appears resident physicians also provide care in this clinic as an early step in their careers. Furthermore, specialists from the Avera system commit time at regular intervals there for patients needing specialized care. Couldn’t a form of this model be used for FCH at some savings to the taxpayers?

#3 l3wis on 01.25.19 at 8:41 am

With the mountains of money Avera and Sanford have, we should just be contracting with them for not only this kind of care, but Paratransit, ambulance transfers and the proposed triage center. I think we should bring them to the table with a proposal instead continuing to allow elected officials (with no experience in healthcare admin) make these decisions.

#4 Sierra Broussard on 01.25.19 at 8:46 pm

She is a good doctor and wonderful person I know her personally and she’s my medical doctor. Awesome well educated and very knowledgeable on transgenderism

#5 l3wis on 01.25.19 at 9:48 pm

I’m sure she is! My point is we don’t NEED an MD to run a clinic, that can be an administrator for a lot less pay.

#6 Michael L. Wyland on 01.29.19 at 12:17 pm

I posted a comment – what happened to it?

#7 l3wis on 01.29.19 at 1:08 pm

Sometimes comments get spammed, I can’t control it. Did it have any links? Try again and I will watch for it.

#8 Michael L. Wyland on 01.29.19 at 4:26 pm

It included one link to the City budget. It was a pretty long comment and I didn’t save a copy. Thanks.

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