A spectacular touchdown or a fumble? Thats the question surrounding the five-year deal between Palomar Pomerado Health and a major football star.
In late July, the San Diego not-for-profit hospital district announced with much ado that San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson will become an official health advocate and spokesman for Palomar Pomerado, investing his time and energy to help address the many challenges facing his community.
After three local news organizations filed a Public Records Act request seeking the undisclosed terms of the deal, the district revealed that Tomlinson will be paid $2 million over five years, including $300,000 a year from the public district and $100,000 a year from the districts foundation.
Hospital officials say that Tomlinson, the National Football Leagues Man of the Year and Most Valuable Player for 2006, has a stellar reputation that will enhance the hospitals image in a fiercely competitive healthcare market.
L.T., as he is known to his fans, will launch Project21SD, named for his jersey number, to educate San Diegans about a number of health issues. He will star in a TV campaign encouraging people experiencing symptoms of a heart attack to call 911 and not try to drive themselves to a hospital. He will work with kids on diabetes and obesity, and help staff recruitment and fundraising efforts.
Gustavo Friederichsen, chief marketing officer for Palomar Pomerado Health, says the $2 million payout will more than pay for itself, noting that Tomlinsons first fundraising event has a target of $500,000.