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HELENA - While hospital executives are well paid in Montana, the same can be said for the head of their lobby group.

Dick Brown, executive director of MHA, which lobbies for hospitals and a few other health care organizations, has a current base salary of about $229,000. He also has a vehicle allowance and opportunity for a bonus.

According to tax records, Brown earned $245,000 in 2008, including car

allowance and incentive payment.

MHA lobbies the Legislature and Congress on behalf of the state's 60-plus hospitals and the group's other members. It has 25 employees and runs three companies, such as MHA Ventures, which does collective purchasing or products and services for MHA members.

Brown said his salary is 47th highest among the 51 state hospital associations, including the District of Columbia.

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