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So, here’s a story that exemplifies the cultural disconnect between Community Health Systems (CHS) and the people of Lutheran Health Network (LHN), shared by an LHN employee who witnessed it firsthand.

Each morning, staff at Dupont Hospital—an LHN four-star, Top 100 hospital, and one of the best in the CHS system—begin their day with a safety huddle, to maintain patient safety as their top priority. This get together is an important part of the Dupont Hospital culture because of the way in which it unites the team, and the meetings include a prayer seeking guidance in keeping patients and staff safe.

Recently, in the midst of the prayer, one of these safety huddles was ambushed by CHS executive Marty Bonick, who used the opportunity to lash out at the Dupont employees and blame local leadership for the issues our community is facing. Some Dupont employees looked on in disbelief. Others cried. Others were so upset they had to leave the meeting.

As if it could get any worse, Bonick then held up a photo of a bird’s nest that had been built in the Birthplace sign on campus—and, which unbeknownst to him, had served as a rallying point for the staff keeping watch over the mama bird and her babies. Tone deaf to the staff’s perspective, Bonick then said the nest’s presence demonstrated “a lack of pride in the facility” and demanded it be removed. More looks of disbelief. More tears. More people walking away in disgust, feeling heartbroken and attacked.

The fate of the baby birds is unknown, but mama has been back to the site, searching for her babies and a new place to nest. This has provided yet another rallying point for staff, as they take inspiration from their feathered friends. They can be banished, beat up, and battered, but they can’t be broken. That knowledge—and the unity that brings them together each day—is what keeps the LHN staff motivated.

Read more about Marty Bonick here.