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By: Patti Hayes

Why bother to listen to the Lutheran Health Network Physicians? It isn’t as if they were the ones who built the reputation of a healthcare system. A healthcare system that is filled with regional firsts. It isn’t as if they did the region’s first coronary angioplasty, or coronary bypass surgery or the first cemented total hip replacement.

The list goes on and on; lists that were shared with those that you were trying to impress but that are now minimized and discounted. Region’s first and only transplant program. Region’s first artificial heart implant. Region’s first renal dialysis. Region’s first anterior hip replacement.

Just because more Allen county babies are born in Lutheran Health Network hospitals than its competitor, isn’t a reason to think they know what is best for building a healthier community or helping new families get the right start to the region’s growing population.

Why bother listening to the physicians who stood by waiting for burn patients to be transferred from NYC when we all watched those buildings fall on 9/11? Nowhere else in the corporation is there a certified burn center and hyperbarics program that has saved burned fire fighters and the children they have rescued, but you probably know best.

Why bother listening to the community that built two hospitals guided by their Christian beliefs? One hospital still has a certified pastoral education program, training those of any faith to know how best to minister to the sick at their most vulnerable times. Both have established two well-funded foundations that continue to provide for the healthcare of the neediest in this community. Both still have the symbols of their faith in every one of the patient rooms. But I doubt that they know what is best for this community.

Why bother to listen to the nurses who were part of the region’s FIRST Magnet hospital designation? The region’s FIRST accredited chest pain program? The region’s first hospital that showed all of the others what five star care really was? Many employed by the same hospitals where they graduated from the outstanding diploma schools of nursing who came together as the foundation of the area’s first BSN program….but I doubt they know about real quality nursing care.

Why listen to the managers and leaders who really brought together hospitals and physicians to align incentives to ensure that the patients were the ones who received the greatest benefit? There are a few of them left who can tell you about bringing Disney principles to Fort Wayne and raised the bar for everyone else.

Why listen to the people who are a part of this community, live here, care for its residents and work to make it the best it can be…one person at a time? You probably know best.