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NICHE has it on good authority that job cuts are imminent at Dupont Hospital. Specifically, we are hearing that 40 positions are on the chopping block and 75 long term–a significant number given that total employment at Dupont is approximately just over 600. (Math isn’t our strong suit at NICHE, but we do know the immediate cuts represent 7 percent of total employment and to cut 75, or 13 percent, will be a death knell for “The Dupont Difference”).

This resurrects several concerns we’ve raised before, but that are nevertheless worth repeating:

• Is there any way that quality of care can be maintained given such a reduction in staff? More to the point, Isn’t it likely that quality of care will decline with such a severe reduction in staff? We’re already seeing these effects at Lutheran Hospital.

• What’s going to be the effect on the local economy when 75 of our neighbors are suddenly jobless?

• What’s motivating CHS’s decision to cut these positions?

• Does it seem ethical or fair for shareholders to take a beating and employees to be squeezed when you consider that:

– CHS Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Wayne T. Smith made $4,733,340 in total compensation in 2016, including a salary of $1.6 million.

– CHS President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Hingtgen made $2,636,166 in total compensation in 2016, including a salary of $655,007

– CHS has five corporate jets to allow its executives to travel privately and exceedingly comfortably

• Maybe most notably, where does this all end? When will CHS wring the last drop of profit from LHN?

Dupont Hospital is currently the only four-star facility in the LHN system and one of just six in Indiana. The issue can’t be performance. This smacks of corporate greed, pure and simple. Shameful.