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On Friday, NICHE posted about planned job cuts at Dupont Hospital. In response, Dupont Interim CEO Lisa Dolan sent an internal memo that claimed “This information is absolutely untrue. The claims made and opinions expressed in the post were made by people who do not work for or represent Dupont Hospital in any way.” Dolan added that “sharing the kind of completely inaccurate information NICHE posted today undermines the future we are building together and seems deliberately intended to cause doubt and concern for you and our patients.”

A few notes:

– The information sent to NICHE came from sources that know the truth. Sometimes those who get caught with a hand in the cookie jar show remorse only after being found out.

– NICHE does its homework. We checked and double checked the facts before publishing Friday’s post. We have other stories in the works that would prove even more disruptive to CHS, but we are proceeding with caution as we have to date. As we mentioned in a comment on the Dupont job cuts post, NICHE doesn’t celebrate the bad news about CHS and LHN, but we have an obligation to share the facts.

– The planned Dupont cuts were the direct result of benchmarking used by CHS to reduce costs and increase profitability. As a four-star hospital under Medicare-Compare standards, Dupont’s current staff-to-patient ratios are designed to ensure a high-quality of care, making it an outlier in the CHS system.

– Dolan specifically called out the “plans to cut 75 jobs.” She said nothing about the short-term plans to eliminate 40 positions. Is this an oversight on Dolan’s behalf, or is she simply giving herself cover?

– NICHE’s founders may not work for Dupont today, but they were part of the team that originally conceived of and opened the hospital. In fact, one of the primary motivations for the launch of NICHE was the degree to which Dupont, during the reign of CHS, has strayed from its original vision. NICHE’s mission is to ensure that northeast Indiana retains access to the highest quality healthcare via education and information. “The future [CHS is] building,” based on recent evidence, is what should “cause doubt and concern” for all of us.

One final thought: there is a chance Dupont will reverse itself and keep staffing levels as they are after being called out by NICHE. While we would prefer such decisions be made to ensure high-quality care, we’d applaud that decision regardless of its motivations. So, Ms. Dolan (and Mike Poore), we invite you to speak with NICHE about your plans. Can you confirm that NO job cuts are planned at Dupont Hospital for the foreseeable future and that you will NOT follow corporate benchmarks? We’re eager to hear your answers to those and other questions.