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The letter below from Lutheran Health Network CEO Michael Poore brings us the good news that he will be “as transparent as [he] can be about the details” of CHS’s investment. However, even a cursory read of the letter shows it to be neither detailed or transparent. We applaud the move toward transparency, however, and we do understand that the planning process may take time. When projects of this type are announced, however, one expects “the consultant” to be identified and members of the St. Joseph’s subcommittee to be acknowledged. In fact, as we recall, tens of millions of dollars of capital requests were made from LHN’s Bluffton, Peru, and Kosciusko County hospitals in the recent past–and these requests were denied by CHS. Thanks to the new commitment to transparency, we can now look forward to hearing plans for investment in quality upgrades for the entire LHN family. Thank you in advance, Mr. Poore, for including these details in upcoming town hall meetings. The commitment to quality healthcare for all of LHN that you mention in your final paragraph is a goal we endorse.

Dear Lutheran Health Network team,

Thank you to the many of you who have attended a town hall meeting over the last couple weeks. They have been an invaluable chance for me to hear directly from you. Your enthusiasm and pride in LHN is contagious – and this morning’s gathering in Bluffton was a great example of that. We have more town halls scheduled in the coming weeks, and I look forward to spending time with other team members who work outside Allen County.

During these sessions, several of you have expressed excitement and asked questions about the new medical campus project to replace St. Joseph Hospital. The process of building a new hospital from the ground up is a long one, and we are going about it thoughtfully and responsibly. I have committed to you that I will be as transparent as I can be about the details. So, here’s where we are in the process:

Last year, a consultant was engaged to identify and evaluate potential locations for a facility to replace St. Joe.

We’ve taken action toward acquiring one piece of property identified through that process and are pursuing other options in order to fully evaluate the best location for the new facility. Once land is secured, we will work with our design partners to develop architectural and infrastructure plans that complement the selected geographical location, support clinical services and the caregivers who will work in the new hospital, and provide an exceptional patient experience. This will be thoughtful design work that will take some time to develop, but we look forward to sharing renderings as soon as possible after site selection is complete.

We have designated a subcommittee of our St. Joe board that consists of community leaders and physicians that will advise us throughout the process. That group is engaged in determining the detailed plans around services, inpatient needs vs. outpatient needs, and more.

Identifying and securing the land is the critical next step in this process, and our time and attention is focused on doing that as quickly as possible. Although there are many details to work out, what is certain is our commitment to bringing the tradition and history of St. Joseph Hospital to a new location and in a modernized facility.

Over the course of the next few months, we are going to continue pushing forward on this process, and you can expect regular updates on our progress and important milestones that accompany a major construction project.

Thank you for the work you do each day to ensure our friends and neighbors receive quality healthcare. If there’s one thing I’ve heard in our meetings so far, it’s that we’re all ready and eager to keep moving LHN Forward, together.

Mike Poore | CEO | Lutheran Health Network
7950 W. Jefferson Blvd | Fort Wayne, IN 46804 | Tel: 260.435.7101 | Cell: 615.969.4626 |