Lutheran Health CEO: Investment in network will reach $100 million this year

Mike Poore

Lutheran Health Network will have invested $100 million in 100 construction projects and 300 capital and equipment projects by the end of the year, according to CEO Mike Poore.

In a Thanksgiving message to employees, Poore said the projects include an orthopedics and sports medicine complex at Kosciusko Community Hospital, the addition of a second hybrid cath lab at Lutheran Hospital, an OP oncology addition at Dupont Hospital, NICU renovations at Lutheran and Dupont hospitals and conversion to new monitors system-wide.

“A few of the projects or additions are more tangible than others,” he stated. “For example, starting early next month, multiple departments at most of our LHN hospitals will be receiving new stretchers. Some of the areas included in the project (but not limited to) are our emergency, radiology and surgery departments. At about the same time, new bedside tables and over-the- bed tables will delivered to most LHN hospitals.”

In addition, new hospital beds have been purchased and the remainder of the new beds will be delivered in early December. “Originally those items were to be delivered in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The delivery dates were moved up so all LHN hospitals should have their new beds by year end,” Poore said.

When a group led by local physicians unsuccessfully tried to but the network from Tennessee-based Community Health Systems in June for $2.4 billion, the age of the beds was cited by critics who accused CHS of failing to invest in Lutheran and other local hospitals. Former CEO Brian Bauer was fired in the wake of the unsuccessful attempt, and is now working with Indiana University Health as it prepares to enter the Fort Wayne market.

“Finally,” Poore wrote, “I wanted to take a moment to give thanks . . . for my family and the warm welcome you have given us as we’ve settled in. I’m thankful to all our employees who will be working the holiday and may not get a chance to gather with family and friends. Thank you for your sacrifices on behalf of our patients. I have to believe that same level of commitment was on display when Lutheran Hospital opened its doors for the first time on Thanksgiving Day in 1904.”

He added: “It’s a reminder that we’re always there for the communities we serve. And I’m thankful for the exciting future that lies ahead of us as a network.”

CHS in has said it plans to invest $500 million in Lutheran Health Network, including a possible replacement for St. Joseph Hospital in downtown Fort Wayne.