Fort Wayne medical staff walks out of buyout-rejection meeting

Lutheran Hospital is in Fort Wayne, Indiana. (WANE Photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- More than a hundred doctors from Lutheran Health Network walked out on an emergency meeting with its parent company Community Health Systems. The meeting was called after the Tennessee-based hospitals company rejected a $2.4 billion buyout bid.

The offer was submitted by a group of 10 local doctors. In a statement, the board said the offer was “at least $1 billion below the fair market value” of Lutheran Health Network. Community Health had until noon Monday to respond to the offer, according to reports. Staff members at Lutheran Health Network, who were fed up with the parent company, were desperately hoping for a change.

“We wouldn’t be in this position if that trust and communication was functioning the way it should be,” said Dr. James Cameron, president of Lutheran Medical Staff. “We don’t want our friends and family to be considered just a commodity.”

Cameron called the emergency meeting to mend fences between Community Health and Lutheran Health Network. Community Health representatives hopped on a private plane to Fort Wayne to talk to local doctors about the next steps.

However, when a Community Health official got up to speak, as many as 200 doctors got up and walked out. Cameron said he and some other medical staff leaders stayed. Cameron said he stayed only because he invited the corporate leaders to the meeting, not because he supported Community Health’s decision to reject the buyout.

“I will say that I don’t think it was hostile or tense between the representatives and myself,” said Cameron.

Cameron said there is a long way to go before the relationship between Lutheran Health Network and Community Health can be repaired.

“This is a starting line,” he said. ”As this process moves forward it’s going to be a trust building process.”

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