Two new CEOs carried Lutheran Health Network's marketing message to the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne on Monday.
But, perhaps, the most surprising thing they said concerned meetings with rival provider Parkview Health.
Paula Autry, Lutheran Hospital's leader, and Karen Fordham, St. Joseph Hospital's chief, shared their network's and facilities' histories with several dozen club members during a luncheon at Parkview Field.
“I'm in awe of the services we provide ... to the community,” Autry said after reading a “firsts” and “onlys” list that included the fact that Lutheran Hospital offers the region's only accredited heart and kidney transplant programs.
“For me, it was really a no-brainer to come to this facility,” she added.
The Rotarians were more interested in the rift between some community members and Lutheran's Tennessee parent company, Community Health Systems, than in a recitation of Lutheran's accomplishments.
Autry fielded questions about CHS debt, the intentions of a major Chinese investor and employee morale.
Autry, who has no special insight into the investor's strategy or the company's debt, said that by the time she came on board in November, staff seemed ready to move beyond calls for CHS to sell Lutheran's network to someone who would invest more in salaries, equipment and building maintenance.