Surack Quits Lutheran Boards

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Chuck Surack is the founder and CEO of Sweetwater Sound. Chuck Surack is the founder and CEO of Sweetwater Sound.
FORT WAYNE -

The founder of Fort Wayne-based Sweetwater Sound has resigned from the advisory boards of Lutheran Hospital and Lutheran Health Network. Our partners at WPTA-TV report Chuck Surack's decision stems from disappointment with Lutheran's parent, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc. (NYSE: CYH). 

Surack this week sent his resignation letter to CHS and his fellow board members. He tells WPTA that letter, which he claims was leaked, expressed his unhappiness.

"I felt my input wasn't being valued anymore. I've been on the board for about ten years, and I have all the respect in the world for the doctors, nurses, medical staff that's there, all the staff," Surack told the station. "Just amazing people doing great care, but lately there have been decisions made by the parent company, CHS, and frankly they've let some great, great people go. And, I just don't align with that."

Surack said some of the decisions made by CHS include last month's removal of Brian Bauer as chief executive officer of Lutheran Health Network. The move was also criticized by members of the Indiana General Assembly.

CHS also fired Aaron Garofola as CEO of Dupont Hospital in Fort Wayne.

In May, CHS rejected an offer by a group of 10 Fort Wayne physicians to acquire Lutheran Health Network for $2.4 billion. CHS said the offer undervalued Lutheran by about $1 billion. Late last month, the group, known as Fort Wayne Physicians LLC, announced it was ending its bid to buy the health system and dissolving the organization. 

"I don't wish ill will to CHS. I hope they find a way to get through this, but from my point-of-view, it's not the direction I would run my company, and that's all I can say", Surack explained, "I resigned not to hurt them. It was a hard decision because I didn't want to hurt the doctors and the nurses and the other people who were there, but I felt also by staying, I was condoning or suggesting that I approve."

Surack tells WPTA he is making himself available to Lutheran, should he be needed.

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