Members of the Indiana General Assembly representing northeast Indiana have expressed their disappointment in the sudden dismissal of Brian Bauer as chief executive officer of Lutheran Health Network. In a statement obtained by our partners at WPTA in Fort Wayne, the delegation says the decision "raises local concerns over the direction of the company."
Lutheran’s parent company, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems, announced Bauer’s removal Monday, saying Bauer was unable to continue in the role because "current circumstances put him in an untenable position." Community executive Mike Poore will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found.
You can read the Northeast Indiana delegation’s full statement below:
We, members of the Northeast Indiana delegation of the General Assembly, are disappointed by Community Health Systems’ decision to abruptly remove Brian Bauer as CEO of Lutheran Health Network. As public officials, one of our top priorities is to continue attracting and retaining talent to our region, and Mr. Bauer is exactly the type of individual we are looking for. He’s a successful administrator, visionary and well-respected member of the community.
Upon assuming his position as CEO, Mr. Bauer immediately embraced our community and remained steadfast in his commitment to its betterment. He has always kept the best interests of his patients, doctors and staff close to heart. Many of us have heard stories about his heartwarming interactions with those being treated. This leadership has not gone unnoticed by the state, as then-Gov. and now Vice President Mike Pence awarded him with a Sagamore of the Wabash award in 2013.
Unfortunately, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems has a different vision for Lutheran Health Network. Their decision to suddenly terminate such a valuable asset to the community raises local concerns over the direction of the company. We are confident Mr. Bauer will continue to lead within the healthcare industry.
In its announcement Monday, Lutheran said Aaron Garofola will no longer serve as CEO of Dupont Hospital in Fort Wayne, after being named to the position on a permanent basis in December.
The Northeast Indiana delegation is comprised of State Representatives Martin Carbaugh (R-81), Matt Lehman (R-79), Dave Ober (R-82), Denny Zent (R-51), David Wolkins (R-18), Bob Morris (R-84), Dan Leonard (R-50), Curt Nisly (R-22), Dave Heine (R-85), Phil GiaQuinta (D-80), Christopher Judy (R-83), and State Senator Dennis Kruse (R-14).