Staff at Lutheran Hospital gather for ‘prayer meeting’

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Dozens of employees of Lutheran Hospital gathered midday Tuesday for a “prayer meeting” on the hospital’s front lawn, a day after parent company Community Health Systems rejected a buyout bid by ten Fort Wayne physicians.

The 10-15-minute gathering was initially described by participants as a “walkout” but later clarified as a “prayer meeting” to pray for the hospital’s leaders. Similar gatherings are planned daily at noon, participants told NewsChannel 15.

Community Health Systems owns Lutheran Health Network, which has healthcare facilities throughout northeast Indiana.

Any employee who wished to attend was welcomed, and their shifts were covered by a supervisor, a participant told NewsChannel 15.

It’s unclear whether similar meetings took place at other Lutheran facilities such as Dupont Hospital or St. Joseph Hospital.

Community Health Systems’ board of directors on Monday rejected a $2.4 billion offer submitted by the group of doctors. In a statement, the board said the offer was “at least $1 billion below the fair market value” of Lutheran Health Network.

Lutheran Hospital staff outside the facility during a walkout on May 23, 2017 in protest of Community Health Systems rejection of a buyout bid by a group of 10 Fort Wayne physicians

Later that day, more than a hundred doctors from Lutheran Health Network walked out on an emergency meeting with Community Health Systems. The meeting was called by Dr. James Cameron, President of Lutheran Medical Staff. It was intended to mend fences between CHS and Lutheran Health Network.