Leadership exodus at Lutheran: 2 board members leave over rift with CHS, making for 7 resignations in 6 days

Two physicians have resigned from the board of Dupont Hospital, which is part of Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Lutheran Health Network. They join five other board members and executives who have left the Lutheran network in the past six days.

Arvind Surendran, MD, stepped down from Dupont Hospital's board Friday, and Todd Rumsey, MD, submitted his resignation letter Monday to Lutheran Health Network's acting CEO Mike Poore, according to The Journal Gazette.

"It's just become very apparent in the last eight weeks that CHS is going to use their 72 percent (ownership stake) to do what they think is best," Dr. Rumsey told The Journal Gazette. "It's no longer possible for me to support all of the decisions that come from that boardroom."

The recent mass exodus comes after Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems rejected a buyout offer from a group of LHN physicians in May. Dr. Rumsey and Dr. Surendran are two of several Lutheran leaders to resign in the past week. Chuck Surack stepped down from the advisory boards of LHN and Lutheran Hospital Thursday. The next day, Tom Kelly resigned from the boards, and three physician executives — LHN Medical Staff President James Cameron, MD, Lutheran Hospital President-elect Matt Carr, MD, and Lutheran Hospital Medical Staff Vice President Marlene Bultemeyer, MD — left their positions.

Shortly after CHS rejected the physician group's takeover bid, the hospital operator fired two Lutheran Health Network executives: CEO Brian Bauer and CMO Geoff Randolph, MD. Lutheran Hospital CMO Matthew Sutter, MD, resigned in June and Steven Orlow, MD, the system's CMIO, resigned earlier this month. 

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