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Lutheran Health Network CEO Looking to Hire CEO Who Won't Replace Him

By Steven Porter  
   January 28, 2019

The idea behind the leadership change is to give more bandwidth to focus on strategy for the CHS-owned system that has faced drama in recent years.

Lutheran Health Network CEO Mike Poore is looking to hire a new CEO for the health system, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. But he's not looking for a replacement.

Poore, who has been CEO about a year-and-a-half, will retain his title as regional president after a new hire takes on the CEO mantle, as The Journal Gazette's Sherry Slater reported. The idea behind the leadership change is to give Poore more bandwidth to focus on strategy.

The system had initially been looking to create a new chief operating officer position, but the title in the job listing was later changed, as Slater reported.

"I wasn't getting the candidates I wanted for the COO job," Poore told The Journal Gazette.

A job listing posted about two weeks ago says the network CEO will report to the regional president and handle hospital operations for the market or region. Candidates are expected to hold a master's degree and have at least eight years of leadership experience in acute healthcare settings, preferably overseeing multiple sites, the listing states.

Lutheran Health Network, which is owned by Community Health Systems, has had its share of drama in recent years. Amid financial hardship, CHS considered selling the network in 2016, and former CEO Brian Bauer was fired in 2017. A group of physicians then tried unsuccessfully to acquire the network, the chief medical officer was fired, and two other prominent physicians resigned.

In 2018, St. Joseph Hospital CEO Karen Fordham resigned after working in the Lutheran Health Network just seven months, having been accused of saying Bauer "should be shot and killed for what he did." Bauer was sued by CHS for allegedly using privileged information to seek new ownership and help competitor IU Health establish its presence in the city, as the News-Sentinel reported last August.

One of Poore's priorities includes a $120 million hospital planned for downtown Fort Wayne, as The Journal Gazette reported.

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: Provided by Lutheran Health Network

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