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The Journal Gazette

Friday, May 19, 2017 10:33 am

Doctors' offer to buy Lutheran Health Network gaining support

Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette

Pressure is mounting on Community Health Systems to accept an offer from local doctors to buy Lutheran Health Network.

The board of St. Joseph Hospital and a large group of Lutheran-affiliated medical staff in separate meetings Thursday unanimously voted in favor of local ownership.

Past and present Lutheran employees have organized a rally for 9 a.m. Saturday to push for a sale.

And four members of Fort Wayne City Council met with the media today at Citizens Square to throw their support behind a deal.

Dr. John Crawford, R-at large, told The Journal Gazette that the goal is to convince CHS officials that it would be more trouble for them to keep Lutheran Health Network than it would be to sell it.

But it remains unclear how much arm-twisting would be needed to persuade the cash-strapped Franklin, Tennessee-based parent company to sell an asset that generates about $300 million in annual profit.

For more on this story, see Saturday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Saturday.

sslater@jg.net