The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 1:00 am

Lutheran's community reach boosts health in unexpected ways

Scott Teffeteller

This National Hospital Week, I want to express my deep appreciation for the team members at Lutheran Health Network who make a difference in the lives of our patients and our community. They help make northeast Indiana a healthier, better place to live.

The impact of Lutheran Health Network adds up as the skilled and compassionate hands of our physicians, nurses and other team members deliver safe, quality care around the clock every day.

I also want to share my gratitude for patients who choose our hospitals for their care. Last year, patients received important and often lifesaving medical care through more than 1.5 million interactions with our hospitals and physician clinics even as the pandemic heightened the need.

Lutheran Health Network supported our community's fight against COVID-19 again in 2021, caring for more than 4,800 COVID inpatients as well as 54,000 emergency department, urgent care and provider office patients while sustaining our other vital services.

Employees and medical staff brought their skills and compassion to support 120,000 emergency department visits, more than 33,000 inpatients and more than 51,000 surgeries. And more than 1.369 million patients received care through outpatient facilities, including Lutheran Health Physicians primary and specialty care offices throughout the region.

Helping people get well and live healthier is our purpose, but even beyond clinical care we are proud to be a major community employer investing resources to expand and enhance the hospital services available locally.

We continue to invest in our facilities and technologies so we can provide easy access to services important to our patients. These include capital improvements totaling more than $148 million to open a new, vibrant Lutheran Downtown Hospital and breaking ground on the new Maple Heights Behavioral Health in partnership with Acadia Healthcare.

We also give back to the broader region. In the past year, Lutheran Health Network provided more than $183 million in charity and uncompensated care for the community's most vulnerable.

The $78 million paid in taxes helps support civic resources and services, and the more than $890,000 in donations and support to local charities and organizations such as Matthew 25 Health & Care, Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House and Habitat for Humanity (among many others) contributes to the overall health and strength of our community.

Our hospitals' payroll of more than $569 million also ripples across the local economy as employees buy goods and services, making the economy healthier as well. And to ensure a strong health care workforce into the future, Lutheran Health Network is helping train physicians, nurses and other health care workers through partnerships with programs such as the Jersey College School of Nursing and the Fort Wayne Medical Education Alliance.

Each of these initiatives and investments helps make northeast Indiana healthier and better for all.

We are honored to help our community thrive and extremely proud of Lutheran Health Network's $1 billion in community impact in 2021. 

Scott Teffeteller is the market CEO of Lutheran Health Network. 

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