(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Dearborn County Hospital is locally owned and operated, and will stay that way under the same name it has used since opening in the 1950s.
That’s what DCH Executive Director Pete Resnick wants doctors, patients, and citizens to know as rumors swirl of a sale to northern Kentucky-based St. Elizabeth Hospital.
“Right now, St. E is just another hospital,” Resnick told Eagle 99.3. “There were all kinds of rumors floating around, and so I talked with people over at St. E’s and talked with every doctor who was part of the rumor mill.”
“They’re a big hospital in Northern Kentucky. We’re a middle sized hospital in southeast Indiana,” he said.
After conversations with St. Elizabeth CEO John Dubis, Resnick insists St. Elizabeth is not trying to harm DCH. The hospital is only trying to gain southeast Indiana customers for tertiary work such as open heart surgery, brain surgery, and other major medical procedures which cannot be performed at DCH.
“I would say we were never really competitors, because they get very few admissions from people that live in southeast Indiana,” Resnick said.
The two hospitals have developed a minor partnership in recent weeks which is more of a convenience for each hospital and not a hostile takeover in southeast Indiana.
In a joint venture, both St. Elizabeth and DCH will share salary expenses for a new, to-be-named family medicine doctor who will work in Dr. Jack Freidel’s Aurora office.
“That was designed to show that we were not at war with somebody,” said Resnick, “and it would be more efficient for everybody.”
Also, nephrology Dr. Alvaro Ryes has inked a contract with St. Elizabeth.
Meanwhile, DCH acknowledged that at least three other doctors have been offered contracts by St. Elizabeth; Dr. Shweta Adya, Dr. Randall LeDuc, and Dr. Keith Jarman.
“Their answer was ‘I’m not changing where I practice. It’s not being mandated that I ship admissions to St. Elizabeth,” the executive director said.
Resnick did leave open the possibility that other physicians in Dearborn County could be recruited to work for St. Elizabeth, however, their patients would still have the ultimate say at which hospital they can receive specialty services.
In a newsletter sent earlier this month to hospital staff and others addressing the concerns, administrators noted that there is no also intent to change the name of the hospital.
For any change in ownership at DCH, both the hospital’s owners – the hospital Board of Trustees and Dearborn County government - would have to agree.
The newsletter also stated that DCH is not pressuring southeast Indiana physicians to work for the hospital.
“If physicians are interested in employment with the hospital, he/she should contact us as the hospital will not push anyone into anything. Any decision such as employment needs to be theirs – we need not push them,” Resnick said.
The newsletters sent to hospital staff can be found here (PDF file).