Rep. Aaron Miller calls for accountability for Sturgis Hospital CEO, Board

Miller demands immediate resignation of CEO Rob LaBarge

STURGIS — Representative Aaron Miller released a statement demanding accountability for Sturgis Hospital, CEO and Board, on Friday, Nov. 30.
According to recent reports from last Thursday, Sturgis Hospital announced the closure of departments and the reduction of services, which will effect 60 full-time positions, with the number of layoffs expected to be lower.
Changes include: discontinuing hospice services, reduction of inpatient medical and surgical services with four staffed inpatient beds to remain, closure of obstetric services, adjustment of staffing and structure of the emergency department for current needs, and the closure of oncology treatment center. Patients may return to receiving care at the West Michigan Cancer Center or another facility of their choice.
Changes are expected to begin Monday, Dec. 3 and the reorganization plan will continue for the following 30-45 days.
Hospital reports indicate that the goal of the changes it to improve operations and position the hospital to acquire a partner.
The following statement was released from Rep. Miller on Friday:
Sturgis Hospital has given a sudden announcement of the effective implosion of the organization as we know it and have known it for years in Sturgis. The closing of so many vital services that is going into effect almost immediately is downright dire for the entire area of southern and eastern St. Joseph County and the surrounding region, but most importantly the city of Sturgis. I’m standing up today and calling on fellow community leaders and other members of the community to also stand today and call this what it is on its face: simply unacceptable. Together we will fight this.
Considering the announcement, I pause and reflect on two things. First, it’s that things have been sliding down hill financially for the hospital for some time and the gravity of the slide has frankly been cloaked in secrecy by our hospital upper leadership. As much as I understand the many reasons for the slide, it has not been communicated well to the public whatsoever. Second, I, like many others in our beloved community of Sturgis, have perhaps given the board and the CEO too much benefit of a doubt. Shame on me for doing so and staying quiet for so long, primarily given today’s terrible and unexplainable actions.

Please see Monday's print or e-edition for full article.

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