Fixing Rumors, Healing Damage and Growing Together

Together, we do amazing things at Altru. We help. We heal. We touch lives.

So it can be discouraging when we hear rumors about who our organization is. What we do. The way we act.

Rumors exist, and they’re rippling throughout the region. Your family, friends, neighbors and even strangers are likely to talk to you about Altru. These may be positive or negative comments, and that’s okay. Honest feedback makes us better.

What do you do when comments or questions are false assumptions? As Altru employees, volunteers and supporters, it’s our responsibility to correct the rumors.

Here’s the truth about some misconceptions you might encounter:

1. Altru did not purchase Doctors Hospital.
We bought buildings, not rivals. We didn’t “buy out” anyone. We are purchasing four buildings: the hospital, the medical office building, the imaging center and the strip mall. Some of the space, in fact, will continue to be occupied by non-Altru providers. Word choice is key here.

2. Altru is not afraid of competition.
Fact is, competition is intense as ever. For many years, we have been the regional underdog facing much larger organizations.

Doctors Hospital attempted to recruit our physicians. Guess how many left? Zero. Ziltch. Nada. (That’s right, all stayed with us.) We’re not afraid of competition, because we know that if we continue to attract great providers and meet the needs of our patients with compassion and efficiency, we’ll continue to succeed with our mission.

3. Altru did not force tenants to leave on short notice.
All leases are being honored and no one has been evicted. Several tenants have month-to-month leases, which means that both parties—landlord and tenant—have to agree to renew the lease monthly.

We purchased the buildings because we need additional space to grow. Because of this, we have agreed with month-to-month tenants that we will not renew beyond these dates:

  • Aurora Medical Park Laboratory—April 30
  • Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics—May 31
  • Northern Valley Obstetrics and Gynecology—August 31

Northern Valley Obstetrics and Gynecology (Dr. Trottier) had requested a six month extension, which we granted. He has since decided to terminate his lease, effective April 30.

We have given tenants with longer leases the option to get out of them early. So far, three have taken us up on the offer: Aurora Clinic, S & S Rehab Products and Dr. Phil Johnson. We assume other tenants plan to be in the building for the full terms of their leases.

4. Altru never caused delays in patient care.
WDAZ ran a story which gave the impression that Altru’s actions had caused delay in a patient’s care, stating: “The short time that the tenants of Doctors Hospital had to get out of the building caused some chaos.” The patient’s father claimed, “…[the doctor] didn’t have the information to get in touch with the people he needed to… It wasn’t my doctor’s fault. Altru stepped in and basically told them to leave.”

Not true. In fact, 13 days passed between our announcement and taking possession of the buildings. Until then, we had no authority to ask tenants to do anything. If records were left behind, it seems logical that the physician in question would contact us about retrieving them. He has not done so, and we haven’t been able to reach him.

The truth sets us free

Unfortunately, rumors create permanent damage. Slapping on a bandage doesn’t make everything better. We need to share the truth to correct the misconceptions. As a team of helpers and healers, if anyone can fix it, it’s us.

Let us know

If you hear other rumors—which you likely will—please share them with your manager or any Altru leader. You can also send your questions to news@altru.org or comment right here on the blog. Our goal is to help you distinguish fact from fiction and, ultimately, stand up for what’s all true.

Whether you’re shopping in the grocery store, running in the gym, sitting in a pew, Facebooking or tweeting, you’re our best ambassadors. Thank you for speaking the truth on our behalf.

When you tell someone you work at Altru, what do you hear back? Let us know in a comment. 

9 thoughts on “Fixing Rumors, Healing Damage and Growing Together

  1. I appreciate the information the we, as employees, receive about the expansion. I feel like I am “defending” Altru a lot lately and it is nice to have this background information to back up what I tell people. Will Altru be doing any additional news stories or newspaper articles to attempt to set the record straight for the community?

    • Thank you, Holly, for defending our organization when you’re out and about in the community. We appreciate your help.
      And, yes, we’re always looking for new opportunities to set the record straight.
      Thanks again for your feedback.

      • I wish we would print an article that stated what condition the building were in when purchased. It is my understanding that many of the facilities weren’t “up to code” with hallways not being wide enough, no oxygen hook ups in “surgery” rooms, amongst other pretty big issues. It is my understanding that even if we had not purchased the buildings, Doctors Hospital would not have been able to open on the scheduled open date any ways. I wish we could go out there with the facts. I think we have been painted very poorly in the media, and its upsetting. It was also my understanding that Doctors Hospital came to us and asked us to purchase the buildings on numerous occasions. I dont know if this information is true or not, but this is what I have heard in the halls, and if it is true, I think it would be key information to sway the ideas of Altru to some of the community members. – Just a thought…

        • Stacy, thank you for your message. We appreciate your concern for how Altru has been portrayed in the media. We agree with your concerns and have been working with the media to clarify misconceptions. There are several projects taking place on our South Washington campus that ensure the facilities meet our high standards for serving patients. As these projects unfold, we’ll keep staff informed as best we can.

  2. Please continue to put the news we employees need to hear on our regular news e-mails. I don’t know about everyone else but I have enough trouble finding time to check my e-mail at work. There now appear to be multiple different web sites for us to visit in order to find out the same information that used to come directly to our in box. If you have critical information for me to know or share I am unlikely to take the time to visit the Blog on a regular basis.
    Thank you
    Bonnie Omdahl

    • Thanks, Bonnie, for your helpful feedback. The blog is not meant to replace email; we will still send important employee information directly to your inbox. Instead, the blog will be a place to foster discussion. We want to make sure you don’t miss any critical information, so we’ll be sure to still share news the conventional way (email) and sometimes point to the blog for further conversation. Our goal with using social media is to openly converse and make life easier. (The NEWS emails we send every Monday and Thursday contain brief bits of information linking staff back to the Green Cross where people can go for all internal communication.) Thanks again for providing your input!

  3. I agree with Holly and feel like I as well have had to “defend” Altru lately. It was very nice to receive the explanation/clarification letter at home so we the correct information to share with others if they may question Altru’s intentions with the purchase. Change is hard for anyone whether it be the businesses that were operating at the Aurora Medical Park or for employees who don’t have all the background information. Thank you for trying to keep us all up to date on things, I know that I appreciate it.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Kelli. We’ll continue doing our best to keep employees and our communities well-informed as plans progress.

  4. It’s nice for everyone to hear the positive view of our South Washington purchase. Thanks for reponding to the negative feedback with factual information that always seems to be missing.
    Nice job!
    Mary

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