Atrium Health's chief executive Gene Woods told employees not to let the media noise distract them from serving patients amid an escalating dispute over its choice of an anesthesiology provider and a suit by a group of physicians to operate independently.
In a memo sent to staff on Thursday, and obtained by WFAE, Woods said the disputes had been "misrepresented." Atrium and the company that runs its previous anesthesiology provider, Mednax, have sued each other for breaching contracts, defamation and over each other’s business tactics. And in a separate dispute, most of the doctors in the Mecklenburg Medical Group have sued to challenge their non-compete agreements so they can leave Atrium and form an independent practice.
"Simply put, Mednax does not have our communities' best interest at heart," Woods wrote.
Woods also reiterated his commitment to honoring the Mecklenburg Medical Group's wishes to operate independently.
The Atrium executive wrote, since he started as CEO two years ago, he has tried to “encourage a transparent environment – one where we candidly discuss the important things happening within Atrium Health.”
He goes on to say as a national leader in health care the system will have to make difficult decision that “will create noise.”
"During times like this, please don’t let the noise in the media distract you," Woods wrote. "Let’s stay focused on what we do best and remember that no one can ever stand in the way of what we know to be true."