Sacred Heart cutting 19 positions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sacred Heart cutting 19 positions

SPOKANE, Wash. - Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital announced Wednesday that 19 leadership positions will be cut in April.

The hospital says the deepening economic crisis is having a significant impact on health care, particularly with unprecedented State budget cuts anticipated that will deeply affect hospitals. Decreasing reimbursement for services and increases in uncompensated care due to the growing number of uninsured in the community are all contributing factors.

"We recognize our greatest strength is our people, and we deeply regret the effect a staff reduction has on many who have served our hospitals," says Andy Agwunobi, MD, chief executive for Providence Health Care.

Many other cost-saving initiatives have been implemented in the hospitals over the past several months to reduce the impact on staff reductions, according to the Hospital. These include not filling vacant positions, freezing senior executive salaries, and reducing discretionary spending.

The leadership layoffs are the first of what could be ongoing reductions necessary to weather the tumultuous economic environment. No details are available yet on future actions.

"It would be irresponsible for us to operate at the status quo while the world around us changes," says Elaine Couture, chief operating officer for both Providence Sacred Heart and Providence Holy Family. "Our Mission compels us to serve patients without an ability to pay, so we must make up for the reduction in reimbursement for the services we provide by re-aligning our operational expenses to live within our means," she adds. 

The hospitals are offering a severance package and other resources to employees laid off in order to help them with the transition.

 

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