Sacred Heart, Providence announce 44 layoffs - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sacred Heart, Providence announce 44 layoffs

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital announced to employees this week that a lengthy process to realign budgets in a recessionary economy has resulted in a minimal number of layoffs. 

Andy Agwunobi, MD, chief executive for Providence Health Care, told employees in February that layoffs would be a difficult but necessary step in helping offset effects of the recession and State budget cuts. Decreasing reimbursement for services and increases in uncompensated care due to the growing number of uninsured in our community are all contributing factors.

Initially, leaders thought the number of people laid off could potentially be in the hundreds, just at Sacred Heart alone. Early this year, Providence hospitals reduced discretionary spending, froze executive salaries, initiated a hiring freeze, reevaluated staffing guidelines according to national benchmarks and consolidated management positions across Sacred Heart and Holy Family.   

The end result? The number of hospital employees actually losing their jobs is 44 (33 at Sacred Heart and 11 at Holy Family). 

"It is a huge relief," says Elaine Couture, chief operating officer for both Providence Sacred Heart and Providence Holy Family. "It has been a long process and the true heroes are our employees who have worked hard to reduce expenses. While we are deeply saddened that we had to let anyone go, we could not be more pleased that the numbers have turned out so low," she adds. 

The hospitals are offering a severance package and other resources to employees laid off in order to help them with the transition. A position recall program will give priority to these individuals so they may apply for future vacant positions for which they are qualified before external candidates are sought. In addition, transfer opportunities to other Providence ministries are available.

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