Hospital layoffs hit a quarter of those in leadership ranks

Cutting 10 positions will save $1.25 million

Grays Harbor Community Hospital announced the layoff of another 10 employees Friday, this time people considered to be in leadership roles. More layoffs are coming next week.

The hospital is facing a financial crisis and has brought in consultants to help keep it solvent by looking at cost cutting moves and ways to increase revenue. The layoffs are expected to account for savings of about $1.25 million a year, a hospital spokeswoman said, and affect 24 percent of the people in leadership roles.

That percentage includes executive-level positions for people who have recently left the hospital and won’t be replaced. Those positions include Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Cultural Change Leader.

“Changes are happening at every level of our organization,” hospital CEO Tom Jensen said in a letter to the staff and others in the medical community. “In an effort to continue to put our patients first and achieve financial stability the restructuring of Grays Harbor Community Hospital is essential. This week and next we will lose members of our staff that have dedicated years of their lives to their profession, many of them here in this hospital.

“We cannot overstate the fact that these layoffs are not a statement about work ethic or ability. This is the unfortunate result of low volumes and continued reimbursement reductions. Financial stability is imperative, staffing and benefits make up the largest part of our costs and need to be reduced.”

A hospital news release said no service lines are being terminated and all patient care departments are still fully operational.

Another round of layoffs is expected next Friday.

Union contract language could allow for seniority and “bumping” practices in some cases.

Jensen’s letter said employees should consider their notification day as their last day and collect personal belongings immediately or make arrangements with their manager to collect them during off hours.

“We do not take lightly the fact that these decisions will impact people in a negative way. This is one of several ways in which to ensure that Grays Harbor Community Hospital can remain a viable health care facility for the more than 70,000 citizens of Grays Harbor County,” the letter said.