08/13/09 — Hospital staff cutback due to economy

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Hospital staff cutback due to economy

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 13, 2009 1:46 PM

On the heels of a visit to Cherry Hospital by state DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler came an announcement that several staff cutbacks had been made due to the economy.

Cherry Director Phillip Cook told the News-Argus the "reduction in force" reflects what is going on around the state.

Thirty-one filled positions have been cut as of Monday, Cook said. There are also currently 92 vacant positions at the hospital, he added.

"What we did was literally looked at the organization from top to bottom," he said. "It wasn't just the 'little people.' We tried to minimize the impact on direct patient care."

None of the cuts involved registered nurses or technician roles, Cook said.

"The positions were eliminated in non-patient care as much as possible, a few in rehab therapy, the dental program," he said.

The move had been in the works for months, the director said.

"We hope to absorb them into vacancies here or in other state agencies as much as possible," he said. "But it's happening nationally -- budget cuts -- and this will reduce Cherry's budget this year about $4.3 million."