Jackson Hospital lays off 17

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Jackson Hospital says it has reduced its workforce by a total of 17 "full-time equivalents" in a move to deal with the effects of a struggling economy.

CEO Donald G. Henderson said the layoffs were part of the company's efforts to combine departments and streamline operations.

"We are providing the same quality care for our patients," he said, "but are realigning the workforce throughout the facility to ensure the hospital remains financially sound in challenging times."

Henderson said the hospital has seen a jump in the number of bad debt and charity care cases it must handle and a decline in elective medical procedures and postponements in surgeries because of economic uncertainties.

"All of these factors are causing us to reduce operating expenses hospital-wide," said Henderson. "Every department has been affected, including administration."

The hospital CEO said workforce changes include consolidation of several departments, the phasing out of an employee night nursery and the temporary closure of one patient care unit. Henderson said the unit would reopen in the fall when "admissions volume improves."

"Careful consideration was given as each department was evaluated for greater efficiency," said human resources director Gilbert Darrington. "In the few cases where employees were not able to be placed within the hospital system, they were offered severance packages and full reimbursement of accrued earned time off (ETO)."

Security for the hospital is also changing. Officers will move to 12 hour shifts which "will afford more officers per shift..." according to the hospital's security director, Terry Reid.

With 344 beds, Jackson Hospital is one of the largest medical facilities in the state of Alabama.