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1/10/2013 10:29:00 AM As many as 34 could be part of staff reduction at St. Elizabeth Medical Center
OTTAWA — As many as 34 people may be part of a staff reduction at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in upcoming months. The hospital announced Wednesday in an e-mail that “in order to improve efficiency and better position itself for significant payment system reform, some of its services will be consolidated over the next several months. A staff reduction is set to occur, though the hospital is prepared to offer retention and severance packages.” A total of 34 people will be impacted from areas including the hospital’s laboratory, patient accounts, home health, and health information management departments, according to the news release. Additional areas include Behavioral Health CHOICES and Ottawa Regional Medical Center, a part of OSF HealthCare. “While a staff reduction is always difficult and something we’d like to avoid, our upcoming consolidation will reduce our overall operational costs,” said Robert Chaffin, president and CEO at St. Elizabeth. He noted the positions weren’t being eliminated immediately, but rather several months down the road, to afford time for impacted individuals to secure new employment. “Our goal is to help place our employees who are affected as a result,” said Robert Gibson, senior director of operating services at St. Elizabeth. “We have an employee assistance program to help out as much as possible. While we hope to offer transfers to other positions within OSF, we will assist our employees by providing letters of recommendation, offering assistance with writing resumes, and furnishing information on how to file for unemployment compensation, in the event a transfer is not available.” The hospital and medical center together employ 750.
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