UPDATE: KDMC Cutting 148 Jobs

By: WSAZ News Staff, Amanda Barren Email
By: WSAZ News Staff, Amanda Barren Email

UPDATE 8/15/13 @ 6:48 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- King's Daughters Health Systems has announced they have cut 148 positions.

The announcement was made Thursday morning.

According to a press release, the restructuring is due to decline in patient volumes and reimbursement levels.

KDMC officials say most of the affected positions were in support, administrative, and supervisory areas. However some medical related positions were cut including respiratory therapy.

According to a press release KDMC says this will not impact patient care, "Staffing levels for direct patient care are unchanged."

"This was a very difficult decision to make," said President/CEO Fred Jackson. "Together, we have done everything possible to avoid this situation, including cutting operating expenses, combining areas where that made sense, and improving our operations through Process Innovation. Those efforts have helped us greatly. While difficult, the reduction will help preserve the positions of 3,831 people throughout our Health System, as well as our main goal of providing high value, exceptional patient care to our community."

Along with the cuts, KDMC announced Thursday they will be closing the Russell Family Care Center and Pikeville Family Care Center on September 1.

According to the press release, physicians from those facilities will be moving to other facilities in the system.

Joan Vance celebrated 17-years of service at KDMC on Tuesday. Two days later she was at the unemployment office in downtown Ashland. She served as a patient liaison for the intensive care unit.

She was with families during some of the worst times and the very best times of their lives. She says some days they saw miracles.

"People came in that we thought wouldn't make it would get up and walk out of there, that was our miracle," Vance explained.

When asked what she would miss most Vance told WSAZ.com what are you going to miss most? "The workers, the families, my supervisors, because they are family."

KDMC leaders will meet with employees Friday to answer any questions they have regarding layoffs.

WSAZ.com obtained the list of frequently asked questions about the restructuring, given to employees, one question reads as follows:

Q: Are we merging with another hospital?

A: No. There are no plans to merge with another hospital or health system. We are pursuing clinical affiliations that make sense for our customers, but our local control, through a Board of Directors made up of local business people, is a valuable piece of the fabric of our organization. There are no plans for changing that.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

ORIGINAL STORY 8/15/13 @ 9:45 a.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland is laying off a large number of employees Thursday.

WSAZ has obtained a letter, sent by KDMC President/CEO Fred Jackson, saying that 148 people are being laid off.

Jackson cites decline in patient volumes and reimbursement levels as reasons for the layoffs.

According the letter, the employees affected by the layoffs are in support, administrative and supervisory departments.

In the letter, Jackson says KDMC has done everything possible to avoid the situation, including cutting operating expenses and combining work areas.

WSAZ has also received calls from several workers impacted by the layoffs. Some tell us that they received notices when they walked in Thursday morning. Others tell WSAZ they received notification over the phone.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

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