HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Mountain Health Network, the parent company of Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center, announced Friday night that about 1,000 of its employees have been affected by furloughs or reduced hours.
Five hundred and fifty employees have been furloughed and 450 employees have had their hours cut, a company spokesperson said.
Earlier Friday, the company sent a release, saying the majority of nearly 6,000 employees would be affected by the furloughs.
Company officials say the furloughs and reduction in hours are due to the strain the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on health care, including the cancellation of non-life-threatening (elective) procedures to protect people from the spread of the virus.
Mike Mullins, CEO of Mountain Health Network, released the following statement:
“As Mountain Heath Network joins the nation in facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our employees, patients and visitors is our top priority. We are following the guidance of both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are coordinating with state and local governments as well as other hospitals across the region. In doing so, we have complied with state and federal requirements to cancel elective (non-life threatening) surgeries to protect patients and healthcare workers from the spread of the disease and to manage preserve personal protective equipment including face masks and gloves.
“Unfortunately, while the temporary suspension of elective procedures assists with our pandemic preparedness, it is having a negative impact on our financial health. The situation we are dealing with is creating hardship for all and it is beginning to hit us hard here in Huntington and surrounding areas. With the drastic drop in volumes reaching nearly 50% throughout our system, we have no choice but to adjust our staffing to patient demand. We had to make the difficult but necessary decision to enact temporary furloughs for several staff members across the system affecting the majority of ... employees beginning March 26.
“Among the services affected are Cabell Huntington Hospital Family Urgent Care Center, located at 2 Stonecrest Drive in Huntington, and Hurricane Express Care, located at 3109 Teays Valley Road. Both are temporarily discontinuing services to the public as of close of business tonight, Friday, April 3, until further notice.
“At this time, the likely duration of the furloughs is unknown; key factors are the extent of the outbreak in the MHN service area and the duration of the government-imposed emergency mandates. We will continually evaluate the situation with the goal of returning to full services for patients as soon as the pandemic declines and state government will permit.”
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