Claxton-Hepburn to lay off around 34 employees, effective Friday, July 31
OGDENSBURG -- Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is planning to lay off around 34 employees citing financial stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released Friday, July 31, the hospital said the lack of elective surgeries, screenings and other procedures during the statewide lockdown ordered by the governor earlier this spring has created an "economic ripple" throughout the hospital.The layoffs were to take effect Friday, July 31 the hospital said.
"The hospital made every effort to limit the number of individuals personally impacted by these changes by reassigning employees, when possible, and not filling open positions. Through these efforts, CHMC was able to reduce the number of affected employees affected to approximately 4% of the 850 member workforce," the statement said.
The employees to be laid off, around 34 of the total workforce, will be provided with severance and outplacement assistance the hospital said.
“While we have worked hard to limit the scope of this reduction, even one job lost is too many, and we regret this action has become necessary,” said Rich Duvall, CEO & President of CHMC. “Claxton is one of the largest employers in the area, and we will remain a driving force. Our focus will continue to be on serving the healthcare needs of the North Country as we rise to meet the fiscal challenges presented to us.”
The state and federal stimulus packages received by CHMC, though appreciated and needed, have not been enough to offset losses in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our volumes have not yet recovered to the point where we can sustain the healthcare system we had before the onset of the pandemic,” states Duvall, “Despite these setbacks, we are preserving the service lines and specialties our patients depend on. CHMC is still here, still strong, and still focused on providing quality care.”
“We are making every effort to retain employees, offer them modified positions, or find available positions at our affiliate partners: River Hospital and Carthage Area Hospital. Staff reductions are always the last resort. These employees have served our patients and us with dignity and respect,” says Duvall, “and we hope to offer the same courtesy to them during this difficult time.”
As volumes increase to pre-pandemic levels, and a sustainable fiscal situation allows, CHMC looks forward to bringing back affected staff.