Butler Health System is making staffing cuts as a result of financial stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
A news release from the health care provider Monday afternoon says that 57 employees will be laid-off along with 10 other employees who will be furloughed.
These cuts will impact the entire health system including the closure of the BHS skilled nursing facility or Transitional Care Facility. Another 60 positions that are currently vacant will be eliminated instead of being filled.
BHS points to increased costs combined with severely decreased revenues resulting in tens of millions in losses over the past several months. BHS says they will continue to provide information to lawmakers about the impact COVID-19 has had on local health services.
Butler Health System President and CEO Ken DeFurio spoke during a conference call with the media on Tuesday:
“I cannot express the thanks that we at Butler Health System have for the community that we serve. The support through this pandemic has been overwhelming and humbling from donation of money to PPE to feeding our staff to recognizing staff. The support has been tremendous. We are the largest employer in the county. We are one of the very largest employers in all of Western Pennsylvania. We are an economic driver for the community and we must operate in a state of financial health….They are incredibly difficult decisions to lay people off. We really are trying to get course corrected to make sure we are in a state of financial health. For the community, we have hosted a couple of business leader meetings along the way through the pandemic to educate our businesses folks out in the community about the disease itself and how to best manage that. We had another call with leaders on how to reopen businesses safely and keep their employees and customers safe.”
“I anticipate that we’ll come out of this standing strong. We do need to keep the balance sheet in the state of health in case there is another spike, thankfully we were able to get through the first one. As long as they are careful and thoughtful and they are paying attention, I think all folks out in the community should have some confidence that things are going to be okay.”