St. Vincent to Cut 34 Positions

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008 12:44 pm  

St. Vincent Health System of Little Rock said Thursday that it will cut 34 positions in its management and staff levels and has left other positions unfilled, including the position of senior vice president and chief operating officer, after a review of its finances and operations.

The 34 positions amounts to less than 1 percent of its work force, according to St. Vincent, and the news release indicated the cuts would take place Thursday and Friday. The hospital said 38 positions have already been vacated and won't be re-filled.

The 34 positions were made up of 16 in management and 18 in staff. St. Vincent said there were no positions or individuals eliminated "that directly impact our patients and care at the bedside."

"These decisions are never easy for an organization because they involve people that are near and dear to our hearts. In some cases, the decisions impact people that we have worked with us for many years and have become our family," Peter Banko, St. Vincent's president and CEO, said in a news release.

"It is not pleasant for me as St. Vincent's leader and for the entire St. Vincent community to have to do this work, but I can unequivocally assure you that we have put considerable thought and reflection into each decision and each individual."

The system, whose Little Rock campus is undergoing a $47 million expansion that includes a new and larger emergency facility, said it had conducted a review of its operations and found places to reduce overhead by streamlining management and "non-direct patient care staffing."

Banko became CEO of St. Vincent in April 2007. Before coming to St. Vincent, Banko helped lead the turnaround at Christus Spohn Health System in Texas, taking the hospital from an $8.5 million loss to an $11.9 million profit.

Full News Release From St. Vincent

St. Vincent Health System was founded in 1888 with the simple premise...the patient comes first! We have been making significant investments in the quality & service of our patient care and, as a result, growing our health system like never before. We are in the midst of a $47 million expansion that includes opening a new emergency department in late August and a state-of-the-art cardiovascular intensive care unit in November. We renovated our five-star orthopaedic center as well as added enhanced nursing care and patient amenities. We opened a new women's and children's center with services that rival the area's highest end hotels. We are making significant investments in having the lowest nurse-to-patient ratios (i.e. less patients per nurse) in Central Arkansas.

To continue those investments in our core business - nursing and patient care, we recently undertook an extensive operational and financial review of the entire health system. It is not uncommon for organizations (including hospitals and health systems) to go about these reviews on a periodic basis. It is also not uncommon for companies to invest in their core business while reallocating resources from other areas. As a result of this review, several opportunities for improvement were identified and are currently being addressed. Over the next few days (largely today and tomorrow), we will be addressing reducing overhead expenses by streamlining management and non-direct patient care staffing.

We have identified 72 positions for elimination throughout the organization in both management and staff (representing less than 2% of our workforce). There are 38 positions that have been recently vacated and will not be re-filled. One of those positions is the Senior Vice President & Chief Operating officer of the health system. The responsibilities for that position will be shared by the President & CEO and the executive leadership of the health system. Every effort is being made to identify a comparable opportunity within the organization for those impacted. We have put considerable thought to ensuring that every individual leaving the organization is treated in a manner consistent with our core values of Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence. After carefully considering each impacted employee and vacant positions, thirty-four employees (34) will likely be displaced (1% of the entire St. Vincent workforce) - sixteen (16) management individuals and eighteen (18) staff individuals. There were no positions or individuals eliminated that directly impact our patients and care at the bedside.

"These decisions are never easy for an organization because they involve people that are near and dear to our hearts. In some cases, the decisions impact people that we have worked with us for many years and have become our family," said Peter Banko, President & CEO of St. Vincent Health System. "It is not pleasant for me as St. Vincent's leader and for the entire St. Vincent community to have to do this work, but I can unequivocally assure you that we have put considerable thought and reflection into each decision and each individual. I can also assure you that there will be no impact to our patients that entrust their care to us each and every day. We will continue to invest our time, energy, and resources into creating an experience for patients that is second-to-none in Central Arkansas."

 

 

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