Citing a decreasing number of patients and declines in governmental funding, St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell has made significant staffing cuts effective July 18. Affected employees were informed of the adjustments on that day, according to Kate Kreger, St. James Mercy’s director of business development and marketing.
"The reduction is equivalent to 18 full-time employees through the elimination of positions, reduction of hours and restructuring of departments," Kreger said, adding that the elimination of positions "affects both clinical and nonclinical areas."
"We deeply regret having to make this difficult decision," said a statement from Mary LaRowe, president/CEO of St. James Mercy Health System. "St. James Mercy has experienced a decline in patient volumes attributed to high unemployment in the area and is facing a significant decline in state and federal funding. We are committed to assisting the transition for those employees affected by the adjustments."
Kreger said the downsizing is projected to save the hospital approximately $200,000 for the remainder of 2011 and $675,000 in 2012.
The staffing cuts came shortly after St. James Mercy began its new affiliation with Guthrie Healthcare System of Sayre, Pa., on July 1. However, needs for job cuts "were identified prior to our agreement with Guthrie and are unrelated to our new relationship," LaRowe’s statement said. "The primary intent of our affiliation with Guthrie is to strengthen St. James Mercy’s financial position by expanding access to quality care in our area, including recruitment of physicians and specialists to fill high-demand needs. We anticipate that our relationship will result in a strengthened financial position for St. James Mercy Hospital."
Founded in 1890, St. James Mercy Health System comprises St. James Mercy Hospital, McAuley Manor senior residence and 11 clinics located throughout a largely rural service area. St. James Mercy along with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira are the only Catholic hospitals in the Diocese of Rochester.