St. Joseph's Hospital in Elmira to cut 19 jobs - Catholic Courier

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira to cut 19 jobs

Blaming a bleak economic outlook, officials at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira announced Jan. 14 arestructuring plan — which they termed a “rightsizing plan” — that will include the elimination of 19 positions at the hospital.

According to a statement issued by hospital officials, the plan “is a direct result from the current economic climate, Governor David Paterson’s proposed New York state budget, and other dynamics impacting the health care industry.”

The statement said St. Joseph’s will implement job cuts and other reductions in areas where patient volume has decreased, although fewer than 19 employees may be let go if they can fill currently vacant jobs at the hospital.

The “rightsizing plan” also calls for St. Joseph’s to collaborate with Guthrie Healthcare System in Sayre, Pa., in recruiting physicians in such areas as anesthesiology, physical-rehabilitation medicine and thoracic surgery; to add physicians from other specialties to the medical staff; and to recruit additional clinical staff members.

Sister Marie Castagnaro, SSJ, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s, said the restructuring was made necessary by the governor’s proposed state budget, which could result in a nearly $2.6 million reduction in the budget for the hospital. In addition, she said the rising number of uninsured or underinsured individuals being served by the hospital has increased its bad debt/charity-care costs.

Noting that the state has issued two reimbursement cutbacks to health-care providers in the last nine months, Sister Castagnaro said she fears more state cuts are on the way.

“If the state’s deficit continues to grow, there’s always the chance of additional cuts from the state in 2009,” she said in the statement. “The rightsizing plan we’ve announced today will allow St. Joseph’s to continue its mission of providing quality health care at an affordable price. Our high quality programs and services we offer will carry on during these very turbulent times.”

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