"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Very Challenging Week at WMHS

Today and continuing the rest of this week, we are impacting the lives of a number of people at WMHS as we implement some changes that will result in staffing reductions.  We have worked very hard to minimize the number of employees who will be separated from the organization; however, even if one individual is separated, it is too many. 

In anticipation of these staffing reductions, we have kept vacant positions open to the extent that we could throughout the year in an effort to eliminate as many positions as possible and not affect people.  Fifty-four full and part-time positions have been eliminated, saving the equivalent of full-time 40 jobs.  Another 35 employees will have their hours reduced.  When it's all said and done, around 20 employees will be eligible for other vacant positions that have been held open and another 20 employees will be separated from the organization and offered severance benefits.  This will be a difficult week for our staff as well as our department directors and managers.  

We have been asked why this process took so long.  That is an easy answer.  Our goal from the onset was to minimize the number of employees impacted.  We could have rushed through the review process and affected a lot more individuals, but we chose to be more deliberate.  My apologies to the staff of WMHS for not communicating our staffing changes sooner than this week.  I know the stress that many of our employees have experienced by not knowing what was going to happen.  But, I stand by the process that we used.

These will continue to be challenging times for hospitals.  We were not the first to separate staff and we won't be the last, but I would like to think that we acted in the best interest of our staff, as well as our community, by being as methodical in the process.

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