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Stephens County Hospital eliminates 61 positions

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Stephens County Hospital moves to eliminate dozens of positions. Wednesday morning, the Hospital Authority Board announced the elimination of 61 positions. The move comes with an additional hiring freeze.

Hospital Administrator Lynn Anderson says the cut-backs were a difficult decision.

“We have made the difficult decision to a staffing right-sizing,” she said Wednesday morning. “I call it that because we have evaluated our staffing levels and compared them to other rural hospitals and feel like we have not adjusted our staffing levels to the decreasing volumes we’ve had over the last three or four years. So, today we are announcing we eliminating 61 positions.”

Anderson said of those 61 positions, 34 are actual employees who will lose their jobs and 27 are vacant positions that have not been filled since May.

“So we think this is the right decision, even though we are concerned about the employees that are affected by this and our other employees as they go through this with their friends and coworkers,” she said.

In press released issued Wednesday morning, Anderson said the Hospital leadership and the Hospital Authority are working in tandem to aggressively pursue financial turnaround initiatives, which include improving clinical documentation and payment collections, service quality and improving patient care.

According to Anderson, none of the positions that were cut included physicians.

Out of the 61 positions, there were 42 clinical positions and 19 non-clinical – administrative and support staff. The clinical were nurses, some patient care techs, some pharmacy techs, those kinds of positions. No physicians,” Anderson explained.

Anderson emphasized the cutbacks, while drastic, will have no effect on the quality of patient care.

“We don’t think it will negatively impact the quality of care at Stephens County Hospital at all,” Anderson said. “We think this adjustment in our staffing is taking us to the correct staffing levels to match our volumes, which have decreased over the past four or five years. So we don’t expect any negative impact at all on our quality.”

Stephens County Hospital is one of only two hospitals within a 55-mile radius that is not affiliated with or part of a larger healthcare system.

(featured photo/City of Toccoa)

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