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CMC lay offs 10, reassigns 14 others

Facility impacted by downturn, losses in markets, officials say.

SCRANTON – The current financial downturn seems to be hitting all sectors of the local economy – public, private and nonprofit – with Community Medical Center the latest to announce personnel cuts and changes impacting 24 workers.

According to John Nilsson, president and chief executive officer for the Scranton-based CMC, the health-care industry, which was always somewhat “insulated” from market downturns, now faces the same challenges as other industries.

In a press release Wednesday, Nilsson said that because of the “challenging economic times” the Mulberry Street facility had to make some tough choices by reducing staff.

“Downsizing is one of the most difficult decisions management has to make,” Nilsson said.

According to Jane Gaul, CMC public relations representative, a total of 24 employees were affected in one way or another. She said no patient-care or union personnel were touched by the staffing changes.

Ten employees were laid off, she said, while 14 were either redeployed to other departments or are now working reduced hours.

All of the affected employees were either management staff or employees in ancillary departments that were not “clinical patient care” areas, Gaul said. Asked about the cost reductions, she said the hospital is not providing those details at this time.

Nilsson alluded to the investment market as one of the main culprits for the medical center’s fiscal speed bump. “Our investments and corresponding income has taken a substantial hit,” he said.

The management at the CMC was put in a position where something had to be done, said Nilsson. “It would be irresponsible to the community, patients, and the employees of the CMC to ignore the realities of the current recession,” he said.

Nilsson emphasized the layoffs represented a “small fraction” of the work force and stressed they will have “no impact” on patient care.

He said the main philosophy of the CMC will not change.

“Our unwavering commitment to quality and outcomes, as demonstrated by our numerous awards, will always be our first priority,” he said.

The move will help ensure the CMC can continue to operate for “years to come” focusing on the “patient first,” he added.

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