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Layoffs complete at Powell Valley Healthcare

Eleven employees laid off; hours cut for another eight

A total of 11 people were laid off at Powell Valley Healthcare as a result of a reduction in force designed to improve the organization’s bottom line. That includes four who were let go last month.

The layoffs were complete as of Oct. 15, said Bill Patten, chief executive officer at Powell Valley Healthcare.

Nine of the layoffs were employees in full-time positions, one was part time and one was as needed, Patten said.

In addition to the layoffs, eight employees had their hours reduced and nine open positions were eliminated.

Two laid-off employees were recalled later and are now working at the organization again in a different capacity, he said.

Patten told employees he does not anticipate any further layoffs this fiscal year, which ends in June 2013, unless something unforeseen happens.

“No plans are being developed, no lists are being developed, no what ifs are being defined — none,” Patten wrote in an Oct. 15 letter to staff.

The organization currently has 463 employees.

Patten said the reduction in force achieved the stated goal of saving $1.8 million built into this year’s budget.

“Keep in mind, this is not the amount of money we will save this year,” he said in the letter. “This is the salary cost we would have saved if the employee had not been here for the entire year.”

The current fiscal year began July 1.

Moving forward, Patten said, hospital administrators will “aggressively manage” staff positions and requests for increased staff hours in the future to avoid the need for similar reductions of force in the future.

“(We) will look for ways to more efficiently use the staff we currently have,” he said. “That may involve reconfiguring positions or changing job duties, but it will not include further layoffs,” he said.

Patten noted that employees still could be fired for reasons such as not doing a good job, not following policy or for poor interpersonal skills.

Names of people affected by the layoffs generally were withheld. But Patten told employees that physician assistant Lisa Hobby asked that her position be included in the reduction in force.

“I won’t try and explain her reasons, but at her request, she was laid off earlier this month,” he said in the letter. “Some of you may have seen Lisa as a primary care provider, or you may be approached by members of our community who saw Lisa and wonder what has happened to her. Now that you know, you can tell them if asked.”

Patten said Hobby’s patients were part of Dr. Betsy Spomer’s patient panel, with Spomer overseeing their care.

“Dr. Spomer will continue to provide the care these patients need — now, she just won’t have Lisa’s help,” Patten said.

In the letter to staff, Patten said he knows the reduction hasn’t been an easy process, “But I hope you understand that we needed to make these changes in order for PVHC to be financially viable, today and into the future.”

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7 comments

  • posted by Salty Dawg

    October 30, 2012 8:02 am

    I hear you,Laid-off,and the VA clinic is run by the same clowns.

  • posted by Laid-off

    October 27, 2012 1:05 am

    I am one of the employees laid off and I am both releived to be done with PVHC's B.S. and ticked by my experience working there. The administration are some of the most disrespectful and unprofessional individuals I have encountered in all of my years of working. Their #1 concern is themselves and $$.

    Also, if you want to know why Mrs. Hobby left, ask her yourself. She was beyond fed up with how she and other employees were being treated and "stuck it to the man". She has my full respect. As for me, my friends, and family, I hope to use PVHC as little as possible as I do not wish to give such an organization my business. Steer clear at all costs!

  • posted by Don Reel

    October 26, 2012 8:29 pm

    I know that what I am going to share will make many people unhappy. I just ask that you read my suggestions without interjecting a lot of emotional feeling.
    Maybe what needs to be done is an overall assessment of the medical needs of Park County. Specifically, does Powell and Cody need to be competing against each other for patients? Would one medical facility serving both Powell and Cody be more economically feasible and logical?
    Duplication and delivery of medical services are very, very expensive. Maybe, just maybe, more medical education for the people so that people start taking better care of themselves. Just some food for thought this beautiful Friday.

  • posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    October 26, 2012 8:46 am

    Mike,you definitely got the part about "clics" right,the term also applies to the rest of Powell.

  • posted by mike

    October 23, 2012 3:23 pm

    I have many friends that either have worked there or still do work there. I find it rather funny that you have laid people off who are doing their jobs and keeping the head honchos and all of their secretaries. I also find it humorous that I personally know most of the staff at that hospital and to be honest with you, I would say 75% of them shouldnt even have a job there. There is so many "Clics" in the hospital that friends aren't worried about losing their jobs because they went out and partied at a Docors house or with their boss because they all like to drink together. If the staff actually cared half as much about their job and the patients that are there, as they do about everything else going on in Powell and other employees families, maybe more people would want to visit your facilities.

  • posted by Salty Dawg

    October 23, 2012 1:19 pm

    I would say they are hurting from spending too much in the wrong places,much like Powell's city Government.

  • posted by lwilson@hotmail.com

    October 23, 2012 10:36 am

    Hmmm. I have a friend who was a departmental secretary full-time that was laid off after being there over 5 years. Wierd how her $30,000 salary was sacraficed for the budget. Seems like many employed there are making much more. Powell Valley Healthcare may not be all that invested in supporting the locals-staff and longevity- after all. Lisa Hobby is another great professional lost by Powell Valley Healthcare. How many well educated and personable professionals is that now? Master's and doctoral level professionals gone or leaving seems extensive.

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