Staff cuts affect Duke Regional Hospital

Jul. 16, 2013 @ 06:59 PM

Duke Regional Hospital cut 39 workers earlier this year as part of a move to improve the hospital’s financial condition, according to a spokeswoman for the Durham hospital.

Mary Kate Llamas, a spokeswoman for Duke Regional, said that as of Monday, all but three of the workers had found other jobs. Most of the workers found jobs elsewhere in Duke University Health System, she said.

Duke Regional, previously known as Durham Regional Hospital, is managed by the Duke University Health System.

The cuts primarily affected full-time, non-clinical management and staff positions, Llamas said. The cuts were made out of a total hospital staff of about 1,800 workers.

They were made several months ago, Llamas said. Hospital President Kerry Watson reported the reduction at the hospital board’s May 29 meeting.

“This was not a decision taken lightly, and we have worked tirelessly to try to place affected employees into other positions either within or outside of the health system,” Llamas said in an email.

The layoffs were made as hospitals around the country face “unprecedented challenges and financial pressures form both the federal and state levels,” Llamas said. She said that means lower payments for hospitals and health care providers.

“Duke Regional Hospital is not immune from these challenges,” she said. “Consequently, we have had to make some very difficult decisions to ensure the hospital’s financial condition improves because it is vital that we position (Duke Regional Hospital) to continue serving our community as we have done for more than 36 years.”

Llamas said the hospital’s financials for fiscal year 2013, which just ended in June, won’t be available until early September.