Christus lays off 100 employees

Marilyn Tennissen Sep. 5, 2007, 1:10pm

Christus Health Care announced it will immediately layoff 100 employees from its Beaumont and Port Arthur hospitals, according to a statement released Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Christus said it has completed an organizational realignment of positions in select departments of Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth and Christus Hospital St. Mary. The reduction in workforce will impact approximately 100 positions effective immediately.

Administrators say the layoffs are the result of financial losses for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007.

"This loss, in a large part, is due to declining reimbursement brought about by higher uninsured and lower overall patient census," the press release stated.

Christus said that since Hurricane Rita, the current number of full-time employees is "out of line with other similarly sized facilities in the nation."

"Christus Hospital's management team has developed a response plan that will realign both campuses to create operational balance and efficiencies. Though it includes some difficult decisions, it will serve as a blueprint for the continued viability of Christus Hospital – St. Elizabeth and St. Mary," the release stated.

Officials say the impacted associates are being supported by Human Resources to help prepare them to find alternate employment. Staff whose positions are being eliminated will receive severance payments that range from two to 12 weeks of pay depending upon overall tenure with Christus Health.

Additionally, several support programs will be offered to these associates including a full-day seminar, expanded Employee Assistance Program benefits and the opportunity to apply and interview for positions within the greater Christus Health system.

"Christus Hospital – St. Elizabeth and St. Mary are committed to providing the finest patient care available in the Beaumont, Port Arthur areas," the statement said. "We believe this is our best strategy for preserving our mission and getting back to the basics of caring for the people in our community."

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