Mercy announces cuts
WCLO's Stan Stricker talks with Mercy Health System vice president Barb Bortner about Mercy's plans to eliminate positions.
JANESVILLE Mercy Health System is eliminating fewer than 20 positions and evaluating all its services as it responds to the local economic downturn and the building of a new hospital in Janesville, a Mercy administrator said this morning.
Mercy is looking for jobs elsewhere for people whose jobs are being eliminated, said Barb Bortner, a Mercy vice president.
Bortner said she could not discuss which jobs are affected because the system’s employees have not yet been informed.
SSM Health Care and Dean Health System are planning to open a hospital and associated clinic in 2010.
“We’re being proactive,” Bortner said.
She said no one is being laid off.
“Other organizations, including health care organizations, have been eliminating jobs or even laying off employees when faced with economic challenges. We are trying to avoid that type of approach, and that is why it is our plan to take proactive steps, …” Bortner said in a statement issued after The Janesville Gazette asked about the job moves this morning.
“Because of the economy and changes taking place locally, such as the closing of the General Motors plant and other related businesses, and the coming of a second hospital that splits the available inpatient beds, Mercy is facing challenges we have not seen before in our 100-year history,” Bortner wrote.
“Because of these challenges, we are proactively evaluating our hundreds of service lines and looking for ways to increase efficiencies and reduce costs while still providing exceptional health care services to our communities. …
“We have hundreds of product lines that we will be reviewing,” Bortner said. “The bottom line is that the economy here is changing, and we have this second hospital coming, and we’re certainly facing challenges that we haven’t had to face before.”
Asked if other jobs might be affected, Bortner said: “We are evaluating service lines and looking for ways to increase efficiencies and reduce costs while providing most core services to our communities.”
“It is our goal to provide our employees/partners a very satisfying and rewarding place to work, and whenever possible we will be providing any affected partners transfer opportunities for them to work in different positions that utilize their talents and meet their career goals. Because of this, we are currently holding open positions and hiring from within whenever possible,” Bortner wrote.
Mercy still intends to move forward with plans to construct a $10 million addition to its hospital in Janesville, Bortner said.
“We are planning for the future and will continue to invest in strategic buildings, such as our new facility on the Mercy Hospital Janesville campus, and advanced technology in order to fulfill our mission including developing a Level-2 emergency trauma center, expanding the neuroscience center, and expanded heart center,” Bortner wrote.