Medical center to cut more than 50 jobs
Appeal Staff Writer
A Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare spokeswoman said Tuesday that more than 50 people will be laid off and some departments will merge to cut costs after a major consolidation last year.
The staff cuts come six months after the nonprofit private health care system opened its $132 million regional medical center at 1600 Medical Parkway with 1,200 employees. Medical services available at Carson-Tahoe Hospital, 775 Fleischmann Way, moved into the new medical center in December. Carson Rehabilitation Center, 900 E. Long St., followed in mid-December.
The restructuring will not affect the number of clinical staff needed per patient, said healthcare spokeswoman Cheri Glockner. Some of the job cuts will come in the areas of food and nutrition and marketing.
Ed Epperson, regional healthcare president and chief executive officer, said the number of staff after the consolidation was not in line with patient counts.
“In evaluating current staffing levels it became evident that we needed to make some adjustments,” he said in a written statement. “Decisions to reduce staff are never easy and have not been taken lightly.”
In its first month of operation, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center averaged 108 patient visits a day and 2,809 patients were admitted to the emergency room, which was more patient visits on average than the old hospital.
“We’re consolidating,” Glockner said. “Many of the affected employees are at the management level.”
This means remaining managers will take on new responsibilities. She declined to say what positions will be eliminated or how many managers work at the hospital.
This move comes two weeks after the resignation of Kevin Stansbury, chief operating officer for Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare. He said his resignation – his last day was May 19 – was not related to the staffing cuts. Stansbury said it was time for him to move on to another hospital executive position.
“By the end of the week we will have more information on what departments are going to be affected,” Glockner said.
She said patient counts in the medical center’s new cardiac unit has exceeded expectations, but other areas have had lower patient counts. She declined to say which departments.
Hospital visitors and local political and business leaders were surprised by the news, but some said this is the cost of doing business in a competitive field.
Several visitors entering the medical center Tuesday afternoon were surprised to hear about the layoffs.
“I’m sad to see it happen, it’s such a nice place,” said Cookie Tiehm of Carson City. “My son has had very, very good care here. There’s plenty of people to care for him.”
Alice Medley, of Jacks Valley, said she was surprised the medical center has to lay off workers after it made such a large investment in a new hospital.
“I think that’s not so good,” she said. “Why put it up here? It was supposed to be so much greater.”
Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira said he sees the job cuts as an adjustment on the part of a growing hospital, rather than the sign of an economic slump.
“This does not cause any concern on my part,” he said. “I just think it’s good business.”
Ronni Hannaman, executive director of the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce, said this news mean the loss of a lot of high-paying jobs. The healthcare system is one of the top employers in Carson City.
“The hospital is a business, and it knows best what it can and cannot afford,” she said.
When market conditions are lean, staff are always the first thing to go, Hannaman said.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.