Healthcare Business News

Merger prompts layoffs at CHI St. Vincent in Arkansas

By Bob Herman
Posted: July 7, 2014 - 1:15 pm ET

An Arkansas subsidiary of Catholic Health Initiatives said it would lay off about 2% of its workforce and eliminate several other jobs as it works to integrate a previously acquired hospital.

In April, CHI St. Vincent Health System in Little Rock, Ark., agreed to take over 282-bed Mercy Hospital Hot Springs (Ark.) from Mercy Health. The hospital has since been renamed CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs.

CHI St. Vincent will lay off 91 employees and eliminate 157 positions altogether throughout the system. Officials said the transaction would allow CHI St. Vincent and the Hot Springs hospital to consolidate several back-office functions, “ensuring consistent and equitable operations” across the four-hospital system, according to a news release. Most layoffs did not affect patient-care roles.

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Peter Banko, president and CEO of CHI St. Vincent, said in the release the layoffs represented “a very difficult day for our ministry, and our first task is to support those co-workers that are leaving us because our decisions are impacting good people and their families.”

Layoffs in the hospital sector have been common throughout the past year and they have affected overall hiring figures. U.S. hospital employment barely grew from June 2013 through last month, increasing only 0.2%.

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman

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