NEW YORK-The New York Blood Center and Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Blood Systems have formed an alliance to provide infectious disease testing on blood donors nationwide. The National Donor Testing Alliance will be equipped to test 4 million specimens annually and may add laboratory sites in the future. Through the alliance, the blood centers will create shared information systems and uniform testing protocols. The two independent blood centers provide blood services in 16 states and supply 20% of the nation's volunteer blood supply.
NEW MILFORD, Conn.-New Milford Hospital, suffering from a low occupancy rate and declining revenues, has joined other state hospitals in deciding to trim its staff. About 36 positions will be cut from the budget, hospital staffers said. About 18 part-time and full-time workers are to be laid off, while some job openings will go unfilled and other positions will be eliminated through attrition. The healthcare industry is entering a tumultuous period, hospital President Richard Pugh wrote in a letter sent to employees. "A clear need to downsize and reshape hospital organizations...becomes very evident," he wrote. Last year, the average occupancy rate was 57%, said Gretchen O'Shea Reynolds, the hospital's community relations director. Last month, the 85-bed hospital had an occupancy rate of 45%, she said. One hospital floor has been closed for much of the summer. The hospital employs 550 full-time and part-time workers.
ALLENTOWN, Pa.-Two community-based pediatrics practices will merge and join Lehigh Valley Physician Group Pediatrics, a Lehigh Valley Hospital-based pediatricians group. The consolidated group will include 15 general pediatricians, four neonatologists and a pediatric pulmonologist. The two community-based groups-ABC Pediatrics and Family Pediatricians-will retain their separate identities and functions but will work together to provide night service at the hospital and its outpatient pediatrics clinic.