Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center cuts approximately 35 jobs

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center cuts approximately 35 jobs
Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center (Source: WWNY)

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Approximately 35 workers at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center are losing their jobs.

The Ogdensburg hospital said it’s due to “continued financial stress” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The lack of elective surgeries, screenings, and other procedures during the NYS PAUSE has created an economic ripple effect felt throughout the organization. As a result, CHMC has made the difficult decision to realign staffing to meet current and projected patient volumes,” the hospital said in a news release.

The changes went into effect Friday and affects about 4 percent of Claxton-Hepburn’s 850 member workforce.

Affected employees will be provided with severance and outplacement assistance.

The hospital said it made every effort to limit the number of job losses by reassigning employees, when possible, and not filling open positions.

CHMC said the staffing changes are being made in a variety of areas throughout the hospital and will not have a significant impact on any particular department.

The hospital said it will maintain all services and there have been no reductions in bedside nursing.

“While we have worked hard to limit the scope of this reduction, even one job lost is too many, and we regret this action has become necessary,” said Rich Duvall, CEO and president of CHMC. “Claxton is one of the largest employers in the area, and we will remain a driving force. Our focus will continue to be on serving the healthcare needs of the North Country as we rise to meet the fiscal challenges presented to us.”

The hospital said while it appreciates the state and federal stimulus packages, they haven’t been enough to offset losses in revenue due to the pandemic.

“Our volumes have not yet recovered to the point where we can sustain the healthcare system we had before the onset of the pandemic,” said Duvall. “We are making every effort to retain employees, offer them modified positions, or find available positions at our affiliate partners: River Hospital and Carthage Area Hospital. Staff reductions are always the last resort. These employees have served our patients and us with dignity and respect,” says Duvall, “and we hope to offer the same courtesy to them during this difficult time.”

As volumes increase to pre-pandemic levels, and a sustainable fiscal situation allows, CHMC said it looks forward to bringing back affected staff.

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