Las Vegas hospital issues alert of 970 layoffs

Employees at Las Vegas-based Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center have been notified of layoffs coming to the facility, which will transition to a freestanding emergency department, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Jan. 10.

There are 970 employees who are affected, hospital representative Gretchen Papez said, according to the newspaper. Desert Springs is part of the Valley Health System, a system owned and operated by King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services.

"After a very thorough and careful assessment of all viable options for Desert Springs Hospital, the hospital leadership has made the difficult decision to begin an operational change," a hospital news release reads. "We are working in conjunction with our healthcare providers and in full collaboration with all necessary government agencies. Our first priorities continue to be our patients, our staff, and our physicians."

The hospital plans to end inpatient operations on or about March 11, pending approval from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Existing inpatients will receive continued safe treatment and care before being appropriately discharged, transferred to another Valley Health System facility, or moved to the next appropriate care level at another facility, the hospital said. Desert Springs plans to convert the existing emergency department to a freestanding emergency department, which will operate while a new freestanding emergency department is constructed on the campus.

The hospital attributed the move to various factors.

"Desert Springs Hospital, which opened in 1971, is an aging facility with complex physical constraints," the hospital said. "The required renovations would be highly disruptive to operations and require a significant capital investment.

"Coupled with the fast-changing landscape of healthcare, which includes labor shortages and cost increases due to inflation, these unanticipated challenges have expedited the need to adapt our operations."

Desert Springs has also scheduled on-site job fairs where affected employees will be able to pursue other positions within Valley Health System.

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