Michigan hospital CEO will take pay cut to boost facility's finances

The CEO of Sturgis (Mich.) Hospital said he'll take a 10 percent pay cut to help the 84-bed acute care facility improve its finances amid planned job and services cuts, according to a Sturgis Journal report.

Last month, Sturgis confirmed it will eliminate some services and lay off employees as part of a reorganization. The hospital plans to end hospice and obstetric services and cancer treatment; reduce inpatient medical and surgical services; and make staffing adjustments in the emergency department. The hospital expects the changes to result in the elimination of 60 full-time positions.

"They think if I was a smarter CEO, this wouldn't have happened," Sturgis CEO Rob LaBarge told the Journal

But Mr. LaBarge attributed cuts to today's challenging healthcare environment, such as Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements which no longer cover the cost of services.

The reorganization will allow the hospital to focus on outpatient services as it looks to partner with other health systems for inpatient and specialty medical services, said Mr. LaBarge.

He told the Journal, "I think the decisions that were made are necessary, but it was the hardest thing I've had to do in my career. How do you not love OB? We don't have that many happy places in the hospital, and OB is one of them."

Mr. LaBarge told the Journal he "never thought of leaving. I've dedicated 18 years of my life to running this place. This is my community."

He added: "As an administrator of an institution, I'm trying to make sure that in 10 years there is still something here that can provide care to people. Sometimes you have to make radical changes like this to ensure the future."

Read the Journal's full report here.


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