New York hospital lays off 70 after denial of federal funding

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The Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y., has laid off 70 staffers and plans to implement furloughs to help offset losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Buffalo News.

The hospital said the layoffs were necessary after the hospital was shut out of a third portion of federal funding, according to the report. 

The medical center said it expected to receive  $5 million to  $6 million in federal aid from the third round of funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, but it didn't qualify because it didn't meet the threshold of serving at least 100 COVID-19 patients.

"The layoffs are directly related to the fact that we did not receive the third tranche of federal funding,"  Thomas Quatroche, the hospital's president and CEO, told The Buffalo News. 

The layoffs, which are expected to affect workers across all departments, are expected to save the health system about $5 million. 

The hospital said it will first offer voluntary two- to six-week furloughs and then implement involuntary ones if its savings goals are not met.  

 The hospital reported a $20 million loss in April due to the suspension of elective procedures amid the pandemic, according to  local news station WKBW. 

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