Oregon health system cuts 181 positions as financial woes mount

Citing skyrocketing expenses and flat revenue, St. Charles Health System in Bend, Ore., will cut 181 positions, according to a May 18 announcement

The workforce reduction includes laying off 105 caregivers and eliminating 76 vacant positions. The layoffs affect mainly nonclinical workers, including many leadership positions. 

The four-hospital health system said it took steps to address its financial challenges, but it ended the month of April with a $21.8 million loss.

"We've been working hard to reduce expenses for a few months, and those efforts have helped. But they are not enough to dig us out of this financial hole," said St. Charles President and CEO Joe Sluka. "We are now at the point where we have to take additional action to ensure the long-term financial stability of the health system."

Mr. Sluka said the workforce reductions will reduce its expenses by about $20 million annually. Despite the cuts, he expects St. Charles to end 2022 with a substantial operating loss. 

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