Michigan hospital to reduce services, cut 60 full-time positions

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Sturgis (Mich.) Hospital, an 84-bed acute care facility, confirmed it will eliminate some services and lay off employees as part of a reorganization.

"We have done a substantial amount of work over the past year to reduce costs and weather the changing landscape of healthcare," Robert LaBarge, hospital president and CEO, told Becker's. "Healthcare is continually changing. The old ways don't work for a small hospital any longer, so we have to embrace new ways of doing things. It's time to restructure our operations in a way that is consistent with what we believe the future of healthcare will be for rural communities."

Hospital officials said hospice and obstetric services and cancer treatment will end; inpatient medical and surgical services will be reduced; and staffing  adjustments will be made in the emergency department.

Family and internal medicine physicians and surgeons will remain available, as will emergency department, urgent care, laboratory, rehabilitation (including cardiac) and diagnostic radiology services. The sleep medicine center will stay open.

The hospital expects the changes to result in the elimination of 60 full-time positions.

The reorganization is expected to take 30 to 45 days, beginning Dec. 3. The birthing center is scheduled to close Dec. 31, but the Michiana Women's Center office will stay open for limited hours after that date for postpartum and post-op checks, the hospital said.

Mr. LaBarge said the reorganization ultimately will allow the hospital to focus on outpatient services.

"Our goal is to keep the most in-demand services available locally and partner with other health systems to supply inpatient and specialty medical services," he said.

Unionized registered nurses at Sturgis, as well as GOP state Rep. Aaron Miller, have expressed concerns about how the hospital's plans will affect healthcare access.



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