PeaceHealth Oregon to lay off 40 employees

Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth plans to lay off about 40 employees in its Oregon network, a health system spokesperson confirmed to Becker's Hospital Review.

That network includes Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield, Ore.; Sacred Heart Medical Center University District in Eugene, Ore.; Peace Harbor Medical Center in Florence, Ore.; and Cottage Grove (Ore.) Community Medical Center. More than 4,500 caregivers are employed in the network. 

"PeaceHealth is continuously evaluating the most effective ways to meet the unique needs of our communities now and well into the future," PeaceHealth said in a news release. 

Through that process, PeaceHealth identified about 40 positions for layoffs in Oregon. Affected positions include obstetrics technicians, orderlies, patient team support and patient access representatives, Felisa Hagins, a spokesperson for the union representing hospital workers, told The Register-Guard

Tara Noftsier, communications director for Service Employees International Union Local 49, said 28 of the expected layoffs will affect members of the union.

PeaceHealth said it is offering many of the affected employees a chance to move into other roles and transitional support those moves. 

"Decisions that impact caregivers are among the most difficult decisions we make. It is a step we take only after thoughtful and thorough deliberation and a review of all alternatives," the statement from the health system said. 

SEIU Local 49 opposes the layoffs. Union leaders said in a statement they are disappointed that PeaceHealth "continue[s] to assert moving forward with proposed layoffs at RiverBend," and that the health system is "implementing their cuts over the objections of the union."

"We are not sure how new mothers and babies are going to get the care they deserve with these staffing cuts," the union statement said. "Our members enter into talks with the new and expanding families they care for at the front of their minds."

PeaceHealth said Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend will fully transition to a model where certified surgical technologists support labor and delivery suites — in alignment with state legislative changes. The health system said this new surgical technologist model will "support the highest level of patient safety and quality," and meet the standards of the Association of peri-Operative Registered Nurses and the highest level of regulations from the Oregon Health Authority.

Read the full Register-Guard report here.  


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