St. Joseph Health to cut 25 jobs at 2 California hospitals after union protest

Eureka, Calif.-based St. Joseph Health-Humboldt County announced it will cut 25 jobs at Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, Calif., and St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka.

The layoffs, which include senior leadership, support staff and patient care positions, represent about 2.5 percent of the hospitals' total workforce.

News of the layoffs comes after recent protesting from unionized healthcare workers and nurses from Redwood Memorial and St. Joseph, who complained that there was a staffing crisis at the facilities that was hurting patient care.

Roberta Luskin-Hawk, MD, chief executive of St. Joseph Health-Humboldt County, attributed the layoffs to the need to adapt to today's healthcare environment.

"The realignment work we are undertaking is about creating the best services and operational model to serve our community now and in the future," she told Becker's.

Dr. Luskin-Hawk dismissed workers' claims of a staffing shortage as "misleading" and said hospital officials "take very seriously our commitment to patient safety."

She said hospital officials "have worked diligently to address staffing issues" and they believe staffing is adequate.

Dr. LuskinHawk said the hospital will try to help workers who will be laid off find other jobs at St. Joseph Hospital or Redwood Memorial, or within St. Joseph Health.

Laid-off workers will get severance pay, she said. During a 90-days' notice and transition period, workers getting laid off will get regular pay and benefits.

 

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