Idaho's St. Luke's to reduce workforce by 2%, eliminates executive positions

Citing a challenging financial and operating environment, Boise, Idaho-based St. Luke's Health System said it is reducing its more than 16,000-member workforce by about 2 percent. 

The move primarily affects nonclinical- and administrative-area roles, according to a Feb. 8 health system news release shared with Becker's

"We understand that these decisions impact people — our colleagues and often, our friends, whose contributions are valued — which is why this is a difficult decision to reach," St. Luke's President and CEO Chris Roth said in the release.

St. Luke's expenses are increasing faster than revenue, which "is not sustainable, and we expect significant financial and resource pressures to continue," Mr. Roth said.

In addition to job cuts, the health system said it has taken other actions to address these and other challenges. These include decreased discretionary spending and contracted services, including traveler reliance; reprioritized and reduced capital spending; accelerated investments in programs that expand care access; trimmed executive leadership positions; and slowed hiring in non-direct patient care areas.

"St. Luke's has been thoughtful in ensuring all opportunities are carefully considered," Mr. Roth said in the release.

Overall, St. Luke's has eliminated about 150 positions through attrition in recent months, and fewer than 200 filled roles will be eliminated by April, the health system said. This includes about 10 percent of executive positions, which have already been eliminated. For example, when Kate Fowler stepped into the CFO role last year, her previous position of vice president of operational finance was not backfilled.

The health system said it is taking steps to support affected workers, including offering severance packages and career support. Meanwhile, St. Luke's will continue hiring efforts in clinical and operational areas.

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