Mississippi hospital lays off dozens of workers

Greenwood (Miss.) Leflore Hospital has laid off dozens of workers as it struggles to stay open amid financial challenges.

That's according to a memo sent to staff Nov. 4 from Gary Marchand, interim CEO.

The memo, which was shared with Becker's, says the layoffs are necessary for current services to continue into 2023. This news comes after the hospital announced plans to permanently close the labor and delivery unit in early October, and also laid off 40 workers earlier in 2022.

Greenwood Leflore has been in talks with the Jackson-based University of Mississippi Medical Center to lease the hospital beginning in December.

Mr. Marchand told employees the hospital recently secured support from the Leflore County Board of Supervisors and the city council for funding to address several challenges related to finalizing lease terms.

However, UMMC has withdrawn from further discussions regarding the lease, according to a separate news release issued Nov. 4 by Greenwood Leflore.

"Although we certainly can understand and appreciate the challenge of providing healthcare services in the post-pandemic era, this decision was not expected based on the progress that had been made regarding a lease transaction. The financial realities of providing healthcare services are impacting both organizations," the release states. 

The hospital added that the administration will examine options for the continuation of hospital services as well as continue discussions with UMMC regarding access to physician services in Greenwood and Leflore County. 

"Further updates will be provided as these decisions are made," the hospital said. 

Meanwhile, the latest layoffs are meant to keep the hospital operational as it continues meeting with city and county officials. The layoffs affect up to 55 full-time and 25 part-time employees.

"While unfortunate, we believe this will allow the best option for current services to continue into early next year," Mr. Marchand said. 

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