UAMS eliminates 51 jobs

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, plagued by financial troubles, is laying off 51 workers across support services, administration and service lines. 

Some previously open positions will also be left unfilled, the Little Rock-based institution told the Becker's in a prepared statement. As a result, some job duties will be reassigned. 

"UAMS is not immune to the effects of inflation, which has been hitting us for a while," the statement said. "As the state's only academic medical center, we take our obligation to the people of Arkansas very seriously, therefore we must continue to look at ways to remain efficient, which means reorganizing some areas without affecting essential programs and continuity of care and services."

The institution had an operating loss of $30 million for the last fiscal year — "about $50 million below where we want it to be," Amanda George, UAMS' CFO, announced in a July 10 YouTube video. 

"One thing that we are doing, and have been doing since 2019, we have a resource optimization committee," Ms. George said. "It's a group of individuals from across the campus that work together to find initiatives to enhance revenue or reduce expense." 

The team has "realized close to $80 million in financial opportunities," including dramatic cuts to contract labor costs, according to Ms. George. 

"It's not just us, right?" Cam Patterson, MD, UAMS' chancellor, asked Ms. George in the video. 

"Correct, it's not just us," Ms. George replied. "Every healthcare organization across the United States is facing similar financial challenges." 

UAMS' human resources department is providing one-on-one services to each affected employee, helping them find other positions inside the enterprise or elsewhere, according to the statement.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misrepresented UAMS' operating loss as $300 million for the last fiscal year. The correct operating loss is $30 million. The story was corrected on Aug. 23 at 4:40 p.m.

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