GLENS FALLS -- Glens Falls Hospital will reduce its workforce through a combination of “voluntary” and “involuntary separations” in coming weeks, Dianne Shugrue, the hospital’s president and CEO, told employees recently.
“In the spirit of transparency, I need to inform you that there will be some involuntary separations necessary,” Shugrue wrote in a memo to employees. “It is our intent to communicate with the individuals in these impacted positions by Nov. 1.”
The exact number of layoffs was not known on Monday, but the majority will be voluntary, said hospital spokeswoman Darlene Raynsford.
The hospital will not identify in which departments layoffs will occur until employees are notified, she said.
“As communicating with our employees remains our top priority, we will not be commenting further on this until notifications have occurred,” she said.
Shugrue refused to comment Monday.
It will be the second round of layoffs for the hospital in about a year, as it adjusts to changing health care trends. The facility employs about 3,000, making it the largest private employer in the greater Glens Falls region.
In the memo to employees, Shugrue said 95 people had applied for a “voluntary separation opportunity” program designed “to provide those who may have been thinking of leaving the organization with a severance benefit.”
Those approved for the voluntary layoffs will receive severance pay based on their years of service. They will also be offered health insurance benefits “if applicable,” Raynsford said.
The response to the voluntary layoff program exceeded the hospital’s goal of 50 applications, Shugrue wrote.
“Now we are in the process of evaluating each application,” she stated in the memo, which was faxed to The Post-Star anonymously.
Raynsford, the hospital spokeswoman, confirmed the memo’s authenticity.
Shugrue, who replaced longtime former hospital CEO David Kruczlnicki in June, has been working with a financial consultant on a restructuring plan. The hospital began experiencing financial difficulties in 2012, when its patient revenue dropped by $12 million.
The hospital ended 2012 with a slight operating profit after undertaking a cost-cutting plan that included laying off 29 employees in November 2012. Revenue has continued to drop this year, Shugrue said during an interview in August.
In that interview, she said emergency room visits decreased by about 7 percent in the first six months of 2013, compared with the same period in 2012. Fewer people coming to the emergency room means fewer are admitted to the hospital. Typically, 20 to 22 percent of emergency room patients are admitted, she said at the time.
Raynsford said Monday the hospital’s finances continue to fluctuate.
“Our most recent numbers indicate a modest financial improvement,” she said. “However, these numbers vary greatly from month to month.”
In the recent memo to employees, Shugrue said hospital officials are planning for the long-term viability of the hospital.
“Our plan involves not only maintaining a presence, but providing exceptional patient services to our region in the future,” she wrote.