Mercy Hospital in Springfield has dismissed 116 employees in a move they are attributing to “the unforeseeable, dramatic downturn in business caused by the coronavirus natural disaster.”
Mercy also filed paperwork under the WARN Act that says another 11 people will lose their jobs in August and more than 500 will be furloughed. The list of those who have lost positions include doctors, registered nurses, and medical assistants.
“We were unable to provide more notice of this action because these circumstances were not reasonably foreseeable until recently when the full impact of COVID-19 became clear,” Mercy said in the WARN filing. “We are providing as much notice as is practicable under the circumstances and given the rapid pace at which this situation has developed.”
The biggest cuts in individual positions seem related to direct patient care, with patient care associates and registered nurses were the top two categories of job losses by August.
Here is the actual WARN letter Mercy sent to the state:mercyhospitalwarnactnotice
Mercy had started to notify employees of the upcoming firings over a week before the filing with the state, as shown by a posting to the social media site Reddit. A user calling themselves CADOMA posted a letter sent to their spouse by Mercy telling them they would be fired, with the user mentioning their spouse had actually not been working for Mercy for six weeks and was already at a new job.
Mercy provided a statement to OI about the firings and upcoming furloughs:
As a ministry spanning nearly 200 years, Mercy continues to take strategic steps to manage the serious economic toll of the COVID-19 crisis that has impacted every health care system across the country. This includes a careful assessment of each community’s needs, restructuring to provide more efficient service, and implementing furloughs and job reductions as necessary throughout our ministry. We are also creating new ways to deliver care to our patients so health care needs are met both in and out of quarantine. This includes virtual visits with Mercy physicians, separate care tracks to treat COVID-19 patients, and enhanced safety protocols in all our facilities. These actions will ensure Mercy will continue to provide compassionate, excellent clinical care to millions of patients across several states in the years to come.