Stormont Vail restoring pay, but eliminating some positions

Published: May. 27, 2020 at 7:19 PM CDT
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Stormont Vail will eliminate several positions as it deals with revenue lost during the COVID-19 response.

CEO Robert Kenagy

late Wednesday, saying staff was informed earlier in the day.

He said the organization lost $7.6 million in the month of April alone. Stormont stopped most elective procedures and non-urgent visits for more than two months as the coronavirus reached its peak in the Topeka area.

"While the reopening of services is helping us deliver care that was put on pause, it is uncertain if we will return to the level of business that we had prior to the pandemic," Kenagy wrote in his message to staff.

At the same time, changes made to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic led to adding 100 new positions in the organization over the past several months.

In early April, Stormont enacted pay cuts for executives, directors and workers in non face-to-face patient care roles. Kenagy said Wednesday most team members will have their full pay restored.

However, they also will restructure some work areas. The changes means some current employees will lose their jobs. Kenagy said it would affect one half of one percent of their 5300 team member work force. They could not yet offer an exact number. Other positions were eliminated through attrition.

In addition, some employees will transition to new roles.

"These actions will help ensure the long-term viability of the mission of our health system," Kenagy wrote. "Even now as the chaos of the crisis is settling, we do not know all of the challenges that lie ahead. We are on the frontline of caring for patients with COVID-19 and we are not immune to the economic fallout wrought by the crisis. Now, more than ever, we will remain focused on caring for our communities."

Stormont is not alone in coping with financial losses. University of Kansas Health System St. Francis furloughed 235 workers and cut 29 positions in early April. Spokesperson Nancy Burkhardt says they are in the process of bringing furloughed workers back as patients return for care.

"It is crucial that people understand that hospitals and physician offices are safe as a result of our extraordinary safety measures," Burkhardt said.

In late April, Children's Mercy in Kansas City furloughed 575 employees, and eliminated more than 200 vacant positions.

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