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Memorial Health System furloughs more than 400 workers

par John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | June 17, 2020
Business Affairs
Memorial Health System has temporarily furloughed 460 employees until September. (Photo credit: Memorial Health System)
Memorial Health has temporarily furloughed 460 workers until September 30.

The Illinois health system announced its decision late last week. The furloughed workers include 60 employees at Passavant Area Hospital, reports WLDS Radio.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant financial challenges for healthcare organizations across the country,” said hospital system officials in a statement. “Unfortunately, Memorial Health System is not immune from these pressures.”

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Hospital system officials attributed the furloughs to decreases in patient volumes brought on by the pandemic, which has reduced compensation for its leaders by up to 30%. Changes to benefits programs have also been made.

The number of furloughs represents approximately five percent of Memorial Health System’s workforce. Employees impacted include those at hospitals in Jacksonville, Springfield, Decatur, Lincoln, and Taylorville.

More than 70% of providers are feeling anxious and have less work, spurring fear and concern around the prospect of layoffs, according to a nationwide survey conducted by CHG Healthcare. While furloughs and layoffs are rare in healthcare, a recent survey in Massachusetts found that more than half of primary care doctors, specialists and other physicians are considering furloughs, layoffs and pay cuts to recoup financial losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our colleagues are our greatest strength as an organization and decisions of this kind are never made lightly,” said hospital system officials. “This is a reflection of the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves and our duty to be responsible stewards of our resources. All of us are incredibly grateful to all of our colleagues at Memorial Health System for their strength, dedication and resolve in the face of immense challenges.”

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