New Castle News

Closer Look

June 5, 2014

Ellwood City Hospital lays off employees

NEW CASTLE — Faced with a decline in its average patient load, Ellwood City Hospital has laid off 67 employees.

Carolyn Izzo, president and chief executive officer, said the layoffs occurred May 29 and 30 and included temporary, part-time and full-time employees.

The equivalent of 44 full-time jobs, “hour-wise,” were eliminated, she said.

Every department was affected, Izzo said, adding, “Certainly, the larger departments took the bigger hits. The administrative team worked with department heads and every single department contributed to the reduction.”

Seven employees took voluntary layoffs through retirements and/or relocation, she said, while the rest did not leave voluntarily.

The cuts reduce the hospital’s staffing from 446 employees to under 400, she said.

Izzo explained that the layoffs were in response to a decrease in the number of patients in the hospital’s beds. The hospital had more than 14,000 patient days five years ago, and last year it had under 12,000 patient days.

The hospital had staffed for “what if all 46 beds were filled.” However, the reality was that only 30 beds were filled, she said.

“We can only staff for what our average census, is and that is 30.”

Izzo said the situation is not unique to Ellwood City Hospital.

In addition to facing competition from the proliferation of emergency care centers, the push has been to keep patients in hospitals for a shorter time, she said. Also, there is a push to not have patients readmitted to hospitals.

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