GHSU will lay off about 150 people

Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 2:37 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 9:12 AM
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Faced with needing to increase some services while reducing other expenses, Georgia Health Sciences University will lay off about 150 people as it proceeds with integration, President Ricardo Azziz said Monday.

“We need to grow, and we are actually investing in a large number of areas,” he said, “But to do that, in an environment like ours, we have to be as effective and efficient as possible.”

About two-thirds of those – 100 – will be in its clinical system, Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics and Physicians Practice Group. Those positions either have been eliminated or probably will be in the next two weeks, Azziz said.

About 50 other positions will be eliminated over the next 30 to 60 days. About 350 vacant positions also were chopped. Azziz said he addressed the campus now because rumors of a large, across-the-board layoff were rampant.

“The anxiety level is too high,” he said.

The move would trim about 1.5 percent of the university’s 10,000 positions.

The plan was given some “urgency” by the need to increase revenue and address budget cuts the university has had and will face in the future, he said.

Gov. Nathan Deal asked state agencies to cut 2 percent of their budgets for this fiscal year and next to help balance the budget, which would be about $600,000 for the university.

The Legislature cut $1.2 million from the university’s direct appropriation for this fiscal year, and GHSU has lost about $40 million in state funding over the past few years. The health system was helped last year by $14 million in previous year revenue that will not recur this year.

There is also about $8 million more in depreciation and interest this fiscal year because of capital projects.

Azziz cautioned, however, that the move to cut personnel was not so much a result of budget cuts as to a strategic shift, building up areas of emphasis such as cancer and heart disease, and eliminating operations that no longer made sense.

“I don’t want people to get the impression that somehow this is only about budget cuts,” Azziz said. “This is about strategically deciding what you are going to invest in, and what you can’t invest in any longer.”

Most of the cuts were “distributed” across different units, he said. About half of those eliminated were in management or administrative support, he said.

“You would expect that as we leverage our integration, as we actually benefit from our integration, that administrative and management positions would be the ones that would become duplicative,” Azziz said.

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Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 09/26/11 - 02:54 pm
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Speaking of things that
Unpublished

Speaking of things that aren't cool...

Chillen
17
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Chillen 09/26/11 - 03:15 pm
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Millions spent on new signs &

Millions spent on new signs & a new name. That could have been used for salaries. Wasteful & heartless.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 09/26/11 - 03:49 pm
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I agree, Chillen. I am not

I agree, Chillen. I am not impressed with the leadership at GSHU. Now is not the time to lay anyone off unless there is no alternative. The signs could have waited. They don't have children to support.

Little Lamb
43941
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Little Lamb 09/26/11 - 03:54 pm
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Wait a minute, Scooby. The

Wait a minute, Scooby. The private sector is laying off people and income tax collections drop. Housing is being foreclosed and property taxes drop. Economic activity (consumption) is stagnant and sales taxes drop. Government entities need to reduce staff just like private industry does. We cannot sustain a nation where everyone works for the government.

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 09/26/11 - 04:10 pm
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Well Little how many people's
Unpublished

Well Little how many people's jobs would have been saved without spending that million...that's his point. He was saying layoffs should be a last resort.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 09/26/11 - 04:11 pm
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Whatever you say. Little

Whatever you say. Little Lamb.

Sweet son
9716
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Sweet son 09/26/11 - 04:20 pm
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Bet Dr. Axxix did not

Bet Dr. Axxix did not 'distribute' any of the cuts to include any of his 'administration or administrative support.'

CarlA
114
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CarlA 09/26/11 - 04:21 pm
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Didn't GHSU/MCG executives

Didn't GHSU/MCG executives get big raises over the last few years? Millions spent on signage and marketing for a new name? It's okay, we can pay for all this wasted spending on the backs of the hard working employees. Let them eat cake!

Little Lamb
43941
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Little Lamb 09/26/11 - 04:23 pm
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I agree that the name change

I agree that the name change was unnecessary, counterproductive, and nothing more than a testament to Dr. Z's vanity. But when a government entity's budget is cut, the only way to deal with it is to reduce staff. You cannot tell me that there is no "bloat" in state government.

my.voice
4654
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my.voice 09/26/11 - 04:47 pm
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@Little Lamb, I disagree the

@Little Lamb,
I disagree the only way to cut is thru staff elimination. They could scale back these "palaces" they build in the name of medicine. To say they are really making a difference is ridiculous.

silverbullet
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silverbullet 09/26/11 - 04:59 pm
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I worked at MCG for 25+ years

I worked at MCG for 25+ years and my position was recently eliminated. MCG used to be the place to work but not anymore. I would not recommend anyone work there. The new administrators across the board are out for one thing, money. Patient care is not priorty anymore.

GaStang22
910
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GaStang22 09/26/11 - 05:11 pm
0
0
There is a few doctors and
Unpublished

There is a few doctors and several in the billing department who do not do their jobs anyway that should have been canned a long time ago. Just a waste of money on these incompetents!! lol

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 09/26/11 - 05:25 pm
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0
Is that Azziz guy still

Is that Azziz guy still around?

Riverman1
79615
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Riverman1 09/26/11 - 05:46 pm
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Communities that depend on

Communities that depend on the government for jobs display a delayed reaction when the economy goes bad. It takes a while for the tax money to decrease and the job eliminations begin, but the pattern invariably will occur on the local, state and federal levels. It's our time to feel the pain. I note two long standing college presidents in the area are resigning this year. They see what's about to happen.

BevBoudreaux
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BevBoudreaux 09/26/11 - 06:34 pm
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In related news, The Medical

In related news, The Medical School at UGA in Athens has announced it expects to hire 150 new people.

mizbilli
8
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mizbilli 09/26/11 - 06:54 pm
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I worked for MCG 16 years -

I worked for MCG 16 years - never has so much money been spent so foolishly - the new Prez gave himself an inaguaral ball (with commemorative tokens - which weren't cheap) and now he's spending a small fortune on the palace on Milledge Road - needed to have it redone and refunished....and it doesnt stop. Vanity run amuck! That place used to be a great place - glad I left years ago!!

minnesota
0
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minnesota 09/26/11 - 07:16 pm
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Dr. Azziz way to go, lazy

Dr. Azziz way to go, lazy folks and overpaid you need to let them go.There had to much fun for to long.Go Azziz !!!!!!!!

Sweet son
9716
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Sweet son 09/26/11 - 07:47 pm
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mizbilli, you are exactyl

mizbilli, you are exactyl rignt. The Milledge Road property has always been a deep hole within which to pour money. It should be sold and the good Doc. should be given a housing allowance funded by PPG. The house comes complete with a vintage 1920's elevator and a basement with a walkin safe. It even has servant quarters located on the top floor. Just ring twice for the butler! Oh, the elevator does not go to the servant quarters so they have to take the stairs. Do we as taxpayers really need those a house like this! Justification has always been given that it has nice grounds so it can be used for school, college or university events whatever the name is for the day! Really! When the good doc gets his green space on Laney Walker he can use that for events and even invite the locals. Give us a break!

sand gnat
397
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sand gnat 09/26/11 - 08:10 pm
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0
That 20 million being spent

That 20 million being spent to replace the little river bridge would go a long ways at MCG.

Cynical old woman
1090
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Cynical old woman 09/26/11 - 08:13 pm
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Extravagant spending for the

Extravagant spending for the Prez, ridiculous money spend on signage, and folks losing their jobs. Not right, not fair, not good for patient care (as attested to by patients and staff), all while feeding the ego of Azziz.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 09/26/11 - 09:37 pm
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I agree with Little Lamb.

I agree with Little Lamb. The government will be making cuts and lots of them. The private workforce has been a bloodbath since 2008 and its getting worse. Govt employees are not immune. There is no money left folks. Taxpayers are broke and our economy is crashing thanks to years of incompetence and now the granddaddy of all incompetents - Barack Hussein Obama.

That said, I still stick by my original comment. It was not right to spend millions on signs and then one year later lay off 150 people. That is just total, gross mismanagement and downright mean.

Bureaucrats......Sigh.....

Chillen
17
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Chillen 09/26/11 - 09:41 pm
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If what BevBoudreaux says is

If what BevBoudreaux says is true - Athens is hiring 150 while we are losing 150 then what Riverman & I said a year or two ago is coming to pass. Augusta is being made irrelevant. Athens will be the new medical king in years to come. Augusta will be the red headed step child.

paperwren
24
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paperwren 09/26/11 - 09:48 pm
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They wasted millions of

They wasted millions of dollars to change signs to reflect the new name. And now they are laying off 150 people whose salaries could've been paid with the money used on that terrible waste. It is a sad day when signage is more important than people.

I think we all agree that it is confusing having another Georgia university with an abbreviation that includes G, S, and U....just like Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, GA Southwestern University, North Georgia College and State University, and Georgia College and State University. They just blend in with the pack.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 09/26/11 - 09:50 pm
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I'm tired of people

I'm tired of people complaining about the millions of dollars "invested" in signs.

Don't you know how many lives those signs have saved?

Just speak the words "Georgia-Health-Sciences-University" and cancerous tumors vanish into thin air.

Those signs and that name heal the sick, cure disease and care for the injured. How dare you speak ill of our wonderful signs.

soldout
1280
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soldout 09/26/11 - 10:29 pm
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Watch American Greed on CNBC

Watch American Greed on CNBC for a few weeks and it makes this situation easier to understand. Watching it will save a lot of people a lot of money and sorrow down the road. The alternative care folks (like naet and eft) are doing things years ahead of anything happening at MCG. They make the need for regular doctor care about 80% less than what we have today.

DanK
779
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DanK 09/27/11 - 12:10 am
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If the layoffs are no more

If the layoffs are no more than the annual attrition rate, then there is no need for layoffs. Just don't fill the positions that go vacant.

But of course, he means he is going to reduce the workforce by more than 300 through combined attrition and layoffs.

What he didn't mention is the salary reductions affecting many more.

And all the while, he's installing flowing fountains and new elevators in his house, and repainting again, all paid for out of university dollars, and hiring more high salaried administrators to order around the reduced workforce.

Riverman1
79615
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Riverman1 09/27/11 - 05:04 am
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Chillen, back when the

Chillen, back when the Chronicle was still saying a new medical school in Athens wasn't a big deal, some of us were pointing out the dangers. There is only so much money to go around for medical education. They are hiring in Athens and firing here. Does it get any plainer than that?

There have been several opportunities to stop the new school in Athens, but so far nothing has worked. Maybe there's still hope as the state runs out of money and comes to its senses. Dr. Azziz should take a leadership role in stopping the Athens duplication of medical education efforts. It's the common sense thing to do.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 09/27/11 - 05:34 am
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0
New name, requiring

New name, requiring everything from sign, to paperwork, to web site, etc. being redone ($2.8-$2.9 million), new expansive dental school ($108 million), new enitire med school in Athens ($52.8 million plus staffing), and new dorms, and other expansion at Gilbert manor site (the best I can tell is the remainder of $160 million dollar project minus the dental School, so another $52 million). All total, within the past few years, MCG has almost a quarter of a billion dollars. No wonder they have to lay people off. IMHO, Azziz was the biggest mistake to ever hit MCG.

Cynical old woman
1090
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Cynical old woman 09/27/11 - 08:30 am
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Among local physicians, mcg

Among local physicians, mcg staff, community leaders Azziz has made it quite clear he's a pompous man who is totally dedicated to himself. Signage (temporary and permanent), printing, Internet re-dos, Milledge Road renovations, and the list goes on and on. Where's the Board of Regents?

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 09/27/11 - 08:55 am
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The Board of Regents is

The Board of Regents is stacked with UGA grads who want to expand UGA to the detriment of the rest of the state. New med school, new engineering school, expand vet school, all in Athens, cut everyone else.

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