THOMSON — McDuffie Regional Medical Center will lay off 21 employees to reduce losses that have drained more than $900,000 from hospital reserves since October.
Chief Executive Officer Sandra McVicker announced the 12 percent staff reduction Tuesday afternoon. She also said the hospital will contact physicians and broaden its contacts in the community to try to win back admissions that have been lost to other hospitals.
“Twenty-one people will be without jobs at this hospital; however, 150 people will still have a job,” she said.
Hospital board Chairman William Doupe said that he feels the action is necessary and that he supports McVicker’s decision. He said the hospital board discussed the action in closed session Monday.
McVicker said the decision affects employees from all departments except the operating room. She said some of the employees have been informed but others will not be notified until they return from regular days off.
She said the hospital will provide laid-off employees with lists of positions available at Augusta medical facilities.
Remaining employees will lose some wages. Hourly employees will have their work reduced by four hours every two weeks. Exempt employees will incur a 5 percent cut in pay, McVicker said.
McVicker, who has been in the post for five weeks and is also vice president of network development for University Health Care System, said the hospital will study purchases of supplies and other possible savings.
Doupe confirmed that the hospital lost more than $1 million in both 2010 and 2011. He said losses began about 10 years ago but accelerated the past two years.
McVicker said the cash reserve now stands at about $2.1 million.
The board is iselling the hospital to University Health Care System. A notice of proposed transaction has been filed with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, which will conduct a public hearing. That session is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 29 at the Thomson-McDuffie County Government Center.