Green River Star -

By David Martin

Hospital won't see layoffs


Tuesday was a tumultuous day at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, but employees can breathe a sigh relief as staff layoffs will not occur.

Rumors circulating amongst hospital staff had reached the Sweetwater County Commissioners’ ears involving the potential layoff of hospital employees. Discussion during the county commissioners’ meeting suggested 30 employees were to be terminated Wednesday. An email, allegedly outlining which employees would be laid off, was received by the commissioners’ chairman, Reid West, Tuesday morning, sent by former CEO Gerald Klein to the hospital board members. West said he did not open the email and contacted the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office and the county’s information technology director to confirm he did not open the email on his phone, as well as deleting it from both West’s inbox and the county email server.

“I suspect it contained personnel information I should not be privy to,” West said.

The one-page fiscal action plan initiated in August 2016 shows line items to reduce staffing and physician staffing to increase the hospital’s cash flow. Savings anticipated though those cuts were estimated to total $1,284,435. Also listed in the plan were items referred to as tier two and tier three reductions in staffing, each estimated to save $500,000.

Prior to the hospital board’s re-organization, some members said they were unaware of a plan to layoff staff Wednesday and did not check their email prior to attending the commissioners’ meeting. The board also did not vote to cut positions.

An emergency hospital board meeting at the hospital Tuesday afternoon resulted in an executive session lasting nearly two hours. Upon reconvening the meeting, board member Taylor Jones announced there wouldn’t be staff layoffs. Jones said the board recognizes the staff at MHSC is the lifeblood of the facility and wants to bring the rumors of layoff to a halt. Jones also said he wants to be honest with the staff, saying they did not seek or approve a staff reduction.

Hospital board chairman Richard Mathey said the board wants to work with the hospital’s employees and said the board will be as transparent as they can be with the staff.

“We look forward to seeing your at a future board meeting,” Mathey said before ending the meeting.


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