HSHS Laying Off Workers Due To Pandemic

Aug 4, 2020

Credit NPR Illinois

The Hospital Sisters Health System has announced it is cutting about ten percent of its workforce in Illinois and Wisconsin.  The system operates St. John’s Hospital in Springfield and St. Mary’s in Decatur, along with other facilities.

Earlier, HSHS issued furloughs and cut executive pay because of a drop in patients seeking elective procedures during the pandemic.  Many of those on furlough are being called back, but a written statement from H-S-H-S says the newly announced layoffs are being done “to provide the best chance for a strong, stable future.”

The system said a majority of those impacted are non-clinical workers. The number of those affected in central Illinois was not made available.

COVID-19 has slammed the health care industry this year.  In June, Memorial Health System, which operates Memorial Medical Center in Springfield along with others in Lincoln, Jacksonville and Taylorville,  issued furloughs for nearly five hundred employees through September.  

Statement from HSHS:

Hospital Sisters Health System continues to stand proudly behind its entire staff that is providing critically important services as the communities we serve deal with COVID-19. Earlier this year, the pandemic shifted how patients preferred or were allowed to use their local healthcare services, and HSHS saw a significant decline in the number of patients coming to our facilities. That led to negative financial impacts, and we had to make changes to our workforce including furloughs and executive pay reductions. Now that we are able to offer elective procedures again, we’re seeing a rebound in the number of patients coming to us for care, and we are pleased to announce we are inviting back the majority of colleagues that had been placed on furlough a few months ago.   

However, we are unable to bring back all of these furloughed colleagues. In order to provide the best chance for a strong, stable future for HSHS through and after this unpredictable pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to reduce approximately 10% of our workforce in Illinois and Wisconsin. The majority of these colleagues are non-clinical. We remain strongly committed to providing high quality healthcare and to making a positive difference in the lives of our patients and our communities, especially in this time of great need.”

This story will be updated.