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Springfield, MO

Mercy Hospital Springfield lays off 12 care providers at the 1235 E. Cherokee St. health center.
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Mercy Hospital Springfield lays off 12 care providers at the 1235 E. Cherokee St. health center.

Mercy fires a dozen employees over safety issues

Posted online

Mercy Hospital Springfield terminated the employment of 12 care providers over safety issues at the 1235 E. Cherokee St. health center.

A statement issued by the hospital did not directly say why the hospital workers were fired, but it alluded to a lack of treating “patients and visitors with dignity and compassion, even in highly tense situations.” The statement also noted health care organizations nationwide are increasingly facing safety problems as “mental health issues and drug addictions rise.” The layoffs were first reported by the Springfield News-Leader.

“We recently identified behavior by a small number of staff members involving care of patients in such situations that did not live up to those standards,” the statement reads. “Corrective steps have been taken, including the termination of 12 co-workers, to ensure that under all circumstances our patients are treated in a just and caring way while also protecting everyone, including co-workers, from physical harm.”

Mercy reported the issues to state and federal regulators and also is expanding its training techniques to help employees learn how to better deal with situations involving the safety of others. It’s unclear which agencies are reviewing the situation.

“The actions we have taken, and the new level of training we are implementing, are critical to ensuring that our co-workers have the education and support necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone,” said Brent Hubbard, chief operating officer of Mercy Hospital Springfield, in the statement.

Mercy Springfield Communities, which operates Mercy Hospital Springfield, ranked second this year on Springfield Business Journal’s list of the area’s largest employers by worker count. The health system reported 10,153 employees within a 50-mile radius of Springfield and 2016 local revenue of $1.55 billion. CoxHealth ranked first with 15,358 employees and $1.3 billion in revenue locally.

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