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A state workforce filing by Mercy Hospital Springfield shows physicians and nurses are among affected employees.
SBJ file photo
A state workforce filing by Mercy Hospital Springfield shows physicians and nurses are among affected employees.

Mercy reports nearly 700 cuts, furloughs

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Mercy Hospital Springfield reported in a workforce filing with the state that 696 employees are impacted in a current round of layoffs and furloughs.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filing submitted to the Missouri Division of Workforce Development indicates the position eliminations and furloughs started May 22, the same day it was filed. They’re slated to wrap up by Aug. 20, according to the filing.

"We were unable to provide more notice of this action because these circumstances were not reasonably foreseeable until recently when the full impact of COVID-19 became clear," Mercy officials said in the filing, citing a "dramatic downturn in business caused by the coronavirus natural disaster."

"The position eliminations and furloughs are expected to be permanent for some employees and temporary for others."

The affected employees include physicians, nurses, patient care associates and transporters, supervisors and managers, and laboratory technicians, according to the filing. The filing does not list the names of the employees.

Mercy Springfield Communities, which includes Mercy Hospital Springfield, reported 9,796 employees as of Dec. 9, 2019, according to Springfield Business Journal list research.

SBJ previously reported on an unspecified number of cuts at Mercy.

Mercy last week announced health care system executives Jon Swope and Dr. Fred McQueary would retire early to help the organization "navigate the difficult financial terrain ahead." Mercy officials also pointed to senior-level pay cuts.

A separate WARN notice on May 22 filed by Mercy Hospital St. Louis points to 663 employees affected by layoffs and furloughs in the St. Louis market.

In response to questions about the layoffs and furloughs, Mercy Springfield Communities spokesperson Sonya Kullmann only provided SBJ a statement on behalf of the health care system.

“As a ministry spanning nearly 200 years, Mercy continues to take strategic steps to manage the serious economic toll of the COVID-19 crisis that has impacted every health care system across the country. This includes a careful assessment of each community’s needs, restructuring to provide more efficient service and implementing furloughs and job reductions as necessary throughout our ministry,” the statement reads. “We are also creating new ways to deliver care to our patients so health care needs are met both in and out of quarantine. This includes virtual visits with Mercy physicians, separate care tracks to treat COVID-19 patients and enhanced safety protocols in all our facilities. These actions will ensure Mercy will continue to provide compassionate, excellent clinical care to millions of patients across several states in the years to come.”

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