Monday, December 22, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;36.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/ovc.png;2014-12-22 18:22:44
pic1
pic2
pic3
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Facebook Don Himsel at The Telegraph


    St. Joseph Hospital dropped over 60 positions Wednesday, August 31, 2011.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Facebook Don Himsel at The Telegraph



  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Facebook Don Himsel at The Telegraph


    St. Joseph Hospital dropped over 60 positions Wednesday, August 31, 2011.
Thursday, September 1, 2011

St. Joseph Hospital announces 65 more positions eliminated following state budget cuts

NASHUA – St. Joseph Hospital laid off 44 people Wednesday, reduced hours for some employees and eliminated vacant positions in its latest response to state budget cuts.

The layoffs are part of “our ongoing efforts to meet the budget” the state Legislature passed and that went into effect this summer, hospital spokesperson Melissa Sears said.

“Reductions in force that affect people’s livelihoods is the last resort. It’s not easy and it’s not something you turn to first. It’s the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in as a result of the state budget,” Sears said. “A lot of tears and a lot of tissues today. A lot of hugs.

The cuts did not affect doctors or bedside nurses, she said.

The move will mean an end to the hospital’s Adult Day Health Center on Amherst Street that provided care for 45-55 Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, as well as the Resource Development department, which was charged with fundraising and philanthropic endeavors, Sears said.

The adult program will close at the end of September, as will Rockingham Ambulance and Granite State Mediquip, which employ a combined 174 people. The hospital announced those closures earlier this month.

St. Joseph is one of the 10 hospitals suing the state, alleging New Hampshire’s budget plan illegally uses more than $200 million in Medicaid funds that should go to hospitals.

The cuts have put hospital officials to work trying to cut $9.6 million from their budget and has already led to the shuttering of Rockingham Ambulance at the end of September.

“It’s the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in as a result of the state budget,” Sears said. “We would not have needed to do this if the budget hadn’t been created and passed in the manner it was.”

Sears said officials will continue searching for efficiencies but hopes this week’s layoffs are the last for a while.

“We do hope it’s the last time that we have to do reductions in force,” she said.

Employees have known for a couple of weeks that news of what positions would be eliminated would come Wednesday. The hospital offered “compassionate” severance packages and a slew of job placement and counseling services, Sears said.

The city’s other hospital, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, has also made significant cuts, including laying off 100 employees and beginning plans to close its psychiatric unit.

In July, 10 state hospitals filed a federal lawsuit against Nicholas Toumpas, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services, claiming the state’s two-year budget improperly uses more than $200 million in Medicaid funds for non-Medicaid purposes.

The suit, filed at the U.S. District Court in Concord, alleges the plan violates federal law and threatens “immediate and irreparable injury to the public.” It asks that the plan be halted immediately.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415, jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also check out Cote (@Telegraph_JoeC) on Twitter.