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St. James Announces New Operational Plan, Realigns Staffing

July 19, 2010
In response to the continued weakness in the economy and challenging business conditions in the health care industry, St. James Healthcare today announced a plan to reduce expenses and realign staffing to match current patient volumes. “Like many other hospitals in Montana and throughout the country, St. James Healthcare is seeing a decline in patient admissions while charity care to those in need has grown close to $1 million a month,” said Chuck Wright, St. James President and Chief Executive Officer. “To respond to these challenges and to support our strategic direction to provide excellent quality care for our patients and community, we have identified areas where we can reduce expenses and sustain our Mission to improve the health of the patients and communities we serve,” he said. To better align staffing with current patient needs, St. James is restructuring its workforce by eliminating 40 positions, which represents approximately 7 percent of its 571 employees. More than half of the eliminated positions are non-clinical, administrative or management functions that will be reassigned internally or handled at the Montana regional level or by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System office. Another 50 positions will be restructured with reduced hours and shifts changes. Wright emphasized that clinical staff realignments will not affect patient care. “Providing clinically excellent care for our patients is, and always will be, our top priority.” he said. He added that St. James’ decision to reduce its workforce was difficult but essential to meet its goals of operational effectiveness and quality, cost-effective care for its patients. “These are difficult decisions because they affect our friends and neighbors. However, we must constantly adjust our operations to meet the current and future needs of the communities we serve, and tough decisions now will lay the groundwork for future growth to better serve our patients.”