In You Corner: Wellmont eliminating positions in wake of sequest - WFLA News Channel 8

In You Corner: Wellmont eliminating positions in wake of sequester cuts

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TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL) -

A swell of changes within Wellmont Health System - this, as the wave of sequester cuts and upcoming health care changes from Washington break upon local hospitals.

Tonight News Channel 11's Kylie McGivern is in your corner, yielding answers to the skirted question of whether Wellmont workers are being laid off. News Channel 11 has received dozens of phone calls and emails from those with connections to Wellmont, detailing the loss of numerous job positions.

Call after to call to get to the bottom of these alleged cuts in recent weeks. we were met with a simple answer of "realignment." In a letter addressed to those with positions on the chopping block, Wellmont wrote:

Due to the economic conditions and the challenges they pose,we are making changes in some areas of our company to better meet the needs of our patients. These changes also include realigning our workforce in certain departments to help us accomplish those goals."

As stated in the next paragraph, that realignment is being felt through the elimination of several positions.

In our discussion with Wellmont CEO Denny DeNarvaez today, News Channel 11 was told of the nearly 7,000 positions through the health system, less than 100 people have currently been impacted.

Some employees have also seen their full-time work status cut to part-time.

Kylie: "We've been getting either phone calls or emails almost on a daily basis of people in some connection with Wellmont, saying that people are being laid off. How would you respond to that?"

DeNarvaez: "If we have an opportunity in the backroom, if you will, to consolidate so that we don't have positions at each institution simply because of geography, we can do it more efficiently, those have been, they will continue to be, they have been the focus and they'll continue to be the focus."

DeNarvaez assures when it comes to care, patient to staff ratios have maintained the same. Positions of those working bedside nurses being a prime example, we're told have been protected.

After a $9 million dollar impact from sequester cuts, DeNarvaez says they're doing all they can without sacrificing patient care.

To view one of the letters sent to employees, click here. A second letter can be viewed here.  

Watch the attached video to learn more about Wellmont's CEO receiving a "vote of no confidence" from Bristol Regional Medical Center doctors.

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