WPAHS lays off 213 workers

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The West Penn Allegheny Health System yesterday announced that it had laid off 213 full-time workers, with the cuts affecting all six hospitals and the corporate offices.

Spokesman Dan Laurent said he could not provide a breakdown of which departments were most affected but did say "very few positions that are being eliminated are related to direct patient care."

Prior to the layoff, West Penn Allegheny had 11,374 full-time employees.

Mr. Laurent described the reduction as "a very difficult decision for our organization, but a necessary action given the economic challenges that we and all health-care providers locally and throughout the country are facing in the current recession." He declined to provide specifics about how much money the health system expected to save from the cuts.

Mr. Laurent said no additional job reductions were planned for now.

In November, WPAHS released its annual report showing a net loss of $25.2 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, but a $2.1 million net profit in the fourth quarter.

In other hospital news, officials at Bradford Regional Medical Center in McKean County said they have laid off 59 workers after losing about $17 million in the last four years, leaving about 600 jobs. Bradford President and CEO Timothy Finan said the cuts should save the hospital about $2.5 million a year.

Correction/Clarification: (Published Jan. 12, 2010) Bradford Regional Medical Center is located in McKean County. This story as originally published Jan. 8, 2010 about layoffs at the hospital gave an incorrect location.

Steve Twedt can be reached at stwedt@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1963.


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