STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Mount Nittany Health announced plans to continue restructuring operations and positions within the health system as it continues to re-open clinical services, including elective surgeries, emergency care, diagnostic services and physician practices.
At the same time, the health system is expecting a $70 million revenue shortfall for its current fiscal year ending June 30, resulting in the need for restructuring.
To address this shortfall, they will continue to adjust staffing to align with current and expected patient volumes, which they report will result in approximately a 10% reduction in staff, that’s roughly 250 positions.
Other changes are said to include implementing a 10% reduction in executive compensation and reductions in spending on contracted services and supplies in the coming year. The health system does not plan to reduce programs and services and will maintain current nurse to patient and nursing assistant to patient staffing ratios.
“Our priority remains serving the community with high-quality care,” said Kathleen Rhine, Mount Nittany Health President and CEO. “Like most health systems across the country, we are experiencing a significant impact from the pandemic. While we must adjust, we are doing this without reducing the services the community depends on us to provide. The actions we are taking ensure that we can serve the community well today and remain strong to grow into the future.”
Actions affecting unionized employees will be in accordance with their contract. Mount Nittany Health will also extend separation support to all affected non-union employees.
SEIU Healthcare PA Mount Nittany Medical Center Chapter President Denelle Weller also released a statement on the announced reduction of essential healthcare workers.
“Caregivers at Mount Nittany Medical Center are deeply dismayed by the recent announcement by hospital administration that 10 percent, or roughly 250 healthcare workers, are under threat of losing their jobs in the coming weeks.
We are aware of the setback caused by and hurdles suffered by healthcare facilities everywhere because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. As frontline workers, we too have felt these hardships in addition to risking our health and safety to be on the frontline during this crisis. Yet, we believe a projected loss of revenue for a designated period of time is not reason enough to make drastic cuts at our normally very profitable community hospital.
We find it very difficult to believe that our hospital will be able to maintain the levels of service and necessary nurse-to-patient ratios they have promised with such dramatic cuts to our workforce. Most experts are projecting a second wave of COVID-19 infections and we urge hospital administrators to be thoughtful about preparing for such an event.
If we are to truly serve our community, we must have the staff necessary to provide the care our community needs in good times and bad. A threat to our bottom line should not compromise our core mission to be here for our patients and provide good jobs for our community.
Frontline caregivers at Mount Nittany Medical Center are pledging to do our utmost to work with administrators to find more responsible solutions to our current fiscal issues.”Denelle Weller, President, Mount Nittany Medical Center Chapter of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
Fritz Smith from the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau reacted to the news by saying,
“This is devestating news for the community,” Smith said. “It shows the importance of the need for getting everyone’s life back to normal, including going to the doctor for non-covid-related care.”
Director and Marketing & Communications for Mount Nittany Health, Nichole Monica says employees will be given the first opportunity for rehire.