Penn Highlands Healthcare to furlough, layoff almost 600 employees

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn Highlands Hospital system has furloughed 600 employees as they adjust staffing levels across the system.

Chief Operating Officer Mark Norman confirmed Wednesday Morning that these adjustments will go into effect immediately through May 31, 2020.

Penn Highlands Healthcare employs 4,400 people at five hospitals throughout our region.

The COO said for the month of April, their revenue was down about 40%.

“We’ve seen a 59% drop in clinic visits, an 83% drop in surgeries, a 47% drop in radiology tests, a 59% drop in lab tests,” Norman said.

The changes include furloughs, layoffs and the elimination of outside agency staffing.

“This decision to adjust our workforce is 100 percent due to this pandemic,” Norman stated.

Below show the total number of employees from each facility.

Brookville – 24
Clearfield – 43
Dubois – 338
Elk – 65
Huntingdon – 66
Corporate office – 49
TOTAL: 585

Over 60% of these adjustments are furloughs.

“You can probably appreciate that this was an incredibly hard decision, and we realize the effects that this will have on our employees who are impacted,” Norman said.

Director of Emergency Medicine for Penn Highlands Dubois Dr. Shaun Sheehan said patients need to make sure they are still in contact with their doctors, adding there are many virtual opportunities for check-ups.

“Bypassing routine healthcare is not a good idea, and it needs to be attended to,” he said.

The COO said there are no plans at this time for future staff changes.

Norman stated that the furloughs are a way for Penn Highlands to ensure financial stability through this pandemic.

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