DCH cuts 25 positions; will not fill 36 others

Released employees get first chance at other DCH jobs

Dearborn County Hospital is reducing its work, said Michael W. Schwebler, DCH President/CEO.

Twenty-five filled positions have been eliminated and 36 unfilled positions also have been dropped.

Employees whose positions have been eliminated were personally notified by members of the leadership team, and provided severance packages commensurate with their position and length of employment, said Schwebler.

Many recently vacated positions at DCH, however, have been left unfilled to allow qualified employees, whose positions have been eliminated, to apply for them to retain employment with the hospital, he said.

DCH’s affiliate partner, TriHealth, also will give priority to released DCH employees who apply for positions at one of its facilities, added Schwebler.

“It is with a heavy heart that we are having to reduce our work force and eliminate 25 of our 900-plus positions that are currently filled and an additional 36 positions that are unfilled,” he said.

“We understand that our employees have financial responsibilities and many have families who will be greatly impacted by this reduction. I can assure you that the decision to reduce our work force was not one that we came by easily, but through due diligence and expert analysis of our current and future staffing needs,” he said.

Changes in healthcare related to advances in technology, a shift toward outpatient procedures, shorter lengths of stay and several other factors, many of which indicate an improvement in overall quality of care, have contributed to the need for a reduction in staff, he said.

“While we would have greatly preferred to reduce our work force by attrition, increased operating expenses and reduced reimbursement rates do not make that financially feasible,” said Schwebler.

“We view our DCH employees as part of one big family, so it is extremely painful when we have to say goodbye to some of our staff. Our Human Resources Department is committed to working with those losing positions to help them find new employment opportunities within our system or the community. In addition, I feel confident that TriHealth will welcome many of them as employees at their facilities.”

Implementing a reduction in work force is never easy, especially in a “tight-knit environment,” such as DCH, said Ronald Denney, president of the hospital’s board of trustees.

Staffing levels in specific areas of the hospital have significantly exceeded standard patient to staff ratios for some time now. To adhere to best staffing practices and to be good stewards of the hospital’s finances, a reduction in work force is necessary, he said.

“The Board and I fully support the hospital’s leadership in stepping forward to make this correct, but extremely difficult decision,” said Denney.

“Dearborn County Hospital is a financially sound institution and we have a strong strategic plan in place that will guide the hospital successfully into the coming years,” said Schwebler.

“The manner in which healthcare is provided is constantly changing, so we need to be flexible and make wise decisions as to how we can best utilize our resources to benefit our patients and the community as a whole.

“Over the coming months, we will be sharing with the community the results of our strategic initiatives and ushering in new or enhanced services and programs focusing on accessibility, patient need and a more comprehensive continuum of care.”