St. Joseph hospitals lay off 36 in Lexington

Lexington Hospitals blame Slumping 'surgical volumes'

ctruman@herald-leader.comNovember 8, 2011 

  • IF YOU GO

    Lexington Philharmonic

    What: Scott Terrell conducts the Philharmonic, the Lexington Singers, University of Kentucky Chorale, soprano soloist Esther Heideman and baritone soloist Chad Sloan in a program of works by Samuel Barber, Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

    When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11

    Where: Singletary Center for the Arts concert hall, 405 Rose St.

    Tickets: $25-$52; available at Philharmonic offices at ArtsPlace, 161 N. Mill St., fourth floor. Call (859) 233-4226 or go to Lexphil.org.

    Also: A plaque honoring former Philharmonic music director George Zack will be dedicated at 5:30 p.m. in the Singletary Center lobby.

St. Joseph Hospitals is laying off 36 employees, about 1 percent of its 3,500-person work force in Lexington. Spokesman Jeff Murphy said Monday that the layoffs "are across many departments," with 32 at the St. Joseph Hospital on South Broadway and four at St. Joseph East off Richmond Road.

"Some surgical volumes are down, so there are some surgery employees affected by this," he said.

Murphy also said that Lexington's medical market has seen a "softening of volumes" and that more surgeries are being performed on an outpatient basis, in which the patient is not admitted for an overnight stay.

Murphy said St. Joseph East was less affected because "St. Joseph East has more of an outpatient focus."

He said the two hospitals did not anticipate additional layoffs. Those laid off will receive severance packages, counseling and possibly offers of other jobs within the organization, either in Lexington or at other regional St. Joseph-affiliated hospitals.

At Central Baptist Hospital, spokeswoman Ruth Ann Childers said that although outpatient-surgery cases are up, Central Baptist opened two inpatient operating rooms in August for surgeons who want to operate there. In addition, she said, the hospital's expansion, now under construction, should increase its patient volume.

Reach Cheryl Truman at (859) 231-3202 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3202, or on Twitter at @CherylTruman.

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