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Wheeling’s Ohio Valley Medical Center, Martins Ferry’s East Ohio Regional Hospital Lay Off About 70 Employees

File Photo About 70 employees were laid off from Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital on Friday.

From Staff Reports

WHEELING — Officials of About Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital said about 70 employees from OVMC and EORH were laid off Friday.

The layoff, also referred to as a Reduction in Force, is a process that allows for the termination of an employee from employment because of a variety of factors.

The two hospitals have a combined workforce of just over 1,200 employees.

“We have been working very hard to achieve reductions in operating costs while improving efficiencies,” said Daniel C. Dunmyer, president and CEO of OVMC and EORH. “Unfortunately, these measures have not yet resulted in sufficient cost savings to our hospitals.”

Dunmyer added, “Our administrative team reviewed the staffing levels in each department to ensure the operational needs of the two facilities continue to be met, as well as to address areas where changes can be made.

As a result of the ongoing need for cost reduction, we have determined that it is prudent to implement a restructuring of our current workforce.”

All employees affected by the RIF are eligible to be rehired by the hospital if they qualify for a position. Unemployment compensation, potential severance pay and continued health benefits are being offered to those employees receiving RIF notifications.

Employee meetings were held Friday to address concerns of employees who are affected by the layoffs.

In a statement, hospital officials said, “The RIF announcement is a direct result of a national trend that many rural hospitals are facing; declining in-patient care due to a lower daily census, Medicare payment reductions and the cost of maintaining aging facilities. Health care facilities from across the nation are feeling a similar financial crunch as administrative leaders have announced closures or layoffs.”

Alecto purchased OVMC and EORH in June 2017. At the time, both hospitals were experiencing severe financial distress.

“At the time of the transaction, Alecto committed to keep both hospitals open despite the significant financial and operational issues associated with the prior management of the facilities,” officials stated.

According to hospital officials, Alecto has funded more than $25 million into OVMC and EORH since the purchase.

“Both Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital will continue to provide our communities with the highest quality care that our patients have come to expect, and we will continue to look to the community to also support their hospitals that have been a part of Wheeling and Martins Ferry for more than a century,” Dunmyer said. “We value and respect our employees and this decision was not made lightly, but it’s one that is unfortunately necessary at this particular time.”

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