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King’s Daughters lays off 148

ASHLAND, Ky. — King’s Daughters Health System today announced the layoff of 148 people and the closing of two Family Care Centers, calling the move restructuring in response to a decline in the healthcare industry.

According to a press release, the positions in support, administrative and supervisory areas were cut due to “a decline in patient volumes and reimbursement levels.”

Staffing for direct patient care will not be changed, according to the release.

“This was a very difficult decision to make,” said President/CEO Fred Jackson in the release. “Together, we have done everything possible to avoid this situation, including cutting operating expenses, combining areas where that made sense, and improving our operations through Process Innovation. Those efforts have helped us greatly. While difficult, the reduction will help preserve the positions of 3,831 people throughout our Health System, as well as our main goal of providing high value, exceptional patient care to our community.”

In addition to the layoffs, the Russell, Ky., Family Care Center, as well as the Pikeville Family Care Center, will close Sept. 1 with staff and doctors relocating to other centers.

According to the release, some of the people affected by the layoffs will be offered new positions through the job bidding process.

Twelve of the workers to be laid off were full-time Service Employees International Union 1199 workers. Five additional union workers will go from full-time to part-time employment.

A release from union representatives blame the layoffs on a lack of leadership from Jackson.

“The workers at King’s Daughters Medical Center are deeply concerned about the future of quality care at the hospital with layoff after layoff of very people this community count on,” said Joyce Gibson, Director of West Virginia/Kentucky Healthcare for SEIU District 1199, in the release. “At some point you have to stop and think that the cuts at KDMC are coming from the wrong end of the organization. Enough is enough. Now is the time for our community to call for Fred Jackson to share in the sacrifice.”