200 Laid Off at Washington Hospital Center

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011  |  Updated 1:13 PM EDT
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200 Laid Off at Washington Hospital Center

Two hundred employees have been cut from the Washington Hospital Center staff.

The laid-off workers received notices Tuesday.

Matt Brock, a spokesman for the hospital, said contrary to some reports, most of the staff were administrators, rather than nurses.

The hospital said that the cuts will not affect clinical care.  In addition to downsizing the staff, management will shutter a wing of the hospital it says is underutilized.  The nurses currently staffing that unit will be reassigned to other areas of the hospital.

Brock said that the hospital is in the midst of a year-long budget tightening program, by not filling vacant positions and paring down spending.

Workers at the Northwest D.C. hospital first learned that layoffs were on the way on April 13, when hospital president John Sullivan sent out a letter.

"We have been focused on the turnaround plan to avoid layoffs." Sullivan wrote in the letter, the Washington Business Journal reported.  "I am terribly sorry to report that we are unable to do so any longer."  He cited the 2010 D.C. bed tax, federal cuts to Medicare, an pressure from commercial insurance companies as reasons for the layoffs.

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