by Max Brantley
ST. VINCENT HEALTH SYSTEM
2 St. Vincent Circle
Little Rock, AR 72205
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 24, 2008
St. Vincent Health System was founded in 1888 with the simple premise…the patient comes first! We have been making significant investments in the quality & service of our patient care and, as a result, growing our health system like never before. We are in the midst of a $47 million expansion that includes opening a new emergency department in late August and a state-of-the-art cardiovascular intensive care unit in November. We renovated our five-star orthopaedic center as well as added enhanced nursing care and patient amenities. We opened a new women’s and children’s center with services that rival the area’s highest end hotels. We are making significant investments in having the lowest nurse-to-patient ratios (i.e. less patients per nurse) in Central Arkansas.
To continue those investments in our core business – nursing and patient care, we recently undertook an extensive operational and financial review of the entire health system. It is not uncommon for organizations (including hospitals and health systems) to go about these reviews on a periodic basis. It is also not uncommon for companies to invest in their core business while reallocating resources from other areas. As a result of this review, several opportunities for improvement were identified and are currently being addressed. Over the next few days (largely today and tomorrow), we will be addressing reducing overhead expenses by streamlining management and non-direct patient care staffing.
We have identified 72 positions for elimination throughout the organization in both management and staff (representing less than 2% of our workforce). There are 38 positions that have been recently vacated and will not be re-filled. One of those positions is the Senior Vice President & Chief Operating officer of the health system. The responsibilities for that position will be shared by the President & CEO and the executive leadership of the health system. Every effort is being made to identify a comparable opportunity within the organization for those impacted. We have put considerable thought to ensuring that every individual leaving the organization is treated in a manner consistent with our core values of Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence. After carefully considering each impacted employee and vacant positions, thirty-four employees (34) will likely be displaced (1% of the entire St. Vincent workforce) – sixteen (16) management individuals and eighteen (18) staff individuals. There were no positions or individuals eliminated that directly impact our patients and care at the bedside.
“These decisions are never easy for an organization because they involve people that are near and dear to our hearts. In some cases, the decisions impact people that we have worked with us for many years and have become our family,” said Peter Banko, President & CEO of St. Vincent Health System. “It is not pleasant for me as St. Vincent’s leader and for the entire St. Vincent community to have to do this work, but I can unequivocally assure you that we have put considerable thought and reflection into each decision and each individual. I can also assure you that there will be no impact to our patients that entrust their care to us each and every day. We will continue to invest our time, energy, and resources into creating an experience for patients that is second-to-none in Central Arkansas.”