PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Pikeville Medical Center CEO Donovan Blackburn confirms the hospital is laying off 130 employees effective Friday, June 1st.
Blackburn said 30 of the employees left through a normal exit including quitting or being fired, while 100 of them are laid off. He said the majority of these employees are support positions at the hospital.
"However, this decision was made about 45 days ago not knowing who, but we needed to dive into the business to determine who we would lay off because obviously, our intent was not to hurt patient care at all," said Blackburn.
Blackburn told WYMT the reasoning for the layoff goes back to when the hospital built the clinic.
The clinic was built in 2015 and in 2016 the hospital hired about 600 new employees.
"So what happened is in 2016 we had the best year we ever had at the end of the 2016 year, but in 2017 we had the worst year we ever had," said Blackburn.
He said the hospital overhired employees and for almost two years the hospital has been losing money.
Blackburn said in the past two years the hospital lost about 400 of those 600 employees and currently, the hospital has about 260 extra employees. The layoff will eliminate 130 of those extra employees.
For some learning of the cuts caused concern.
"My daughter just graduated from UK and she is looking for work in the medical field," said Michelle Boggs. "If you've got 100 some people in the medical field that are also going to be looking for work, not including these kids that are trying to come back here and find jobs in the medical field where are they going to go?"
Blackburn said the remaining 130 extra employees will stay employed as the hospital plans to grow.
This summer the hospital is planning to start a 27 million dollar expansion to the heart institute.
Those employees laid off were offered a 2-week severance package and will have health benefits the rest of the month.
Blackburn estimates with this layoff in 6 months the hospital will be out of the red and making money.