Vidant Health announces budget shortfall, workforce reduction

Published 4:09 pm Monday, March 9, 2020

Vidant Health has announced the workforce reduction of 191 staff members as a result of a budget shortfall, including one at The Outer Banks Hospital.

The Monday, March 9 press release from Vidant states that while the need for services is high and volumes are up, “the organization experienced a budget shortfall during the first quarter of FY20 due to decreasing reimbursements and increasing costs.”

“Vidant Health has been at the forefront of conversations about the challenges facing health systems in rural America and especially here at home in eastern North Carolina,” reads the statement. “Like others, Vidant is faced with a traditionally underserved population with a high burden of disease, a growing number of patients relying on Medicaid and a lack of focus on rural health policy.”

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Changes Vidant says have been made include reducing costs, implementing operational efficiencies and discontinuing recruitment for some non-patient care positions, as well as the workforce reduction, which it says was made “through a careful and objective assessment.”

The breakdown of the 191 staff members is Vidant Health Corporate, 82; Vidant Medical Center, 75; Vidant Medical Group, 11; Vidant Beaufort, seven; Vidant Edgecombe, four; Vidant Roanoke-Chowan, four; Vidant North, three; Vidant Chowan, two; Vidant Duplin, two; The Outer Banks Hospital, one; Vidant Bertie, none.

When asked for details about which Vidant Medical Group offices and which types of jobs (medical providers, support staff, etc.) will be impacted, external communications specialist Brian Wudkwych replied in an email that the “press release and breakdown is all that we will be providing at this time.”

“Making decisions that impact even one team member’s life is very difficult. We deeply value the contributions made by every team member. We are ensuring those impacted are supported by providing severance and comprehensive career counselling services,” said Michael Waldrum, MD, CEO of Vidant Health. “This is not something we take lightly, and we will treat all impacted team members with respect.”

Vidant employs more than more than 14,000 in the 29 counties it serves. It is the largest employer in eastern North Carolina, with nine hospitals and more than 100 practices delivering care for communities throughout the east.

“These are difficult decisions, but necessary to ensure eastern North Carolina continues to have a health care system capable of supporting rural communities throughout the region,” said Dr. Waldrum. “The well-being of the region depends on a healthy population. Our commitment to our mission is at the forefront of all that we do.”

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