Health
5:03 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

West Penn Allegheny Lays Off 262 Workers

West Penn Allegheny hospitals laid off 262 employees Friday, and another 200 vacant positions are being eliminated.

“This action is extremely difficult but is an essential step in our efforts to right-size the organization for the patient volume that we currently have and to strongly position it for future growth and success as a leading healthcare provider in this region,” said Dan Laurent, a spokesman for Highmark’s Allegheny Health Network.

West Penn Allegheny will now have 10,300 employees and the Allegheny Health Network as a whole, 17,000.

Highmark acquired Allegheny General Hospital, West Penn Hospital, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Canonsburg Hospital and Forbes Hospital in April.

Laurent said most of the eliminated positions are not “clinical in nature.”

“Positions impacted by the workforce reduction today span every level of the workforce including the executive ranks, but relatively few are related to direct patient care,” he said.

Laurent said the layoffs and elimination of vacant positions is one component of the network’s plan.  “Progress is being made in that regard on a number of different fronts, including revenue cycle improvements, better occupation care alignment within the network, reduction of non-personnel expenses.”

But he added the job cuts are “painful.”

“We are stewards of this charitable organization, and as such it is imperative that we do everything we can to make sure it remains a vital and sustainable resource for the people of this community over the long term," Laurent said. "And I think today’s news should send a loud and clear message that we take this responsibility seriously.”

Laurent said there are no other “significant” reductions planned.