Baptist Health is making changes as the hospital system adapts to the COVID–19 pandemic and that will be new jobs for some staff, temporary furloughs for others, and pay cuts for executives.
“Like other hospitals across the country, Baptist Health is striking a delicate balance between maintaining a strong front line of skilled caregivers to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, while grappling with the resulting drain on resources,” said Gerard Colman, Baptist Health CEO. “After much thoughtful deliberation, we are re-prioritizing and reassigning some staff to serve where needed most, which is at the bedside providing patient care, and in our communities identifying those at risk for COVID-19.
The health system that includes eight hospitals across Kentucky, including Corbin, and numerous primary care and specialist facilities, is making the changes in light of government actions such as the suspension of elective surgeries.
In addition, officials noted that the number of diagnostic tests has slowed.
The temporary furloughs will affect regular full-time and part-time employees whose jobs do not support caregivers or are not critical to the clinical operations related to COVID–19.
“The number of affected employees has not been finalized,” officials stated Thursday.
Baptist Health Corbin has more than 1,200 employees
Furloughed workers will be eligible for unemployment compensation, and will be eligible for their medical benefits.
“The hospital will continue to pay its portion of the benefits for the affected employees,” officials explained.
Some employees will see reduced schedules, while others be furloughed.
As part of the changes, top leaders with Baptist Health and Baptist Health Medical Group – including the hospital presidents – will take a 20 percent pay cut. Other vice presidents and executive leaders will take a 15 percent pay cut.
“Our intent is to return to normal operations as soon as possible, and begin calling back employees. This is just a temporary measure,” said Colman. “We value our employees, who are the key to our success, and will continue to be the key to our success going forward. But, first and foremost, we need to ensure we will be here when our communities need us most.”
The Baptist Health family consists of nine hospitals (eight owned and one managed); employed and independent physicians; more than 300 points of care, including outpatient facilities, physician practices and services, urgent care and retail-based clinics; outpatient diagnostic and surgery centers; home care; occupational medicine and physical therapy clinics; and fitness centers.
Baptist Health’s eight owned hospitals include more than 2,400 licensed beds in Corbin, La Grange, Lexington, Louisville, Madisonville, Paducah, Richmond and New Albany, Ind. Baptist Health manages Hardin Memorial Health, a 300-bed hospital in Elizabethtown. Baptist Health employs about 19,500 people in Kentucky and surrounding states.
Baptist’s physician network, Baptist Health Medical Group, has about 1,100 employed providers, including about 600 employed physicians, plus more than 2,000 independent physicians.