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Wake Forest Baptist to eliminate full-time positions

Tribune News Partner WXII

November 15, 2012

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center announced Wednesday that it will lay off 76 employees this week and eliminate hundreds more positions by June.


“Sadly, the institution must eliminate approximately 950 full-time equivalent positions (FTE) within the medical center by June 30, 2013,” Baptist officials said in a news release.


“About 50 percent of these FTE eliminations will be achieved through deletion of vacant, temporary and contract labor positions, as well as normal attrition and retirements,” the release said. “Consequently, there may be as many as 475 currently filled employee FTE positions eliminated by the end of June.”


The 475 currently filled positions represent 3.5 percent of the total workforce. Some of those positions will be eliminated by normal attrition, Baptist officials said.


As part of the transition, 76 employees are being laid off this week, Baptist officials said. Those employees will get their full pay and benefits through Jan. 4, when their severance benefits will begin.


Baptist said it will help those employees with outplacement assistance.


About a third of the cuts will be in corporate or administrative areas. The cuts will not affect nurse-to-patient ratios or the hospital’s renowned medical research, hospital officials said.


To try to reduce the sting, the hospital has posted the last eight months of job openings only internally and offered training for those moving into new areas.


As for why the layoffs are happening, Baptist said it is trying to cut costs as health care providers expect a 10 percent reduction in reimbursements in the next two to three years. Health care providers also expect to see declines in federal research funding as lawmakers try to reduce federal deficit spending.


“Wake Forest Baptist is committed to reducing its costs in order to make health care and the overall enterprise more efficient and affordable,” the release said. “At the same time, it is even more committed to improved quality, safety and service, patient-centered care, pioneering research, training the next generation of medical leaders and commercializing discovery and intellectual property.”