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Hundreds of layoffs announced for Sparrow Health System

Sparrow Hospital
WKAR File Photo
WKAR File Photo

Sparrow Health System is cutting hundreds of jobs. The health provider cited a net operating loss of $90 million for the first half of 2022.

Rising costs of supplies, salaries, wages, and benefits were among the contributing factors for the layoffs, according to Sparrow Health System. The provider also noted a decline in patients and increased costs for contracting agency labor.

To add to Sparrow Health’s financial woes, the providers said in a statement released on Sept. 29 that the coronavirus caused a “financial pandemic.”

While an exact number was not given, a release from Sparrow Health said several hundred roles will be affected by layoffs. They include leadership and non-patient care jobs as well as clinical positions.

According to Sparrow Health, salaries, wages and benefits increased 35% compared to 2019 because of nationwide shortages that created staffing challenges. The provider projects contracted labor will cost $50 million for fiscal year 2022.

Sparrow was unable to comment beyond their initial press release.

Meanwhile, the Professional Employee Council of Sparrow Hospital (PECSH-MNA), a bargaining unit of the Michigan’s Nursing Association, expressed concern for the impact the cuts will have on patient care and the community.

“PECSH-MNA continues to actively navigate this evolving situation with a focus on achieving the best outcomes for our members and protecting patient care as much as possible," Jeff Breslin wrote in a statement on Sept. 30. Breslin is a registered nurse and PECSH-MNA member who serves on the MNA board.

'We are especially alarmed at the scheduled cuts to positions affecting inpatient care such as the IV and wound care teams. These specialized services are critical to everyday patient care and it makes no sense to cut positions on these teams.”

Breslin also noted nurses are already short-staffed and the cuts will stretch them thinner while denying patients care.

Melorie Begay is WKAR-FM's weekend host and a general assignment reporter.
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