ASHEVILLE — Three western North Carolina hospitals have laid off more than 80 employees.
The hospitals in Haywood, Swain and Jackson counties are part of MedWest, which was formed two years ago, the Asheville Citizen-Times (http://avlne.ws/QhcPyC ) reported.
The hospitals involved are Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva, Swain County Hospital in Bryson City and Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde.
The company began analyzing staffing levels last year and some positions already had been eliminated, said Lucretia Stargell, a spokeswoman for MedWest. None of the latest layoffs involve registered nurses, she said.
"Despite adjustments that have been made over the past several months, inpatient volumes have not rebounded as we had expected and our expenses have continued to exceed revenues, a trend that is unsustainable," said Steve Heatherly, president and CEO of WestCare hospitals which include the Harris and Swain hospitals.
"In no way will direct patient care be compromised by these necessary changes," Heatherly wrote in a memo announcing the layoffs.
The layoffs involve 26 people at the hospitals in Sylva and Bryson City and 56 people in Clyde.
MedWest says the reductions will save about $7 million annually.
Stargell said the layoffs are not connected with the vote last month by WestCare hospital board members to end the affiliation with Haywood.
The WestCare Board of Trustees voted to dissolve MedWest. The resolution said the creation of the three-hospital MedWest had failed to achieve major objectives, citing "less than expected financial performance since January 2010.,"
Stargell said the MedWest board has not taken action on the resolution by WestCare.
Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com