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Dearborn County Hospital Laying Off 25

Posted On November 10, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

Dearborn County Hospital. File photo.

(Dearborn County, Ind.) – Dearborn County Hospital is laying off 25 employees, citing multiple factors in a changing healthcare industry.

The hospital in Lawrenceburg announced Thursday that it initiated a reduction in workforce. DCH president and CEO Michael Schwebler said changes in healthcare, a shift toward outpatient procedures, shorter lengths of stay, and other factors are reasons for the layoffs.

“We understand that our employees have financial responsibilities and many have families who will be greatly impacted by this reduction.  I can assure you that the decision to reduce our workforce was not one that we came by easily, but through due diligence and expert analysis of our current and future staffing needs,” said Schwebler, adding that the hospital is fiscally sound.

Dearborn County Hospital Board of Trustees President Ronald Denney said implementing a reduction in workforce was not easy, especially in a tightknit environment like DCH.

“Staffing levels in specific areas of the hospital have significantly exceeded standard patient to staff ratios for some time now.  To adhere to best staffing practices and to be good stewards of the hospital’s finances, a reduction in workforce was necessary.  The Board and I fully support the hospital’s leadership in stepping forward to make this correct, but extremely difficult decision,” said Denney.

Terminated employees have been offered severance packages commensurate with their positions and length of employment.

“While we would have greatly preferred to reduce our workforce by attrition, increased operating expenses and reduced reimbursement rates do not make that financially feasible,” Schwebler continued.  “We view our DCH employees as part of one big family, so it is extremely painful when we have to say goodbye to some of our staff.  Our Human Resources Department is committed to working with those losing positions to help them find new employment opportunities within our system or the community.  In addition, I feel confident that TriHealth will welcome many of them as employees at their facilities.”

DCH still employs about 900 people, with 36 positions unfilled. According to the hospital, many recently vacated positions at DCH have been left unfilled to allow qualified employees, whose positions have been eliminated, to apply and stay employed there. TriHealth, the hospital’s affiliate partner, will also give hiring priority to released DCH employees.

Schwebler, who was named CEO last year, says the hospital has a strategic plan in place to guide the hospital into the future.

“The manner in which healthcare is provided is constantly changing, so we need to be flexible and make wise decisions as to how we can best utilize our resources to benefit our patients and the community as a whole,” said Schwebler.

“Over the coming months, we will be sharing with the community the results of our strategic initiatives and ushering in new or enhanced services and programs focusing on accessibility, patient need and a more comprehensive continuum of care,” concluded Mr. Schwebler.