Highline Medical Center Lays Off 85 Employees
On Tuesday, Burien’s Highline Medical Center laid off 85 management and staff positions.
CEO Mark Benedum said, â€œToday is an incredibly difficult and painful day for us. In order to assure our financial stability, we had to reduce 85 management and staff positions at both campuses through a lay-off. In many cases, these are individuals who have given years of service and significant contributions to our organization. This was not an easy decision and it was something I had hoped we would not have to do.â€
Like most hospitals both locally and nationally, Highline Medical Center has been hit hard by the declining economy. Highlineâ€™s net revenue has been negatively impacted by both a decrease in outpatient volumes and an increase in uncompensated care. These factors led to significant financial losses in December and January and a projected loss in February.
Benedum continued, â€œWe have taken actions to respond to the decline in the economy. While we initially believed that these measures would allow us to manage the economic fall-out, it was not enough. We cannot continue to spend more than we are earning. Continued losses of this magnitude are not an option. We have a responsibility to our patients and the community to reduce our costs and remain financially viable.â€
The vast majority of positions that were eliminated were not involved in direct patient care.
Highline Medical Center first opened in 1958 as Burien General Hospital. It now includes two healthcare campuses and more than 20 clinics across Southwest King County. As the tenth-busiest emergency department in the Puget Sound region, Highline serves as the base station for the Burien area emergency medical unit. In 2008, Highline broke ground on a new ER & Patient Care unit, which is slated to open in early 2010.
More information is available at their website: www.highlinemedicalcenter.org.