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Port Lavaca hospital closes home health department, lays off 11

By JJ VELASQUEZ
May 18, 2010 at 12:18 a.m.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: Memorial Medical Center board of trustees meeting

WHERE: 815 N. Virginia St., Port Lavaca

WHEN: 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 25

PORT LAVACA - Memorial Medical Center announced the closure of its home health department last week.

This marks the first department closure since the county-funded hospital began its financial struggles last year, when it had to pay back the federal government unexpectedly.

Interim Chief Executive Officer Jeanne Goche said the decision cuts costs for the ailing hospital.

The home health department has been in operation for about 25 years, said human resources director Pat Trigg.

A transition phase has begun for 11 home health employees.

The hospital is finalizing severance packages for the employees and will help put them back on the job market, Trigg said.

In addition to the closure, administrators implemented a freeze on merit raises and a 5-percent reduction in hours worked for all employees.

The hospital is also looking to renegotiate contracts.

A decision is nearing on a new chief executive officer after three candidates were interviewed. The new CEO could be introduced at the next board meeting.

Goche is set to lead the hospital through June 8.

The department will close after a 60-day transition period.

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