CORBIN — With elective testing and procedures on pause and patient volumes down, Baptist Health Corbin is furloughing more employees this week. The temporary furlough impacts a mixture of all staff including clerical, surgical technicians, nurses and suppliers.
A little more than two weeks ago, as Gov. Andy Beshear requested hospitals stop all elective surgeries, Baptist Health Corbin furloughed approximately 20 employees and this week has plans to furlough an additional 40 to 50.
“The system office made the decision based on our reduced patient volume and work associated with those volumes that it was going to be necessary to implement a temporary furlough across the system for certain full time and part time employees,” said Anthony Powers, president of Baptist Health Corbin in an interview Monday afternoon with the Times Tribune.
During the interview Powers and CFO Pam Jones were continuing to look at job duties, volumes, and work loads of employees. Powers said he expects most of the furloughs to go into effect this week.
Jones added that when volumes are down employees are offered to go home using paid time off they have accrued. Jones and Powers said that these employees will be eligible for unemployment and won’t have to use up all their PTO time.
“Some had voluntarily asked to be furloughed,” said Powers.
As for the furlough, Powers said he feels it is only temporary. He anticipates needing to call employees back to work as soon as two to three weeks from now, and plans to have them all back within 8 to 10 weeks.
In a worse case scenario, such as an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Tri-County, these individuals would be called back to work, added Powers.
“We’ve communicated that with staff,” added Powers. “This is kind of a week-to-week basis. Even though this was a difficult decision, it’s probably best for our employees to go ahead and furlough them.”
Powers is counting down the days and is looking forward to getting past the pandemic.
“We want all our employees back,” said Powers. “They’re like family. It’s a very stressful situation for everyone involved. It’s something we don’t take lightly.”