Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

August 15, 2013

King’s Daughters lays off 148 workers

Two outreach centers to be closed Sept. 1

ASHLAND — King’s Daughters Medical Center laid off 148 workers Thursday, most of them at its Ashland hospital.

King’s Daughters also announced Thursday it will close its Russell and Pikeville centers Sept. 1, with staffers there moving to other centers.

Most of the workers laid off were in support, administrative and supervisory positions, hospital spokesman Tom Dearing said.

Dearing said staffing levels for direct patient care were unchanged.

Additionally, some workers had their hours cut from full time to part time, Dearing said.

The possibility of layoffs was in the air, but the reality was still a shock, said Kathleen Long, a home health clerk who lost her job. “I came in at 8 a.m., and at about 9:15 I was called to the office and told my position was eliminated,” she said.

Long was one of two home health clerks, and both were laid off, she said.

The layoffs are “a blow to the community,” said Long, a single mother of two teenagers. “When you have that many people without jobs, it trickles all the way down.”

In a press release, and in an email from president and CEO Fred Jackson to King’s Daughters staff, the hospital blamed the layoffs on fewer patients and declining reimbursements and said the cuts were part of a national slump in the health care business.

The hospital will offer some of the laid-off workers new positions in the company.

Jackson’s email blamed “a perfect storm of a shifting business model, changing federal and state reimbursements, increasing demand for charity care, and a weak economy” and said the hospital would look to outpatient services and its community outreach centers for future growth.

Among those laid off were 12 members of Service Workers International Union District 1199, and five other union members went from full-time hours to part time, according to SEIU Deputy Director Joyce Gibson.

Carol Selvage, a medical records clerk who wasn’t among those laid off, said employees with decades of experience lost their jobs. “There were 20- and 30-year employees who went out the door today,” she said.

The hospital took steps to avoid layoffs, including cutting expenses, combining areas and improving operations, which softened the effect of the layoffs, Jackson said in his email and in the release.

When the Pikeville and Russell centers are closed, staffers there will go to other centers.

Family physician Jane Strader and pediatrician Akashni Bhasin are moving from Russell to the Flatwoods center. Pediatrician Jonathan Maynard is moving to the Grayson center.

Family physicians Patrick Collins and Tara Newsome will relocate to the new Prestonsburg center, 15 minutes north of the Pikeville center. Physical medicine and rehabilitation physician Scott Akers and cardiologist Vaughn Payne also are relocating to the new Prestonsburg location.

The cuts are the most recent in a series at King’s Daughters, which laid off workers in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

 MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0723copshots1.JPG Focus on law enforcement

    Members of several local and regional law enforcement agencies hit the streets of downtown Ashland Tuesday armed with digital cameras and assignment sheets as they completed in-service photography instruction through the Department of Criminal Justice.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Obama admin. says health subsidies will continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • State’s longest trail system turns 35

    The Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the National Recreation Trail system in 1979. After 35 years, the trail remains Kentucky’s longest distance trail, estimated at 307 miles.
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Pancake releases new album

    The top of the Sky Tower in downtown Ashland was booming Saturday night with music from Larry Pancake’s new album “Fair Weather Friend.”
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Telephone scammer fleeces man of $5,000

    A telephone scammer claimed another area victim when a Williams Avenue man paid $5,000 after the con artist told him he had won a sweepstakes but had to pay taxes on the prize money before collecting it, according to Ashland Police Department reports.
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder defendant pleads guilty on lesser charge, sentenced to 8 years

    One of four charged with murder in a 2008 double killing pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just before his trial was to start.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014

  • Morehead gets Trail Town status

    It has been two and a half years in the making and it happens today.
    Morehead will officially be designated a Kentucky Trail Town following Dawson Springs and Livingston.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fallsburg’s traditional haunt attracts unique talents

    Brian Cassidy said there is no substitute for individual talent while tackling tasks ranging from sculpting a massive hillbilly to inventing paintball gun brackets capable of withstanding the pressures caused by an incoming zombie attack.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/22/14

    The Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center on Sunday mobilized two fire crews to assist with firefighting efforts in the western United States.

    July 21, 2014