Days after Eastern Niagara Hospital's board of directors said the Newfane facility would remain open, hospital officials have announced 60 staffers will be laid off.
The layoffs are part of a plan to restructure services at the William Street site, according to spokesperson Carolyn Moore. The plan will consolidate inpatient care and surgical services at the hospital’s Lockport site on East Avenue.
The plan will cut staff at the Newfane site in half. Currently, there are 123 full-time positions associated with the Newfane facility and about 60 of those staffers will be retained.
The Newfane site will maintain its 24-hour emergency department in addition to various outpatient services, including the continuation of: dialysis services, laboratory blood drawing, physical and occupational therapy and most radiology services.
According to ENH Board Chairman George V.C. Muscato, “The hospital reached this decision due to the statewide trend of declining inpatient hospitalizations, declines in reimbursement, and most recently, the impacts of the Affordable Care Act. … ENH determined that an immediate restructuring of the array of services is necessary in order to preserve health care in the community for the long term. We have taken into consideration input from our local EMS providers, and elected officials in order to provide the community with the highest level of services possible.”
Clare A. Haar, hospital CEO added, “The focus of the Newfane site will shift to outpatient consistent with the trends of health care today. We understand the change will have an impact on employees at this facility. The Hospital will be making every effort to accommodate employees of the Newfane site who wish to apply for open positions at the Lockport site."
The closing of specific departments was announced to staff this morning by Haar.
According to an employee who was part of the staff meeting, staff were informed that the inpatient, dietary, Operating Room and medical records departments are being eliminated at the Newfane hospital. Also, lab machines are going to Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport, the employee said. Phlebotomists will stay in Newfane.