most of the 6,000 employees are on leave

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Mountain Health Network, the parent company of Cabell Huntington Hospital and the St. Mary’s Medical Center, announced Friday evening that the majority of its 6,000 employees have been discharged.
Company officials say this is due to the pressure the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on healthcare, including the cancellation of non-lethal (elective) procedures to protect people from the spread of the virus.
Mike Mullins, CEO of Mountain Health Network, released the following statement:
“As the Mountain Heath Network joins the nation in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our employees, patients and visitors is our top priority. We follow the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and coordinate with state and local governments as well as with other hospitals in the region. In doing so, we have complied with state and federal requirements to cancel elective (non-life threatening) surgeries to protect patients and health care workers from the spread of the disease and to manage preservation of personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves.

“Unfortunately, although the temporary suspension of elective procedures helps prepare for a pandemic, it has a negative impact on our financial health. The situation we face creates hardship for everyone and is starting to hit us hard here in and around Huntington. With the drastic drop in volumes reaching almost 50% across our system, we have no choice but to adapt our workforce to patient demand. We had to make the difficult but necessary decision to issue temporary residence permits for several system staff, affecting the majority of the 6,000 employees as of March 26.
“Some of the services affected include the Cabell Huntington Hospital Family Urgent Care Center, located at 2 Stonecrest Drive in Huntington, and Hurricane Express Care, located at 3109 Teays Valley Road. The two temporarily interrupt public services when the offices close this evening, Friday, April 3, until further notice.
“At the moment, the probable length of leave is not known; key factors are the extent of the epidemic in the NHN service area and the length of government-mandated emergency warrants. We will continually assess the situation with the goal of returning to comprehensive patient services as soon as the pandemic subsides and the state government allows it. “
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