McKenzie-Willamette furloughs some employees amid COVID-19

A spokeswoman said the hospitals will continue to maintain all operations without any interruption to service.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 6:49 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With a lot of medical procedures called off because of COVID-19, hospitals are facing financial hardships.

The restrictions were put in place to preserve personal protective equipment for the coronavirus response, according to Gov. Kate Brown's order.

McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center's marketing director Jana Waterman said as a result of declined patient utilization and the pausing of all elective services, they have placed a small number of employees on furlough. She said they will continue to receive benefits and accrue time off while being eligible to file for unemployment. She said they look forward to welcoming them back when the pandemic subsides.

According to Bloomberg, McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center's parent company, Quorum Health Corporation, is facing bankruptcy.

Waterman said discussions about restructuring the company’s debt have been constructive. She said while these discussions continue, the company has stressed that regardless of the path forward, Quorum Health and its hospitals will continue to maintain all operations without any interruption to service. She said the hospital remains focused on preparing our community for a surge in COVID-19 cases and caring for their patients -- not just next week and next month but long into the future.

Meanwhile, PeaceHealth said they are ensuring positions and pay protection through May 1. They said as patient volumes have decreased, they are redeploying caregivers for other roles for coronavirus-related work like temperature checks at entry points.

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