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Bon Secours temporarily furloughs workers not directly working on COVID-19 response

Mercy Health CEO to lead combined health system with Bon Secours
Posted at 11:10 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 23:10:31-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Bon Secours Mercy Health announced Tuesday that they plan to temporarily furlough or redeploy associates who are not directly working on the COVID-19 response, WTVR reports.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented demand for health care services. Simultaneously, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented decline in services and other work within our ministry,” the company wrote in a release.

Bon Secours said the temporary furlough will affect those who are unable to work due to temporary closure and cancellations in primary care, outpatient and surgical services and support services associates who are not directly working on COVID-19 activities.

Additionally, Bon Secours said that they have suspended hiring for any positions not directly impacting COVID-19 and care responses.

Bon Secours said the temporary furlough is expected to last 30 to 90 days. Affected associates will be paid for working through April 3, and then available PTO hours will be paid until depleted.

Full message to associates:

"As a ministry and throughout our history, we’ve always answered the call to serve in a time of great need, when resources are scarce and entire communities are relying upon us. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented demand for health care services. Simultaneously, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented decline in services and other work within our ministry.

"In response to this unprecedented situation, and following deep reflection and prayer, our ministry is acting quickly to redeploy or temporarily furlough associates who are unable to work due to temporary closure, cancellation and low census in primary care, outpatient and surgical services. This will also affect many support services associates who are not directly working on COVID-19 activities. We are also suspending hiring for any positions not directly impacting our COVID-19 and care responses.

"These decisions will help our ministry preserve life and provide vital health care services to the increasing number of patients that require care; be good stewards of our resources and provide adequate support to our care givers as they care for our communities; and be thoughtful about caring for those associates whose roles are vitally important to our ministry but are not directly supporting patient care during this time of crisis.

"The temporary furlough is expected to last 30 to 90 days. Affected associates will be paid for working through April 3, and then available PTO hours will be paid until depleted. Associates are eligible for unemployment benefits. The Bon Secours Mercy Health Foundation has generously provided $60 million to the Bon Secours Mercy Health Associate Emergency Fund, which will help associates facing serious financial challenges.

"It is critically important to note that the decisions made are in no way a reflection of our associates’ contributions or the great care provided to our people and communities. The efforts of our entire team, combined with the tough decisions we are making today, will enable us to continue to focus on the COVID-19 response, which we expect to escalate in the coming weeks, and ensure ongoing compassionate care for years to come. Our frontline caregivers are serving with compassion, professionalism and courage as we care for our patients, and we support their tireless efforts."