After almost 30 employees were laid off last September, the Wiregrass Medical Center still needed to make more cuts. This time 30 more employees were let go; most of those, hospital nurses. Employees that didn't lose their jobs still took about a ten percent pay cut.
"Overall everybody's just upset. When your job is affected it affects your family and your finances so of course everyone is upset but I think everyone is hopeful that they'll find something else," said Susan King, former Wiregrass Medical Center employee.
WDHN News sat down with the center's CEO to find out why more cuts were needed.
"Through the state of Alabama in the last year there have been about ten hospitals that have closed down and we did not want to be one of those coming up in 2014," said Jim Heitzenrater, CEO of Wiregrass Medical Center.
He says the center needs to make more money at the end of each fiscal year... Last year's cuts saved the hospital more than a million dollars and with these cuts the center will save another million. The medical center has about 300 employees between its nursing home, senior care center and hospital--making it the largest medical facility in Geneva County.
"The emergency room has been a very beneficial piece of this community and it's a very important piece when you're looking at economic development and the economic engines in the community," said Heitzenrater.
Meetings were held today to give employees a chance to ask hospital administrators their questions.
"It will probably be a morale problem for us when you cut peoples pay and eliminate people. We talked through that in the meetings but it's really hard so that will be a challenge moving in to the future," said Heitzenrater.
He says the medical center has no intentions of closing but they will continue to monitor the situation until the end of the fiscal year.
Carolyn Brewster is a multimedia journalist at WDHN you can email her at Carolyn@WDHN com