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Gundersen temporarily furloughing, reducing hours of some staff due to COVID-19

Gundersen temporarily furloughing, reducing hours of some staff due to COVID-19

Gundersen Health System announced Tuesday it will temporarily reduce staff employed in various areas of its facilities because of reduced revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, while Mayo Clinic Health System has no plans of yet to change the hours of current employees.

The number of employees who will be furloughed or experience a reduction in hours at Gundersen is not yet known, though hospital officials say they will support all affected staff through various resources.

“We have been intensely focused on the safety of our patients, visitors and staff,” Gundersen chief executive officer Dr. Scott Rathgaber said. “We have planned for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients and worked to preserve our resources and supplies to be ready. We also canceled elective and non-essential procedures and appointments to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 in our communities, conserve protective equipment and ensure hospital capacity for the surge.”

Gundersen CEO Scott Rathgaber mug

Rathgaber

Mayo Clinic Health System, which a representative said is also experiencing the financial effects of COVID-19, has deferred the hiring of new staff, aside from those for positions deemed essential in the near term, and is monitoring the use of supplemental staff and contractors.

“Mayo Clinic leaders are reviewing all expenditures to identify those that are lower priority at this time and may be reduced, deferred or canceled,” says Rick Thiesse, senior communications media specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System. “These expense reductions will include external services and vendors. These changes are being made to protect the financial resources necessary to support and maintain our workforce.”

Gundersen officials say their locations across the region have experienced a 40% to 80% decrease in business operations in the past weeks, due in part to the precautionary delay of non-imperative clinic visits.

“Furloughs and reduced hours are clearly difficult actions. But these are temporary actions,” Rathgaber said. “We plan to bring staff back to fully serve the needs of our patients and communities when our procedures and appointments can safely return to normal operations.”

Gundersen thanks the community for adhering to social distancing, sanitation and hand-washing guidelines, and for their support of hospital staff during a tumultuous time.

“We have been intensely focused on the safety of our patients, visitors and staff. We have planned for a potential surge in COVID-19 and worked to preserve our resources and supplies to be ready.” Dr. Scott Rathgaber, Gundersen chief executive officer

“We have been intensely focused on the safety of our patients, visitors and staff. We have planned for a potential surge in COVID-19 and worked to preserve our resources and supplies to be ready."

Dr. Scott Rathgaber, Gundersen chief executive officer

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