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Service reductions, layoffs due at Oak Valley Hospital

In response to what officials termed the “ongoing challenges faced by rural hospitals” in California, Oak Valley Hospital District has announced strategic measures to address financial constraints and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the District.

In a statement released by the District and dated Feb. 2, it was announced that “The difficult decision to close the five-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU), discontinue the Family Support Network Department, and implement staff layoffs, including senior management, management, supervisors, and selected staff, reflects the harsh reality faced by many healthcare providers in rural areas.”

Also, said officials, the District is freezing specific, non-direct patient care job openings to reduce costs.

Rural hospitals across California, including Oak Valley Hospital District, have been grappling with a myriad of challenges, officials noted, such as declining reimbursements and rising operational costs.

“These factors, compounded by the impact of the challenges from the pandemic, have created an unprecedented financial strain on healthcare facilities, particularly those serving rural communities,” the statement continued. “The decision to close the ICU and discontinue the Family Support Network was made after careful consideration of both financial and operational factors. These changes are necessary to ensure the continued provision of essential healthcare while adapting to the current economic landscape.”

The changes will impact 28 employees in total, said officials.

“We recognize the deep impact these changes have on our community, patients, and staff. These decisions were made after careful consideration to ensure the continuity of essential healthcare services in Oakdale,” said Matthew Heyn, President and Chief Executive Officer at Oak Valley Hospital District.

Heyn also indicated that the hospital is working diligently to ensure that affected employees have the ability to apply for positions in other departments.