In an ongoing part of its efforts to restructure and prevent Williamson Memorial Hospital from closing, the management staff is making cutbacks in services and reducing its staff.
According to a statement issued by WMH late Thursday morning, the Williamson Family Care and Williamson Medical Specialties clinic will both be closed. In addition to this, the hospital’s intensive care unit has also been shut down.
These changes will affect 35 employees at the hospital, according to the release.
“It is with a heavy heart that we will have a reduction in workforce, but it is necessary to maintain access to our essential services,” said Interim CEO Gene Preston.
Preston said WMH is working with the Williamson Health and Wellness Clinic to have its patients seen by Dr. Donavon “Dino” Beckett and other physicians there. Also, specialty services at the hospital without proper physician coverage will be referred to other facilities and providers throughout the region.
“It is time for the hospital to be sized appropriately considering the demand for services and the services offered by other providers in the community,” Peston said. “The hospital and all community healthcare stakeholders must work together to establish and maintain a network of quality care.”
Preston said the current financial condition at the hospital appears to be a cash flow reduction caused by an information system (electronic medical records and billing system) conversion.
“This has caused us to look at all services and identify those that are not essential to the hospital versus those which are available to the Williamson community or within a short drive,” Preston said.
He said after critical examinations of services offered by the hospital that there is not enough demand for certain services.
“These adjustments to the hospital’s service offerings are part of our best efforts to maintain access to critical services and for the hospital to continue as a going concern,” Preston stated.
Representatives from Workforce West Virginia were at the hospital on Friday afternoon to assist the displaced workers.