St. Francis firm to lay off 150
Sources say Hawaii Medical Center, which bought the hospitals, told some staff of cuts
The new owner of the former St. Francis hospitals is planning to lay off up to 10 percent, or 150 employees, of the 1,500-member combined staff at the two facilities as part of a systemwide restructuring designed to improve their financial health, according to people familiar with the situation.
Officials of Hawaii Medical Center, which purchased St. Francis Medical Center-Liliha and St. Francis Medical Center-West for $68 million earlier this month from St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii, declined to comment on any potential layoffs.
Some hospital staff members were told of plans for the layoffs at meetings last week, according to a person who attended one of the meetings and asked not to be identified.
ABOUT THE NEW MEDICAL CENTER
What: Made up of the former St. Francis Medical Center-Liliha and St. Francis Medical Center-West, sold Jan. 14 by St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii
Owners: Cardiovascular Hospitals of America, 51 percent; Hawaii Physicians Group, 49 percent
Adib Farha, executive vice president of Cardiovascular Hospitals of America -- the 51 percent partner in the joint venture -- said Hawaii Medical Center is committed to transform its hospitals into "sustainable, state-of-the-art facilities that deliver superior patient care and outcomes."
"HMC is examining every aspect of hospital operations, including technology, facilities and staffing, to determine how best to serve the goals of sustainability and excellence of care," Farha said yesterday in a statement. "Any decision to reshape the work force to meet these goals would be communicated first to affected employees and/or their collective bargaining agents."
Danelo Canete, who heads the 130-member Hawaii Physicians Group, which owns a 49 percent stake in the new company, said, "We're not ready to go to press about" the restructuring.
"It's not structured yet," added Canete, chief executive of Hawaii Medical Center.
Hawaii Medical Center West in Ewa Beach and Hawaii Medical Center East in Liliha, the new names of the hospitals, have been switched to for-profit status from their previous nonprofit designation.
Badr Idbeis, chief executive of CHA and chairman of Hawaii Medical Center, has said the new company plans to invest $7 million to $8 million in the hospitals during the first year and $5 million annually during the following five years. Among the changes he has proposed is an improvement in the nurse-to-patient ratio. Previously, Idbeis had said the deal would have little or no effect on the medical centers' employees.
CHA, founded in 2002 by Idbeis, develops medical centers through joint ventures with physician groups. The physicians group was established in September 2005.
St. Francis Healthcare System, which had seen declining earnings with the hospitals and was $30 million in debt, reached an agreement in June 2005 to sell St. Francis Medical Center-Liliha and St. Francis Medical Center-West to CHA and the physicians group. But the purchase was held up and was not completed until Jan. 14.