West Penn Allegheny hospitals cut 262 jobs, 200 vacant positions

July 26, 2013
An aerial view of Canonsburg Hospital

Allegheny Health Network said Friday it is laying off 262 employees and eliminating 200 open positions in its West Penn Allegheny Health System.

Dan Laurent, spokesman for Highmark’s Allegheny Health Network, confirmed the cuts Friday afternoon. He said the job eliminations, which were effective immediately, were being made to “right-size” the organization to current patient volumes “and to strongly position it for future growth and success as a leading health-care provider in the region.”

According to Laurent, the cuts “span every level of the workforce” at all five of the hospitals in the WPAHS network, including the Allegheny General, West Penn, Forbes, Allegheny Valley and Canonsburg units. The reductions also affected the WPAHS corporate division.

Laurent declined to provide exact numbers of workforce cuts for each of the hospitals.

While the cuts were across the spectrum of positions, Laurent said few of the layoffs occurred in direct-patient care.

With the reductions, WPAHS now has 10,300 employees. Allegheny Health Network, which also includes Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Jefferson Hills and St. Vincent Health System in Erie, employs nearly 17,000.

Laurent said Jefferson and St. Vincent hospitals were not affected by the job cuts.

Friday’s action at WPAHS followed a June announcement by Washington Health System that it was eliminating 68 full-time positions either through shifts from full-time to part-time work or by cutting unfilled positions. The action eliminated a total of 25 active positions.

Earlier this month, Greensburg-based Excela Health announced 78 layoffs and left another 58 positions vacant.

Michael Bradwell has been business editor for the Observer-Reporter since 1995, and was named editor of The Energy Report in 2012. He joined the newspaper in 1990 as a general assignment reporter in the Greene County bureau and has also worked as a copy editor. A 1974 graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a degree in English, he began his career at the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette. Prior to joining the O-R, he served as public relations director for Old Bedford Village, account executive at two Pittsburgh public relations agencies and copywriter for the country’s largest wholesaler of mutual funds.

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