Arkansas Children’s Hospital announces layoffs due to impact from COVID-19

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Arkansas Children’s Hospital announced Friday there will be at least 25 layoffs as a direct result of the COVID-19 impact.

Another 17 positions will be cut, but those positions are currently vacant.

“Arkansas Children’s has experienced a decrease in patient volumes and a reduction in workload for some team members. There is every indication that these changes in volume and workload will last through June 2021,” Executive Vice President Fred Scarborough said in a release from the hospital.

The release includes the following adjustments:

·      20% reduction in executive compensation for fiscal year 2021.
·      10% reduction in director compensation for fiscal year 2021.
·      Mandatory reduction of all external travel costs through June 2021.
·      Elimination of select contracted services.
·      Significant reduction of onsite catering and sponsored event expenses.
·      50% reduction in minor equipment expenditures through June 2021.
·      30% reduction in capital expenditures through June 2021.
·      Elimination of traditional merit pay program for all staff through June 2021.
·      Required Executive Vice President approval for any new hire. Only strategically essential positions may be hired.
·      Elimination of 42 positions across Arkansas Children’s. 17 of the 42 positions are currently vacant. 25 of the position eliminations impact a team member with whom we have already met individually to discuss.
Arkansas Children’s is offering severance benefits and outplacement services to the employees whose positions were eliminated to help them pursue new career opportunities.

The hospital said these actions are at no fault of any employee, but instead, a result of the direct impact of COVID-19.

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