O'FALLON, Ill. — A health system with three hospitals in the Metro East has furloughed thousands of employees.
In a letter obtained by the Business Journal, Hospital Sisters Health System has furloughed nearly 5,000 employees, almost 33% of its workforce. The Springfield, Illinois-based system operates 15 hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin, including St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese and St. Joesph’s Hospital in Highland. The system also owns two Illinois-based physicians groups.
In emails, HSHS spokeswomen did not confirm the number and said the total furlough amount could change.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a rapid and dramatic impact on health care. In order to continue to serve our mission long into the future, HSHS had to make significant changes in our organization which included voluntary and involuntary furloughs of our colleagues. We remain fully committed to continuously improving the lives of our patients and the communities we serve well into the future,” it read.
In the letter, which was sent by HSHS President and CEO Mary Starmann-Harrison to the system's leadership team on April 27, the nearly 5,000 furloughs include 2,274 voluntary furloughs and 2,722 required furloughs. Of those numbers, 1,808 of the voluntary furloughs were full-time employees and 1,990 of the required furloughs were full-time employees.
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