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Hospitals adjusting budgets and schedules to pay employees, battle COVID-19

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The pandemic is putting millions of Americans out of work, even those on the front-lines are not immune to furloughs and staffing reductions.

In Hutchinson, the Regional Medical Center is having to furlough an unspecified amount of staff, but in Wichita, hospitals are able to maintain their staffing levels thanks to important funding.

“We have had a bit of a slow down in terms of canceling our elective procedures so what we have done is try to redeploy our workforce whenever possible,” says Dave Stewart, marketing director at Wesley Medical Center.

Representatives at Wesley say thankfully furloughing staff has not been something they have had to do. Some employees are not getting the same hours, but they are still getting paid.

“One of the great things about being apart of the HCA hospital is that we have access to resources through HCA, and one of them is this program which if they are not redeployed, then they will receive 70% of their base pay for up to seven weeks,” Stewart says.

Meanwhile, the staff at the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center are facing more challenging times, having to furlough staff and have some management take pay cuts temporarily. Ascension Via Christi in Wichita is in a similar boat as Wesley saying they are committed to not laying off staff and compensating them even if they are re-assigned.

“It has been challenging, but I think we are starting to see, I believe. the peak of COVID in Sedgwick County,” Stewart says.

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