Hospital says tough times cause 20 percent cut in workforce - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hospital says tough times cause 20 percent cut in workforce

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

GRAND SALINE, TX (KLTV) - Since Thursday, Cozby-Germany Hospital in Grand Saline has laid off nearly a fifth of their workers. Now many of those who lost their jobs say they still haven't figured out the reason why.

"I started at that hospital as a candy striper at the age of 13." For most of her life, Cynthia Garcia has called Cozby-Germany Hospital home. "If you want to know the truth it's breaking my heart," said Garcia.

Last Thursday Garcia said goodbye to co-workers, Friday she said goodbye herself.

"My termination came with a finger being pointed at me and being told I want your keys too," said Garcia. "I was given no reason for my layoff I was given no official papers."

Monday night, 20 Cozby-Germany employees were out of a job, from human resources to chief of staff. All fell victim to what hospital ownership calls a poor financial situation.

"The hospital is losing money, the amount that's coming in for last year we're not profitable, not even close," said supervisor Sean Astolfo. "We hate to do this, this is for the longevity of the facility and trying to stay open to give service to the community."

Astolfo says that's the message delivered to all employees, but when Kelly Scarborough got back from lunch Friday, she says all she heard was,"We are closing this office, we are eliminating this position, we need your keys," said Scarborough.

Her claim drew a no comment from management, who says most of the lost jobs were office related with those duties transferred elsewhere.

"We're not in danger of patient care we didn't let go any of the nursing staff or anything to do with the patient care," said Astolfo, who when asked directly, added the nursing director and hospital chief of staff to the layoff list. 

Which is why some tell us they fear for the hospital's future, outside of Quitman, the two closest major hospitals are in Tyler or Terrell, leaving Cozby-Germany to fill the gap.

Hospital management tells us temporary replacements for chief of staff and nurse director have been named.  Meanwhile those affected by the layoffs have started a group, Citizens for Cozby-Germany Hospital and a petition.

They tell us they plan to remove 5 of the 6 current board members in hopes of finding new ownership.

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