Bay Medical Sacred Heart laying off employees after Hurricane Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to sources, Bay Medical Sacred Heart is laying off employees after Hurricane Michael.

A letter from CEO C. Scott Campbell reads in part, "After careful evaluation of our new post-hurricane reality, we have made the difficult decision to eliminate positions throughout the hospital."

The email is dated for Monday and was sent to an unknown number of employees.

The full email reads:
"December 3, 2018

Dear Employee:

After careful evaluation of our new post-hurricane reality, we have made the difficult decision to eliminate positions throughout the hospital. As we prepare to re-open the hospital at one-fourth its previous size, we must adjust staffing levels to support a smaller range of services and match the community's current needs.

I realize this is a stressful time so I want to provide you with a clear picture of what to expect and when. During the afternoon of Monday, December 3, we anticipate texting all employees a link to our secure employee website. Please click through to view information regarding your position. While it is never our preference to share important news via text, please understand that logistical challenges created by the storm make it difficult to connect with every employee personally.

Following the notification, a series of conference calls will be held on Monday afternoon to provide more information about these reductions. Call times and dial-in information are provided below. Additional calls will be held on Tuesday and dial-in information will be provided via text message. The same information will be shared on each call, so employees only need to participate in one.

[Call information redacted]

This is a sad time for our hospital and I deeply regret the impact this news will have on members of our Bay Medical family. We are committed to doing everything possible to support employees during this transition. All laid-off employees will be paid through February 4, 2019 and benefits will continue through February 28, 2019.

In addition, Ardent and our joint venture partner, Ascension Sacred Hear, have committed to hiring as many affected employees as possible for openings throughout their systems, including Ascension's hospitals in Florida. Both systems will honor employee years of service. A hiring event for these openings will be held on December 10-11 at a time and place to be communicated soon. Open positions also will be listed on the Bay Medical employee website later this week.

We will continue to share information via text alert and the employee website so please monitor those channels for updates. you may also contact the Employee Hotline at [redacted]. or email [redacted] with questions.

I am sorry to have to share this news with you. Thank you - from the bottom of my heart - for your continued dedication during this difficult time.

C. Scott Campbell
Chief Executive Officer"

We reached out to Bay Medical Sacred Heart's corporate office. They sent us this statement:
"The hospital, which has provided only emergency services since the hurricane, previously announced plans to re-open in stages soon after January 1. The first phase will include 75 inpatient beds with eight operating rooms and five cardiac catheterization labs. Prior to Hurricane Michael, the medical center operated 323 beds.

As we plan to re-open the hospital at one-fourth its previous size, we must adjust staffing levels to support a smaller range of services while matching the current needs of the community. As we work through the notification process we want to be respectful of our employees and first share details with them. It is important to note that we, along with are our JV partner, are committed to minimizing the number of employees impacted by sharing other job opportunities within our health systems.

Our intention was to notify employees of their employment status today. However, due to a change in the communication process, we have postponed these notifications until tomorrow as we work to ensure each employee receives the most accurate and complete information regarding their position."