Hundreds laid off from Bay Medical Sacred Heart

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - We're learning more about how many employees are being laid off from Bay Medical Sacred Heart.

As a result of the damages caused by Hurricane Michael, Bay Medical Sacred Heart will only be opening a quarter of its previous size.

"Obviously this storm took a toll on Bay Med. They're going to reopen in January with a limited facility," Bay Medical Board of Trustees member Philip "Griff" Griffitts said.

According to Griffitts, the hospital has about 1,600 employees and will be letting hundreds of them go.

"Five or six hundred individuals," he said.

Those who were terminated were supposed to be notified Monday, but a delay had them waiting until Tuesday. Griffitts says all levels of employees were impacted.

"It's from physicians down to the maintenance staff. If they have been laid off, there's also opportunities to work within Ardent and Sacred Heart in the area where they will try to find placement for those individuals, so they are going to try to do what they can to take care of their employees. They are paying them through the first week in February and their insurance will carry on through the end of February, so they're doing the best they can in a very difficult situation," Griffitts said.

Bay Medical C.E.O. Scott Campbell provided a statement saying in part "the decision to reduce our workforce has been incredibly difficult, but necessary to ensure our ability to continue providing care to the community and preserve critical services."

"It is going to be a challenge. Gulf Coast and Bay Med will probably have to work together. People are still being shipped out of town every day for serious medical issues and that will continue until they get to full service," Griffitts said.

The hospital won't be at full service for a while but will be opening up in stages.

"We've been assured by the leadership of Sacred Heart that they will build back bigger and better, so while this is terrible news, we hope the future will be bright at Bay Med," Griffitts said.